Second Life, the virtual world that has been a niche alternative for years, is making a big move by launching its own mobile version, 20 years after its initial release.
The platform’s developers, Linden Lab, have announced their intention to release beta apps for iOS and Android later this year, marking the first time the virtual world will be available on mobile devices.
— Second Life (@SecondLife) March 10, 2023
Replicating the Look and Feel on Mobile Devices
One of the most challenging aspects of bringing Second Life to smartphones and tablets has been replicating the look and feel of the characters and environments.
However, Linden Lab has assured its users that they are working hard to maintain the quality achieved in the representation of the avatars and scenarios.
The technical aspect of the mobile version has not been thoroughly explained yet, but it has been stated that Second Life for smartphones and tablets is being developed in Unity, which will simplify the work and distribution on multiple devices.
Navigating the Virtual World on Mobile Devices
In a video posted on their official forum, Linden Lab demonstrated how Second Life will work on mobile devices. The video shows that it is possible to view the surroundings by sliding your fingers over the touch screen.
The movement of the avatars can be combined with changes in the perspective of the scenario, with a directional crosshair appearing to walk with the avatars.
Encouraging the Leap to Mobile Devices
Linden Lab has attempted to bring Second Life to mobile devices in the past but has been unsuccessful. However, the company has stated that they are really close to making it happen this time around.
Although there are no specific deadlines for launching the virtual world on smartphones and tablets, beta testing is expected to start this year.
Will Second Life Capture the Attention of New Users?
Second Life has managed to stay relevant over the years and has a community estimated to be around 900,000 per month in 2020. This is a significant number when compared to other virtual worlds like Meta’s Horizon Worlds, which has a dismal retention rate and gathers less than 200,000 people per month.
It will be interesting to see what approach Linden Lab takes to the mobile version of Second Life, whether it will give current users the ability to take their favorite virtual world everywhere they go or whether it will capture the attention of potential new users.
Second Life has been a pioneering virtual world for 20 years, and the launch of its mobile version is a significant milestone.
Linden Lab has managed to maintain the quality of the avatars and scenarios on mobile devices, and the platform is expected to launch in beta phase later this year.
It remains to be seen whether Second Life will capture the attention of potential new users and maintain its relevance in the years to come.
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