Rod Humble hints at more virtual worlds in LL’s future

On October 14th, and thanks to Lelani Carver, I commented on an article in VentureBeat’s Gamebeat in which Rod Humble discusses LL’s new products and mentions Second Life (see Rod Humble talks-up new products, creativity and Second Life).

In my piece, I included a quote from him which appeared in the article:

“We are still investing in 3D virtual worlds,” he said. “But shared creative spaces is what we do. There is an opportunity to embrace the new way of developing things. A lot of this could be done inside Second Life. But you get more creativity in the hands of more people by building on new platforms”

Rod Humble: “Yes, the plural is deliberate”

At the time I was writing, Humble’s initial wording caught my eye: “We are still investing in 3D virtual worlds” (note the plural). I thought it an odd turn of phrase; why not simply, “We are still investing in Second Life”? In the end, I dismissed the various thoughts floating around my head and assumed the quote was either misinterpreted by the interviewer or that Humble was simply using a broad term by which to define Second Life without using the name itself.

However, it would appear the quote was accurate and intentional. Dropping a comment after my article (which you can read in full here), Rod himself had this to say on the matter:

My comment about also investing in virtual worlds is correct. As you know I don’t like to detail things until we are close to something actionable, but we absolutely are investing in the large virtual world space which I think will make Second Life users, business owners and developers very happy…. but its a ways off :).

In replying to my response to his comment, he went on to add:

Welcome! Yes the plural is deliberate :)

Now this is undoubtedly going to open the doors to speculation (why on Earth do you think I’m pushing this article front-and-centre 🙂 ). For my part, I find the comment “I think will make Second Life users, business owners and developers very happy….” possibly telling. After all, business owners and developers are by definition Second Life users – so why distinguish them somewhat apart from “Second Life users”?

Also of interest is the use of the phrase “the large virtual world space”, which is also open to a lot of speculation.

As Rod points out, it is going to be some while before anything further can officially be said. However, it is obviously fair to say that he wouldn’t have gone even this far without having a reasonable level of confidence that whatever is in the pipeline is going to come to pass.

So what do you think? Do you think he’s referring to the “SL 2.0” some have been writing about / wishing for? Is it “SL+” – perhaps with additional features such as larger regions? A whole new generation of virtual world solutions, perhaps cloud-based? Or something else entirely?

And if you decide to reply, please remember what else Rod said in his original comment: “Our commitment to Second Life remains key and central to our company.”

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