The Battle of the Breedables..

UPDATE: You can read more about this story thanks to the Courthouse News website via this link here: http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/12/16/32638.htm

Once upon a time, breeding animals in Second Life was all about chickens and turtles. I knew LOTS of people who suddenly became obsessed by these virtual critters, and they spent a whole load of real life cash nuturing and breeding and raising what was, effectively, a bunch of rather ugly pixels in a virtual universe. I didn’t like them, couldn’t see the appeal and thought it was just a fad.

But then Ozimals appeared, and thus began the time of the breedable mammal. All cuddly and fluffy, these bunnies blazed a trail in setting the new standard for breedable animals in Second Life.  I remained unenthused by them, until a friend gave me a pair of my own baskets to hatch…and I was hooked, line and sinker. These beautiful little hoppers led me on all sorts of adventures; I made new friends, made some Lindens and bred some amazing bunnies. Times were good. For a short period, they were the ultimate in-world breedable pet, with auction houses packed to the rafters and customers clamouring  for every new breed and shade before gradually, and rather too quickly,  the decline started to happen. The grid became choked with bunnies. People made and subsequently lost small fortunes on these hoppers as the bubble burst and prices plummetted, as did the over-all popularity of the product. Other issues came to a head too; once ardent Ozimals supporters became aggravaited by the continual wait for Bunnybury and Socialbun, useful tools which some thought may have helped appease the eventual product decline. It became a no-longer whispered opinion amongst many of my bunny-breeding peers that Ozimals had gotten way too comfortable resting on their laurels and I’m afraid, in a sense, they had. Despite their honourable intentions they had lost focus, and as their vision started to blur Amaretto appeared upon the horizon and started to rake it in with their horses. Bunny breeders, myself included,  that once saw the potential of all things small and furry now saw the potential of all things larger and four-legged, combined with a new level of interactivity with a breedable pet that hadn’t existed before ( that’ll be riding then, you perverts) Many breeders, like myself, combined both breeding hobbies, but many more left bunnies behind and went to the Amaretto side of the pasture.

Of course, with this being Second Life where no one seems to be able to learn from previous mistakes, the Amaretto horses rapidly saw their popularity peak and then just as quickly decline in a much more melodramatic fashion than the bunnies ever managed, and despite both products taking stock and issuing new starters and updates to allow for new breeds and traits to be discovered, the truth is their respective markets just aren’t as profitable as before.

And therein lies the rub; because no matter what anyone may tell you otherwise, there is one major motivating reason for all the blood, sweat and tears that are invested in creating a virtual breedable in Second Life, and that is MONEY.

Chickens, turtles, fairies, pigs, plants, fish and most recently cats all need to be purchased, and then fed and nurtured on a continual basis to be successful in the breeding game. If you get lucky you can establish a great breeding line and people will buy off you, which goes some way towards your in-game costs and is a source of great personal satisfaction, but nine times out of ten the money you make goes back into your breedable habit. It’s no wonder that breedable creators are so testy and bitchy about the products produced by their peers (some more than others) If you have the time, the creativity and the scripting abilities you could potentially be onto a winner, as the Ozimals model initially proved, so it’s not hard to see why these tough bunnies won’t go down without a fight.

Today, on the official Ozimals blog, Candy Cervau has posted an extensive and very eloquent explanation regarding the lawsuit that Amaretto have filed in California against Ozimals, in response to the DMCA that has been filed by Ozimals against Amaretto ( You can view Candy’s post at http://blog.ozimals.com/2010/12/regarding-lawsuit-against-ozimals-by.html)

Right from the off, Candy states that “…(We) are NOT claiming and have never claimed to own the idea of a breedable animal..” but what they are miffed about is the alleged ‘cloning’ of their product by Amaretto, and the post goes on to explain in length,the procedure that is currently ongoing , featuring various links to submitted evidence.  Once you’ve read that, go get a brew and read the actual court filing that is Amaretto’s response at :  http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/12/16/Virtual.pdf  It’s worthy of a read, and interesting to note that Ozimals appear to assert (unless I have misread) that the recent decline in their business was as a direct result of the Amaretto horses emergence upon the grid. For what it’s worth, and it’s only my opinion, the Ozimals bunnies product as a whole was in decline before the horses ever appeared, and subsequently BOTH of them have to a certain extent have failed to sustain the level of interest that was originally promised in their halcyon days.  Of course there are still a core group of ardent supporters, but I’m sure both would admit, and you only have to look at group chat logs to see the evidence, that the glory days for these breedable products may have already passed (although I would dearly love to be proven wrong on this point) Many a lesson to be learned from the way both parties have conducted themselves there methinks.

