Monday, February 20, 2012

Linden Lab Acquires Game Studio LittleTextPeople

On February 16th, Linden Lab announced they had bought the game studio LittleTextPeople, a maker of interactive fiction adventure games. The press statement informed, "Linden Lab will grow its digital entertainment offering by launching several new stand-alone products this year. Now part of Linden Lab, the talent and technology of LittleTextPeople will support the development of these new forms of interactive entertainment"

“It’s an exciting time to join Linden Lab as they prepare to roll out entirely new types of social experiences and products,” said Emily Short, Chief Textual Officer of LittleTextPeople. “We look forward to building tools and technology that will allow people to create their own stories in interactive mediums that have never existed before.”

“LittleTextPeople brings a depth and breadth of AI and interactive story development expertise that is a great fit for Linden Lab as we launch multiple new products,” said Rod Humble, CEO of Linden Lab. “The result of this investment will be a new type of digital entertainment that modernizes the novel as a shared story-telling experience.”

LittleTextpeople was c0-founded by Emily Short and artificial intelligence specialist Richard Evans. Evans was on the team of the Sims 3 game, and worked on the game Black and White, "LittleTextPeople explores the gameplay possibilities of nuanced social interaction. The company’s core technology is a simulator able to model social practices and individual personalities. Combine the simulations with the expressive freedom of fiction and the result is gameplay that more closely resembles the rich emotional dialogue of a novel, rather than a fight scene in an action movie."

Blogger Tateru Nino, a fan of Emily Short, commented, "this is actually where I start bouncing up and down and going “squeeeeeeeeee!”" stated, "Humble’s smart move to diversify the company shows his understanding that the world is not the same as when Second Life launched almost a decade ago. ... the mobile and social game ecospheres have evolved, which while less flexible than the Second Life sandbox are drawing the attention of legions of gamers." Hamlet Au thought this acquisition was what Rod Humble meant in December when he talked about Linden Lab branching out into new products, "What this means in terms of actual products to come from the marriage of Linden and LittleText is still unclear (and insiders were mum when I asked them last year), but given the background of Evans and Short, I think we are bound to see some very innovative products soon." Of Richard Evans and the Game "Black and White," Hamlet wrote about them after the game came out.

So just how soon will Linden Lab come up with these new products? Time will tell.

Sources: Linden Lab,, New World Notes

Bixyl Shuftan

1 comment:

  1. I think this type of action was inevitable with the new CEO in place