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Sadville founder lays off 30% of staff

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It's a particularly sad day in Sadville.

Linden Lab, the startup that founded Sadville, has laid off 30 per cent of its staff.

According to the company, this is part of its effort to move Sadville into the web browser and out of its downloadable client. "Today's announcement about our reorganization will help us make Second Life even simpler, more enjoyable, relevant, and engaging for consumers starting with their first experience," reads a canned statement from Mark Kingdon, Linden Lab CEO. "It will also enable us to invest in bringing 3D to the web and will strengthen our profitability."

The company also plans to extend Sadville into "popular social networks" — which can only mean Facebook and Twitter. "Ultimately, we want to make Second Life more accessible and relevant to a wider population," Kingdon said.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Linden said that it will combine its product and engineering divisions and consolidate them in North America, and that customer support will be "reconfigured to provide more scalable services".

Rumors indicate that the company has closed its Singapore office, parted ways with the head of Sadville Germany (its second largest market, apparently), and removed the entire staff that build Sadville Enterprise, a standalone version of Sadville for use by, yes, businesses.

Linden is headquartered in San Francisco, and it also runs an office in Brighton, UK.

Last year, Linden execs claimed that the company was profitable, but it would appear that the Sadville economy is now in recession, and such virtual shrinkage means real shrinkage for Linden. Linden pulls in most of its revenues from Sadville land-maintenance fees, fees from the "Lindex", where Sadville residents trade currency, and the sale of Sadville currency, known as Linden Dollars. ®

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