May I have a price break, too?
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?