It's a safe bet to say that this Christmas, Rod Humble received a signing-bonus check in his stocking. Today, Second Life developer-publisher Linden Lab announced that the now-ex-Electronic Arts executive is its new CEO, effective immediately.
"I have a long standing interest in how the boundaries of society and economics change as communications evolve in new ways," said Humble in a statement. "Second Life is unique: it sits at the intersection of virtual worlds, avatars, and human contact."
Prior to his new gig, Humble had more than a little experience with virtual worlds and avatars. As executive vice president of EA's Play label, he oversaw development and publishing of The Sims, history's top-selling PC game series. Before that, Humble was a vice president at Sony Online Entertainment, where he headed product development of the massively multiplayer online role-playing game EverQuest.
MMORPGs are similar to the experience offered by Second Life, which will be the focus of Humble's new gig at Linden Lab. The virtual world has the biggest virtual economy in the real world, with over $150 million worth of goods exchanged in the third quarter of 2010 alone.