It’s been a while since we’ve heard from the team at Linden Lab, but the company’s been secretly preparing to make a major comeback. CEO Ebbe Altberg has confirmed that a sequel to Second Life is in development, scheduled to hit public beta testing in 2015.
While interest in the life sim has certainly tapered off in the eleven years since Second Life first launched, the game still boasts an active player count of more than one million.
Rather than trying to polish up the old version, Altberg tells The Next Web it’s better to simply start over:
With technology, market interest, hardware and software available, now is the time to give it another big shot. We have the experience to do it more than anyone else.
The technology Altberg is referring to is not just software, but hardware as well. Specifically: The new Second Life will use Oculus Rift.
At this stage, Linden Lab is still figuring out what sort of user interface will be feasible if gamers have their eyes covered by a VR headset, but already, the Rift is making Second Life more immersive and enjoyable, even for veteran players.
The company has the experience to know what it wants but not necessarily the manpower to build it. Linden Lab is hiring an extra 40-50 new people to help out with development of this “massive project”.
Second Life never really lived up to its potential. The gamers who stuck with it have built up a community of creators, designing and building their own virtual items – and even virtual properties. With the follow-up, Linden Lab is hoping to provide even more users with an improved toolset to build their dreams.