Way back on 3rd June, we said in response to the shock announcement of the closure of Black Pearl Sims – despite a successful rescue operation earlier in the year – that this seemed little more than Jonesi wanting out of running the forum – along with justifying the money spent on the mothballed ‘successor’ no one wanted because they wanted a forum called, wait for it, Black Pearl Sims.
Some veteran members (forget the low post counts, remember this is BPS in diet mode) like Simply Edward, CrazyTulip, GardenOf and TheMamasPlace returned to mourn and wish the successor the best:
But others like Buggybooz were fed up of being messed around by people they thought were friends, not least of all playing what looked the sore paw card. Remember, this was the forum that was jettisoned from another forum (Reflex Sims) eight years prior under one almighty stormcloud… it does somewhat begger belief that those running it could really be as bothered by a handful of ungrateful bumnuggets amongst the ultra part-time members moaning at them or petty bitchings on Facebook.
Buggybooz accused Tinkle, but our money was still on Jonesi, although to be fair considering the way the ‘Comments’ thread on the matter was headered, she could be forgiven for seeing Tinkle behind all this:
Meanwhile, and to no one’s surprise, the Black Pearl Sims admins – and owner – lined up to disagree with what Buggybooz said:
Tinkle meanwhile bought up the long running grumble made about where did all that money raised to keep Black Pearl Sims alive for another year go?
To which Jonesi chipped in the following:
Now hang on a minute, Jonesi!
The donation drive raised 83% of the money you said was required for the whole year.
Yet in the same breath where you showed what had been raised, you said it would cost £450 to pay for the pre-diet Black Pearl Sims until the end of May 2015 – here it is for all the world to see! – and the remainder (at least £175) would go towards a new replacement forum.
This was later rescinded by relaunching a diet sized BPS that was – we were told – cost effective.
But now the story is that the money raised was only enough to keep the diet sized BPS alive until the end of July – a mere two extra months of life!
Remember as well, BPS went diet sized at the end of February, so that money that was originally only going to cover March, April and May until the move to the replacement forum ought logically to have been now been able to stretch a damn lot further now it was being used on a mightily reduced forum, yes? Certainly way beyond the end of July!
At this point, dear reader, are we really the only people here who think the stories do not add up as to where that Black Pearl Sims server donation money went?
So now you can appreciate why there’s been more than a few Black Pearly Kings and Queens none too happy with events, amid the usual suspects reflex applauding everything those running the show did (as all forums seem to get).
Erm, hello Simzzgurl and Ranabluu? What bloody dimension are you from?
Before anyone else says ‘it’s Jonesi’s forum, she could do with it what she likes’ – erm, not when she starts taking in hundreds of bloody pounds of donations from members to keep it running she can’t!
Let’s be clear about this: the members did not give that money to Jonesi and the rest of them so she could piss off and the admins set up a new forum of their own without prior consultation. There is simply no way this fact can be spindoctored away, and that’s is what has pissed plenty off about this affair.
How can you say it was moving house? At a glance, this is more like an eviction with the landlady trousering the deposit or giving it to the new landlady without bothering to ask first if the tenents wanted to move elsewhere or have their deposit back, thank you very much! In fact, this has been downright forum Rachmanism to be blunt.
Buggybooz was upset with what seemed to her the members being presented with yet another fait accompli to go with the one in February, and she was not alone in that regard.
Then all of a sudden came a new tale from one of the admins – in this case Kim, the soon to be inheritor of all the Black Pearl Sims members (in theory) as they were herded over into her own mothballed Sims Pearls project from February time.
Erm, Kim, actually the onus is on you to explain why the forum is unworkable, the database borked and non-updateable – you are the one proffering it as a pretext for closing BPS and everyone joining your replacement. Far from putting matters to rest, this was beginning to sound like making up excuses.
Elsewhere over at Garden Of Shadows, MustLuvCatz pointed to what for many was the smoking gun in all this…
Ah, but you want proof what MustLuvCatz is saying is true?
Now this is pretty damning indeed. Tinkle at Black Pearl Sims announces the Downloads forum remaining in place…
… the very next day after Sim Pearls is set up in secret on 3rd April!
It seems that those accusing Jonesi, Kim, Tinkle and the others of deliberately setting out to hoodwink the Black Pearl Sims membership as to what was going on are not entirely doing so out of malice, that by 3rd April 2015 at the latest Black Pearls Sims was already set for scuttling without any consultation with the membership at large who were led up the garden path until 2nd June when those in charge told everyone they were going to big fat pull the plug on the place anyway.
