Filed under: Linden Lab and Second Life, Steam and Internet Gaming, The Project to Save Second Life
Wednesday this week, Linden Lab announced via their Second Life blog that they have made Second Life available on their recently acquired Desura game shopping platform. This apparently falls in line with their previous cooperative efforts with Amazon and their earlier stab at the Steam marketplace, so it’s not really a surprise. But it makes me wonder just what direction Linden Lab is going and what they are thinking “down the road”?
Where Fore Art Thou Second Life
It’s more than evident that Rod isn’t really interested in promoting or growing the red-headed stepchild called Second Life. I’ve come to believe that is why the BoD hired him in the first place. They seem to have felt that with all their investment in infrastructure, digital distribution and their stellar (cough cough) support organization, they should stop trying to understand the success they had and instead chase after the exact same donkey everyone else is chasing.
First they tried with grafting Second Life onto the side of a Personal Networking site. Next they tried gluing a Personal Networking site onto the side of Second Life. Then finally they just slammed the two together at high speed and prayed. Of course we all saw the foolishness of those efforts from the start. But it’s important to remember that the BoD is not charged with making intelligent decisions, they are only charged with making money .. by whatever means they can conjure up.
Keep in mind that 5-10 year growth plans are drafted and included in the last few pages of the corporate financial statements, but they are there for window-dressing only and do not really have any effect on what the company does from day to day. This is why the BoD is not interested in carefully sustaining and growing their existing (and niche dominating) property Second Life. Instead their primary focus is on making the short term gains that shareholders demand. This by its very nature cripples thinking ahead, instead rewarding those that think in a panic and can do amazing things overnight .. even if it leaves them standing at the end of a dead-end alleyway.
So Rod has been spending a majority of his resources and energies shoring up LL’s Game Industry presence. Granted, he has been giving a faux nod toward online collaboration and creativity games by virtue of the odd and very unique titles he’s pushing. But none of them have anything to do with Second Life really, instead their only commonality is the publisher name located on the back spine of the box.
Live By The Game ..
So the Game Industry is where Rod has lived, and it’s the environs he claims to understand. Perhaps he’s even right and he will attain some modicum of success by plying his uniquely styled games. But for my money? He’s still missing the fact that he was handed a totally unique marketplace, populated entirely by rabidly dedicated and devoted paying customers, in a segment that has no other big names and only lightly populated with tiny, barely existent competitors without the warchests or experience to really deliver a winning product.
What’s that old saying? “Waste not, want not.” I’m guessing Rod isn’t big on old sayings.