It will be VERY interesting to see how each player in this ‘Battle of the Breedables’ responds to this lawsuit, and also what the eventual outcome will be, because it’s not just going to affect these two heavyweight breedable companies but every other breedable that has been and is about to be released onto the grid. In fact, I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see an end to Beta breedable releases for the forseeable future, until this horse v hopper drama is fully played out.

But let there be no doubt, there is a LOT at stake here. The very fact that court proceedings have begun should indicate to you that we’re talking about a very profitable business model that is about to be disseminated and dissected by the courts. That’s exactly what court proceedings do; all the dirty laundry gets aired in public and because this has all taken place in the electronic age, the data will be (hopefully) conveniently time-stamped and accessible to all for scrutiny. It also has the potential to get nasty. Will we see horses disappearing off the grid as a result of the DMCA action, and if so will other pets soon follow?
Such actions would rock the in-world virtual community to the very core, because if this action sets a precedent regarding virtual breedables and they start disappearing from the grid as a result of this, for example, can you imagine the furore and anger this would cause and the bad press that Ozimals could potentially suffer as a result? Think of it this way; if you’ve spent thousands of Linden dollars building up a collection of prized virtual animals that you are rightly proud of and one day you logged in to not see them anymore, you’d be pissed right?

Not for a moment am I suggesting that this situation will become a reality, but then again, what do I know. Well actually, I know this: This is Second Life drama at it’s peak. It’s practically Wiki-leaksesque, and you will need a vat of popcorn and an unbelievably comfortable chair to sit in as this one unfolds.

I for one will be following this drama VERY closely indeed, but right now I have a barnful of bunnies, horse and cats to go and feed….

Watch this space.

26 thoughts on “The Battle of the Breedables..

  1. Firstly some incorrect info up there. Ozimals did NOT sue Amaretto in california. Think yer mixing them up there. Amaretto filed suit in answer to a DMCA complaint which Ozimals filed with LL.

    TY

  2. Like Kazkid said, Amaretto filed the lawsuit, Ozimals just filed a complaint with Linden Labs and that is how this whole thing started.

    For the most part I do agree with you. I think Ozimals was losing people before Amaretto even came about. So many promises were made but it’s taken too long for them to be brought out.

    Sadly, I do not believe this is going to end well but maybe that is just me. I hope well for both parties since I own both horses and bunnies.

    I can also see this causing problems for other breedables such as Wildwood since the cats are a lot similar to how the bunnies and horses work. It’s just sad that things had to go this way.

    Hopefully everyone will agree on something and we’ll all still get to enjoy out virtual pets.

    • Thanks for the comment Peach, and like you I have, to quote an oft repeated phrase ‘..a bad feeling about this’

      I’m so with you on the final point too. Let’s hope for a swift resolution for all parties concerned; I’m sure neither one wants this to drag on and cause upheaval, especially so near to Christmas.

  3. Quite interesting to read. I have no idea about horses or cats, I am still interested in the bunnies. My question is: Would The Amaretto or the cats been what it is without the Ozimals?

    Best winter greeting from Frigg Ragu/Heidi

    • There is no doubt in my mind that Ozimals have blazed a trail that others have chosen to follow in their own way. Creating a different species albeit one following an identical game structure doesn’t make for a totally unique experience, but there are differences, imho, that make the horses and cats viable in-world breeding platforms. However, when the Second Life history books are written, I do think Ozimals will be recognised for their achievements of which there have been many, but also sadly the failings too..but that will be, I hope, a smaller chapter.

    • I have over 300 nests, 30 live bunnies, 43 live horses, 3 dragons, 4 krazy kitties ewww not like pretend colors, and bright pets 2 i like them more.. and i love having these live and playing virtual pets and breeders, i will hate to lose them due to to fighting from others… so lets hope and pray together, this can be resolved peacably.. smiels and hugs to all, bound2 plz

  4. Wildwood can’t be compared to bunnies, they might have similar things that are standard in most breedables but how they work is very different. We don’t need to feed Ozimals more pets to try and take off the grid just because they lost most their glory. Seems they go after breedables of quality more then the others, because it’s competition. But that’s just my two cents.

  5. http://www.mediafire.com/?ywd5it6horbfg45

    is the link to tak a look yourself at exactly what Amaretto filed in court. Candy has stated as well that these same cease and desist letters have been sent out to ‘Wildwood and other breedables’ as well.

    Essentially it would appear if it can be bonded, has traits, a menu, and is a breedable it infinges on thier so called copyrighted materials.

    This does NOT end with Amaretto. It is only that Amaretto is the only one publicly outed at this time!

