Linden Lab, developer of the virtual world Second Life, has announced that it has acquired two web-based virtual goods marketplaces trading in Second Life items -- Xstreet SL and OnRez.
According to their announcement, these acquisitions are to allow Linden Lab to "reach a broader global audience for Second Life in 2009", and will consolidate the two marketplaces on the Xstreet SL platform to offer a single online shopping source for users.
For the immediate future, Xstreet SL will continue to function as it has with "only minor changes," while OnRez is remain active for a few weeks to give customers and merchants an opportunity to migrate their accounts and product listings over to Xstreet SL.
Similar to e-commerce sites for real world goods, Xstreet SL provides an online catalog, where Second Life users can browse, purchase and sell Second Life-related virtual goods and services, as a complement to shopping within the world.
In 2008, Second Life users purchased and sold more than $360 million USD in virtual goods and services.
"Linden Lab is expanding its footprint in the virtual world industry through four major initiatives – localizing the Second Life experience in key markets around the world, simplifying the ‘first hour experience’ to broaden consumer adoption, enhancing the platform for enterprise users and building our virtual goods marketplace," says Mark Kingdon, CEO of Linden Lab.
"Content creators and merchants are pillars of the strong Second Life economy. With these e-commerce acquisitions, we will now be able to offer content creators and merchants an opportunity to substantially improve their businesses, while enhancing the Second Life experience for all of our residents."