As she is wont to do, Tateru Nino has come up with another great story, albeit a sad one for those involved. Linden Lab have laid off a significant number of staff. Putting aside the obvious human impact of decisions like these, it’s certainly not a great look for a company already struggling under the stereotype of being a passed fad in some sections of the mainstream media.
What does it mean? As Tateru says in her piece – it’s not a sign of Linden Lab’s demise, but it’s definitely a sign of a company about to do one or both of two things: batten down the hatches for a lean time or create a leaner beast that becomes attractive for sale or acquisition. Either way, Linden Lab continue to have some significant challenges. There’s not likely to be direct admissions on causes for the latest round of staff losses, but factors such as OpenSim uptake, static user levels and less media coverage all have to be biting.
As usual, expatriate Aussie and virtual worlds observer, Skribe Forti, sums it up nicely:
One potential issue that LL and SL may have is that in restructuring the world to move it away from the ‘Wild West’ – brothel and casino on every corner – to a ‘Your mother would approve’ business environment they may have created a solution to a problem that only a few have and thereby potentially killed the golden goose. Too early to tell however.
There’s certainly a stark picture being painted – I’m still pretty confident that picture isn’t done and that there’s plenty of colours still to be added. It’s just determining who the painters will be in the months to come that is difficult.