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LINDEN RESEARCH, INC. TO BE ACQUIRED


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35 minutes ago, Lewis Luminos said:

I don't think we'll just wake up one day to an announcement of SL's closure. There will be signs before then; whether the recent development of SL is continued or not, whether changes are put on hold, whether anything new is being developed. @Maitimo mentioned Bellisseria; I think that will be a good indicator too. If they stop releasing more homes that will be a good indication that they are doing nothing more than keeping the grid in tick-over mode until they can offload it to someone else.

It is amazing how people with no knowledge and no business skills at all just make up some *****. Why would it be a good indicator if Bellisseria will no longer be developed one day? It is just one tiny part of Second Life. And once demand has been exceeded they may start a new project. - I stopped developing our open water section back in 2014. By then I had 150 regions. In the meantime I aquired 3 large estates in Second Life and my land holdings are 4 times bigger now.

Since I started with 4 tiny rentals back in 2007 there wasn't a single year in which no crash prophets predicted the end of Second Life. I am here now for 13 years. We have seen good times, we have seen some bad times. Today Second Life is stronger than it was ever before. The land market is the best indicator. Visitor numbers are up by 100 %, sales are up by 60 - 80 %. Go and try to find a full prim region for rent or sale. Even mainland is getting rare. Marketplace sales are up too. Stores in world are selling more items. Second Life is doing well.

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Good day, all! Just jumping in to respond to a few of the comments... A few folks are speculating that this is the end of SL and nothing could be further from the truth. Any talk of dismantl

SECOND LIFE IS DEAD

In all seriousness -- this really really is a good thing. We’re excited for the opportunities it presents and we’re rock solid sure of the bright future of SL. And with that… NFC    

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5 minutes ago, wesleytron said:

It would be even dafter to keep adding homes once demand has been exceeded.

Indeed, although I understand there's still a genuine shortage -- folks keep trying and trying to get whichever configuration they want. At the same time, though, they face a temporary hardware shortage while they complete Uplift, so pausing (or slowing) Bellisseria roll-out might make sense -- unless some Nervous Nellies dump Estate sims and free up hardware for more Bellisseria. 

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1 minute ago, wesleytron said:

It would be even dafter to keep adding homes once demand has been exceeded.

Clearly, yes but we're not there yet unless SL is murdered intentionally. So unless they're planning on breaking SL up and selling all the bits off for spare parts, then there's absolutely no reason it cant keep growing.

Given the large numbers logging in during the whole Wuhan virus thing - and LL running out of land due to unprecedented demand as a result - then it would seem a bit silly and premature to start talking about shutting down housing development at this stage.

Homes in SL are part of what draws some people in -  knowing that for a monthly fee, they can have a place of their own to park their avi and decorate as they see fit, pretty much without restrictions. 

The whole world loves home decorating, after all.  

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Qie Niangao said:

Indeed, although I understand there's still a genuine shortage -- folks keep trying and trying to get whichever configuration they want. At the same time, though, they face a temporary hardware shortage while they complete Uplift, so pausing (or slowing) Bellisseria roll-out might make sense -- unless some Nervous Nellies dump Estate sims and free up hardware for more Bellisseria. 

Some of the "shortage" is artificial..oldbies like me, abandoning our old Linden homes, and getting Bellisaria homes (or trying to get them). LL essentially created "new demand" with Belli.

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I have visited Sansar and Sinespace and they are far from having SL's capabilities. For example, as far as I could see they have no Animation Overrides so people stay idle or with a basic animation, the scripting is also very limited.

If Sansar and Sinespace wanted to provide SL-like features then they would have to go through a lot of pain and testing because when you add features then things may gone wrong, and with SL we have been through that, for example LL has put throttles in place to prevent the servers from being hammered too much. Perhaps will they add these features in the future? Maybe, but they have not crossed the river yet...

It is also a philosophy, whether the devs want or not to give power to the users. It's more comfortable to limit the users to the strict necessary, but that does not make SL.

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14 hours ago, Gopi Passiflora said:

I just hope they won't take away multiple alternate accounts for one e-mail, that's all.

that would not be good i would lose too many textures and group slots that i use on my others to save for my store 

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Just now, Love Zhaoying said:

Some of the "shortage" is artificial..oldbies like me, abandoning our old Linden homes, and getting Bellisaria homes (or trying to get them). LL essentially created "new demand" with Belli.

