A notice on Techcrunch said: “Google Kills Lively” Well, that’s says almost all about the state of 3D virtual worlds. This is not a bad sign at all, but a misjudgment from Google’s side - Second Life & Co would be easily put under pressure through Lively. But this was - obviously - not the case.
Such virtual worlds work similar to Social Networks: once in there, it’s difficult to manage a change to another world because of your long and hard investment into your avatar(s). And to keep avatars and your networks up and running in more than one virtual world is a time-problematic challenge. Like Google has difficulties to get even close to Facebook and others on the SNS front, it’s even more difficult for them to come close to existing virtual world plattforms. Now it will get much more expensive for them to penetrate this market: they proved themselves and everybody else in the industry that the existing plattforms have an immense value (compared to the costs of development, maintaining and marketing a new virtual world).
SecondLife and others may look at this more relaxed now. But: users won’t tolerate any stop into the technological development or increase in fees (like SL tried in the past). My guess is that Google will try to push any buttons to enbale a mobile avatar - a technical standard which would enable to move with your avatar from Second Life to There and to - hoops - Lively. We observed this patern already in the field of social networks.