Virtual World Bites: Second Life News

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Linden Labs Sells Sansar & Staff Lay Offs

July 2017 was the date Second Life Creator Linden Labs announced its new project Sansar. Now, almost 3 years later it has been announced that the Lindens have sold their pet project in order to ‘streamline its focus on the virtual world of Second Life’. According to a Press Release released by Linden Labs, in which they answer questions about the acquisition of the Virtual World, they state:

We are very excited to witness the unfolding of Sansar getting a fresh opportunity to thrive under the ownership of Wookey Project Corp., a San Francisco-based technology company that has assumed all operations without any interruption to operations or the Sansar community.

Source: Wookey Project Corp. Aquires Sansar

The press release goes on to answer a few questions, including stating that, ” Operations at Second Life are not impacted at all. The Second Life community will continue to be able to login and enjoy SL without any interruption. As for Linden Lab, many members of the Sansar team formerly employed by Linden Lab are staying with Sansar as employees under its new ownership.”

While it has been stated that this will not affect Second Life in any way, we have seen writings and rumors earlier this year stating that there have been staff dismissals. This rumor has been circulating since late last year. According to an article written by NWN writer Wagner James, Linden Labs, CEO Ebbe Altberg posted in Sansar’s Discord, officially addressing the matter. In James’ posts it reads:

So, I’m only going to say this tonight as it’s late. We can pick up the conversation in the following days. Yes, there were layoffs today. A truly wonderful group of people. But as you can see Sansar is up and running. We are still in discussion about next steps. Including with the wonderful group of people. More to come. Don’t give up yet. Go create and have fun. Not much point in speculating until we can tell you more.

Ebbe Altberg quote. Source: New World Notes

And tell more they did, in a post on the Second Life Community Page, Linden Labs made a formal post addressing the rumors stating:

There’ve been quite a few rumors about changes at the Lab and their possible effects on Second Life and Tilia. The truth is that we have made a few operational and personnel changes to ensure that we continue to stay strong for the next decade and beyond. This means that we had to say goodbye to a few employees, but at the same time we also strengthened our team by bringing back some heavy hitters who will help make Second Life better than ever. 

Source: Second Life Community Page

Only time will tell how this new turn will affect Second Life. It could be for the better or for the worst. In a time of uncertainty where more users are returning to SL as a way of keeping in touch with friends and their community. It’s great that the Lindens are once again bringing their attention back to the virtual world.

Linden Labs CEO Addresses COVID-19

In a post made in March, Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg addresses the growing situation with the COVID-19 outbreak. He reassures the community of Second Life that LL has ‘taken steps to ensure that the Second Life operations stay steady’ while stating that the LL staff will stay safe during these unprecedented times. He continues stating that payment processing and support inquiries are expected to continue working without any issue.

Altberg then addresses the closure of universities, conferences and other events stating:

Second Life also continues to be an option for disrupted organizations looking for new remote work, classroom or event solutions. To help, we recently implemented a reduction in pricing to a flat $99/month per region for qualified education and nonprofit organizations.

Source: Second Life Community Blog

It’s great to see that Second Life is putting themselves forward as a place for people who are isolated in their homes and want to use the virtual world as a place to work and study. He continues calling on everyone already part of the virtual world to be courteous to returning and new users. He reminds users that Second Life is a place for socialising and sharing experiences with others in these tough times. He comments:

Please be kind and welcoming to those who may just need a friendly conversation to escape from this crazy world for a moment or more. If you have a friend or colleague who is looking for a safe place to socialize online during these tough times, we encourage you to help them discover how Second Life can enable them to feel less isolated by connecting them to your favorite communities or experiences.

Source: Second Life Community Blog

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