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Thursday, July 09, 2020


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Carlos Loff

I will wait to see how great they do... Always suspicious of pure marketing words...

Montecore Babcock

Let's see how they destroy it.

Grandma Bates

They seem to have connections to Jyve. They are a group that wants to own the layer between retailers and suppliers, and they have their eyes set on Instacart. Seems like owning a virtual world that mastered the art of micro-transactions would be a very nice fit for them given that we are in the age of retail shopping from your home computer.

Gwyneth Llewelyn

Oh, that was masterfully executed...

1) Dump the bottomless pit of wasted money that was Sansar;
2) Spin-off Tilia (just as eBay did with PayPal);
3) Move everything into the cloud (i.e. better infrastructure — no CPUs will be idle on empty regions — for a fraction of the cost), which allows extra available cash (can be turned in more profits, more staff, both, etc.);
4) Get acquired by a very long-standing, solid company that follows the Graham and Dodd value investing school of thought, which has famously been adopted by Warren Buffet.

I'd say the future looks bright! :-)

... then again, I'm known to be the eternal optimist.

Drew Mystérieux

Not good news at all. Investment groups are notorious for buying-up businesses, purging the profits, liquidating what's left, and shutting them down. And here I just invested heavily in a new multiple venue build. smh.

Mikael Kristiansen

Something is clearly missing here!

Let me add some recent updated info:

1) Philip Rosedale is not CEO of High Fidelity.
2) High Fidelity is closed and the source code is open sourced (Vicadia).
3) Philip Rosendale is back at Second Life.
4) Neighter Second Life or Sansar are intended as games, but social platforms.
5) So why would the investors want to have game development experience in thier resumés?

Wagner James Au where do you get your info from? Are you living in a bunker? Are you too lazy to do any updated research?

Mikael Kristiansen

I just realise it is in fact I that is not properly updated. And my mockup was written in a haste. I apologize! Here i stand corrected:

1) After Philip Rosedale had a short cameo at Linden Lab, He's Co-founder and CEO at a new type of High Fidelity (https://www.highfidelity.com/).
2) Former High Fidelity is open sourced (https://vircadia.com/).
3) Philip Rosedale is not Linden Lab CEO atm (I apologize for the misinformation).
4) Neighter Second Life or Sansar are intended as games, but social platforms.
5) So why would the investors want to have game dev. experience in their resumés?


As Drew has suggested, this is probably death for LL. Private Equity firms acquire businesses largely to harvest every last cent they can suck from them, and then let them die, usually from leveraged buyout debt.

Wagner James Au

Philip is -- or after this announcement, perhaps was -- a major investor at Linden Lab and a close informal advisor.

Second Life and Sansar are virtual worlds, which are generally classified as a kind of social sandbox game.

Given the above, virtual worlds have technical requirements which heavily overlap with the game industry, especially those that are intended to be consumer-facing products.

Harper Beresford

What do they have to sell off? I am guessing, just from looking at the businesses they bought, they are interested in the virtual commerce. (Oops.. just read that in someone else's comment.) Why is everyone always such a Debbie Downer? Predictions of SL's demise have abounded for years yet here we all are!


Not all investment groups buy up businesses to strip them of resources. The retailer o work for was bought by an investment company that has a track record of building businesses. Since their acquisition of the company I work for there has been heavy investment in infrastructure and building an online presence and while there have been lay offs and store closures the store closures were underperforming stores and the layoffs were from restructuring.

It's not all a bed of roses but there has been a continual push to grow the business unlike what you saw with Toys R Us and Sears etc


Some of you Negative Nancys clearly failed to read the investment group's statement of purpose. They invest for the long run. They own companies for *generations.* They want companies with potential for slow but certain growth. The Labs are not attached to vampire capitalists.

Jerimiah CansWorth

You know Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Well Second Life proved that wrong on several occasions. I have personally been just walking in a club. I lag out and crash, logging off. I log back in. Do the exact same thing at the exact same club and this time it works fine. Sorry Al. NOW Linden Labs is perfecting that definition to the following. Insanity is have something that is FINALLY working (for the most part) and we are making good money. Let's turn it over to people that admitted they have zero experience in the field of the company they want to buyout. After all, it's all about the money right? Screw the people that brought that money in for going on 2 decades. I see within 2 years TOPS. Second Life becomes a forced pay to play game, community or whatever you want to call it, and yes I am not a premium member but I have bought so many lindens over the years. I know I spent well over $5000.00 in buying lindens alone. (((Remember this day and what I said))), when Second Life closes down cause we are forced to pay to play for something WE KNOW will fail on daily operation of it's own system. The cloud helped but this does not. To premium players. Great. Have fun. Some of us cannot afford another monthly bill and will just leave.