Oh, for sure, if they could magically convert slices of Mainland and old-style Linden Homes continents into Bellisseria regions, there'd be no shortage... at least not real soon. (I've actually seen another burst of Mainland activity lately, which I totally didn't expect, but that's a crazy fluid market... and anyway, there are vast featureless expanses of some continents that are abandoned -- and deserve to be.)

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4 minutes ago, Ati Thei said:

If SL was doing so good as you claim there won't be need to be sold. It's simple. You don't sell your golden goose... 

It is only simple to simple people. Facebook, google, Amazon keep buying up the most successful companies around the globe because they match their business profile, because investors think that these companies have a lot of value and because they believe in their future and they see their potential. Have you ever heard that one of them bought a company in distress? 

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58 minutes ago, Lewis Luminos said:

So they can make cutbacks, reduce costs, show an improvement in the "bottom line" and sell it on at a profit.

I have a long acquaintance with that type of M&A, and I really doubt that is what is happening here.   Trying that with LL would be high risk, with not as much payoff as is usual, unless they have a buyer for SL already partly committed.  It is possible that SL will be spun off or sold, but I doubt that move would be in the course of the sort of profiteering you're thinking of.

13 hours ago, animats said:

Waterfield acquisition philosophy, as addressed to companies wanting to be bought out:

"The Waterfield Private Equity Fund(s) I, II, & III; as well as The Waterfield Family Office, invest in conservatively run companies with strong free cash flow, proven management, and a platform we believe can add value to the global economic community. We prefer basic businesses with a few years of proven, conservative growth....

This is irrelevant, is it not?  LL is not being acquired by the Waterfield Group, it is being acquired by "an investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager."  I haven't come across a name for this investment group.  It is possible that it was created specifically for this acquisition.

Perhaps Randy Waterfield's personal bio would be more relevant. https://about.me/jrwaterfield

Even accounting for the fact that this bio was written/edited by him, it's impressive for a 47 year old, no?  But it is hard to see what his personal interest in LL would be, unless it is in Tilia as an international micro-transaction platform. 

Same with Oberwager - it's easy to see some sort of fit for Tilia with Jyve, a gig economy staffing platform.  But not so easy to see his interest in SL.

That doesn't necessarily bode ill for SL - to my knowledge, SL has had at least one white knight on its board in its rather long history.  Waterfield brings access to bunches of capital, Oberwager may bring another customer for Tilia, which would be a huge boost in its valuation.  It is, of course, possible that either or both is familiar with SL and has bought into its dream, as a world people can escape to and reinvent their lives.

Which brings me to Philip Rosedale, the source of the dream.  Is anyone else wondering what Philip is doing in LL's press release?  His quote is a bit longer than Ebbe's.  His connection is cited as "founder", but that was a LONG time ago.  Probably he still has a considerable financial stake in the company, no idea how diluted it's become.

Seems to me there's more to the story of how this deal came together than meets the eye.

1 hour ago, Qie Niangao said:

 It would be super interesting to know if divesting Sansar was intended to get this result, or (as I suspect) simply the sensible business move, with the natural result: a business worth being bought.

I incline to think divesting Sansar was a precondition to make this acquisition happen.  The layoffs in February, laser focus on the leap to the cloud, same thing.

Edited by Nika Talaj
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15 hours ago, Whirly Fizzle said:

SECOND LIFE IS DEAD

LOL. Again?

"The simple answer is...watch Ready Player One. A company comes in to buy up your wondrous player created virtual brilliance. And suddenly your screen is filled with real world advertising, In- world transactions now lead to out-world products. Imagine going virtual shopping and being asked... would you like these items delivered in-character or out-of-character.

Remember that virtual rent you forgot to pay on your parcel? Perhaps you forgot, the rental company sent you a real-world lease contract. This time you're not just getting your items returned to you. Now you get an actual real-world lawsuit, for potential loss assets to the rental company.

When business people buy virtual assets, they don't care about creativity. They aren't concerned for the social aspects of our interest in hanging out at a digital night-club. All they care about, is milking as much out-of-character cash out of each user...until we stop being profitable. Eventually Second Life simply disappears, and they'll begin hunting the dollars in the user created virtual worlds.

