Microsoft and Some Virtual World Rumors

Over at Virtual Worlds News, an article titled “Microsoft Buys Vivaty For New Project, May Be Looking For More” indicates that Microsoft has purchased the defunct virtual world of Vivaty.

Virtual World News reports:

It turns out that Microsoft is the previously unnamed company that acquired Vivaty, a virtual world competing with Second Life that went out of business in April. The terms of the deal remain undisclosed but Microsoft definitely paid less than $75 million, according to Microsoft Managing Director of Corporate Development Marc Brown.

ZDnet is reporting that Microsoft is making acquisition overtures to a variety of companies involved in the social gaming and virtual world sectors (including Linden Lab). Microsoft was rumored to be in talks to purchase CrowdStar earlier this year, though no deal went through.

The dominant theory regarding why Microsoft might want to develop its own virtual world ties in with its Xbox Live platform and its success with virtual goods sales.

ZD Net Reports

This week, there is a new rumor swirling that Microsoft might be sniffing around Linden Lab, the company behind the Second Life social-gaming platform that was the darling of many a tech company a couple of years back.

Microsoft isn’t commenting on the Linden Lab report, but I’ve been asking around and hear from my sources that Microsoft may have made overtures not only toward Linden Lab, but other social-gaming vendors lately. The word from my sources is the Softies are not simply talking partnerships; they’re talking outright purchase.

This could be interesting, is Microsoft after something related to the xBox as the Virtual World News article indicates or is this more of a corporate play? We know Microsoft has a good relationship with ProtonMedia on the corporate side so my guess is that this is more consumer focused.

And, does the rivalry between Google and Microsoft mean we’ll see another virtual world play from Google just to keep up. Interesting how “serious” software companies are now starting to look “seriously” at virtual worlds and social games…maybe there is something here after all…something we’ve known for sometime.

Posted in: 3D worlds, 3D worlds lrn3d, industry

Leave a Comment (4) ↓

1 Comment

  1. Vast Talent Elearning October 15, 2010

    While it will be great to see the big hands get themselves into the Virtual World, I think for Microsoft it is quite unlikely at the moment with WP7 just released and there are already too many war-zones (Apple for mobile, Google for search and web-app, Firefox for browser, Oracle for database, Sun (Oracle) for software development, Linux for OS)….

Karl Kapp
  • About
  • Contact