Android virtual world whips Second Life

You may not have heard of them before, but tiny Japanese software house Eitarosoft is on the brink of something very big that threatens some very comfortable giants in the business.

The six-year-old Tokyo firm has just released a video showing its new virtual world software called Lamity running on the Open Handset Alliance’s Android platform.

Expanding horizons

While creating something as polished as Lamity appears to be on the new mobile OS is an achievement in itself, the real breakthrough is in the number of simultaneous users each virtual ‘town’ can accommodate.

Intense processing demands mean market-leading virtualities like Second Life can handle just 100 visitors in one area at the same time, but Lamity quadruples that to 400 powered by nothing more than a standard handset.

Best of all, NTT DoCoMo – Japan’s leading mobile network – will next week start offering a licensed Java version of Lamity for use by a chunk of its 50 million plus customers – money in the bank if ever there was.

Easy advertising

With an eye on commercialising the in-game environment, Lamity can pull in and correctly format the websites of sponsors or advertisers for viewing within the virtual environment, meaning there’s no need for specially created (and expensive) advertising.

Eitarosoft’s Eri Tokita (you can see her demoing Lamity on video here) told us of even bigger plans: “We are also planning to distribute the service through T-Mobile in the US, [as it] will have Android devices by end of this year.”

Although she couldn’t be drawn further on the T-Mobile plans, the news that the mobile giant is committed to Android is a clear indicator of a bright future for both the Google-backed OS and for Eitarosoft.

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.