Too Many Cooks - Why Second Life's avatar body industry is a crapshoot
Let it be said that I am all for choice. Whatever body one likes to use, even if it comes from the depths of Onyx LaShelle's dark-as-a-black-hole heart, is their prerogative, and I won't advocate for it to be taken from them, nor will I advocate for barring people from trying to compete.
But in recent months I've come to realize that the fitmesh body industry, home to monolithic companies like Slink, Maitreya, The Shops and Belleza, is heating up for.. no particularly good reason. In recent months if you've been to events, you'll notice a new company in the fray, Inithium, pushing their new body, Kupra. At first glance of a review, it doesn't really do all that much. Unlike Legacy, it doesn't reinvent things by providing compatibility with older clothing. Unlike Slink, it doesn't have a historical pedigree. Unlike Maitreya,
it's not run by a megalomaniacal hack..
In fact, Kupra feels more like Ebody and bodies of its' stature - ones that fall by the wayside that don't have a certain niche market, like Kemono, AV2, and the dozens of different dedicated furry bodies, or those catering to fetishes like those from SKING.
Honestly, Inithium really seems to appeal to those initially attracted to Belleza, and given the fact that Belleza can't be arsed to update their body to support BOM out of the box, It's unsurprising that someone's coming for their spot. Problem is, that Inithium needs to make up for *years* of content for their body that Belleza has an advantage on if we're going down that line of thinking.
The Inithium Dilemma
As I said in my review of Legacy - no one wants to buy a body that has no clothing for it. And as nice as bakes on mesh is, it's limited by no materials support and the fact that the existing market is overwhelmingly inferior to current offerings due to the fact that prior to BOM, textures were 512x512, rather than 1024x1024 on body clothing - leaving it really only viable for skins and tattoos and maybe underwear in some applications. The same problem extends to Omega clothing.
Inithium has however, made up for this by hyping up their body with what amounts to a blitzkrieg-style campaign to promote it. Never before have I seen a body directly being promoted like this. Even Legacy wasn't promoted as intensely as Kupra has been. And it's gotten them some traction. But here's the thing - that traction won't last forever. You'll need to manage to sustain it for long enough to get a strong market presence or people will just go back to other bodies. It's why my friend Sarrah stopped using Slink Physique - no one made clothes for it anymore after it was more or less superceded by Hourglass in regards of Slink's offerings and by Maitreya overall.
Kupra is more likely than not by 2022 going to be in the same basket as Physique. It feels from the looks of it, to be trying to compete with Freya and Hourglass. And that's a tall order to fill. If I were still using Hourglass or Freya as much as I do Legacy, I wouldn't be tempted at all by Kupra. Of course, curiousity still exists, but it's covered like 10 feet of snow, in doubt. Why should I invest in a body that feels more like a net loss than anything resembling a gain. Sure, the body could be nice for more sexual endeavors that require a body of that shape, but I have bodies like it already. That's the problem with the fitmesh industry, there's too many cooks trying to reinvent the sandwich.