DigiWorldz founders settle dispute

The Nile Goddess region on DigiWorldz.
The Nile Goddess region on DigiWorldz.welcome

The founders of the fast-growing, low-priced DigiWorldz grid have settled their ownership dispute, putting at rest fears about the grid’s stability and future.

Terry Ford
Terry Ford

“I was able to negotiate an amicable agreement by all previous and current members of Digital Worlds Group, LLC,” grid founder Terry Ford told Hypergrid Business. “DigiWorldz is now completely owned by my wife Tammy Ford and is legally registered in the state of Ohio as DigiWorldz, LLC.”

The grid was originally operated by US-based virtual worlds consulting firm Digital Worlds Group, but was split off as its own entity in mid-June.

At that point, Michael Sietz, one of the partners of Digital Worlds Group, threatened to go to court.

Now, the partners have confirmed that they come to an agreement under which Terry Ford and his wife will have the sole ownership of DigiWorldz.

Ford is well-known and respected in the OpenSim community, and was also the founder of the 3rd Rock Grid, one of the first commercial OpenSim grids. He is also known as “Butch Arnold” in-world.

Michael Sietz
Michael Sietz

“We have this all settled,” Sietz told Hypergrid Business. “With Terry as the sole owner of DigiWorldz I really believe the grid will be rock solid.”

Sietz is now the only owner of the Digital Worlds Group. He said that his main conflict was with a third partner, Mark Wiseman, and that he does not yet know what the future holds for the consulting firm.

However, he said that he is willing to offer all the help he can to Ford to help make DigiWorldz a successful grid.

“Terry at the helm I really believe DigiWorldz has a great foundation under it,” he said. “I would really like to see Terry reach new heights on this and I will help him as much and as often as he needs me.”

Mark Wiseman
Mark Wiseman

Wiseman confirmed that Sietz is now the sole owner of the Digital worlds Group, and that Ford is the sole owner of the DigiWorldz grid, which will be based in Ohio.

“I personally will not hold a part of DigiWorldz, as that would affect my personal situation in Europe negatively,” he told Hypergrid Business, due to the tax implications of owning a part of a foreign company.

“Mark Wiseman will still be helping on DigiWorldz,” added Ford.

This solution has been fully accepted and supported by all current and previous Digital Worlds Group members.

DigiWorldz is a hypergrid-enabled commercial grid that offers $16 varegions regions up to 16 standard regions in size.

DigiWorldz growth stats.
DigiWorldz growth stats.

The grid currently has around 800 active monthly users, and a total land area of 845 standard regions, a slight drop from last month. The grid launched in March, making it the most successful launch in the history of OpenSim. It only missed making the top ten most popular list last month by three users.

Given the steady growth in active users on the grid, and the grid’s low prices and stability, it is likely that the growth in land area will resume now that the ownership dispute has been settled.

La Isla Bonita region on DigiWorldz.
La Isla Bonita region on DigiWorldz.

In other news, last week the grid completed upgrading all regions to our latest code based on the 8.2 version of OpenSim, which included a bug fix for hypergrid travelers trying to bring content back from other grids.

“You no longer have to ‘wear’ an item to get it to come back with you to DigiWorldz,” the grid said in an announcement.

The grid has also upgraded to a 50-user license for Vivox, which means that 50 residents can hold voice conversations at the same time using the Vivox voice server, the same system used by Second Life and many of the world’s largest online games.

“And if we need more than 50 spots, we’ll add them,” the grid announced.

Many grids, especially small and startup grid as well as personal grids, use the free five-user license, which means that quality suffers when more than a handful of people try to talk at the same time.

Maria Korolov