The Linden Labs and their CEO Ebbe Altberg announced their teams are working on a project of a new platform that will looks like Second Life. You can read the press release at the NWN blog and some statements made by Ebbe Altberg on the SLU.
Some are scared and some are excited. As representative and lawyer of The Magic Worlds Studios I applaud this decision as the fact the code will be closed is the focal point of it.
I would write first that LL is a RL company and they certainly don’t want to chop off the very branch they are sitting on. They have bills and wages to pay. On the other hand they have to face several things :
- Users ask for a better experience, a better viewer, lowest tiers, things that are already provided by challengers
- Customers ask for a safe purchase environment. With the increasing of ripped content, their inventory risks to be soon full of IP replacements, which will also be a problem for the LL incomes.
- Content creators ask for a better protection of their stuff and a better selection of the Content creators stuff.
This to say that closing the code is absolutely vital and LL already stated on all these previous points :
- “But, we’re also working on something that we think will truly fulfil the promise of virtual worlds that few people understand as well as Second Life users.” [Source] “So for now it’s just the fact that we’re investing a lot in a next generation platform, in the spirit of SL, that will be better…better quality, better performance, more devices, enable incredible experiences…” [Source] Understand that LL won’t give us more informations. It would inform challengers. Also : “We’re early in our discussions about business models but I’m thinking lower land tax and higher sales tax” [Source] meaning more land owners and less low quality made stuff. On challengers : “I’d be more concerned if LL did not invest in the future and if some other company made a better product, as that migration would certainly be more complicated than what we will offer” [Source]
- Ebbe Altberg wrote twice LL never and won’t steal any content : [Source] and [Source]. And the users and Content Creators will be at the centre of this new world : “an open world where users have incredible power to create anything they can imagine and content creators are kings” [Source]
- Things have been said like :
The idea is : imagine Second Life as a lovely but very old house. Everybody like this home very much but, after a while, it as been littered with vermin and the electric block diagram, hydraulic or pneumatic circuit plan went so hard to understand that we cannot make any repair or improvement more.
The best is to rebuild a new home. That is what LL aims to do : a brand new code and no vermin allowed.