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The billion-dollar game dev trading post

The store allows game makers to share tools, editors, art, audio, anything really; sometimes for free and sometimes for a fee. "My calculation is that we unlocked a billion dollars worth of savings," the Unity co-founder and CEO told Polygon. "Half a million assets downloaded per month. That is six million assets in a year. That is six million work days assuming one work day per asset, per year." You can do the rest of the math. Unity is the hot game development tool right now, used in the making of Polygon's 2013 game of the year Gone Home, and other major hits like Kerbal Space Program, Rust, Krautscape, Shroud of the Avatar, Rain... the list goes on. At DICE earlier this year, Helgason gave a talk on "the economics of collaboration" arguing that the modern era of easily uploadable...

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Ebbe Altberg joins Second Life dev Linden Lab as CEO

Microsoft and Yahoo veteran Ebbe Altberg is joining Second Life developer Linden Lab as its new CEO, the company announced today. Altberg, who most recently served as the COO of BranchOut, a professional networking application for Facebook, joins the company after its former CEO, Rod Humble, departed late last month. In a press statement, the new CEO explained why he joined the developer that brands itself as the "maker of shared creative spaces" like Desura and Patterns. "Linden Lab has long been at the forefront of building experiences that entertain people while empowering them to express themselves and profit from their creations," Altberg said. "Our customers' creativity is unparalleled, and I'm proud to join the talented team that serves them. Second Life is now in its eleventh...

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Secret documents reveal NSA may be spying on you with Angry Birds (update)

The National Security Agency and its British counterpart may have scooped up Angry Birds player data as well as data from other "leaky apps" as it sought user information from mobile ad companies, according to a secret British report made public today by ProPublica and The New York Times. According to the 2012 report, the NSA and British intelligence frequently collected user data from mobile ad companies and "mined" it for information, comparing it with their lists of intelligence targets. The Angry Birds app, which has been downloaded more than a billion times, tracked users' locations and other data and passed it onto mobile ad companies, which means it is possible that Angry Birds player data may be among the information the intelligence agencies scooped up. Developer Rovio...

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IndieCade 2013 Festival finalists to receive Desura distribution

IndieCade 2013 Festival finalists will be offered a global distribution agreement on digital distribution platform Desura, IndieCade and Second Life developer Linden Lab announced today. The agreement omits any fees and is only offered to Windows PC, Linux and Mac festival finalists. Finalists will also become part of Desura's new partner program which includes promotional advertising offered by Linden Lab. "We're a proud supporter of IndieCade and its mission," CEO of Linden Lab, Rod Humble said in a prepared statement. "Celebrating and supporting independent developers is a goal Desura shares with IndieCade, and we're happy to be able to award distribution and promotion to all nominated and official selection games at this year's event." Linden Lab announced in July that it...

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Virtual world Second Life gets graphics and features overhaul

Free-to-play virtual life simulator Second Life received a major overhaul following the game's 10th anniversary earlier this summer, adding new features and updating the game's graphics, according to a new trailer for the game. In addition to giving graphics a fresh coat of paint and upgrading the game's lightning, the trailer boasts "better performance" and improved speed of avatar loading. Chat tools have also been streamlined for ease of communication between players, and users can now share in-game screenshots and accomplishments through Facebook integration. The trailer also mentions a newly improved "welcome experience," presumably for new players who are just getting their feet wet, and a "simplified" in-game shopping experience. At the end, we see a man using what looks like a...

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Second Life developer acquires indie distributor Desura

Second Life developer Linden Labs has announced its purchase of indie game digital distribution service Desura. Unlike other digital distribution services, Desura offers independent developers a comparatively low barrier-to-entry for PC, Mac and Linux releases. The service also includes mods for indie and AAA titles, while regularly offering game keys alongside bundle promotions. "Desura's talented team, thriving business, and impressive technology are a great fit for Linden Lab," Linden Lab's CEO Rod Humble said. "Our aim is to invest and support the Desura team in making it the most open and developer-friendly platform in the world." Desura sister-site IndieDB remains independent and community run, despite Desura's acquisition. This is Linden Labs' second large-scale acquisition...

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Second Life developer announces Dio open beta for the creation of interactive spaces

Second Life developer Linden Lab announced the open beta for Dio, a new website that allows its users to create and explore interactive spaces with one another. Dio allows its users to create "places" using text, photos, videos and interactive objects in order to develop an interconnected series of "rooms" that can be shared and explored with others. The website includes a persistent chat system and will eventually allow its users to monetize the places they create in a similar manner to Second Life. "Dio is a new shared creative space on the web," said Rod Humble, CEO of Linden Lab. "Based around the concept of linked spaces, Dio makes it easy and fun to create or visit experiences of all kinds. Dio is still in development, and we have deliberately kept the tools as broad as...

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Study finds that women are less clothed than men, virtually speaking

Canadian researchers studying Second Life have found that virtual women avatars wear less clothing on average than their male counterparts, according to a study published on Plos One. Virtually Naked: Virtual Environment Reveals Sex-Dependent Nature of Skin Disclosure covered "humanoid avatars that were not covered by fur"(read: no Furries) in Linden Lab's online virtual world. By comparing the amount of skin showing on 404 avatars, Anna M. Lomanowska and Matthieu J. Guitton found that"virtual females disclose substantially more naked skin than virtual males." The researchers propose several explanations for the findings, including "implicit cultural influences on skin disclosure" that carry over from the real world into Second Life. Other theories include a desire on the part of the...

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Poking the box: Why Linden Lab creates shared creative spaces

Rod Humble, CEO of Linden Lab, is proud that his company doesn’t create content. Most games are stories. There’s a beginning, middle, and an end. Link begins as a powerless boy and, over the course of many hours and dungeons, he gains abilities, overcomes challenges, and saves the world. So does Kratos. So does Snake. Linden Lab does it differently. The developer, known best for Second Life, builds sandboxes not unlike the Metaverse in author Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash. There’s an architecture to the online world, and a set of rules governing the digital reality. Everything else that happens there is up to its inhabitants. "We don't make the content." Linden Lab has poured it’s creative energies into Second Life and little else for many years. When Humble became Linden...

Second Life Releases
North America
  • Windows
    • Released 06/23/2003
    • Publisher Linden Lab
    • Developer Linden Lab
  • Mac
    • Publisher Linden Lab
    • Developer Linden Lab
  • Linux
    • Publisher Linden Lab
    • Developer Linden Lab
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