Grid Expectations

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May I have a price break, too?

price break

Well, it seem that the whole Openspace thing has REALLY set some people off.  Wow.  I’ve peeked in the forum thread and there was definitely a mob mentality in there earlier; I’m amazed we didn’t see posts like “OFF WITH JACK LINDEN’S HEAD!!111”.  o.o  I can’t help but imagine what it must have been like for Jack Linden, sitting there in his office, the blogpost all neatly typed out and carefully worded, just waiting for that fateful stroke on the Enter key… I wonder if he had any idea just how emotional and angry people were going to be over this?

Since my last post in regard to the upcoming babysim price hike, I’ve had a few more conversations with friends and some interesting points were made.  A friend of mind had observed that there were 13,000 babysims.  Yeah, that’s a LOT.  Making that number even more significant is the number of sims on the entire grid, which I think she’d said was 32,000.  Take away the Linden sims, and that leaves 26,000.

In other words, babysims make up just about half the grid.  Since they make up such an incredibly huge portion of the grid, the question begs to be asked: is the revenue currently produced by these babysims in line with the costs incurred?

In Jack Linden’s October 29th post to the blog, he states “We’re not saying that everyone is abusing resources. We are saying that the use has changed, and continues to do so as people find more creative ways to use them. So the revised pricing is about recognising that change of use and the additional costs and value associated with it.”

Additional costs?  I never really understood what kind of costs are involved other than buying the hardware, keeping it stored in a proper facility, and performing maintenance, and I’m guessing most other residents are in the same boat as me.  Okay, I can understand maybe needing more $ to pay for the physical space for storing the new hardware, and hiring more people to take care of the hardware or possibly paying overtime for existing staff to manage the added burden.  But did this really warrant a 66% price increase?

It was pointed out to me that another very real cost bandwidth consumption.  To put things in perspective, let’s look again at the amount of sims on the grid.  On February 13, 2008 (I would’ve preferred to find April’s numbers but I don’t know where to find that info so I used the wayback machine and this is what I got), there were 12,633 islands.  As of this writing, the Economic Stats page says there are 26,573 islands.  This would probably represent a HUGE jump in bandwidth consumption, especially if people are using their babysims for working and playing house, nevermind the clubs and malls.  I can’t say for sure how much bandwidth is used exactly, but one guesstimate I heard was maybe a terabyte for a babysim with a mall sitting on it.  I tried googling the subject and the most I got was Tateru Nino saying “a simulator can consume a ferocious amount of bandwidth”.

So… in light of all this, I have to concede that I can understand the price increase.  I think Linden Lab could stand to hire some experienced PR; if they’d taken more care with the way that previous announcement had been worded on their blog and had explained a bit more, I’m wondering if people still would’ve reacted quite so angrily as they did.

And, oh yes, that image that I slapped at the top of my post.  🙂  Ever since the babysim announcement, several friends have been faced with the decision to keep their babysims, drop them, or have them converted to full sims.  I don’t know, given the fact that the pricing is being increased by such a drastic increment, you’d think they’d be willing to cut loyal residents some slack and waive a conversion or moving fee, or two… but no, they aren’t.  And yet someone like Barb Carson is getting $100 USD discounts every month by paying grandfather tier rates on Class 5 sims?!

I understand wanting to ‘take care’ of your biggest clients and I know that Barb certainly ranks up there as one of the biggest, but really, if they can afford to give her huge breaks like this every freaking month then surely overlooking a $150 move & rename fee — which pretty much HAS to be done because of the new pricing policy — wouldn’t be too much for Linden Lab to absorb?

November 1, 2008 - Posted by | Real Estate, SL Grid Issues | , , , , , , , ,


  1. This will have a large impact on those older land traders who had the grandfathered tier of 195 USD per sim per month. Those people had it easy the last few years even with the price dump a few months ago and the introduction of openspaces. They could have half of their land empty and still break even over the last crisis but even they had to convert sims into openspaces because they had way to much empty land. Anshe Chung also did this and in a huge way. When you look at the amount of openspaces she has and the amount of them she has for sale (100’s of them) imagine the price impact for her business. The grandfathered tier won’t protect the old land traders anymore like it did in the past so they will have a very hard time to keep their land online and occupied. I also have doubts with all those freshly wannabe land barons who came out of nowhere since the launch of openspaces and got in on that hype, look at them now with their overpriced tiles, if they got a few of them empty they are forced to have 8 or 10 of them full just to cover tier. Then they haven’t even made a single dime on them. No wonder so many are dumping all their land as we speak. It’s rediculous to trade land with such a tiny profit margin.
    I noticed there were people who rented out openspaces with a profit margin of 10 USD, of course those people got tons of clients very fast, 10 lousy dollars in profit per month? What are they going to do now? If they got 1 empty they need to rent out 15 others of them just to cover tier.

    First Linden took away the value of mainland by trashing it, they trashed the in world economy as well (1.5 million USD traded between residents per day? 1 million USD is just to pay tier fees if not more). The previous land crisis caused a huge shift, a massive shift and many people lost a lot of money because of this. Many people haven’t even recovered from this since it’s just a few month ago. Now again a huge shift will happen, perhaps even a larger shift compared to a few months ago.

    It’s a good thing new virtual worlds are coming online like and alternatives to Second Life will be able to offer people an affordable virtual world experience where they won’t get milked for money and more money and more money. As several new grids are coming online as we speak people will have a choice, a fair market will exist, an open market, people will have a choice and will no longer have to expose themselves to the extortion practises of Second Life.

    Comment by William King | November 2, 2008

  2. I certaintly have a comment to this and hell yeah, i m glad someone took time to discuss this on FP! Thank you for this point of view Mel, silence must be heard.

    Comment by Mo Miasma | November 2, 2008

  3. Those aren’t really a price break, in order to have the 50USD grandfathered openspaces you had to pay way more to even obtain them (when they were that price, and later on), some of our grandfathered full sims we paid 2000USD for (the ones we got on auction in the last 2 years and then we have the ones we got before the 2006 price hike).

    So, it’s not really a price break perse to have sims at 195 or openspaces at 50USD a month, it just means you invested more earlier and are getting a larger increase in your monthly fees.

    Regardless, this whole thing is shitty. OpenLife grid turned currency on just yesterday, so I heard. I’m waiting back to get my password reset. I’m so grabbing my items and moving on.

    Comment by kesseret | November 3, 2008

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