Ever since Sansar was announced in 2014, many have seen it as a sign that it is intended to be a “replacement” for Second Life – or if not, that the Lab is diverting all of its resources into Sansar at SL’s expense.
Neither assessment is accurate – asthe Lab has repeatedly tried to state. In fact, over the last three years, the Lab has continued to invest in Second Life, both in terms of features and improvements and in an overhaul of the Second Life infrastructure: hardware, network and so on.
On Tuesday, August 29th, Ebbe Altberg, CEO at linden Lab and the Second Life team outlined the future for the platform. Hopefully, it will further help further quell the doubts surround the Lab’s intentions for Second Life.
The blog post opens:
It’s been an exciting summer at Linden Lab. Second Life celebrated its 14th anniversary, and shortly thereafter we also opened Sansar’s creator beta to the world. In addition, we are thrilled to announce a set of investments into Second Life and its communities that will include enhancements to our engineering support, customer support, billing systems and upgrades, and customer acquisition outreach. In all, we’ve budgeted many millions (USD, not L$…) in the coming year to make SL even better, and we’ll keep everyone up to date on improvements as they roll out (or sooner).
The post then goes on to bullet-point some to the core aspects of these investments, some of which – such at animated objects / mesh (“Animesh”) and the Environmental Enhancement Project (EEP) to extend SL’s Windlight capabilities, I’ve been covering in the pages of this blog (see my Content Creation User Group meeting notes and my initial write-up on EEP).
The blog post also notes forthcoming new Premium account benefits will be announced soon. Hhowever, the two biggest aspects of the news are infrastructure updates and a new grid-wide Experience.
The infrastructure work has been on-going for some time – most recently the Lab has deployed a new simulator build using a more recent version of Linux, and a further operating system update will also be forthcoming. However, what is interesting about this blog post is that it confirms something first mentioned publicly by Landon Linden at SL14B – the infrastructure updates include moving Second Life to the cloud.
This work will not be short-term, but if successful, the Lab hopes for a number of benefits, including:
- Making Second Life more performant for Residents across the world from us.
- Possibly allowing the Lab to introduce new products with more flexible pricing.
The new Experience may not appeal to everyone, but it will see a new capability added to Second Life: grid-way experiences. This will initially be in the form of a new grid-wide game developed by the Lab; whether or not it will – in time – allow interested region / parcel owners participate in grid-wide Experiences of their own making remains to be seen.
However, the continued investment in Second Life infrastructure which perhaps stands as the greatest demonstration of the Lab’s commitment to Second Life, and I hope to be able to follow the work through these pages as the Lab provides updates and news.