Remember the game Second Life? The 3D virtual world where players can talk with one another, build virtual communities, and socialize using voice and chat that’s free? Well, nothing really ever happened to Second Life – even though the buzz around the game has largely faded.
The site actually has more than one million users to date. But, the game is back in the media because the company that developed the game, Linden Lab, has decided to rehaul the whole thing.
The Oculus Rift Integration
Linden Lab has a new chief executive, and with that new executive comes change. The company now wants to work with Facebook’s Oculus Rift headset. The Second Life game will be revamped to fit the headset world, and that means moving millions of worlds and accounts to the new virtual world. This is going to be a major project for the company, but it’s one that they feel is completely necessary.
Currently, Linden Labs is working on figuring out how users will be able to control characters and move around the virtual world without the use of a keyboard or mouse. This isn’t going to be an easy task for the game development team, and it’s going to be an even harder task for users that will soon have to get used to playing the game in a whole new way. But, none of this has been completely finished yet.
Linden Labs has told press that the company hopes to launch its Oculus Rift integration in beta form by 2015. Following that launch date, Second Life will then move into a commercial launch by 2016. Linden Labs is putting all of its bets on virtual reality headsets, which really haven’t done too much thus far. Sure, the headsets are novel, but how many people do you know that actually have or use one? Playing games with headsets like the Oculus Rift isn’t the end of it either.
When Facebook purchased Oculus Rift, the company saw a lot more for this kind of headset. The idea was to allow people to connect with doctors, professors, and other people around the world just by putting on a headset. That idea is an interesting one, but it hasn’t come to fruition yet. The fact that a company is going to use the headset to create a virtual game is just the beginning. If you play Second Life, you won’t see any immediate changes, but more news about this development will certain begin to unfold shortly.
For the time being, Second Life players can go on playing the game as they have since the original launch date. Hopefully, nothing about the current games or worlds will change when the transition has been made, but all of that has yet to be seen. What’s really interesting here is that Linden Labs is moving forward with the virtual headset integration, since this is really the first of its kind. More details will follow this post when additional news has been released.