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Linden Lab's New CEO

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BK Linden

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I’m happy to announce some very exciting news today: Rod Humble is Linden Lab’s new CEO. Our press release is here. You’ll hear from Rod himself after he starts in mid-January, but in the meantime, we wanted to share a brief introduction.

Rod has an impressive depth of experience in developing and leading fun, immersive entertainment experiences that have been great successes. As a 20-year veteran of game development, he’s worked on more than 200 games, and last year, the gaming magazine Edge named him #2 on their annual list of Hot 100 Game Developers. Rod is coming to Linden Lab from Electronic Arts, where he was Executive Vice President and led EA Play, including the best-selling PC game franchise of all time, The Sims. Prior to EA, he was a VP of Product Development at Sony Online Entertainment, where he led the EverQuest Studio.

Rod has a deep appreciation for what makes Second Life special. He’s already been exploring and experimenting inworld to familiarize himself with the pluses and minuses of our product and the successes and challenges faced by our Residents. He’ll officially start at the Lab in mid-January, and I’m excited for us to begin 2011 with fresh perspective, renewed energy, and creativity.

To give you a sense for Rod’s creativity, personality, and perspective, here are few links to his personal creations and a couple of press interviews he’s given:

Art games Rod has created in his ‘spare’ time:

Press interviews with Rod:

Happy holidays to you all from Linden Lab! We wish everyone a very happy and prosperous new year -- it’s going to be a great one for Second Life!

Rod's bio:

Rod Humble is Chief Executive Officer at Linden Lab, and he leads the company’s strategy and the development of Second Life. Humble’s 20-year career in the game development industry has included work on more than 200 games. He joined Linden Lab from Electronic Arts, where, in his role as Executive Vice President, he led the EA Play label, which includes the best-selling PC game franchise of all time, The Sims. In 2009, he was ranked #2 on the annual list of the Hot 100 Game Developers from gaming publication Edge. Prior to his work at Electronic Arts, Humble served as Vice President of Product Development at Sony Online Entertainment for the massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) EverQuest.
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Welcome Rod!

I am pretty sure u gonna do ur best in new Team and it gonna effect on all of us in SL community. Wish you all the best in business, wish success and lot of creativity that u can bring us

Keep doing ur work as u already did, the best!

I will use this situation to wish u, LL Team and all SL residents a Merry Xmas and great and successful 2011 year!

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SL is the only virtual world I've used for teaching, but like you, Esparanza, I consider it a powerful tool for that purpose.

Exploring the SL world map makes it clear that SL is many things to many people. Though educators and their institutions are the minority in this world as in RL, I hope that whatever Rod shapes SL into, it won't be something that reinforces in students' minds the idea of its being a game. Sure, students (and their teachers as well) can and do play games in SL, and I myself have endorsed my student estate mananger's inclusion of amusements on our island. After all, why shouldn't learning be fun? But that's not education's primary reason for being inworld. It's the way it can transform teaching that keeps us here.

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Welcome to SL Rod! please be sure to pay attention to where it's needed most, and not just  the premiumn accounts either!  also respect your members wishes, dont do a youtube!

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welcome to sl rod.(if you ever read this blog)

as i am not a man of many words, i just wanna say 2 things.

PLS listen to us, the residents.

AND pls stop sl from gettin downhill any further.

 

live long and prosper

 

Lobo

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Thanks for saying this quote "PLS Listen to us, the residents". Knowing that Rod is coming from EA, I, personaly doesn't have a good feeling about that. Past has already shown that EA has a serious lack of listening to their costumers, why should there be any difference in here. Secondary, there is one ex developper of EA that is openly mocking with the costumers of the company where he is working at the moment, namely Steven Hoods.  If this is line of attitude will be pulled through Second Life, I am fearing the worst.

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A hearty thanks to LL's board for picking a CEO who at least has experience with gaming and social platforms!

And I welcome Rod and look forward to seeing what ideas he has for SL!

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Welcome Rod! Looking forward to see what ideas you have ...SL is so nice so far... can you make it even better... (Try convert the tp to rl, would make you a candiate to a Nobel price)

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Welcome Rod.. I probably dont know as much as most of the people that have commented here.. all I can say is as long as you dont make drastic changes and fix  or work on fixing the problems that the residents are mostly concerned with, you will be winner with us^^. Good luck!

