Frequently Asked Questions
Will There ever re-open?
Yes, There is back! Thank you for sharing our passion!
I re-created my old avatar, now where are my old possessions?
After you recreate your old avatar, it goes into a queue to have its "data migrated". This is a process where we buy you new copies of all the old stuff the avatar owned, resurrect its faveplaces, buddy list, etc. This will occur within a few days of the avatar's recreation. While we are able to restore *most* of your avatar's state, there are some things we are unable to restore. ( For example, 'custom cars' will revert to their stock components).
Please see the announcement
What happens to the money I've spent to buy Therebucks or a Premium Membership?
All purchases of Therebucks and member program updates made between midnight Pacific Standard Time February 1, 2010 and 11:00 AM Pacific Standard Time on March 2, 2010 will be refunded in full.
Purchases made via PayPal or Credit Card will be refunded automatically by April 1, 2010.
If you purchased Therebucks or a Premium membership between February 1 and March 2 using an Ultimate Game Card, you can request a refund by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 1, 2010 at 11:59:59 PM PST. In the email, please provide:
- your avatar name
- the transaction number from the email confirmation you received at the time of the purchase
- your mailing address
- name of person the refund check should be payable to
In the Terms of Service (TOS), it states that all purchases made in the last month will be refunded on request. We have decided to forego the request process, and will be proactively making refunds for all purchases made in the last month.
How are the Therebuck and premium purchase refunds coming? (Updated 04/27/2010)
We're all done! The last of the checks are signed and in the mail.
How is the Therebucks BuyBack coming? (Updated 03/26/2010)
The first round of checks have been cut and signed. They will be sent out via USPS on Monday, March 29th. We did find some bad actors in the bunch, and will be posting more about the requests which were disqualified next week. Where possible, we've given people the benefit of a doubt, and may be writing to some folks to ask for clarification.
I have seen several offers from other sites to "Buy" Therebucks in exchange for their currency. What's that about?
There.com doesn't know anything about these offers, and does not endorse them. We've had no contacts with the companies making these offers, and can't make any representation about them, good or bad.
We strongly urge you to use caution in dealing with any site on the internet, especially those dealing in any sort of currency, be it virtual or otherwise.
Has There.com been bought by another company?
I have heard that lots of offers have been made to buy There.com, and they were turned down. Is this true?
We have received no legitimate offers for There.com.
We have received lots of requests for member information and emails, but we have of course turned them down.
Why is ThereIM still up?
ThereIM, our lightweight chat client, doesn't require the same set of servers as the There world does. Many people asked us if we could leave ThereIM up for a while, so we've arranged to take the servers required for ThereIM down last to keep ThereIM up as long as possible. Since we're in the midst of taking up the thousands of servers which actually ran There, they may be interruptions from time to time.
We can't say how long we will be able to keep There running. It turns out the servers required to run it are the most expensive kind, and we of course have no source of revenue now.
We'll keep it going as long as we can.
Will there be customer support for abuse issues during There's final week?
Yes. All aspects of the Terms of Service will be enforced, as always.
How will I get customer support?
Just click "Help" within There Central and then "Ask a Question" to send a ticket. You can also click the "Get Help" button in-world.
Will I still be charged rent for my neighborhood, lot, or house?
No. All rental processing has been disabled.
Will I still be charged for Portazone minutes?
No. We will either stop the clock on PortaZones, or make refills free.
Will I still be charged for PaintGun refills?
No. Paintgun refills are now free.
Will There continue with its Therebucks buyback program?
Will will attempt to continue this program. As a reminder, here are the procedures:
Welcome to There's Developer Buy Back Program. Please remember that your account must have the full amount of Therebucks you requesting to sell before you place your request. Please submit your request using ThereMail to the avatar, "ThereBanker". Requests received any other way will not make it into the queue. Initially we offered a PayPal option however due to PayPal policies we can no longer issue PayPal payments, but instead we will be issuing you a check, please include full name and a mailing address with any requests.
You must also meet the following criteria:
- You must be a developer who has submitted.
- You must be a member in good standing.
- You must not have been found guilty of texture theft.
- You must not have had any chargeback requests on Therebucks purchases.
- We will only accept one request at a time during a redemption session.
- Do not send duplicate requests. They will be deleted.
- When you have had your request fulfilled you can send in your next request.
- You can only redeem Therebucks you have made by selling developer items. Therebucks you have collected from Sparkles, Tips, or give trades from other members are not eligible.
Please do not attempt to game the system. It is not fair to There, and it is not fair to other members. Also, you will not be cheating There out of virtual currency, or virtual goods, you will be cheating us out of real money. Fraudulent transactions will not only put you at risk of permanent banning from There but may also qualify for escalation to law enforcement as well.
Once we get your request, we'll review your transaction history to ensure that the amount requested matches the amount of Therebucks you've made from sales of your developer items.
Can I return all my items and ask for a Therebucks BuyBack for the money I get back?