Adeon Writer

Just content-aware-fill the last 3 years of SL development.

Extend all trend lines as they're currently going.

All patterns will continue, this news will bring no major change at the end of the day.

This is neither good nor bad news for the current state of SL - everything will continue as normal. Don't expect new features - but did we ever?

Wanda J Clark

Will be interesting to see if they will put forth the effort to make this world better or just drain the money out of is as Linden Labs has for the past 15 years and not put anything back. The sims crossing are as they were 7 years ago along with anything else you want to do in here. Amazes me they seem to think they did not get profits out of SL FOR 13 OF THE 15 years when they only could do Sansar when it was Second Life that kept that world afloat.Lets see what this company will do. Hope its to perserve this world and make it better.


I think the only way they will outright kill SL is if they go in and start censoring content. The diehard fanbase will remain til the day the servers close otherwise, and even then they would just move to opensim if they had no where else to go.

If SL being run by money sucking inept corporate overlords was going to kill SL it would have died when Phil originally stepped down as CEO.


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what Gwyneth Llewelyn said

just add that Tilia has the most potential for future growth. As Grandma Bates says Tilia is the middleware layer in micro-transactions and has potential to add more customers to its roster. It has 3 already

this said, were Tilia to be spun out it still leaves Second Life as a tidy little money earner in its own right

Dresdin Valerik

The simple answer is...watch Ready Player One. A company comes in to buy up your wondrous player created virtual brilliance. And suddenly your screen is filled with real world advertising, In- world transactions now lead to out-world products. Imagine going virtual shopping and being asked... would you like these items delivered in-character or out-of-character.

Remember that virtual rent you forgot to pay on your parcel? Perhaps you forgot, the rental company sent you a real-world lease contract. This time you're not just getting your items returned to you. Now you get an actual real-world lawsuit, for potential loss assets to the rental company.

When business people buy virtual assets, they don't care about creativity. They aren't concerned for the social aspects of our interest in hanging out at a digital night-club. All they care about, is milking as much out-of-character cash out of each user...until we stop being profitable. Eventually Second Life simply disappears, and they'll begin hunting the dollars in the user created virtual worlds.

jackson redstar

An investment group are wealthy investors looking to make a return on their capital grater than they could in the stock market or other markets like that. So if we are to believe Linden is a cash rich, high profit margin business, then as a long term investment that would make sense. Other wise the goal is to prepare the company to be acquired by a major company, or sell what assets are of value and let the rest wither away. In this case, the primary thing of value would likely be the enormous user data-base, particularly after the Trillia upgrade

Sarah Jane

This is my first online virtual game second life if it goes away and having spent a lot on my account will it be just tuff luck you loose? I'm guessing that if it goes away then all my stuff in my account goes with no reimbursement. and all the loyal player then get screwed or am I wrong?


In a world of pandemics, Second Life can be even more relevant than it ever has in it's existence. With hope, the acquiring company already realizes this vast potential. Consider the multi billions of dollars spent on trade shows and Expos that will not be happening this year or maybe even next. That industry will never be the same. SL is easily poised for virtual trade shows, funded by big name b2b companies hungry to connect with customers. This acquisition, when viewed through the lens of current events, has the potential to be more than what's on the surface if the new investors are people of vision.


Second Life is a low risk investment: not only the virtual world has a working economy already, but it is operating since many years and SL has a solid hardcore user-base that will remain there for long.
This investment group has long term plans. On one hand, Tilla is a service that is not so useful without SL, but it has potential and it could be extended; on the other hand, SL usage has a little surge now, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it's obviously extemporaneous and on the long term SL will continue to decline.
So Tilla may add value if you are looking at a long term investment, with the option to become the main focus eventually.

However, Sansar was a major financial blow. Linden Lab wasted million dollars on Sansar and kept wasting them for about 3 years - despite it was more and more apparent that the new virtual world idea had a terrible execution, conceived and designed in that way (even compared to VRChat) - One can have hopes up to a certain point, eventually facts are facts: it wasn't a success, it flopped even on Steam, it wasn't becoming profitable, and even sustainability raised questions.
Linden Lab without Sansar was more presentable and attractive to the investors.

Now the investment group can help Linden Lab to be financed. What's next depends on how things will develop and become or remain more attractive to the investors.

Also note that no big plan has been announced alongside SL17B this year, except the new Linden Homes. Linden Lab simply finished to release what was left of the features announced on the previous years: EEP and the long awaited last names. Both delivered in questionable conditions, but here they are, ready just before the official acquisition announcements.