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Welcome to Linden Labs Rod,

I hope that you'll set some quick priorities, starting with quality control on the software, and getting control of the software library.  In the fast-moving environment  of gaming, companies such as Linden Labs really don't have the staff or time to keep redoing things multiple times to get them right.  Too often we see old problems re-introduced in new releases.  A well-controlled software library with standardized sub-routines would solve a lot of small, consistant and annoying problems.  The SL Marketplace is a prime example of not using standardized sub-routines.

I also hope you'll do something about the Atlas Program.  It appears only about half of the large estate (land) owners in Second Life are currently members (approximately 40 are members of Atlas, and another 30-40 are qualified but unable to get into the program.  We're left competing on a very unlevel playing field.

Large estate owners provide a significant portion of your revenue stream. Atlas-level estates like ours are paying in excess of $150,000 usd a year in tier to Linden Labs.  A ballpark figure would be about 5-6 Million USD a year in revenue from those of us locked out of the Atlas Program simply because the Linden Lab staff doesn't have the time to include us.

As large estate owners, we're providing a level of service to our residents that includes customer support for a myriad of problems, most of which have nothing to do with land.  Essentially we're your unpaid customer service triage group.  The services we provide reduces the load on Linden Lab's Customer Service & Support Group.

Third, I hope you'll consider reinstating the special rates for non-profit and more importantly, educational groups.  Second Life has the potential of becoming a central player in distance learning and on-line educational endeavors.  As a retired college professor, this is near and dear to my heart.  From a business standpoint, it should be important to Linden Labs, as it opens the door to thousands of potential long-term residents.

My partner and I are very pleased to see you come on board.  We feel your background is exactly what Linden Labs needs.

Sincerely,

Milano Ferrentino

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Oh my!  I'm a The Sims Online refugee after they promised tuns of upgrades, said new things were coming up for us and then announced a total shut down o.O  I'm sorry but this news really schocked and worried me.  I can only hope Rod was part of all that and didn't want it to happen and wants to improve SL genuinely.

 

Welcome Rod, I hope you're plenty more than I'm expecting!

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Sounds good.. Welcome Rod, hope your time will help to enhance the virtual experience and take it to the next level. Congrats!

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Perhaps we'll finally see LL implement shrink-wrapped starter kits and expansion packs for SL!

 

I won't say it won't work because I'm not one to sound like I know stuff I don't... but I'll be nothing short of shocked if there is even remote success in shrink-wrapping any portion of SL.

Plug-ins for the viewer might work (although I still have my doubts), giving users preferences that they don't get with the main viewer download, but I don't see them as being something people would like to go out and buy. A better idea would be to make those downloadable.

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They already do that... they're called third party viewers =P

 

Those are full viewers and not supplied by LL.

I'm talking about downloading a basic viewer and downloading plug-ins to add preferences as you need them.

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You seem to have a lot of faith in a company that hasn't fixed even a rough majority of the serverside problems they've had for the past 7+ years, and who most graciously said f*ck the community, eat some viewer 2 and don't bother us for support even if you can prove it's our fault and it's costing you money. Besides, now that we've got someone from EA involved in this, all we need is an SOE employee to truly show where support and the future of SL is heading.

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Good grief. It truely is a magical time of the year - I find myself agreeing with Prok.

Welcome, Rod.

I'll say yet again what I've been saying for a few years. Make your customers happy and SL will start growing again. Things like SL, myface and twitter grow because people say "hey, check this out" to other people. Under the reign of M Linden/Kindon, LL seemed to go out of its way to piss customers off on a fairly regular basis. Nothing got fixed, we were ignored. People stopped saying "hey, check this out" to their friends. LL spent truckloads of money on things your customers were not interested in. You've seen the numbers - SL hasn't been going in the right direction for a long time now.

Please make it better.

TY.

(and a safe & happy holidays to you & yours, and to all the Lindens out there!)

edit: and can I have a bear, please?  (from BK, too!)

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Mr Humble,

Not being a "premium VIP" I only understood the "level of LL technical support" when I was "ghosted" in the Blake sea lately. And that was NONE. I did sweat for 48hrs thinking I had lost everything. Avatar and all of its creations and builds. Two years of hard work.

SL is not a game. By now you should have read this enough.

I can only agree with those who tell you to "live" with us for a month. And listen and talk with us. Yeah humility to listen to your customer base would be my first priority in your new, difficult, role.

Which also means not just Americans... but also non native english people here.