No. In the previous question about the BuyBack, we said that the buyback is only for money you made from selling your developer items. Returning items and representing them as developer sales will cause your request to be disqualified.
Can I still buy and sell currency using 3rd party resellers?
No. It is our view that there is too much risk for fraud at this time to allow this activity, so please do NOT buy or sell Therebucks using 3rd party resellers. We have monitors in place specifically to detect this activity, and will deal with it promptly and severely.
Wouldn't There have gotten enough new members with the OSX port to survive?
Unfortunately no. Even though the OSX port is about ready for Alpha (we have voice working properly, finally), it would not be enough to cover the revenue shortfall (we've gamed this out without spreadsheets).
Isn't it true There's software is obsolete and that's why you're closing?
No. The reason There uses DX8 is to make sure that the most possible people can use it (DX8 is included with Windows XP). We were scheduled to start a DX9 beta in March, but even with a DX9 renderer, there would be a sizable population which couldn't run it (do to hardware requirements), and we'd have to re-do a lot of the artwork in world to take advantage of it. On the server side, we often attend conferences like GDC and the Austin GDC and go hear how other game sites have invented this cool new technology for handling such and such on the back end, which just happens to be the way There already does it.
Also, remember, we just revamped our UI (User Interface), Casual Games, and interactive object systems (to name a few). So, is all of There engineered the way we'd like to see it built today? Of course not. Is it behind the times? No.
Wouldn't There have been able to stay open if you'd made paintball free?
No. We actually gamed that out, and, well, we're sorry to say that, no, we would not have made more money by making paintball free. Sorry.
Didn't Michael Wilson promise us There wasn't closing?
Well, no. He did say that there were no plans to close There, and we all believed in There as a long term business. The truth is, we really believed that in our heart of hearts we could stave off the inflationary forces with new games, a better First User Experience, interactive objects, etc, etc. But, very sadly, we were wrong. We still believe in There, but we can't take belief to the bank, and it doesn't pay the bills.
Will you be making There.com Open Source?
Will Makena Technologies continue to exist?
Yes. We actually have some exciting educational projects in process, which we will continue to service.
Was this caused by the sale of Forterra to SAIC?
No. In fact, prior to that sale, Makena acquired from Forterra all of the rights to the software used to run There, and Forterra's interest in Makena Technologies, making the companies completely distinct in every way. We think the acquisition of Forterra was an fantastic move on SAIC's part, and we wish them and our friends from Forterra all the best in their future endeavors.
How can I retrieve my developer assets?
If you wish recover the textures, catalog images and model files from your developer submissions, please send a request to email@example.com. Please provide a list of Submission IDs of the material you wish to recover. Requests must be received by end-of-business on Monday, March 8th, 2010.
Will There sell my e-mail address, or other information?
Absolutely not. We've actually been approached by several Virtual World providers about this, and we've told them politely but firmly "No".
What will happen to my Credit Card information you have on file?
It will be destroyed in a secure fashion, and the disks it resided on taken to a facility which specializes in the secure destruction of physical disk drives.
What will happen to all of There's game assets?
Once There is closed, we'll carefully back up all of the servers and make sure a copy is stored safely in a secure location.
What if everyone paid a monthly fee? Couldn't There stay open?
We wish that was true. We're not going to go into the details of our finances, but let's say that 3000 members agreed to pay $10 / month, or $30,000.00 a month. That would cover a fraction of what we pay to house the servers for There. And that's not even considering the cost of staff, office space, computers, customer support, legal, marketing, etc, etc. We could keep upping the monthly charge, but then we'd lose members (many of those young people which There serves best), and it wouldn't total out.
We're really sorry that the monthly option wouldn't work out. Many of us have been with There since the early 2000's (before There even opened) and believe me, if there was a way to make it work financially, we would have gone for it.
What about any developer items I submitted to There. What happens to them now?
First of all, as always, you own, and continue to own the rights to any items you developed for There. In the Developer's agreement, you granted There "license to use, publicly display, distribute, modify and otherwise fully exploit any Developer Submissions that you submit to Company for any purpose necessary or relating to the Services". The purpose of that license was so that There could electronically record and reproduce your models, textures, what have you for the purposes of rendering them in world, showing them in auctions should you have been selling them, reproduce them for buyers should they have been sold in auctions, and, last but not least, make backups in case we had to restore a disk or recover from a natural disaster.
Other than for those purposes, you gave up no other rights to Makena Technologies or There.com. You are completely free to reuse your designs in other worlds, or however you see fit.
Of course, you can't reuse or resell other people's designs, since they don't belong to you.
Any other representations about There's Developer Agreement are false. There has always, and will always continue to believe that developers own what they create.
What about There's content? Can I reuse it in other worlds?
No. There's models, textures, content, sounds, etc, are all property of There.com and Makena Technologies, and may not be reproduced, copied, or used for other purposes without the express permission of There.com / Makena Technologies.