What Happened to Smallworlds?

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Written By Angelo Sorbello

Tech entrepreneur and passionate about business

 

 

In the ever-evolving landscape of online gaming, SmallWorlds, once a thriving virtual world game, now finds itself grappling with financial challenges. Its difficulties can be traced back to the increasing costs of server maintenance and the game's limited availability on desktop platforms.

The recent announcement of Smallworlds Rewritten (SWR), developed by former players and moderators, offers a glimmer of hope for the game's revival. In this article, we will explore the factors contributing to SmallWorlds' decline and the potential for its resurgence with SWR.

Key Takeaways

  • SmallWorlds faced financial trouble, including difficulty meeting server running costs and failing to meet fundraising targets.
  • The rise of mobile gaming had a significant impact on SmallWorlds, as the game was limited to desktop platforms and unable to adapt to the mobile gaming trend.
  • SmallWorlds attempted a rebirth with the release of the TownCenter prototype and the announcement of Smallworlds Rewritten (SWR), which is being developed by ex-SmallWorlds players and moderators in a grassroots development process tailored to the fan base.
  • The success of Smallworlds Rewritten (SWR) and the revival of SmallWorlds depend on community support and engagement.

Signs of Financial Trouble

SmallWorlds' financial difficulties became evident through a series of telltale signs. The causes of their financial trouble included difficulty meeting server running costs and failing to meet their fundraising target. The co-founders themselves admitted defeat, indicating the severity of the situation.

One of the main lessons learned from SmallWorlds' experience is the importance of balancing costs with user growth. In their case, the increase in server costs outpaced the growth of their user base, leading to financial strain.

Additionally, the impact of mobile gaming cannot be ignored. The industry shift towards mobile-based platforms left SmallWorlds at a disadvantage, as their game was only available on desktops. The subsequent removal of Adobe Flash further worsened their situation.

These factors highlight the need for adaptability and staying current with technological advancements in the gaming industry.

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Impact of Mobile Gaming

The rise of mobile gaming significantly influenced the viability of SmallWorlds. As the mobile gaming market experienced exponential growth, SmallWorlds struggled to adapt to this industry shift. Unlike its competitors, SmallWorlds was only available on desktops, which limited its reach and accessibility to users. This lack of mobile adaptation became even more problematic when Adobe Flash, the platform that SmallWorlds relied on, was gradually phased out. This removal further hindered SmallWorlds' ability to adapt to the mobile gaming trend. To illustrate the impact of mobile gaming on SmallWorlds, consider the following table:

Mobile Gaming Market Growth SmallWorlds' Lack of Mobile Adaptation
Rapid expansion Desktop-only platform
Increasing user base Limited reach and accessibility
Technological advancements Inability to adapt to mobile gaming

SmallWorlds' Rebirth

Following the impact of mobile gaming and the end of Adobe Flash, SmallWorlds sought a rebirth through the release of the TownCenter prototype in December 2018. This was an experimental move to gauge the community support and interest in the game's revival.

However, the TownCenter app is currently unavailable for download, leaving players eagerly waiting for the next steps.

On February 27, 2022, Smallworlds Rewritten (SWR) was announced, signaling a potential new era for the game. SWR is being developed by ex-SmallWorlds players and moderators, who have intimate knowledge of the game's mechanics and community dynamics. This grassroots development process ensures that the new iteration of SmallWorlds is tailored to the needs and desires of its dedicated fan base.

Key Takeaways

With financial difficulties and the impact of mobile gaming, SmallWorlds faced significant challenges that ultimately led to its rebirth as Smallworlds Rewritten (SWR). The viability of Smallworlds Rewritten (SWR) depends on community support.

The release of the TownCenter prototype in December 2018 served as an experiment to gauge the level of support from the community. Although the app is currently unavailable for download, the announcement of Smallworlds Rewritten (SWR) on February 27, 2022, brought hope to the SmallWorlds community.

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The fact that the new version is being developed by ex-SmallWorlds players and moderators implies that there is still a dedicated and passionate group of individuals invested in the revitalization of the game. The success of Smallworlds Rewritten (SWR) will rely heavily on the support and engagement of the community.

Related Business Stories

One notable business story related to Smallworlds is the failed IPO and devaluation of WeWork. This event highlights the risks and challenges faced by startups in the tech industry.

Here are three key points to consider:

  1. Complex arrangements: WeWork's business model involved leasing office spaces and subleasing them to other companies, creating complex agreements and financial arrangements.
  2. Conflicts of interest: The company's co-founder, Adam Neumann, had significant control over WeWork, which raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest and corporate governance issues.
  3. Failed IPO and devaluation: WeWork's highly anticipated initial public offering (IPO) in 2019 was ultimately canceled due to investor skepticism and concerns over the company's financial health. The subsequent devaluation of WeWork's valuation highlighted the challenges of sustaining rapid growth and profitability in the tech industry.

Conclusion

In the conclusion, it is evident that SmallWorlds faced significant financial challenges and struggled to adapt to the industry shift towards mobile gaming, ultimately leading to its closure. The signs of financial trouble began to emerge in 2015, with the company having difficulty meeting server running costs and failing to meet its fundraising target. The increase in server costs outpaced user growth, exacerbating the financial strain.

Additionally, the industry's shift towards mobile-based platforms, coupled with SmallWorlds' availability only on desktops and the removal of Adobe Flash, further hindered its viability. While SmallWorlds attempted a rebirth with the release of the TownCenter prototype in 2018 and the announcement of Smallworlds Rewritten (SWR) in 2022, the future prospects and challenges of game redevelopment remain uncertain.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Did the Financial Difficulties of Smallworlds Affect Its User Base?

The financial difficulties of SmallWorlds had a significant impact on its user base. The shrinking audience and inability to meet server costs led to decreased user engagement and a decline in the community's size.

Did the Shift Towards Mobile Gaming Contribute to Smallworlds' Downfall?

The shift towards mobile gaming significantly contributed to the downfall of SmallWorlds. As the industry moved towards mobile-based platforms, SmallWorlds' desktop-only availability and the removal of Adobe Flash exacerbated its financial difficulties and limited its user base.

What Is the Current Status of the Towncenter Prototype?

The current status of the TownCenter prototype involves its release in December 2018 as an experiment to gauge community support. However, the app is currently unavailable for download. Future updates and features remain uncertain.

Who Is Involved in the Development of Smallworlds Rewritten (Swr)?

The development team of Smallworlds Rewritten (SWR) includes ex-SmallWorlds players and moderators. They are responsible for project management and overseeing the development process of the game.

How Did the Closure of Adobe Flash Impact Smallworlds' Viability?

The closure of Adobe Flash had a significant impact on the viability of SmallWorlds and other virtual worlds. It highlighted the need to adapt to the future of browser-based gaming and forced SmallWorlds to seek alternative solutions for its platform.

Conclusion

In conclusion, SmallWorlds faced significant financial difficulties due to the industry's shift towards mobile gaming platforms and the removal of Adobe Flash. The game struggled to meet server running costs and failed to reach its fundraising target.

However, there is hope for its rebirth with Smallworlds Rewritten (SWR), developed by former players and moderators. Will SWR be able to revive the once-popular virtual world game and regain community support?

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