RealTime IT News

Google to Kill Off 'Second Life' Rival

Google Lively
A Google Lively room
Google said it would shut down its three-dimensional virtual experience Web site, Lively, by year end to focus more on its core search, advertisements and applications business.

The company said in its blog it supports experimentation but added: "We've also always accepted that when you take these kinds of risks, not every bet is going to pay off."

Lively, which features real-time virtual world characters known as avatars and three-dimensional graphics to congregate in virtual rooms, was launched in July to match Linden Lab's popular Second Life.

Second Life, which debuted five years ago, was the first online community with its own currency and growing economy. In addition to cultivating a sizable consumer user base, Second Life also has increasingly become a tool for enterprises looking to recruit or communicate with the public.

Google generally focused on the consumer and socializing aspects of the technology, however. The company had worked closely with Arizona State University while developing the Web site in a project that had been widely rumored for some time.

"Between now and the end of the year we encourage you to capture all your hard work by taking videos and screenshots of your rooms," the Google blog post said.