Linden Lab, the developer behind online virtual world Second Life, recently announced that a successor is in the works. The game will be in the spirit of the original and although some things may transfer over, the game isn't being built with backwards compatibility as a requirement.

According to a statement on the matter, the next generation virtual world will go far beyond what is currently possible with Second Life. Despite the fact that Second Life is a niche product, it still has an active user base of nearly a million people.

The game has been updated over the years to remain relevant in terms of performance but there's only so much you can do with a platform that is 11 years old.

CEO Ebbe Altberg told TNW that building a new world is a massive project. As such, they've had to hire an additional 40-50 people to help with development.

Second Life faithful don't have much to worry about as the development team isn't giving up on the original. The game still has many years ahead of it and in addition to improvements and new developments specifically for Second Life, the team said they think much of the work they do for the next generation project will also be beneficial for the original.

A beta is expected to launch sometime next year with the final version shipping in 2016.