Posted by: Dresdin Valerik"

plus add this: https://www.bloomberg.com/press-releases/2020-05-21/upland-enters-strategic-agreement-with-tilia

and game is done, and not so nice one.

 

 

Edited by Livio Korobase
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6 minutes ago, Vanity Bonetto said:

It is amazing how people with no knowledge and no business skills at all just make up some *****. Why would it be a good indicator if Bellisseria will no longer be developed one day? It is just one tiny part of Second Life. And once demand has been exceeded they may start a new project. - I stopped developing our open water section back in 2014. By then I had 150 regions. In the meantime I aquired 3 large estates in Second Life and my land holdings are 4 times bigger now.

Since I started with 4 tiny rentals back in 2007 there wasn't a single year in which no crash prophets predicted the end of Second Life. I am here now for 13 years. We have seen good times, we have seen some bad times. Today Second Life is stronger than it was ever before. The land market is the best indicator. Visitor numbers are up by 100 %, sales are up by 60 - 80 %. Go and try to find a full prim region for rent or sale. Even mainland is getting rare. Marketplace sales are up too. Stores in world are selling more items. Second Life is doing well.

A product "doing well" is no indication of an investor's intentions for it. Bellisseria has already been put on a temporary hold, they were releasing new batches twice a week and that has all stopped, supposedly because they have "run out of hardware" but this is not entirely the case; there are already a load of SSPE regions already on the grid which have not been touched by the moles in more than a month. The new theme has been announced with not even a hint of a release date.  Halting release of Linden Homes when the demand for them is still so high is already a big red warning flag.

Then again, if this news causes many people to halt their premium subscriptions, they won't need so many new Linden Homes after all.

Mainland itself is not "rare". There are swathes of it all abandoned and if you want some, all you need to do is submit a support ticket and Linden Lab will sell you what you want at L$1 per square metre. They'll set it up to sell to you in about 24 hours. That's how I got my current mainland.  What IS rare, is someone wanting to offload their mainland being able to successfully sell it at any price. So they give up and abandon it.

 

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Is there really demand for linden homes, though? From what it seems to me, it's mostly people who already have one trying to roll a location they like more.

The notion of SL being "stronger than ever" is categorically untrue, also, but...

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2 hours ago, Qie Niangao said:

Who do you think owned it before? Why would this be any worse (or, really, any different, except maybe this new lot could be actually interested in the company).

It would have been vastly worse to be bought by a (shudder) gaming company. Or a game development studio looking to "acquhire."

Really, the more I think about it, the more I think this will bring very little change compared to all the many "revolutions" that Second Life has experienced.

The buyers expect a return on their investment, and the sellers expect to make more money investing that capital some other way. For investors, tomorrow is another deal.

The lead investor's past investments:

Bradford Oberwager has founded and/or run five tech/CPG companies—Jyve, Bare Snacks (acquired by PepsiCo), True & Good! Snacks, Acumins/more.com (acquired by HealthCentral), and Blue Tiger/Open Webs (acquired by CarParts).

Notice a pattern there?

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4 minutes ago, Maitimo said:

A product "doing well" is no indication of an investor's intentions for it. Bellisseria has already been put on a temporary hold, they were releasing new batches twice a week and that has all stopped, supposedly because they have "run out of hardware" but this is not entirely the case; there are already a load of SSPE regions already on the grid which have not been touched by the moles in more than a month. The new theme has been announced with not even a hint of a release date.  Halting release of Linden Homes when the demand for them is still so high is already a big red warning flag.

Then again, if this news causes many people to halt their premium subscriptions, they won't need so many new Linden Homes after all.

Mainland itself is not "rare". There are swathes of it all abandoned and if you want some, all you need to do is submit a support ticket and Linden Lab will sell you what you want at L$1 per square metre. They'll set it up to sell to you in about 24 hours. That's how I got my current mainland.  What IS rare, is someone wanting to offload their mainland being able to successfully sell it at any price. So they give up and abandon it.

