Linden Lab is backto shop and announces the acquisition, for a sum that has not been revealed, of Little Text People, a British company specialized in developing games that have wide social interaction founded byRichard Evans (whom you can see below in an image taken from Wikipedia) and in which had landed Emily Short (whom you see in a picture of Ben Collins-Sussman).
The “core” technology developed by Little Text People is a simulator that can recreate social behavior and individual personalities to the characters of its games, so as to arrive at a product that looks more like a novel than an action movie.
Rod Humble, Ceoof Linden Lab, press the accelerator in the direction, announced earlier this year, of a more diversified range of products from Linden Lab, so far focused only on the platform of Second Life and in fact theofficial note about the launch of “several new stand-alone products this year”, something different (probably designed for mobile devices) from the experiment ofLinden Realm in whicha new game was introduced into the virtual world of Linden Lab.
Shortand Evans’s curricula are those “heavy” ones: Short is a writer who gave birth in 2000 to Galatea, text game, called one of the best NPC games (i.e. games where the characters are not driven by the players) of all time, while Evans is a developer known for being for Electronic Arts / Maxis the manager of development of artificial intelligence forThe Sims 3 as well as Black & White, for which shewon numerous awards.
The acquisition seems to confirm that Humble, after putting order in Linden backyard, is starting to look around to strengthen its diversification strategy, in order to find new sources of income and ensure a future to LL.
Which are also profitable (according to various estimates Linden Lab should have closed 2011 with sales of over 75 million dollars and a profit of several millions) and where, after finishing some “experiments of the past” that have puzzled the same employees, the focusis now on developing new products that connect, entertain and amaze users and are easy to use.
In this sense Facebook and Zynga seem to haveprovided a good example, but not necessarily the only way for Second Life is that of a trivialization of the user experience in an attempt to broaden the base of players. The skills of Short and Evans could lead to interesting developments for the virtual world in the sense of greater capabilities in education, roleplaying, and even in the arts, provided in Linden Lab’s interests (and thus pay by economically) to continue to push the use of Second Life in these areas.