Google’s virtual world Lively has been seen mostly as a less adult version of Second Life. The company opened the virtual world earlier this summer and it’s just kind of sat there, seemingly destined to become one of Google’s forgotten products. But today at the Austin Game Developer Conference, the company told VentureBeat that it would be opening up Lively to third-party game developers.
That sounds promising. We’re not convinced that Lively makes sense as a Second Life alternative. But a virtual arcade sounds interesting.
Then again, a Lively arcade would still have to compete with other virtual gaming platforms, like Sony’s PlayStation Home, a virtual world for the PS3 that will feature development from the big game makers – EA, Activision Blizzard, etc. And they’ll have to compete with Yahoo!, AOL, and MSN, which all have pretty large-scale game casual game portals. But by combining virtual worlds and casual gaming, the company may be able to find success in an already crowded online gaming market.
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