VastPark ‘vs’ Second Life: is it really a contest?

vastpark Serge Soudoplatoff is a French entrepreneur and VastPark investor I had the opportunity of spending a morning with on his recent Australian visit. He has written an interesting piece comparing Second Life and VastPark from an IT architecture viewpoint. There’s not a lot to disagree with, but I do wonder whether VastPark is going to gain the momentum it needs to ensure its arguably superior architecture gets the widespread adoption it may deserve.

It’s an increasingly aging comparison, but it’s like the VHS vs Beta days – in the end it comes down to popularity and in that respect, VastPark currently isn’t in the game when compared to Second Life. The test for the underdog is to secure that first big win in market share – it’s a strategy I have no doubt is being explored by VastPark in parallel with the very methodical approach to development displayed over recent years. Not that it should be a linear competition: it’s the ability for any company to offer a highly interoperable platform that’s likely to have ongoing success.

Additionally, I don’t believe VastPark see themselves in the ‘keeper of the world’ role that Linden Lab occupies. In that respect, Metaplace is probably a better comparison, with the end-user purchasing a world and using the supplied tools and plugins to create. Second Life certainly has content creation at its core, but Linden Lab also run the ‘government’ and economy, with the myriad of ramifications that has. VastPark will no doubt have it’s own terms of service, but I’d be surprised if they don’t have a different focus than Linden Lab’s.

Without wanting to sound like a fence-sitter, both VastPark and Second Life have incredible things to offer. Hopefully both will provide key components for an ever-improving virtual worlds experience. The only certainty is that neither will do it on their own.

Comments

  1. I'm not sure if it comes down to popularity because popularity follows addressing functional need(s). If VastPark wants to be popular, it needs to address the concerns of content developers currently gripping about the limitations of Second Life (which now seems to include IP rights and better integration with professional 3D development tools).

    “it’s the ability for any company to offer a highly interoperable platform that’s likely to have ongoing success.” Highly interoperable–is the diffusion of technology caused by adoption and immitation. This phenomenon brings the cost of that technology to consumers, rapidly to $0. Companies offering technology for no cost don't do well on that model unless they find other sources of revenue that leverage the wide-spread adoption. Even Second Life is not trying to be the cure-all for interoperability, they see no long-term financial success there. Last I saw, Linden Labs was trying to figure out the “platform as a service” for interoperability rather than be the one giving it all away for free. Smart.

    If VastPark isn't the one creating the highly interoperable standard, than someone else is in control and VastPark is just a member of a larger network effect. Consumers always benefit the most from this scenario, participating companies get a much smaller part of the pie.

    I too hope that more companies and efforts force Linden Labs to continually raise the bar. If another company is able to pass LL with their virtual world offering and steal away a large portion of Second Life residents, more power to her!

  2. VastPark ‘vs’ Second Life: is it really a contest?

  3. VastPark ‘vs’ Second Life: is it really a contest?

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