Wagner James Au

> SL usage has a little surge now, because of the COVID-19 pandemic

I'd caution everyone on reading too much into that "surge", it's about 5000 more daily concurrent users in SL. It's nice, but not something investors would plow a lot of money on.

By way of comparison, during the pandemic, Twitch usage doubled:


And Twitch has 15 MILLION daily active users.

Adeon Writer

> if it goes away and having spent a lot on my account will it be just tuff luck you loose? I'm guessing that if it goes away then all my stuff in my account goes with no reimbursement.

You own everything you have made. Most viewers, including the official one, will let you freely download anything provided you created it in it's entrity. You are free to do with the hard drive copy of that content as you wish.

And of course if it was mesh you uploaded, you already had it on your computer.


Never follow an optimist into the woods at night. Even if they have the only flashlight.


Indeed, Wagner. That's why I called it "little". Some people (not just here) are telling it makes SL more relevant, but as I said it's little and also just extemporaneous.


It is not impossible that the new owners put in money to improve the project so as to attract more people to join, that is also what happens in a takeover. i am not saying thats the plan but you might be surprised.


So everything is going to change again? under new management? i just hope everything runs smoothly with better servers :)

The dumb Lindens

Ebbe and the entire Linden Labs are dumber than a bag of bricks.

They are scratching their heads on trying to figure what future users want. Answer this: How do you merge user content creation and gaming together in a virtual world?

GTA 5 generates more money even till today in 2020 than Second Life, and is consistently able to keep a strong user base over time.

Standing around in Second Life with an Avatar is the most boring reason for new emerging demographics of online users to take interest in Second Life. That novelty of being in awe in the early 2000s of having an avatar you can customize and walk around in is outdated like boomers!!!! Users now want a system that gives them activities to do.

Update Second Life's outdated engine! Add VR. Revisit the Linden Realms concept. Update the graphics render engine. Update the day cycle with more realism. Get rid of parcel lands and use open sky space for users to build land and water that doesn't have neighbors complaining next to them of being a hideous sight. Keep adult content. Keep virtual world monetary exchange reasonably affordable.

Is it really that complicated????

Luther Weymann

The comments of "selling off" the assets of Linden Research does not relate to the asset of Second Life and the SL Marketplace. SL is mostly hosted on rented servers so no hard asset with those servers to sell-off. All the inventory we have uploaded since 2003 on the SL Market and in the SL world is property of Linden Research and they could sell that but it's useless without an operating Second Life so those assets have no value to sell. So, what's left to sell off? The different SL source codes to something that would be financial suicide to buy and start over? No one is going to buy the source to SL and spend millions to launch a new site when there is already a successful SL running. Ultimately you have to use a credit card to pay for your region or membership or to get Lindens or buy on the SL Market. It all comes down to at some point having to put real money into SL to do the things in SL that make SL what it is. And that cash flow if very valuable to an investment company. Always remember, the software does not have a life expectancy. If it works, and people pay to use it and its profitable, and you don't meddle with it and screw it up so you can't fix it, it will run almost forever. SL's dharma was to always die by mismanagement, not by sales.

Cybin Monde

But will they bring back last names? Not that there aren't a plenitude of issues to improve both function and form, but... i'm just sayin.

Until after now...


DRM needs to be overhauled, who's in for a shift in policies and protecting your content? What if you were granted a percentage of your investment in return when and if a company decides to no longer host a platform? In SL nearly every purchase is merely hosted and LL had taken a cut. If we're working on a "transactional" basis, from creator to end user, then we should own it and or have something to show for it. Even the Steam games platform should change as an example. They should make all installation files available if they decided to close shop. We are now in deep in this digital world, this needs to change. Protection to the consumers needs to happen. Don't say this can't happen. "It's impossible until someone does it.." Be honest, wouldn't you want something back after not only investing hundreds of hours into something, but also you paid for it?

That Guy

LL are going to ditch SL before the year is out, the idea is to concentrate on Tilia and go into cryto. Official SL forum is deleting and banning anyone who even mentions crypto coins right now.

Ingrid Ingersoll

Now that I've had a chance to try Sansar during covid, I can't believe LL dumped it. Far better platform than SL. Still needs work but so much better.


Did the deal go through? The new guys aren't on the website listing of Board members


I assume the deal didn't close then.

Gwyneth Llewelyn

Piping in (almost) four years later (well, after my original comment), the anxiety of those who predicted (yet again) the ultimate demise & downfall of Second Life (and LL) were, once again, wrong.

The pandemic came and went (well, it's still around, we just pretend it isn't), and, sure, the "surge" of simultaneously in-world residents sort of petered down and went back to pre-COVID days — as predicted and expected.

