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Linden Lab's New CEO

BK Linden


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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Now invest in upgrading all your servers to modern multicore systems and reduce your operating expenses so that you can LOWER PRICES and become a much more competative MMO platoform. Or you'll all be destroyed by the plaforms like UDK witch are getting cheaper and better every release.


Fix the interface for Veiwer 2... this is a MMO interface, not a facebook GUI. Keep to your core company princibles and start making SL easier to use for the clients, especially the ones who are paying you teir and fundign your operation.

Streamline Streamline Streamline...

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It has been awhile, but I am still around.  Welcome and best wishes on your new endeavor.  If ever you want advice from an oldie and many more who have known and experienced SL for many more years than the others posting on here, I would welcome the opportunity....

Here is to you and and 2011...


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A quote of the thread: "Why do peopel hate SimCity Societies?" from http://www.tiltedmill.com/forums/showthread.php?t=24290

The actual main reason why Societies got a bad reception is because the  vice-president of EA in charge of the Sims division, a certain Rod  Humble, came to the largest Simcity 4 fan site to announce Societies.

(snip for space, but read the article and responses...)

Just to sum this up, the answer to your question basically is...

Rod Humble.

I would be curious to ask Mr. Humble what he took away from the SimCity Socities experience. I note that SimCity4 (published 2003) is still selling on the shelves at the local Wal-Mart for $10, and the $20 "SimCity Box" with SimCity Societies ALSO includes SimCity4 prominent on the box. SC4 has a thriving enduser mod community, and you can read up on it at simtropolis.com. Rod may have been more PR than anything to do with the development of Societies, but given how EA turned down input from the SC4 fan community that keeps that 2003 game fresh to this day, I'm very curious to know if Rod would have comment from that period of EA ignoring the fan community and turning a beloved game into a "simple puzzle for the masses".

I really do not wish to see the same thing happen to Second Life. And years later, there is still a great deal of negative vibe in the SimCity fan community for EA and Rod Humble associated with "Societies". Perhaps Rod has learned the value of listening to an involved fan community, perhaps accepting what that community has done to incorporate their work into a better product.

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Welcome Mr. Humble! I wish I had seen this before going to church and starting holiday celebrations but your upcoming staff enjoys dropping bombs and then fleeing for the weekend (or in this case longer)!

Hopefully you will read the comments above with interest and take notes. Let me echo some of the most important:

For most residents, SL is NOT a game. I am certain that your background will be a valuable asset in the development of the platform but every day start by saying. "This is not a game, these are real people."

Customer service should be your number one priority walking into the position. The viewer 2.XX debacle, lack of help desk assistance, and search malfunctions are just a few items that need fixing under the umbrella of customer service. Currently the majority of SL users are NOT satisfied with service and are currently looking hard for alternative platforms. Competition will come so you will be fighting the clock on this one.

As you become 'familiar' with SL in-world, remember to manually set your viewer to accept adult content so you don't miss the 1/3 of the platform that has 2/3rds of the activity!  If you would like a tour guide please let me know and I will be more than happy to accompany you.

Finally, simply lead. Take charge of the ship and get it in a direction your customers want to see. Hire a good public relations officer to make professional statements (before 5:30 PM on a Friday and then fleeing for the weekend), edit staff announcements (so LL does not look silly or hypocritical), and oversee the Lab's (lack of) public image. Finally, hire someone to oversee the in-world economics of SL who understands the impact of decisions such as the elimination of gambling, banning the banking system, forced sequestering of adult content, free Linden home rentals, SLMarket Place, etc. This is, of course, if Linden Lab's goal is to maintain a viable economic system and not reduce it to a pay-in only 'game' like Farmville.

Good luck! As I state in all my posts, remember that the first rule in Second Life is to have fun! Love and peace!

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Best of luck to ya!!  Welcome!!  We're all looking forward to the changes and improvements in our World here man!!  Count me in on the exciting and wonderful things to come man!!

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Impressive resume indeed.  With all his experience, let's see if he can fix the lag issues and/or the issues with all the viewers. I'm not hopeful however.

