Ebbe Altberg: looking back at his time in Second Life, Sansar and Linden Lab


2014

Ebbe Altberg was announced as the new CEO of Linden Lab back on 5th February 2014 where he mentioned that he was absolutely committed to supporting Second Life customers and helping them become even more successful. He mentioned back then that there were significant opportunities ahead and he looked forward to leading the community into the next phase of growth. Ebbe started tweeting about Second Life and answering questions via his Twitter account shortly afterwards.

There was a small invitation only for a selection of Second Life press and I was lucky to attend this meet & greet meeting. It was hosted at PR island in a nice meeting spot just north of the region with Pete Linden and Ebbe Altberg.

Meet and Greet 2014

Ebbe was featured on show 5 of The Drax Files hosted by Draxtor Despres. This was a nice welcoming show with many guests on the show talking about Second Life. Listen here. On 10th February 2014 Ebbe Linden created his Second Life account.

Ebbe attended his first VWBPE event in April 2014 where he talked about the educational uses of Second Life, improving communications and plans for the future of Second Life. Over 200 avatars attended with over 150+ viewers watching via Livestream. Ebbe talked about Second Life terms of service, the metaverse, future technologies, branding and much more.

Ebbe Altberg, Philip Rosedale and Draxtor Despres attended the Silicon Valley VR expo (creating the VR Metaverse) in May 2014. They talked about many topics from avatar portability, intellectual property, identity and privacy along with much more.

Ebbe attended one of the third party viewer meetings back on 20th June 2014 where he announced that Linden Lab was working on a next generation virtual world. The aim was to create an incredible experience and enable high quality creativity.

In late August 2014 Ebbe confirmed on Twitter that official Oculus Rift DK2 support is coming along. He mentioned that Second Life going to get better and keep going for a long time.

In early October 2014 Designing Worlds celebrated their 250 episode with Ebbe Altberg with a 90 minute programme. Saffia Widdershins and Elrik Merlin asked Ebbe about the new platform, Second Life and it’s future. Here are some of the highlights here.

2015

On 10th February 2015 Ebbe Linden celebrated he’s first Rezday in Second Life.

In mid March 2015 Ebbe talked more about the next generation platform at VWBPE 2015 mentioning that it is progressing well and there was 30+ engineers working on it. At this point the lab had only worked on this new platform for about 8-9 months. Ebbe wanted to make land cheaper, he was a fan of strong communities and he wanted to support mobile from the beginning.

VWBPE 2014

On Friday 26th June 2015 Ebbe Linden was interviewed by Jo Yardley and Saffia Widdershins at the SL12B Auditorium. This part of the last Meet The Lindens talks at the birthday celebrations. Ebbe talked about Project Sansar, third party viewers and more.

In early August 2015 Ebbe Altberg and Nick Ochoa met up and discussed Project Sansar. This was a very interesting interview where Ebbe mentioned closed alpha and the alpha phase. Ebbe mentioned that Second Life was south of 1 million active monthly users. People cashed out 60 million dollars in 2014.

In early December 2015 Ebbe Altberg talked about the future of virtual reality on Bloomberg West with Altspacevr founder and CEO Eric Romo. Ebbe mentioned that there is a mass market for VR, it’s going to take a while (next few years) for people to get VR hardware in their hands and Second Life cashed out 60 million dollars from creating virtual experiences in 2014.

2016

Ebbe revealed some new screenshots of Project Sansar back in early February 2016 showing examples of what environments (Mars & the Moon) can look like inside the new platform. The community had very mixed feedback on these screenshots. Ebbe mentioned that it takes a few hours to create a multi user VR experience with Project Sansar.

In early March 2016 Ebbe Linden talked about Second Life at VWBPE 2016. Ebbe mentioned that Second Life performance was continuing improving, quality and stability was improving. The lab was working on new avatars and new web on prim. The lab was focused on creators for the rest of 2016 and that general amiability would come at the end of 2016 for Project Sansar.

In late October 2016 Ebbe showed off the first demo of Sansar on stage during Wall Street Journal’s Live conference in Laguna Beach, California. This was the first video demo of Sansar (1min/51secs) showing new footage of the next generation platform which was due to open to the public in January 2017.

In the first video demo of Sansar Ebbe Linden is showing the audience how easy it is to grab things and move virtual furniture using with the Oculus Touch controller. Ebbe Linden talked about how users will be able to create, buy and sell virtual goods within Sansar. Ebbe said that food is a tricky thing in VR and that there will be a currency/marketplace. Ebbe Linden finishes by saying that Sansar is was in the creator preview phrase and that hundreds of creators have been invited so far and the roll out will continue right into Q1 2017.

