Here is a partial list of the many predictions being offered for the year of 2012 in Second Life. Some are serious and well thought-out; others not so much but all are interesting and worth a look.
*7 Important Second Life Predictions For 2012 - Eddi Haskell
Prediction 1: Linden Lab will not be sold or acquired by another company, will not go public, and will remain closely held through 2012. Linden Lab will continue to own and operate Second Life.
Prediction 2: An upstart virtual world, funded or acquired either by a major web player (such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, or Sony) - or other investors -- will not be started in 2012.
Prediction 3: The price of owning and acquiring land will decline by at least 25%. Linden Lab will implement some sort of "transaction tax" to make up for the immediate revenue shortfall.
Prediction 4: Although Second Life will see an increase in usership, concurrency, or number of users online at once, it will not exceed 100,000 users at any time in 2012.
Prediction 5: Second Life's future growth and success will be seen as being tied to two key developments -- first, the development of Second Life as a gaming platform, and second, the introduction of a thin client version of Second Life that can be played on pad-like devices with simpler, touch mechanisms.
Prediction 6: Second Life viewers will continue to challenge novice and less technically-savvy users due to their complexity and non-intuitive interfaces. In addition, lag and performance issues will continue to vex the user base. User growth will continue to be restricted due to the lack of user-friendliness as an operating Linden lab strategy.
Prediction 7: Despite complexity and pricing challenges, Linden Lab and Second Life will leave 2012 in a better position than 2011 in terms of outlook for future user growth, business expansion, and category viability.
*My Predictions for 2012 - Second Thoughts
1. Second Life as we know it will end.
2. Linden Lab will buy out Open Sim or some open sims or hypergrid
3. Linden Lab will make a new product involving a Facebook game with digital content you pay for, or a new system like the LindEx to be used for paying for digital content online
4. SHamlet ne Linden will retire.
5. The Mainland will be closed
6. Crap Mariner will deny that it is happening
7. Prokofy Neva will acknowledge its happening, but keep hoping the deadline will be extended, and work diligently in that Our World, Our Shared Vision caucus well past the sell-by date...
8. Various large sim holders will dump and stampede.
9. Lots of nice girls will keep their sims to the bitter end, but not have the money or the ability to make the transfer.
10. Way, way more people than you think will rush to the Facebook game
11. Way more devs that you think
12. Rod Humble will remain as CEO and Will Wright will remain on the board.
* “2012 Will Be Wonderful.” - Bock McMillan
- SecondLife will still be here, things will improve inworld when Viewer 1 has been dropped
- Linden Lab will remain as owners of SecondLife and their financial situation will slowly improve
- Mesh will... ugh lets wait and see, my answer on this one is 42.
*Loki’s Predictions for #SL 2012 - Loki Eliot
1. Content creators will create the biggest and strongest change.
Is it me or are people forgetting that SL is made by US!. When Rodvik first arrived he expressed that Second Life is OUR world and the most interesting part of it is OUR creative energy. If SL is going to grow it'll be in some way down to us creators and what we build. It's up to us to embrace the tools LL have been working on through 2011 and to use them as best we can to create fantastic places, games, experiences, role-play havens or social environments.
2. Market place will become even easier and more efficient.
The new magic-boxless Marketplace is almost here, allowing anyone to sell their creations on marketplace directly from their inventory. This will hopefully remove dramas such as crashing before deliveries, etc. In-world stores will find it difficult, and I saw some very old stores pack it in this year. It's a changing world, the game is changing just like in the real world.
3. More land will be used to host games and experiences to subsidise tier costs.
It was easy to rent out land for people to set up shops. It's not quite that easy to rent out land to set up micro-payment games and experiences. I still do not know exactly how the new gaming tools will be implemented. Will they be new scripting rules, or will they be options available in build edit or land tools? In any case, from what Rodvik has blogged, the Lab seem to be working on making it easier for you and I to create interactivity in what we make. I
4. SL feed integrated into other SL features.
Currently you can follow people, tag your current location and upload snapshots. It would seem silly to have the SLfeed and not have it tied into the destination guide, or on marketplace. I assumed that LL would simply ad a 'love button' by now. It would also be nice to have a simpler way to 'LOVE' your current location with one click.
5. LL will create a mobile project that allows us to share creative aspects with the mobile world.
Can't really predict what this will be. It's interesting, whatever it is. The last new product from the Lab was a gated business-oriented conference flop and did not involve the current SL user base. What I hope is that what ever Rodvik and his team unveil in 2012, it will thrive on the freedom of creativity the current SL users spill out.
6. Linden lab will fix notifications.
Ok, so this is a HOPE more than a prediction. I hate the viewers' notification system; I think it's dreadful and has been for the past two years. I basically use my email client to store and organise offline notifications because SL Viewer lumps it all together in a tiny corner box and sometimes not at all. It just feels like a broken mess, so I'm hoping LL are working on new ways to present, store and organise notifications from groups, receiving items, offline messages, SLfeeds, etc.
7. Destination guide will have to evolve into something more universal and dynamic.
Currently Linden Lab sees the destination guide as a way to present places of interest to new users. But anyone can see that it is one of the best ways to find a place to visit no matter how many years you have been in SL.
If Linden Lab want people to build and submit more games and experiences, then they will need to create ways to better manage visitors. I can't have over 2000 people arriving at my private region without it causing major lag and a terrible experience. The destination guide will have to change somehow or new users from the login screen will be continuously forwarded to places so full of people they will have the worst first experience.
8. Old users will lose out to those who take hold of new features and brave the lag of progress.
* 11 Predictions for 2012 for MMOs, Virtual Worlds, Social Media - Second Tense
1. Second Life keeps going, marketing as a game. Not much change. 2. OpenSim gets a couple of middleware players coming into the market with a great business offerings and adoptions of OpenSim by business and universities continue to bloom. 3. Star Wars: The Old Republic is a smash hit. 4. World of Warcraft slowly wanes, losing another 2 - 3 million customers. That said, even at 7 million customers, Blizzard's done a fine job of retaining paying subscribers. 5. Diaspora gets bought or majorly funded. 6. Google+ fades away in Google's streak of closing down interesting projects and trying to make everything ad-driven rather than seek additional revenue models for different products. 7. Multi-player augmented reality games catch on, a little. A movie will come out and use one of them for a cool, but under-noticed and under-appreciated ad campaign. 8. Apple continues to lose market share to competitors in mobile and tablet markets, because as easy as it is to point at old Star Trek episodes and say, "Oooh, we should make THAT device!," apparently Steve Jobs was the only one at Apple who forced it to happen. 9. Politicians get hands on with social media for their political campaigns. Building on what exists, politicians will go more and more direct with constituents. 10. The RIAA / MPAA will lose a landmark copyright case, as they've pushed free speech issues too far. 11. Net Neutrality regulations put forward by the FCC continue to be upheld by the courts. Bonus: The world doesn't end because of the Mayan calendar. It's a frigging round wheel calendar; it's mean to repeat, stupid. :)