 

The one thing you haven't mentioned is why so many things are on halt, and the main reason for that is that they are up to their necks in work. For once, moving to the bigger office in Atlanta slowed down things a lot for a while. Then they were all forced to work from home due to the COVID crisis. On top of that it's holiday season even at the Lab. I am friends with a Linden who is in charge with mainland development. Over the past few weeks demand for land and other products was so high and also the number of support tickets and requests went through the roof so that they could barely get their regular work done. On top of that, a lot of their human resources are working on moving the Grid to Amazon Cloud. But I understand that right now nobody is interested in reason, as soon as a first one goes off like "OMG OMG Second Life is closing!" all others will join in ... Like I wrote before, I have seen this happening a lot in 13 years and yet, here we are ...  

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19 minutes ago, Vanity Bonetto said:

It is only simple to simple people. Facebook, google, Amazon keep buying up the most successful companies around the globe because they match their business profile, because investors think that these companies have a lot of value and because they believe in their future and they see their potential. Have you ever heard that one of them bought a company in distress? 

Few search queries will  show you failed products that google and facebook acquired. But ...don't do that. It's for simple people lol

Please do your homework, buying distressed tech companies is a common practice. And it's not rare when it doesn't pay out.

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32 minutes ago, Livio Korobase said:

I was asking myself, but sold Second Life, Tilia, Sansar, what remain to Linden Lab?

Sansar has been sold. Linden Lab, who own Second Life and Tilia have been bought.

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11 minutes ago, Jackson Redstar said:

The lead investor's past investments:

Bradford Oberwager has founded and/or run five tech/CPG companies—Jyve, Bare Snacks (acquired by PepsiCo), True & Good! Snacks, Acumins/more.com (acquired by HealthCentral), and Blue Tiger/Open Webs (acquired by CarParts).

Notice a pattern there?

Yeah, when he buys consumer product companies, they get bought up -- because that sector demands scale to gain market presence.

Anyway, I do see @Nika Talaj's point about Jyve+Tilia being a natural fit in Oberwager's tech interests (as opposed to consumer products). And about Rosedale; one might wonder what boards any of these guys have in common.

(Waterfield's bio though, yipes, these finance guys are as fungible as their money.)

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I visited those Academic Campuses someone mentioned earlier. Guess they were put online as a sales pitch to the investors. If you fooled them, good job ;) but honestly right now SL is not a very strong tool for education (I'd know, being a sim owner of an Academy sim where I've tried messing about extensively with education possibilities in SL).

It would be nice to see investment in education tools in SL. You know, maybe bring back the media codec that was removed from the viewer so we can live stream presentations, or work on some interactive media systems. A proper Co-browsing solution on MOAP would be very useful too, so that not only the page url was in sync but also the page content, scroll position, DOM etc.

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12 minutes ago, Livio Korobase said:

and what change for LL point of view? They own nothing in anycase... maybe a partecipation on all 3, but not anymore the owners.

The change is that the previous owners of LL (which, in turn, owns Second Life and Tilia, but no longer Sansar) have sold it to new owners (who now own Linden Lab and its properties, Second Life and Tilia). What the new owners want to do with LL (and its properties, Second Life and Tilia)will become apparent over the course of time. 

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3 minutes ago, Extrude Ragu said:

You know, maybe bring back the media codec that was removed from the viewer so we can live stream presentations, or work on some interactive media systems.

Off topic, but have you used the updated CEF viewers? I think it's just the Linden ones and Kokua at the moment, but they should all pick it up eventually (although there are some bugs, I'm told. Still, works for Vimeo and other stuff I couldn't get to play for years.)

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1 hour ago, Nika Talaj said:

  Is anyone else wondering what Philip is doing in LL's press release?  His quote is a bit longer than Ebbe's.  His connection is cited as "founder", but that was a LONG time ago.  .

/me tilts her head and re-reads the press release.  You know, it's also interesting how High Fidelity shut down, made its VR codebase open, and yet ... oddly, persisted. 

Now it's in Beta with a highly scalable, patented audio platform.

https://www.highfidelity.com/blog/summer-2020-beta-release-come-together-in-high-fidelity

I wonder what other companies will the in the portfolio of this "investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager".

1 hour ago, Livio Korobase said:

Ah, thank you.  I didn't see this before.  So they'd been working on this partnership for months, makes sense.  If it works out, that would make TIlia worth a lot more than it is now.  Also, I hadn't realized that Tilia has a separate CEO from LL (Aston Waldman, also LL's CFO), but of course it would have to.

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