  6. I did not state at any time that a cease and desist letter has been sent to “Wildwood and other breedables”.

    • I must conced she (candy) did not say they (Wildwood) had been sent a letter.

      Her exact words were “We’ve contacted Wildwood and that is all I can say right now.”
      when she was specifically asked by another person “Candy, does that mean you have resolved things with other breedables in order for them to start a breedable market and no one know about it because it was done under the table? Because Wildwood has tail traits, ear traits, eyes and the same coat options. Their nests look similar, minus fabric coming out of the top of the basket.”

  7. Thanks for your comment Candy.

    This is a story that is really electrifying the grid, but I must stress to all commentators that I’m preferring to report only upon the known facts that are currently available to all in the public domain, rather than gossip and speculation doing the rounds in the Metaverse.

    (That said, I don’t tend towards censorship of comments upon the blog)

  8. Ozimals will mostly likely never be able to see past their very very very sad lenses. No one but themselves has hurt their reputation & business but themselves and their own actions *and* lack thereof.

    As a one supportive customer, one can only be told for *so* long that things are coming, that never do. In beta they promised “commison vendors” then retracted that. All one has to do is go to their own sites, forums and read their own long list of empty and broken promises.

    Not to mention the horrible unprofessional belittling of customers by them. They have played the blame game all along blaming SL, their former workers, and whomever else but the ones who make most of their messes, themselves.

    Candy can not see clearly. She even in a post after MANY people told her how she came across, that she found it infinintely regrettable that people would see her in such a way. Well if tons of people are saying it, please, go take a good hard look at yourself.

    Customers who spent a lot of money, have waited forever for ‘bunnybury’, “vendors” and we’re talking MONTHS AND MONTHS. Ozimals are truly blind to their mistakes, and their arrogance is pretty much something everyone sees but them. They did not invent anything “new”. They took from many other games, RL genetics, and they did not make their bunnies or script them.

    If you really want to learn about how they do business, just go browse their forums and look up posts they have put in such arrogance, calling themselves “superior” to Sion, and more.

    Sadly, they have made the mistakes a lot of people who get sudden success make who are full of pride. Newsflash, you didn’t invent the chicken OR the egg.

    Why not go, clean up your own mess, keep those promises to your customers who are left and try if you can to get a grip on the fact that you are not in any way as amazing as you think you are.

    The very sad thing is, even the mention of their name has most people running and most of those people formed their opinions by ~their~ words and actions, nothing anyone else has done, like they try to cry about.

    I’m excited to see the new innovations in the breedables market.

    Good post Kitty.

    (btw, Wildwood did say they got a letter)

    • If you had stayed with or were an active Ozimals user you would know that months ago they did listen to their customer base and brought in a consultant to help with those very issue that were frustrating customers. They have done a remarkable job on so many levels since then and the company and product has improved. If you really know Candy and Malk as people they are kind and generous. As for how one comes across in chat…a lot of people don’t come across the way they really are in chat. Not to mention that while they were answering in chat they also had dozens of IM’s going at the same time. Part of what has been fixed has been adding more help. Basing judgements on how Ozimals was 5-6 months ago is silly. Especially given how quickly things change in SL. So many improvements have been made. So if you don’t know what you are talking about perhaps it would be best if you kept quiet? :)

      • Whispers, I appreciate your loyalty. But there is NO mistaking the F bomb, or any of the other horribly unprofessional things they have done.
        Believe me, not only do I but a lot of others know them a lot better than you think.

        So no need to tell me to keep quiet. The amazing thing is, plenty of their past customers with a hell of a lot of class have kept very quiet about the first hand things Ozimals has done.

        Sadly for them, one only has to go read their forums and long list of broken promises and in this case, if they were in “negotiations” with Amaretto as Candy said, then why did she file a DMCA?

        They have no one to blame but themselves. And I’m quite aware as are many others that they hired someone months ago.

        Too little too late. Best they hire a new attorney as they can NOT claim copyright on anything they are claiming copyright on.

        http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/property/library/copyrightact.html#anchor536297

        see for yourself. note the last point.

  9. I must conced she (candy) did not say they (Wildwood) had been sent a letter.

    Her exact words were “We’ve contacted Wildwood and that is all I can say right now.”
    when she was specifically asked by another person “Candy, does that mean you have resolved things with other breedables in order for them to start a breedable market and no one know about it because it was done under the table? Because Wildwood has tail traits, ear traits, eyes and the same coat options. Their nests look similar, minus fabric coming out of the top of the basket.”

    Ty

  10. @ Kazkid, Well it’s not surprising that she said that. She’s not going to tell the group what she wrote. But, Wildwood did say they got letter, I’m sure it wasn’t a “wish you the best” letter either.