I fly two seaters.  You are welcome aboard.  Runway is just next to Pilot's Rest.  Will be a joy to make you "feel" sim crossing in a "corner", have some skyboxes barnstorming, or fly over Nautilus.... I promise I will not trigger that passenger ejection seat. 

Cause you need a chance to try to clean the mess the arrogant PR/Marketing people got SL into. This including the prudish twits. 13's+ and 16's on SL? What a big mistake.

Some dark skies ahead of you.  Did you defrost those wings of yours? We all hope you make it to the other side.  Else we will be all gone to open sims very soon.

Good luck Mr Humble.  Over and Out.

Judy

PS: Sorry I don't design suits.

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Congratulations Rod! We welcome you with open arms, and look forward to what you can bring to Second Life.  It will be an exciting year indeed.

"Sen"

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Rod, I hope you are spending time despite the holidays to read the blogs.  I finally had time to download Viewer2 and look at it.  Wow, super complicated with features I'll never use. As a long time resident of SL that spends a good 4 to 5 hours a day in SL, I can't understand why LL went from A straight to Z with a viewer that requires a considerable amount of time to learn how to use. Previous viewer upgrades were simple; not this one. And who has the time? I own land; I host; I am in two dance companies; I have friends who I like chatting with.  To learn how to effectively use Viewer2, I'd have to give up some of my activities in SL for awhile.

And know I have discovered that club owners who rent or own the land their club is on, can no longer have their hosts post on the SL Event Calendar less they too download and use Viewer2. Hmmm. Whoever made this decision at LL doesn't know how to run a succesful business. Let me break it down for you:

Event Postings, Brings peeps to a club,  Peeps make club donations, Club owner uses donations to help pay TIERS, you know cash U.S. real money, LL improves company profits. Oh did you also know that when us hosts couldn't post anymore, NO ONE in LIVE CHAT knew why.

You have much to learn about SL and what it means to residents; you've heard it enough times; this isn't a game. It's virutual world where people in RL have created a second life.

Here's hoping you're reading our comments! TC Rod:)

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I extend a cautious welcome. I have been here 5 years and so many times I have heard LL say they have some wonderful changes in store for us.  And those changes usually are something no one really wants!  Namely the most obvious being that new viewer they are trying to ram down our throats;  they have not even tried to listen to we the users on that one!

As for customer service?  umm what is that but a series of web pages that lead a person into an endless loop of page after page of information, making the person give up before they ever find the help they needed.  And the Live Chat well I am really tired of having my issues turned back on me making it my fault or insinuating I am imagining things.   Filing a ticket is a joke;  6 to 8 weeks for any kind of response and this is regarding sim performance problems that they know about it's in the jira!  No acknowledgement at alll for that long a time.  Now I expect that is because I am only a 1 sim owner.  Those who are big spenders with business that have them holding up to 100 sims;  now they get immediate service!  Hope you can see the injustice and unfair treatment there! Oh and when they do acknowledge it they give you a list of things you are probably doing wrong and things you need to try when in fact all those things were investigated prior to filing the ticket and if any one had read the ticket in the first place they would have seen that!

I am one who is seriously considering leaving SL for one thing it has become too big and the small business person doesn't have a prayer! I joined SL as a place to create and share my creations with others and make a little money on the side to supplement a rather low RL fixed income. And to meet new people and form friendships only to find that a lot of folks in SL are actually here to lie and decieve and use others.  So all I have left is my creativity and that is now burried in a mire of mud.  I am seriously doubtful that SL will have anything to inspire me to stay.  But I will hang around long enough to see what you can do.

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You seem to have a lot of faith in a company that hasn't fixed even a rough majority of the serverside problems they've had for the past 7+ years, and who most graciously said f*ck the community, eat some viewer 2 and don't bother us for support even if you can prove it's our fault and it's costing you money. Besides, now that we've got someone from EA involved in this, all we need is an SOE employee to truly show where support and the future of SL is heading.

 

How do I seem to be having faith? By saying shrink-wrapping SL is something that I don't think will work? By saying that maybe downloadable plug-ins for viewer (an idea I got from other residents suggesting it) MIGHT work (but I doubt it)?

You mentioned third-party viewers. Thats something entirely different from what I'm talking about. I pointed that out and suddenly you can assume I have a lot of faith in the lab.

HUH?

I have no expectations as to what the lab will do, good or bad. They've done a lot of both in the 4 years I've been here.

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