The news has come as a surprise to loyal Second Life users.
Second Life just won’t die. The MMORPG that took the world by storm in 2005-6 may have vanished from the news, but it’s still very much alive, and it’s about to change from the ground up.
Gone are the embassies of countries that promised to revolutionise online diplomacy, and reassigned are the “’Second Life’ correspondents” that were hired in haste by almost every periodical on the planet, and in their place remains a hardcore group of players.
On Tuesday it was announced that the developers of Second Life, Linden Lab, are set to release a brand new version of the world in 2015. One of the criticisms of the game was its lack of advanced graphics, as well as technology that never developed at the same pace of the Internet, but that could soon change. Linden Lab has promised integrated Oculus Rift support, in a move that it hopes will re-invigorate commercial interest in the flagging digital universe.
“With technology, market interest, hardware and software available, now is the time to give it another big shot. We have the experience to do it more than anyone else,” CEO Ebbe Altberg told TheNextWeb. Altberg plans to launch the new and improved Second Life into beta in 2015, and a public release is planned for 2016.
In a move that could anger the few remaining dedicated players, Altberg said that they were starting “from the ground up we’re hiring 40-50 more people… We’re not going to constrain ourselves with backwards compatibility.”
Altberg is new to Linden Lab, coming from Yahoo, and has already axed the less profitable ventures of his new company. We could very well see Second Life explode back onto the public scene, if Altberg has his way.