2017

In late March 2017 Ebbe Altberg had a hour long conversation with Kevin Feenan at the 10th annual VWBPE conference about education in Second Life and the education possibilities that could happen in Sansar. Ebbe mentioned during this conversation that Second Life is the most successful virtual world ever made to this day and that Second Life is a successful product/profitable product. In terms of Sansar he mentioned that Sansar will be another platform to explore and that Sansar would enable you to do things you cant do in Second Life.

2018

Ebbe Altberg at VWBPE 2018 in mid March 2018. He talked about VR, Second Life, Sansar, education, land prices and much more. There was no major announcements this year to mention but rather small updates. The attendance was pretty good for both inworld and online numbers. A few Lindens made a special appearance at the Main Auditorium.

Ebbe Altberg attended the special Town Hall event in late April 2018 which lasted for 1 hour and 42 minutes. Ebbe talked about the future of Second Life and much more.

In mid June 2018 Ebbe Altberg and Philip Rosedale was featured on the Second Life 15th birthday video. Ebbe in this video was speaking from Amsterdam and he mentioned that 68 million US dollars was paid to creators in 2017. 5 million virtual goods listed in the marketplace and that Linden Lab are moving massive amounts of infrastructure into the cloud. There was a special surprise appearance from the founder of Second Life Philip Rosedale where he mentioned that Second Life 15 years later is still going strong and that Second Life is the most successful virtual world out there today.

Ebbe Altberg town hall meeting on Thursday 13th September 2018 talking about Second Life.

2019

Wagner James Au interviewed Ebbe Altberg for 45 minutes at Linden Lab HQ in San Francisco in March 2019. They chatted about efforts to grow new user growth, land discounts, the upcoming mobile companion app, cloud deployment, improving performance and much more relating to Second Life. With Sansar they chatted about the low usage numbers since the beta launch, Sansar’s long download times and efforts to optimize Sansar.

Ebbe unveiled his brand new special Ebbe Linden bear during the 2019 SL Christmas Expo in early December 2019. This was a one off L$250 donation which went to the American Cancer Society.

2020

Ebbe and Grumpity went through the 2020 roadmap for Second Life on Lab Gab back in late February 2020. Ebbe announced that Linden Lab was no longer supporting Sansar and that the focus will go on Second Life along with Tilia.

In mid March 2020 Ebbe Altberg posted a message on the Second Life official blog about the situation with Coronavirus and Second Life operations. Ebbe mentioned that Linden Lab saw an increase in new registrations and returning residents. The blog post mentioned that Second Life will continue to be available without interruption as we get though this tough time together.

At the end of March 2020 Ebbe then appeared on Lab Gab episode 19 with Brett Linden to talk about the health crisis and more.

Ebbe attended SL17B in June 2020 and had a great live conversation with Saffia Widdershins. Ebbe mentioned about the cloud uplift to transition all of the Second Life services from the co-location data centre used by Linden Lab to Amazon AWS cloud services. Ebbe mentioned education, the second life economy, the roadmap, the sale of Sansar and more.

In early July 2020 Linden Research, Inc announced it signed an agreement to be acquired by an investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager. This will become a new chapter, an new opportunity and another expansion for Second Life along with Tilia. See the official press release here.

“We’re excited for this new chapter to begin. We see this as an opportunity to continue growth and expansion for Second Life and our money services business Tilia,” says Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg. “We’re grateful for the ongoing support from our community, business partners and investors. Now more than ever, there is increased recognition of the value and utility of virtual worlds to bring people together for safe, shared, and social online experiences.”

By mid July 2020 Ebbe Altberg and Brett Linden responded to the company’s acquisition. There was a huge amount of mixed responses on the news on Twitter and on the Second Life forums. Most Second Life residents were worried and concerned about the future of Second Life.

2021

Ebbe Altberg last made an appearance inworld I believe at Oz Linden retirement event earlier in 2021 around February. Ebbe appearance has been very low during the first five months of 2021.

Ebbe Altberg Twitter account was rather quiet then usual after November 2020. There was some activity in mid April 2021 though. Ebbe did not do a speech at VWBPE 2021 back in March 2021 which I thought was rather strange.

Patch Linden announces that Ebbe Altberg CEO of Linden Lab passed away on Friday 4th June 2021.

What were your memories of Ebbe Altberg/Ebbe Linden ? Please share in comments. Thanks!

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