Nearly two decades before Facebook and others talked about the metaverse, Second Life allowed millions of users to participate in virtual worlds. Now, after all this time, developer Linden Labs has announced that it is developing a mobile version of the game, Ars Technica has reported. A beta version is expected to launch later this year.
In a YouTube video posted on Second Lifein the community forum, the publisher described some details about the mobile app. It is built using Unity, mainly to make it easy to build and distribute the game on both iOS and Android phones/tablets. It also shows some footage of characters and environments and how Linden Labs will try to make it as similar to the board game as possible.
Facebook is struggling to launch the metaverse, but over 73 million accounts have been created for it Second Life to today, and the number of active users reached 900,000 during the pandemic — 17 years after the game’s launch. Typical virtual events include “live music performances, trade shows, fan fiction conventions, book and poetry readings, academic lectures, fashion shows and art exhibitions,” the company said Deputy in 2020
Linden Labs had been working on a VR version of the game called Sansar, but eventually halted development and sold off the rights in 2020. The company said it did so to become “cash positive,” while noting that VR adoption headphones will not come as quickly as hoped. To that end, moving to mobile makes sense, but it remains to be seen whether people will still be interested in it Second Life after all this time.