    Wonder why on Ozimals very own blog they *only* have 2 comments that support them. Pretty sad eh?

    • There have been issues with the site and the capcha word. Several of us tried to post but it wouldn’t let us. Trust me it isn’t for lack of support!

      • Actually I tried to comment on Ozimals blog in response to a comment made by someone else. They said “but my key/core question is: What would Arametto or cats or others have been without the Ozimals?

        So I responded and said: What would Ozimals be without the chickens?

        Guess my comment wasn’t “supportive” enough to them to accept. I doubt it was site trouble. tisk tisk.

  11. I would like to point out at no time have I stated nor taken any side in the issue. It is going to be interesting and I personally think reguardless of WHO wins, it is a huge setback for all breedable lovers within SL. Nearly all of the new breedables in beta at this time and those recently released have these same similarities. Not to mention many people own BOTH of these specific animals.

  12. Chickens went hungry and died in 72 hours.
    Chicken eggs took one hour to hatch like the Ozimals nests.
    Chickens had special breed to be “uncovered”
    Chickens had a set home range (you typed in “home”) and it was 10M
    Chickens had hover text! *gasps* (yes rezzed on a prim but hover nonetheless)
    Chickens used glow and shine.
    Chickens could be named!
    Chickens had to be revived with a special kit.
    Chickens had to be at 100% “anger” to breed (the male)
    the list can go on and on and on of similarities.

    Ozimals added and in some ways improved on Chickens, some ways not.

    If Ozimals has a case then for sure Sion does.

    There are so many other similarities that one can really say it must be true that “rabbit does taste just like chicken”.

  13. I couldn’t agree more with you! Ozimals is full of crap now they even filed a law suit against amaretto stating they have the copyright for the software for breedable animals in second life, i mean which software? they call their bunnies now software bunnies and say every customer bought a software license when they bought a bunny!

    I am really surprised there are still people breeding bunnies, but I guess with these lawsuits and the way they act now they are finally building their own grave.

  14. To be downright honest- this entire thing is absolutely sickening.
    I think the only people who can pass judgment or opinion on who is in the right are the judges on the two separately filed cases. Yes, everyone is entitled to opinions- but keep in mind those opinions are absolutely not based on the /entire/ truth.
    No one has the whole story- especially those *cough* above *cough* who claim to know them better than one thinks (additionally- your choice of screen name gives you away). Amaretto doesn’t have the whole story. Ozimals does not have the whole story. Nothing will come out until the court cases proceed. Heck, even AFTER the cases there will still be opinions on whether the rulings were fair or not. It’s never going to be good enough for some.

    Here is my two cents- please keep in mind this is based off my own personal knowledge and that’s simply it.
    There are far too many commonalities between the bunnies and the horses. Does that mean that horses should vanish from the grid? Absolutely not! Does that mean the makers of the horses should make some functional and cosmetic changes to their products? Absolutely so.
    The breedables community is divided and it will be hard to break that divide now, but I hope in my optimistical oversized heart that this entire thing will be a learning experience for Linden Lab, and Second Life content creators. I also hope that when this is all said and done, everyone will take a shower to wash off the mud-slinging.

    LET the COURTS take care of the JUDGING (underlined three times, circled and multiple exclamation points) because all the shit talking is going to ruin EVERY breedable company.

    • You attack ppl on there own humble opinion based on information given by sources YOU do not see as reliable.

      I do not see the relevance of that essay of yours however you honost enough to admit you the same as us by doing it.

  15. Pingback: Games People Play – a future for online worlds? Part 1 « Prim Perfect

  16. Mmm im not into animals, however my misses does.
    Breedables like everything in sl basicly is one big bpile of bogus to begin with. What “fool” do not feel offended, will pay 300k for a few lousy sculpties and a rather simple script and few BAD TEXTURES?

    Well my wife showed me how big that business is. To me its all drama case number 500 or so passing the execution chamers of SL. Sexgen, copybotters, imitators and blabla. The only truely guilty ones here is LL the allow a open source platform *thus creations to be made by any goon* that move a mouse pointer over the screen.

    However its copyrighted, so yah i agree the lawsuit is legit and well placed. On the other hand it is second life….lol…most worst business platform *read unstable* there is.

    But heeij its just a opinion of a second life creator yes i make cash too. But i wont ask 300k for my gear. And trust me more of you have my gear then you might think hence i do not reveal my name for that reason. So im far from being a hypocrite.

    But were does it stop ? whats next…cockroaches for 500k a pop ! Sorry smells like a scam to me but heeij its business so yah. Welcome to sl..i love this article tho well done! And i hope it will workout without the drama lol………………….oops to late

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