Google recently announced that it plans to shut down its virtual world, Lively, by the end of 2008. Google only introduced the virtual world a few months ago. Google says on its blog that it has decided to focus its attention on its “…core search, ads and apps business.” Despite Google’s success in other ventures, Lively never received much public acclaim and in fact was criticized by many people who saw it as a flop and felt that it did not offer much to the virtual world competition. Its membership saw a steady decline, including a 30% drop in the number of visitors from September to October. It will be interesting to see if the tightening economy affects people’s interest in participating in virtual worlds, either positively or negatively.