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I told this to Phillip when he came back, and I am saying it to you Rod Humble (assuming that you are reading this blog): There are three main issues at the moment:

  1. Lack of long term strategic direction.
  2. A load of long overdue overhaul of the many unsolved technical issues that have been reported but not addressed.
  3. Addressing "the culture of Linden arrogance" that has (real or just percieved) been established.

I will not pester this blog with an exhaustive list here, but I will be happy to contribute (if asked) to make Secondlife the great place it can be. We have had too many "rabbits pulled out of the hat" lately from Linden Labs. The support system is completely broken down, I have unadressed (important) issues from September (and I have a premium account). I've had my account put on "administrative hold" without warning, without any response from LL as to why, and in the end it turned out it was done "to protect myself against possible hacking" - 3 weeks after the incident that caused the concern happened. No wonder "Linden" is now almost a curseword inworld. Work WITH - not AGAINST your key citizens.

Once a long term strategy is in place, it must be comitted to and communicated so the citizens can adapt their actions to the strategy, and do so with confidence.

Welcome onboard!

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First of all welcome to Second Life Rod.



Ann, wow that was an amazing video. I like how the technology is out there today to just drag and drop 3-D items into the world and cross platform sharing of your inventory. Hopefully Second Life can tear down the walls of segregation join the hypergrid. This would be a badly needed breath of fresh air for Second Life.

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Welcome Rod!

imho: the #1 problem to solve currently, that drives away more newbies, is the pitiful server speed and latencies (waiting up to an hour or more for a burst of data to allow rezzing of the world).

Who in RL would wait 10-20 minutes to enter a store for shopping? Who would wait 2 hours for a wedding to Rez, and still have it not finish? Newbies see this kind of responsiveness and say, "No way!" and leave.

SL should offer a premium-bandwidth account which provides 3 Mbps, low-latency (low-delays per packet burst) for US$15 per month; non-subscribers would be limited to 300 Kbps...

This would mean that shop-owners would see their "monied" customers be able to shop realistically, and would put more investment into SL. It would also show those with "free access" a real reason to pay LL on a monthly basis.

It would also cover the costs of the additional servers required.


Good luck, and may you have low-lag in your new office.

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As someone profoundly interested in the arts, I find the addition of Rod Humble to our family to be a ray of hope for our future. Welcome to this universal community, Rod!

The written word, the music, the graphic arts - and so much more; this is SL!

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Welcome Rod, to our little virtual world.  With the wreckage LL has made of SL the past 2 years, with the bait and switch tactics, loss of confidence in the platform and people deciding that "investing" here is pointless without ownership, you truly have your work cut out for you.

I wish you the best of luck once you have gotten your feet wet.  I truly do.

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SL WAS a virtual world.  We used money and we owned our property, both IP and virtual land.  But then LL said we didn't have money, we had tokens.  And we didn't own our virtual land anymore either.  This was the stupidest move I have seen LL make -- who in their right mind is going to spend a few K$ for virtual land that they don't even own and can have taken away by LL for no reason whatsoever?  Invest?  Here?  I'd get more for my money going to Vegas.

SL is now a game.  And before you get huffy about it, note that it's LL which turned it into a game.  If LL cannot take it seriously, then they cannot expect the rest of us to take it seriously, either.  It used to be a virtual world -- that has now been ruined by the lab itself.  And even if the lab reverts back to us having "money" and "ownership" again, the potential for the lab to change its mind in the future will always be in the back of every customer's mind.

Smart move LL; killing the goose which laid your golden eggs.

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Remembers The Sims Online....but more importantly the truely aweful way that game ended at the hands of EA.  Like Second Life/Linden Lab; Maxis was very special on it's own once too.

So Ron how long before we all get timers and end up wetting ourselves and looking embarrased?  Oh wait that would be the future of your new employees.

The grid will merge on 12/31/10 Game Over.

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Wish you all the strength and luck at LindenLab.

Looking forward to meet you, to brainstorm, to innovate, to debate, to co operate with you and to explore this great Virtual World.

most kind regards

JoJa Dhara

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