Second Life Ejects CEO, Brings Founder Back as Interim Chief

It’s been a tops-turvy time for Linden Lab, the company that operates the Second Life virtual world. Just as Second Life is celebrating its seventh birthday, Linden Lab CEO Mark Kingdon has stepped down as the company’s CEO, and the company is bringing back its founder, Philip Rosedale, to take over the CEO position on an interim basis as the company works to find its feet, improve accessibility, and simplify its focus.

“On behalf of the board, I thank Mark for all of his contributions during his tenure with Linden Lab which include growing our user base and revenue, increasing the stability of the platform, and nurturing and helping build a world class team,” said Rosedale in a statement.

second life ejects ceo brings founder back as interim chief philip rosedale

Rosedale is currently head of Linden Lab’s board of directors, and will continue to serve on the board while acting as CEO. In addition, Linden Lab CFO Bob Komin will be taking on the role of LInden Lab’s chief operating officer.

Rosedale stepped down as Linden Lab CEO back in 2008. Under Mark Kingdon’s leadership, Second Life worked to shore up its fundamental operations as well as pitch itself as a virtual training and meeting space for enterprise…a move that apparently went over like a lead balloon.

The move comes barely two weeks after Linden Lab announced it was laying off some 30 percent of its employees—roughly 100 people—and announced intention to focus on enabling browser-based access to the Second Life 3D virtual world. Linden Lab has characterized the layoffs as a necessary move to force the company to focus on fundamentals and to put the company on solid financial footing.

Although Second Life has managed to create a virtual economy unlike any other—the Linden dollar is tied to the U.S. dollar, and Second Life residents have conducted more than $1 billion in transactions—the virtual world has always suffered from serious retention problems (many people who try Second Life never come back) and has been dogged by issues of content theft and service reliability, as well as a recent major revamp of its client software that added new features but sports an interface widely disdained by long-time users.

A browser-based entryway into Second Life—likely based on WebGL—could make Second Life more accessible, and help the virtual world reach out to the rest of the Internet via tie-ins to social networking and media sharing services.

Linden Lab has not announced the terms of Rosedale’s role as “interim” CEO, or how the company plans to conduct a search for a permanent CEO.

[Image credit James Duncan Davidson/O’Reilly Media, Inc.; Philip Rosedale at the Web 2.0 conference in 2005.]

News

Listen up! White noise device may make VR motion sickness a thing of the past

A simple device that sends white noise vibrations to the inner ear could be all it takes to fix the long-running problem of nausea in virtual reality. The developers are now seeking FDA approval.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (December 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Photography

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Gaming

Trash at 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate'? Use this guide to train up and get good

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the biggest game in the entire series, and it can be overwhelming for newcomers not used to the universe-colliding fighting game. Here's what you need to know when you're starting.
Gaming

Where we droppin’ (presents)? Perfect ‘Fortnite’ gifts for the fans in your life

Chances are someone on your holiday shopping list is a fan of Fortnite. As the most popular game on the planet, there are plenty of Fortnite-themed gift options available for purchase in stores and online. Here are the best ones we found.
Gaming

Sega Genesis classics now playable on Amazon Fire TV, no retro console required

Sega released the SEGA Classics app for Amazon Fire TV devices, allowing gamers to play Sega Genesis classics without having to buy a retro console. The $15 app contains 25 games, including three remastered Sonic titles.
Gaming

Have a spooky dance party at an abandoned mansion with Fortnite's new challenges

The Fortnite season 7, week 2 challenges have arrived in Battle Royale. From searching for chests to dancing off at an abandoned mansion, here's how to do them and the rewards you get for completing them.
Deals

The Super NES Classic is the perfect holiday gift for Nintendo lovers

Whether you're a long-time Nintendo fan looking to relive the 16-bit glory days or just doing some holiday shopping, the SNES Classic -- now in stock at multiple retailers for $80 -- might just be the perfect Christmas gift for gamers of…
Computing

Turn your Raspberry Pi into a Steam streaming hub with Valve’s Steam Link app

Valve's Steam Link app is now fully supported by Raspberry PI hardware, meaning that just about anyone with a few dollars to spare can build their own Steam streaming box in a matter of minutes.
Gaming

Nintendo pulls the plug on making more SNES Classic, NES Classic systems

Nintendo extended production of the NES Classic and SNES Classic into 2018, but once the current supply of consoles is gone, the company won't be making more. Instead, you'll have to use Nintendo Switch Online.
Gaming

Fancy ‘Kingdom Hearts III’ PlayStation 4 Pro launches alongside game in January

A limited edition PlayStation 4 Pro bundle for Kingdom Hearts III will launch alongside the game in January. The system included has a special design on the side, as does the controller.
Gaming

Want to share your Xbox One games? Here's how to do it

Sharing games on modern consoles is possible, but it takes a few steps. Here's how to start sharing games on your Xbox One console, so friends and family can easily access your library.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.