Second Life is more alive than ever, despite what you might think. In June, the “original metaverse,” as many people call it, will turn 20. Its creators plan to celebrate in a big way. It’s the fact that Linden Lab said the platform would have a mobile version and that it plans to launch the beta version this year.
There are two strange things about the news. First, it proves that Second Life is real, even though it has mostly been a niche alternative in recent years. Second, this is the first time in almost 20 years that the virtual world will be able to reach mobile devices outside of computers.
Linden Lab talked about their plans to bring Second Life to iOS and Android devices in a video that was posted on their official forum.
The pictures in the book are definitely from a work that is still in progress. But they stand out because of how well the avatars are made and because of the different scenarios you can explore.
This isn’t a small thing, especially since the developers said that making the characters and environments look and feel the same on mobile phones was the hardest part of bringing the platform to mobile phones. There hasn’t been much said about the technical part. It has only been said that Second Life apps for smartphones and tablets are being made in Unity, which makes the work easier and makes it easier to get the apps on more devices.
As for getting around in the virtual world, the video shows that you can move your fingers on the touch screen to see what’s around you.
Even though there are five white dots at the bottom that let you do different things, if you want to walk with the avatars, a directional crosshair will show up. This movement can be combined with changes in the stage’s perspective.
Second Life is Encouraged to Make the Leap to Mobile Devices
Linden Lab says that they have tried to bring Second Life to mobile devices before. But this is the first time that they are really close to making it happen. For now, the company hasn’t set a date for when the virtual world will be available on smartphones and tablets, but as we’ve already said, it hopes to start testing the beta this year.
For now, there is no way to tell if this new version will work. Or, at least, if it will have the effect that the people who made it hoped it would. At the beginning of this article, we said that Second Life has stayed relevant despite being a niche alternative. This does not mean that it is a platform with no users, though. In 2013, it was thought that there were one million regular users. In 2020, when the pandemic was at its peak, it was still around 900,000 per month.
That’s a long way from the tens of millions of accounts that have been made since Second Life was first released. Still, this is a huge improvement over Meta’s Horizon Worlds, which gets less than 200,000 visitors a month and has a terrible retention rate.
Mobile version of Second Life will be interesting to see how Linden Lab handles it. We can probably guess that the goal is to let current users take their favorite virtual world with them wherever they go without being tied to a computer. But for this to work, it will be important that the platform syncs progress no matter what device is used to access it.
The big question is how interested potential new users can be in Second Life. Will it attract users who haven’t been interested in Horizon Worlds, Decentraland, and many other proposed metaverses? Once the first beta version of the app is out, the questions could start to be answered.