While Philip Rosedale, increasingly busy with his new project Coffee & Power (an innovative service that promises to meet the demand and supply of labor), shows that he still cares about his“old” creature, having recently pointed out to Wagner James (aka Hamlet Au, author of the blog New World Notes and former employee of Linden Lab) on Twitter as not only Second Life is still in the top 10 online games in the Usa for Nielsen, but have also passed the 2 billion hours of use (which, as noted by Wagner, however, with now over 20 million registered users, of which no more of 1-1,2 million active users, which means an average of 100 hours each, or a little of 2-3weeks of use, which is probably about 20 times as much for the real “residents”, however, would indicate that just over a year of average stay in the metaverse), in Linden Lab and in the field of virtual worlds there are a lot of new.
Starting from Californian firm, American blogger Tateru Nino has recently received an official confirmation from Linden Lab of a rumor already circulated a few weeks ago, namely that Bob Komin (aka BK Linden), group Cfo and Coo, i.e. the man who has put in place the accounts of the Labs even at the cost of cutting a third of its employees, has leaved the group, a fact which, as Tateru confirmed to me on Twitter, “leave a little thin the management line of Linden Lab” at the moment. Komin had been hired in the spring of 2010 and had also managed the interregnum between Mark Kingdom (aka M Linden) and the current number one Rod Humble (aka Rodvik Linden), selected by himself, and was able to have the greatest impact on the personal level on the development of the same company and Second Life than any other manager in the last five years, for Tateru.
Almost simultaneously with the departure of Komin, Linden Lab has just announced the launch of a first set of “Advanced Creator Tools” which includes in particular a “teleport agent” able to instantly teleport to specific slurls or local areas (which will give pleasure to the developers of RPGs or “treasure hunts” in-world) and a “temporary attachment” that will let you “wear” demo clothing, hair or other temporarily without having to download any item in the inventory. A new feature that seems to show that although Linden Lab is probably preparing to launch at least one new product not related to Second Life, the development of the metaverse is likely to continue in an attempt to keep alive a niche of users, however very active and profitable for Linden Lab.
Less profitable seem to be many more “grids” alternatives to SL: these days even Reactiongrid, until now present with a virtual world created in OpenSim as a learning environment, with 81 regions and 11,555 registered users (of whom slightly more than a hundred from the latest statistics have made at least one login last month), closed the door. The thing that struck me is that at the head of “learning officer” of ReactioGrid there was (and still is for what I know) John “Pathfinder” Lester (formerly known as Pathfinder Linden) whom at least until July 24 last year has held regular meetings with users in his “office hours” in which he answered questions about virtual worlds and 3D simulations for educational purposes. There is, however, to say that next to the platform on Reactiogrid, Opensim has always pursued an “in house” version, Jibe, multi-user platform on the web, we’ve got to talk sometimes ago that does not seem to take any risks of closure at the time.
There was therefore a solution similar to that already adopted over the years by other companies such as British firm Rezzable or the Italian Gnosys Srl of Carlo Biscaretti di Ruffia (once known as Basil Coage in Second Life), that in May transferred the Italia Vera‘s sims from Linden Lab’s platform to Metacosmo, its new grid where has also found hospitality the Wdt Planet of an old friend of us, Alice Alberta Cittone (aka Alice Mastroianni in SL), as she annuounced. The selection of virtual worlds, therefore, continues unabated despite the obvious difficulty, to return to the reflections of Rosedale (who in the meantime has publicly endorsed the crowdfunding of Clang, a Neal Stephenson‘s Subutai Corporation project that aims to revolutionize the way in which the sword duels in the game), to involve the bulk of web users in an immersive 3D that, as it may seem satisfying for advanced users, it is often too tough or even boring to those who are beginners.
A mass audience has become accustomed in the meantime the “lightness” of the Zynga games or Facebook message boards, not to mention the graphics performance and multiple scenarios of video games and MMORPG’s most successful. The feeling is that we are in a period when the first generation of virtual worlds (as Second Life but even IMVU, Twinity or Frenzoo) has almost exhausted its potential, while the new generation not yet born during which time someone tries alternative routes as it is doing the former co-founder of Second Life Cory Ondrejka with Cloud Party, a virtual world that “runs” directly on Facebook without having to download any client and that we will talk soon. In the meantime, please continue to follow us even on Facebook and Twitter, cya!