My FEAR is that he is working for Second Life, in a way or another. I had this suspect since Cosmik stalked him (WTB SEARCH FUNCTION!).
Spotted by Ubiq:
I am glad you think of me as enlightened. :) We will be announcing our startup in the next couple of days, and when we do, believe it or not, I hope you’re among those who are interested.
While I’m very curious I keep hearing in my head the voice “not for the gamer”. Sigh.
It’s like two factions at war for predominance. And I’m definitely on the “gamer” side.
Anyway, after one year wondering I have some anticipation.
EDIT: Cosmik is right (comment here below). The new company is named “Areae”.
He is NOT working on Second Life. He is building HIS OWN:
What matters is what it means: many places, many worlds.
Areae, Inc. is a company dedicated to taking the tired old virtual world and making it into something fresh and new. Something anyone can jump into. Something where anyone can find something fun to do or a game to play. Something where anyone can build their own place on the virtual frontier.
We’re working on some new tech that will literally change how virtual worlds are made. We’ve got a cool world or two incubating on the back burner.
We want to make sure that putting you guys first is something that is in Areae’s DNA from the very beginning.
(from jobs page) We’re all about having fun while doing great work, a real collaborative environment, openness with the community and real respect for community members. We’re making the next gen of virtual worlds — and it’s not what you expect.
If you’re interested in revolutionizing virtual worlds and online gaming, we want to hear from you.
We’ll be running quiet for a while — check back in a few months to see how far we’ve come.
This is coherent with what Raph wrote from the beginning. “The game of games”.
I have to say that the way he is “selling it” is fascinating. Instead of saying much he is just teasing the curiosity with a site with a simple layout and incisive choice of words. Straight to the point and very, very effective.
“We’re definitely working in the virtual world space,” says Koster, but adds that though “there will absolutely be games involved, I would say that we are disruptive. We’re doing something different. We’re trying to reinvent how virtual worlds are made, how customers are treated, how they’re accessed, how the business models work, pretty much everything.”
Koster says that the seed of Areae was planted as soon as he’d left Sony Online Entertainment. “In a lot of ways,” he says, “this is something that I’ve been dreaming about doing for a long time. But we’re setting forth now, the company is funded, we’re venture backed, and we’re out there hiring. It’s pretty exciting.”
“We’re not talking too much about the business model yet,” he says, “but the way to put it is that we’re really looking to bring the qualities of the web, especially of Web 2.0, to virtual worlds. There’s a lot of things wrapped up in that – everything from very low-end user costs for being able to participate, lots and lots and lots of listening to users, having them involved, having them contribute.”
What he is *actually* doing is not important. For the next six months we’ll just discuss how you pronounce “Areae”.
EDIT: Since I got linked I’ll copy over the “meatier” comments I wrote on the forums. At least there’s something more to it.
I like a lot the “words” on the site, but I don’t like much the way my brain guesses what he is doing.
On Gamasutra he says that he’ll do something that is different from EverQuest as it is different from Second Life.
He says that the players will build content.
He says that there will be some sort of “metaverse” from where you access different kinds of games.
He always repeated that he wants something that requires almost nothing to download.
He says the business model will be different.
The point is to take all those hints and de-dignify them, translate them in common language that would probably remove much of the “magic”.
It can be a portal or an aggregator, but in this case there are already other examples.
If it’s a “platform” then the point is to build tools, scripting languages, engines and so on. But that would be Second Life again.
He probably wants to make something much simpler than Second Life and that everyone can jump in. Something that doesn’t require you to read instructions. Easy to get into.
Maybe less tech-savy and more game-y.
Jayce: When did this turn into a “beg and carp for a job” thread?
More concrete details right from “the producer”. And Raph himself gave it the best coverage.
I knew he loved the teasing.
Where Game Meets the Web”
On a browser?