Come January 1st, 2010, Metaplace, the brain-child of renowned game designer Raph Koster, will be shut down. There is no conspiracy to this story, it is a simple fact that the product (Metaplace) hasn't become profitable enough to remain viable.
The announcement, which was made on the official Metaplace forums, explains further:
Unfortunately, over the last few months it has become apparent that Metaplace as a consumer UGC service is not gaining enough traction to be a viable product, requiring a strategic shift for our company.
We’re sorry to announce today that Metaplace.com will be closing to the public at 11:59pm on January 1st, 2010.
While a large number of the studio's staff has been laid off due to this development, the remaining team will commence work on a new project in the near future.
Read the original announcement here.