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Second Life studio working on a spiritual sequel

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Second Life developer Linden Lab is currently working on the spiritual sequel to the massively multiplayer online social title, according to a statement the developer provided to Polygon.

This new game, first reported by New World Notes, is a "next generation virtual world" that is "in the spirit of Second Life," an open-world game that will focus on user-created content and interactions. The San Francisco-based studio noted it is actively hiring for this project, which is still in its "very early days."

Linden Lab note that backwards compatibility between its new game and Second Life will not be available at launch and that is not "an absolutely requirement at the start," because the team wants to focus on building the game as a "next generation platform." High-quality visuals and content, according to the statement, is taking priority over making Second Life content "work seamlessly with everything created over Second Life's 11 year history."

"We believe that there is a massive opportunity ahead to carry on the spirit of Second Life while leveraging the significant technological advancements that have occurred since its creation, as well as our unparalleled experience as the provider of the most successful user-created virtual world ever," the statement reads.

Linden told Second Life fans "don't panic" and assured that they will not abandon their previous game. The studio said the game still has many years ahead of it and improvements made for the studio's new project could also benefit Second Life.

The online virtual world of Second Life launched in June 2003. The game allows players over the age of 16 to create avatars that interact with one another, explore the in-game "grid" world and create and trade virtual services and property. Last December, leaked classified documents indicated that the game, along with World of Warcraft and Xbox Live, was monitored by both British and American intelligence groups.