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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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Dear Mr. Humble:

Please don't judge the entire SL community by the first gorean babyfur on a leash that makes a request for more child squirrel-boy sex slave friendly communities. These people are weird. While there are plenty of complete weirdos in SL, there are a good chunk of us who are relatively normal and spill money into SL because we have jobs and like playing with our barbie dolls, not because we're going through a midlife crisis and want to do the intercourse with everything and spill all 750$ of our welfare cheque into SL. While the latter are the majority, the minority of relatively normal people would also like to be heard. The "Normal Minority" have jobs. The midlife crisis people do not. So what we don't make up for in number we make up for in disposable income. Remember this when you make your business decisions.

That being said, don't get rid of all the freaky kinky intercourse stuff that goes on. I can't stand it, but it does feed the SL economy and that's a good thing.  Adult content is very profitable for everyone involved. I figured out my first month here that adult content is the entire reason we can have free accounts. Other people's weirdness pays for the normals to have basic accounts.

Also: basic accounts. Basic accounts are good. The thing is, people don't have premium SL accounts because they suck. If premium accounts didn't suck, then I'm sure myself and a good chunk of people would be glad to upgrade. But they do suck, so we go basic. However, we're not freeloaders.  Sometimes we put more money in than premium account holders. So don't make this pay to play. Ever. I don't know how you feel about the matter but Mark Kingdon was always very focused on getting more people to sign up for premium. Premium needs to suck a lot less before that can happen. Right now it's only perks is that you don't get banned if you're premium and if your avatar is ghosted you can get the region restarted through LiveChat. Everything else either doesn't work, or doesn't work well. So if you're a "premium accounts are important" kind of guy, I'd work on assigning some drones to fix all of the current perks of premium to be cool enough to count as "perks."

I'd also request that we don't PG things up like they tend to be on The Sims. I know The Sims is 13+ and that's why things are kinda tame over on the EAxis BBS, but SL is a 16+ game that started as an 18+ thing. It's full of obscenities. You'll make people cry sad tears of despair if you have it so that people can get banned for swearing on Moderate/Mature land or in the forums. However I fully encourage some sort of gestapo for PG/G regions. With the teens coming to SL, everyone is freaking out. Which is normal, we freak out a lot over here. Anyway, due to this freakout, there are an increase of people walking around nude or in bondage gear on PG/G land to "protest" by toeing the line of what is considered PG and what is not. These people suck and are going to ruin it for the rest of us. It has never been that difficult to take off all "adult" bits and put on a normal t-shirt and jeans to go to PG regions and those people who can't possibly figure out how to teleport somewhere without wearing a ball-gag and sex slave garb with their bits poking out need a big plate of banhammer. We have Moderate/Mature and Adult regions for all that and the fact that there is a very vocal group of people who appear too brain damaged to understand that needs to be dealt with before it becomes something that ends up on Fox News. "Inside virtual porn game 'Second Life' 16 year olds are exposed to bondage gear even inside of their designated PG areas" That sort of deal. I really don't want the next influx of residents to be a bunch of Sean Hannity watching drones. Do you?

I don't really have any gripes other than the whole "make PG land actually PG" thing. I mean, I do but they're not really anything to bring straight to the CEO. More technical stuff I can go complain at one of the code monkies to. I do hope that you make a good go of this. Mark Kingdon was just a big bucket of fail and Phillip wasn't interested much in this place anymore. I don't really know much about you other than you show up at my apartment in Belladonna Cove to give me a computer and I think that's pretty cool.

So all in all, you get a sticker. (Don't want to embed it in the post)

Yay \o/

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Simcity, not TSO, was the start of my infatuation with 'games' based on building instead of fighting. The pleasure of creating, after much effort, a steady state megalopolis remains a high point in my memory. SL in 2005 seemed like Simcity on steroids, and I have remained interested far longer than I ever expected.

Someone with a Simcity genealogy is an inspired choice, and I am regaining hope that SL will once again prosper. Good luck, Rod, and welcome.

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/me gulps

oh oh ea, the game company i like least of all the big ones (for buying up most of the creative ideas/little devolpers, and turning the ideas into a pile of crap) ^^


anyway, good luck turning sl into disney land


gonna watch from distance, just for the giggles

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Welcome in Second Life Mister Humble !

SL is in dire need of... something, to start growing again. The residents are Sl's best asset, you can count on them to help, if you respect them.

Havre fun and take care !

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Marry XMas, welcome then to the boat   im looking forward to see your ideas!


Might i add to the wish to reorganize the Commerce team to something useful?

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Welcome aboard Rod!   Get ready for the roller-coaster ride that is SL (oh wait, the roller coster was in "Theme Park" game ... back in the ancient days of the 90's ! )

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as a long time sims fan, i welcome you once more into my computer mr. humble will you be leaving pc's on our doorsteps here as well?? xD

honestly though, i hope that you will enjoy your time as our CEO and i hope that our meaner spirited residents won't stab you too badly.

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Welcome, Mr Humble. I do hope you can help Second Life progress as it should, since, like may others, I believe Second Life is still not anywhere near its potential.

