Second Life Gets a Second Life

Long before the metaverse was a hot topic, Linden Lab led a pioneering effort into this virtual promised land with its online world, Second Life. That early seed seems to be bearing fruit, as High Fidelity announces it has acquired a stake in parent company Linden Research to take the project further into the future. Word is: "Members of High Fidelity's metaverse team are joining the company, and Philip Rosedale, who is a founder of both companies, is also rejoining Second Life as a strategic advisor." We haven't heard much about Second Life in a while, but it's not third life time yet. And although this announcement capitalizes on more recent entries into this space, it also throws some shade at the newcomers. "No one has come close to building a virtual world like Second Life," says Second Life founder and High Fidelity co-founder, Philip Rosedale. "Big Tech giving away VR headsets and building a metaverse on their ad-driven, behavior-modification platforms isn't going to create a magical, single digital utopia for everyone. Second Life has managed to create both a positive, enriching experience for its residents — with room for millions more to join — and built a thriving subscription-based business at the same time. Virtual worlds don't need to be dystopias." Here's more:
"Since Philip started Second Life in 1999, its visionary approach has not only stood the test of time, but positioned it for the future," says Brad Oberwager, chairman of Linden Lab. "He and the High Fidelity team have unmatched experience and I can't wait to capitalize on the vast opportunity in front of us."

Now in its 19th year of operation, Second Life has had one of its strongest years ever with a growing user base and booming economy including an annual GDP of $650 million USD with 345 million transactions of virtual goods, real estate, and services. Over 2 billion user-generated assets exist inside Second Life with 8 million unique items sold on its Marketplace.