Ebbe sadly passed away. For a while, Philip was called back in to steer the company in the right direction. At the end of the day, Philip dumped the metavers-y part of High Fidelity, bought back a share of LL, and is kept as advisor and Chairman of the Board and... well, and as the face behind SL, of course. Even if. technically, he isn't anymore.

The new owners of LL have been 100% true to their word. They haven't cut LL down in slices and sold it for the best offer. They didn't pull the plug on the Amazon-hosted servers and pushed the source code to a third party, bagging a few millions in the process. They neither didn't fill SL with ads, nor did they start censoring content, to make it somehow "more attractive to sell".

Instead, one of the investors became the new CEO. He's been so low-profile that he's the first CEO of LL, in twenty years, that I can't remember his name — I have to look it up all the time. Actually, I even forgot how the investor group is called.

Instead, the new investors are doing precisely what they have done to all other investments they made in the past: let the company do what it does best, whatever it might be (even LL hardly knows the secret of their success!). And every year they'll reap the rewards — a few extra million dollars on their bank accounts. Why should they discard a steady source of income from a company that has launched a product twenty years ago and has been profitable in the past 18 years or so?

There is greed, and there is investment. Not all companies swallow up whatever companies they wish, liberally spending their dollars, just to shut them down or sell them off to others after a repackaging in shiny bright paper. Sure, those kinds of companies get much more media attention, because what they do is always shocking, barely moral (or even illegal in some cases), and provoke an emotional response. Does that mean that all companies are truly Evil?

Some certainly are. You read about them in the news every day.

And some, probably most, aren't. They're boring. They never attract the attention of the media. Nobody cares that SL spews up 60 million dollars of profit every year for LL, and does that so consistently, year after year, even with a very-slowly-dwindling user base (who, however, seems to be willing to spend more and more in SL). Not on the week when Nvidia suddenly became a 2-trillion-dollar company. That makes the news. Multimillionaire companies don't. They're boring, boring, boring.

So, instead, what do we have?

LL recovered the estimated third part of its developer team, which had been assigned to Sansar (don't quote me on that). On top of that, they got a few more developers from Philip's team at High Fidelity. They put their heads together, and started delivering new features at neck-breaking speeds. All of a sudden — or so it looks to me! — we seem to be back to 2007, with amazing new features announced every few months. . Now, how cool is that? Usually, nobody outside the Lab (and few inside) knows what they're planning to do. This year, the 21st of its existence, we know at least about some things that will be done — one of which (surprise, surprise!) is mysteriously linked to "adult content". Whatever it might be, it will be something that will benefit the adult content producing & consuming community — rather than the "censorship" expected by the pessimists back in late 2020.

Instead, LL catapulted its viewer engine into the 2020s. Well, naysayers will always comment that "it's hopelessly outdated" because they expect SL to give them a sustained 120 FPS frame rate inside a VR helmet, with photorealism indistinguishable from the "real life". As they claim to have on game A, B and C, so surely SL could also have the same tech by now. If they only used Unity/Unreal/Godot (pick one) instead of insisting in their home-grown, spaghetti-coded behemoth of a "completely outdated games engine"!

In spite of all that, LL still manages to improve their engine, and do so dramatically, and, more importantly, without breaking existing content. In fact, as those of you who actually downloaded the official SL Viewer already know (a minority of residents still use it, the rest is on Firestorm and therefore haven't seen the new engine yet), old content actually got improved with the new engine, at least in those cases which use glass or a reflective, metallic material.

Tell me about how many 3D platforms/environments/virtual worlds/games that you know, which have been around for 20 years, being constantly improved, and where you can still use content from 2003 and it even looks and works better than before! (Note to self: Roblox might be one such platform; they certainly upgraded their engine a few times, but I'm not sure that their "very old content" from 2006 is still usable today).

And no, it's not about the nostalgia of the past which make me care about how items were developed twenty years ago. So many posted comments here about how attached they are to the content they've bought, and how the collapse of SL would mean losing all of that and never being able to reuse it ever again... well, good news: so long as SL is around, its content will remain "compatible". And LL has kept that promise for 20 years so far. Why shouldn't they do the same for another 20 years?


Every time the "imminent doom" of SL is "predicted" by pessimist pundits, SL continues to stubbornly defy them all, and continues to be around, "business as usual". Perhaps with a few less regulars, sure; but, by contrast, those who are still around are more than eager to spend a little more L$; while LL made drastic cuts to the cost of their infrastructure (the Big Move to the Cloud in early 2020) while still continuing to charge the "old prices". I'm sure that all the extra profit was more than enough to keep the new investors very happy, and allow LL to invest even more in development — which they are clearly doing.

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