On Wednesday, September 14th, 2022, Linden Lab announced it has acquired CasperTech, the multi-product and service company founded by Casper Warden.
Established around 13 years ago, CasperTech is perhaps most famous for its business support services such as CasperLet (for rentals) and – most particularly – CasperVend, a comprehensive, easy to use networked vending and sales management system for Second Life, together with a number of products from rezzing systems through to security orbs. The company even made a foray into providing an on-line market presence as an alternative to The SL Marketplace, in for the form of PrimBay – a service I looked at back in 2013, and which had been designed for merchant operating in SL and other virtual worlds.
Over the years, CasperVend in particular has proven a reliable service to merchants across Second Life, providing a comprehensive range of in-world point-of-sale and produce redelivery solutions, backed by a tools and capabilities that have made the system indispensable to SL content creators and merchants in the sale of their goods. It is this service which likely featured largest in the Lab’s decision to acquire CasperTech.
Commenting on the acquisition in the official announcement, Patch Linden stated:
This acquisition will ensure that all of the existing CasperTech services in Second Life will continue to operate without interruption into the foreseeable future, but it also opens up brand new opportunities to vastly improve the experience for our users as our next step in the CasperTech and Second Life journey.
You can expect to see the same great services that you know and love continue on, with all of the same functionality you enjoy today, but with closer integration into the Second Life ecosystem – and as such, an even more reliable and convenient experience.
We wouldn’t have gone forward with this move if we weren’t absolutely confident that it will be a positive change for all Residents and CasperTech customers.
Understandably, the Lab acquiring a business such as CasperVend is liable to raise concerns among those using the service. To this end, the Lab have opened a forum thread where questions and / or concerns can be raised, and replies provided directly by the Lab – if you do have questions, either as a user of CasperVend or other CapserTech services and products, please ask your questions there; there is no guarantee questions asked in the comments following this article may not be answered.
In addition, and broadcast shortly after the announcement, a pre-recorded Lab Gab session was streamed featuring both Patch Linden and Casper Warden, and it is embedded below.
- Linden Lab acquires CasperTech in Second Life – official blog post
- CasperTech Acquisition Discussion – Second Life forums
6 thoughts on “Linden Lab acquires CasperTech for Second Life”
LL is hardly a stranger to CasperTech. They have even used CasperVend themselves to distribute products. I have mixed feelings; LL has the ability to improve the services by integrating them more closely with SL, but making themselves even more of a monopoly in the space could be an issue for merchants.
LL are the last people that should work on Casper’s reliable vendors. Knowing what those restless ADHD playkiddies did in the past it won’t even take them a couple weeks to break the system. 😮
I didn’t see the Lindens using Casper vendors until the SLB19 with the swag from the hunt. Where have you seen it before that?
Patch Linden has responded in that thread referenced that the Lindens do not plan to tax purchases *yet*. But YetTM like SoonTM is fungible and can be imposed at any time.
And he said they do not plan to go into rental boxes *yet* — but they will, and tax those, too. We will return to the early days of SL when only 2 monopolists sold scripted rental boxes for handsome sums, but allowed you to buy a much cheaper one if you let them take a percentage of each sale.
The data that used to be solely in a resident businessman’s hands (although of course LL could find ways to access) will now be more neatly and easily available to them. They already have your purchase data on “My Accounts”. They could now also collect proximity data, data about who you associate with (this is what Anshe used to do with her terminals, capture all names within 96 m).
I wonder if the Lindens will be sure to remove the “sample ban” name put in all the teleporters — my name — which was Casper’s idea of a practical joke. He claimed to have removed it, but I still go to stores where I can’t TP to other floors because of this.
Yes – I noted the use of CasperVend at SL19B, and saw that as a nod towards something like this happening (in fact I’d been expecting announcement similar to this throughout July / August as a result of SL19B). And I also noted the “yet” qualifier in Patch’s forum reply – although making sure there is a level playing field for in-world sales should things go that route might be complicated (e.g. people just switching to right-click PAY / BUY- where things like automated customer purchaser tracking is not such a major concern), so it will be interesting to see how things develop further down the road – and how CasperVend might be leveraged alongside the 2023 ground-up rebuild of the Marketplace.
I think it’s a double-edged sword. Reading in-between the lines and having used CasperTech for years, I know they never monetized it correctly and I can imagine it wasn’t overly profitable. I can only suspect demand has increased for their products, and I assume more that must have raised pressure to side with Linden Lab to sell. That said, if anyone thinks that LL did this to make SL better without wanting to cash in on monetizing CasperTech technology is mistaken. So, while I think it’s a win that the technology is secured and CasperTech won’t go under, we should all realize what this sets up — it’s no different than our respective government saying, “great news, we have acquired Microsoft!” In my opinion: expect to pay recurring fees going forward on these products, or at minimum, a fee to use the technology as they integrate it into Marketplace — nothing is free, c’est la vie.
As a store owner I do have some concerns. Currently the scripts and Casper itself is a full perm system for the most part it’s also incredibly easy to use and now that Linden labs owns it are they going to make it so only members or premium members can get this service in the future. What other kind of changes are they intending to make? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it but we all know that Linda loves will try to fix it LOL so be aware that in the upcoming future the vendors may not work properly thus making us have to get the redelivery or repurchase the new ones because you know that they’re going to try to change them. And if they decide to try to tax anything for sales all people are going to do is make their own Prim with their own Scripts and not use a Casper system at all. There are several other systems out there that we’re currently paying for like mdl. How much do you want to make a bet Linden Labs is going to want to take a cut of our profits or make us pay for a monthly subscription to use Casper. Considering they haven’t touched the rental boxes yet that’s going to be another way for Linden labs to make Revenue. so anyone out there currently using Casper this is some things that I know I will be looking for.
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