The on-and-off AviWorlds grid is off again. By my count, this is the 13th time that the grid has officially closed.
And, as usual, grid owner Alex Pomposelli says that this time it’s for good.
“This is it,” he told Hypergrid Business. “I’m no longer going to open AviWorlds. The domains are for sale, AviWorlds and Avi-Labs. Highest bidder gets it.”
He said that there were no outstanding issues to settle with residents since nobody had taken up his offer to rent land or build anywhere on the grid.
“It was all AviWorlds public regions,” he said. “No one created nothing. It was all my three people who did it, and I gave the content free.”
He said that he is closing the grid due to a lack of paying residents.
In addition, he said, his income was down 50 percent because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The current world crisis gave me no choice but to shut down,” he said.
Since early 2011, owner Alexsandro Pomposelli has experimented with being the most expensive grid, and with offering land for free. He tried to have the grid hosted with Dreamland Metaverse, with Zetamex, with Kitely, and with DigiWorldz. He has tried to run the grid from his garage. (That experiment ended with a catastrophic power surge.) He has turned hypergrid connectivity off and on several times.
In fact, just this month, Pomposelli raised prices, turned off hypergrid access, and started charging for uploads hoping that making the grid less attractive would bring in more users.
This is when the grid has officially closed down in the past, not counting temporary outages of various lengths:
- In July 2013 — the grid shut down for, by my count, the third time since it first launched in 2011.
- In November 2013, Pomposelli told residents that the grid was officially shut down, because he had tried and tried, and failed for the last time, and had nothing left in him to try again. He changed his mind two days later.
- In December 2013, the grid shut down again after some personal issues. 2013 was a tough year.
- In January 2015, the grid shut down once more — but, for a change, it wasn’t closed by Pomposelli but by then-owner Mike Hart.
- In March 2017, the grid closed down for the tenth time, by my count.
- In December 2018, I counted up that the grid had closed down more than a dozen times. Let’s make it an even dozen, making today’s shutdown lucky number 13.
And here are some other highlights from the grid’s history:
- A business model based on charging the highest prices. That strategy lasted for less than two months. But never fear — Pomposelli has returned to the “high price” strategy several times, including May 2017 and twice in just the past few months — in September 2019 and then again most recently just twelve days ago.
- Running his own grid. That didn’t work out either.
- Offering free one-acre plots to residents. Offering free quarter regions for all residents. Offering 100 free full-size regions. In August 2016 Pomposelli says that he’s given out 200 free regions.
- Turning on hypergrid. Turning it off. Turning it on again. Turning it off. Turning it back on. Turning it off again for the third time. And a fourth time. And a fifth time.
- Running his own grid again, this time as an invitation-only private community.
- Running an enclave on Kitely. This actually lasted only a week.
- Selling the grid to someone else. That also ended very badly.
- Launching his own hosting company. Seeing the hosting company go down.
- Running the grid from his garage. Seeing his garage-based grid go down as a result of a catastrophic power surge — even after he had been warned about that very thing.
For the whole sordid history of AviWorlds ups and downs, check out our archive of related articles.