But, many things need sorting to get closer to its potential, which I guess is why you were hired. So good luck, and do ask around for possibilites, because anything is possible in software. It just takes the right angle to find the solution.

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Great, so he's a new guy. We're probably screwed, since I doubt he has had a chance to try out the second life viewer when it was half decent (1.x). Same goes for xstreetsl.

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Great, so he's a new guy. We're probably screwed, since I doubt he has had a chance to try out the second life viewer when it was half decent (1.x). Same goes for xstreetsl.


Nothing indicates he is only just discovering SL, and 1.x viewers are still available and widely used (including the lab's own viewer 1.23.5).

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Welcome Rod!   And, if you'd like to experience another aspect of SL, come visit some Live Music inworld .. maybe even one of my shows

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Oh, goodie!

This is indeed promising news and much needed for the 1000s of people who are depending on new user growth for SL and to eventually perhaps have log in numbers that IMVU get as a result of the 1000s of adverts on the net.

I hope what ever technical fixes need fixing to allow stability to cope with 100K users online is at least near the top of the "to do" list

Welcome, good luck and Merry Christmas.

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Great, so he's a new guy. We're probably screwed, since I doubt he has had a chance to try out the second life viewer when it was half decent (1.x). Same goes for xstreetsl.


Nothing indicates he is only just discovering SL, and 1.x viewers are still available and widely used (including the lab's own viewer 1.23.5).

"He’s already been exploring and experimenting inworld to familiarize himself"

This sentence implies that, although he's been in world, it hasn't been for very long, since he is still familiarizing himself.

It seems likely to me that, if LL is going to introduce SL to him, they will make him use the latest viewer that they wasted so much effort on, thinking it is so awesome, to give him the "best" impression.

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Welcome Rod,

Looking forward to your perspective on SL.  Just some food for thought: SL isn't a game; there is a real person behind every keyboard; it is a wonderful social network; most of us are not "young" gamers in our twenties ergo why so many of us were disappointed with Viewer2; it has too many bells & whistles that we will never use notwithstanding a huge learning curve that interrupts our activities like working in SL; we are people who want things to be simple so we can connect with friends from other parts of the world and pursue our hobbies in SL.

Good luck to you.  We're happy we have a leader again!  YAY!

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Welcome Rod!  I hope that your time with all of us turns out to be an enjoyable time.  I am thinking that with you added aboard we can move ahead in interactive virtual capabilities ever deeper towards the emulation of actual life.

I am hoping that with you we can also enhance the plausibilities of therapies extending from real life that people can benefit from to enhance and better their worlds outside of SecondLife.  One suggestion would be to assist wounded soldiers with cognitive disorders with all that we are able to accomplish in SecondLife.

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NOT a reply to Whet - this forum drives me mad, technically...

my 2 cents

bla bla bla bla "welcome" - let's wait and see. sl is NOT a bleedin game. a vice-gamer charing a complex world? hm, dunno

eta: reading some stuff above, jesus, it's gettin worse.

game = disneyfication

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Hi and welcome to this wacky place called Second Life do your self a great big favor and  wander in as a alt to your offical Linden av see what realy goes on here before you wounder what the hell you just wandered into. Post regularly and the masses will love ya dont and they wil damn you for ever. Keep all that in mind and you will go far and remember this aint real life its Second Life:)

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It sounds like we will have a new leader who will really "get" Second Life now. What an inspiring bio; I'm really looking forward to seeing what you bring to our world Mr Humble.

YAY for Christmas time hope!

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IN reply to Whet:

Screw your therapies and wounded soldiers and shady charity collections, etc. First off, I don't think LL's legal team covers malpractice. Secondly, no Linden is certifying any sort of degree or other medical paperwork that the AMA might want you to have to perform your fake therapies. Thirdly, this is secondlife, not virtual therapy. I've got a couple buddies that came back with PTSD and a few holes in 'em, and I'll tell ya that staring at a screen full of cartoon porn and soap opera drama isn't helping them cope any, nor is it helping with their physical therapy. More on topic, though not quite... a game designer turn CEO isn't any more qualified to certify you or anyone else in SL to perform such practices, let alone pour their time and effort into making sure it's an available function.

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Rod can you please do something about LL support? There effectively is NO support for technical issues and the way we, your customers, are just totally ignored when we have issues is an abomination. Our revenues from SL are directly impacted but LL clearly doesn't care. Phone support is available for billing issues (ensuring LL gets their revenue) but technical support is held at arm's length. Take this case for example:


It is a disgrace. You are making enemies of your customers. Not a good business model.

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What a great holiday gift to the residents of SL--this good news!  I had occasion to work with the executives at EA and some of their game developers.. and came away with an appreciation and admiration for them.  Probably the most encouraging note in the announcement was the word that he is actively INSIDE SL.. hopefully with an avi.. learning what it's like to live here.

EA has a dedication to quality--and I hope that he brings that same attitude toward clean, glitchfree experiences in gaming to SL.  What a miracle it would be if we could finally see some improvement in the reducing the daily frustrations we experience.

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