More to the point, it does raise eyebrows as to whether Jonesi told the truth in her 6th June post over Sim Pearls receiving no BPS funds – after all, wasn’t the original plans back in February in Jonesi’s own words:
Two months later, Sim Pearls is created clandestine, two months after that in turn the Black Pearl Sims membership are told it is to be BPS ‘ replacement without warning or discussion. Is it really stretching credulity to moot those in charge at BPS went over the heads of the donators and diverted those spare BPS funds available (after the hosting bill) for the purpose of setting up and creating the new forum along with paying some or all of its hosting bill in advance, without bothering to consult with the members what they wanted done with their money?
At this juncture, we could see the forthcoming shitstorm, and the only way this was going to be headed off in any shape or fashion was if the new forum retained the old forum’s name – Jonesi metaphorically passing the torch to her former admins to carry on, same as happened (twice) at the late Custom Sims when it changed ownerships.
To that end, one of us intervened:
Jonesi’s response was to completely ignore all questions regarding the change of name – all but admitting in the process that the members were indeed being presented with the fait accompli those in charge had intended all along, and to hell with what the members funding the place wanted.
That she locked the thread to prevent anyone pulling her up over any of the content of that last post says it all:
Once again Jonesi admitted her real reason for pulling the plug on BPS was she wanted to leave the Simming community as she no longer had any interest in the game. Fine, it’s not compulsory. But that doesn’t explain therefore why she went through all the shenannigans of the rescue package and reducing the forum to diet sized, only for two months later Kim, Tinkle and the rest to be setting up a replacement – as per the original plan in February – and carrying on the pretence for another couple of months that Black Pearl Sims had won a reprieve.
Also once again, Jonesi came out immediately after with the story about the donation drive not doing well as another reason for pulling the plug. We’ve already dealt with the matter of the monetary side of matters at Black Pearl Sims not adding up, but quite frankly it’s downright bizarre that one moment Jonesi wants out as soon as possible, the next she’s happily helping string the entire non-staff membership along for another four months before announcing its closure come month five! When Twallan packed his bags in 2014, it was almost instantaneous, with the rest of NRaas Industries taking up the slack from the start.
But then one moment she’s saying the staff made the closure decision in private and ‘didn’t ask for advice’ from the non-staff members, the next she’s saying she kept the non-staff members in the dark because she didn’t want to upset them!
Finally, we get admittance that MustLuvCatz accusation was spot on and that the reason the Downloads were kept up was because they’d already decided months before to close down Black Pearl Sims over the heads of the members that had just bankrolled its continuation.
There is no way of sugar coating this: the closure of Black Pearl Sims has been a less than edifying spectacle of subterfuge and treating the members with the sort of ‘we know what’s best for you’ heavy handed contempt that would make a Simguru blush. More to the point, all the evidence points to at least some of the BPS donation money being diverted to the launch of its designated replacement without any prior consultation with the donators – and that is completely objectionable. People donate money for the running of a forum they already know – and no forum owner has the right to pass that money on arbeitrarily to any third party for any ‘future’ project, even if they are a fellow staff member.
This may all bode very ill indeed for the intended successor forum. Simmers in general do not like to be played for fools, and as CJ and co at The Simmers Club discovered the hard way, they are inclined to vote with their feet if upset enough.
For example, the farewell competition over at Black Pearl Sims – organised by Tinkle – attracted only one entrant!
Moreover, whilst Black Pearl Sims right up to its death could still attract four hundred and forty two readers online at any one time…
… Sim Pearls was only attracting thirty eight – a massive drop from its two hundred and two high water mark on the day it was unveiled as BPS‘s successor.
(More to the point, what chance does any donation drive for them have of success after this?!)
This is deeply worrying, for there are many for whom Black Pearl Sims was their only home and it appears clear have little intention of staying at the ‘replacement’. The thought that a lot of those people may now be lost to the Simming community for good – a community already badly fractured thanks to the Sims 4 fiasco – is one that should trouble anyone that cares about the Sims series.
Goodbye Jonesi, thank you for all the years and all your incredible hard work, but we fear you may well have tarnished your legacy with this.
Goodbye Black Pearl Sims – you deserved a better ending than this.