Jump to content


  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Contributors to this blog

Two Important Updates on 2011 Land Pricing

Nelson Linden


In February of this year, we shared our 2010 land pricing plan where we discussed pricing and policies for private regions and  addressed grandfathering, transfers, and retail pricing. In the spirit  of giving you as much advance notice as possible about changes that may have an impact on your plans and budgets, here are two important updates on 2011  pricing:

1) All retail private region maintenance, including grandfathered pricing, is expected to continue without increase through Dec. 31, 2011. 
What you pay now, as a retail customer, is what you’ll continue to pay through the end of 2011.

2) We will adjust how education and non-profit advantages are provided, effective Jan. 1, 2011.  
All  education and non-profit private regions of any type, purchased after Dec. 31, 2010, will be invoiced at standard (i.e. non-discounted) pricing.  All currently discounted renewals which occur after Dec. 31, 2010, will be  adjusted to the new price at that time. To continue to provide  entry-level, private spaces to educators just launching their programs,  we will be providing Homestead and Open Space regions to qualifying  organizations without their meeting the retail full-region criterion. Customer Support will be available to answer any questions that you may  have about these changes.

We  hope that these announcements help you effectively plan for the coming  year. And, we’ll continue to update you well in advance of any  additional pricing changes.


Recommended Comments


I am afraid I must correct you, at the risk of bursting your bubble. Using the results of this survey as a basis of your claim that 20% of SL's audience has some sort of disability is simply erroneous! 

Second Life is NOT what is referred to with the term: Casual Game. Without getting technical, the term refers to games such as Bubble Shooter, found at http://www.bubbleshooter.net/ and other (often) web browser based games. Commonly they require very little commitment from their audience, deliver almost instant gratification and does not have a steep learning curve.

The article Gentle refers to can be found here: http://www.infosolutionsgroup.com/pdfs/disabled_gamers.pdf

A definition of the term "Casual Games" can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casual_game

Link to comment

I would be willing to bet that LL makes a profit off of those "large land owners" even if they are paying discounted prices.  From a purely business perspective a company would rather risk losing some non-profits, education sims of which they probably lose money on than risk losing a greater number of customers that have profit producing sims.  Remember LL is a for profit business and they have to cover the increase in their business costs too.

That being said I am not saying I dont understand the viewpoint of those here who oppose the increase but I am able to view this from both sides.

I am curious though why 1) an educational institution as stated above that is implementing a tuition increase cannot sustain the effect of an increase to their sims as that would probably be less than .01 percent of the money from that increase.
2) I dont understand why in this economic climate, the employees, professors, etc. of that institution feel they are automatically due a raise every year.  There are many employees of non educational companies that are just glad to keep their jobs at whatever their current salaries are. My guess also is that the "student fees as mentioned cover any increases in those activities.  Put the shoe on the other foot, if LL didnt increase the tiers would it affect the LL employees from getting increases or would it help keep LL from having to lay off even more employees? 

Dont all of you bash me at once......as I said I am trying to look at this from both sides.  I personally do have the ability to view positions from both sides even if I do disagree with the LL decision to increase the tiers for you all.

Link to comment

Also, to all of you considering those "alternative" grids.  Keep this in mind, that those low sim tiers are probably only introductory pricing and will also increase after the introductory/beta periods.  So what I am saying is if you budget for those lower costs, you will again have to increase your budgets at the time those introductory/beta offers are discontinued.

Link to comment

Yanni wrote:

"1) an  educational institution as stated above that is implementing a tuition  increase cannot sustain the effect of an increase to their sims as that  would probably be less than .01 percent of the money from that increase.

2)  I dont understand why in this economic climate, the employees,  professors, etc. of that institution feel they are automatically due a  raise every year. "

I'm not sure where you get these data...source please? At my school, even in good times, those with badly subpar annual evals for teaching and research--and we are a teaching-intensive school where it counts--got no raises.

I can only speak for my school re: tuition increases. We have a huge and lavish physical plant to maintain (and that students and parents demand in the free market of higher ed for schools like ours).  We have mandatory and generous health benefits for all full-time employees. We offer need-blind financial aid to great students, up to 100% of need. Salaries are not the biggest part of our budget pool.

Most of my peers at other schools are facing budget cuts, furloughs, and even layoffs (if non-tenured). Our faculty got no raises last year, and we are a relatively well funded school that did not suffer much in the downturn: other schools lost 50% or more of their endowments. We lost about 20%.

My school at least is trying not to cut student services. Elsewhere, it's a nightmare for faculty, staff, and students.

Ask anyone in the Cal State system about what is happening.

My nephew, a tenured full professor at VA Commonwealth, saw his microbiology classes for med-school-bound seniors bloat from 40 students (who did papers and projects) to 200 per section. He could only manage multiple-choice tests because he lost all graduate help. They have had no raises since 2008 and stopped hiring new faculty for a full year.

That is modern higher ed in America. It's being dismantled by State Houses with an agenda, and even private schools are cutting back. So check the current state of education before you slam us; my colleagues put in 60+ hour weeks for less pay than they'd make in the private sector. Our budgets have been trimmed 5% in each of the last two years, as costs increase.

Thus, no money for a "frill" like SL. We'll go fund out of pocket or get OpenSim funding now, if we can.

I'm glad, in a sense, that LL cut the discount. It forces us to invent and prove our worth to assessment folks. I'm confident we can.

Link to comment

BTW, Ignatius, I have not much more than magazine articles, or books or even movies to make an idea about U.S. educational system. But I can witness how it has changed in the most of EU, that should have a way more established concept of welfare state. Well, after the fall of U.S.S.R the european leftwing has mostly  disbanded and generally speaking EU politics tuned to neoliberal - in the european sense, i know that liberal is something somehow lefty in U.S. but for sure not in the good ol' EU - and the "schools, medical care, the state itself is like a company" refrain started, and settled thanks to a) the media being controlled by people that shared or was bought by this philosophy b) the complete disgregation of the leftwing not only as political party, butr as a point of view.

a student said in a tv show "school has to be a business? it's ok if I'm paid to learn greek"

I know that my political views are not very popular in the U.S., but i think that educational system shouldn't have a damn in common with a business. It is the ground where the society grows up. But at the end here people cry because school doesn't work and vote who destroyed our welfare state. what i'm saying here is yes, is a shame that LL has to raise fees - even if this is not  completely true - for educational sims, but the origin of the problem comes from so far. to summarize in a post is beyond my ability as a ESLer. I hope something I said is understandable. If not just don't mind.

good luck

Link to comment

@Yanni writes:

Also, to  all of you considering those "alternative" grids.  Keep this in mind,  that those low sim tiers are probably only introductory pricing and will  also increase after the introductory/beta periods.  So what I am saying  is if you budget for those lower costs, you will again have to increase  your budgets at the time those introductory/beta offers are  discontinued.


mmmm... prices are not going to go up for a while.  It's going to be a wild west competitive space for the forseeable future.

The best comparison is to look at what people pay for ISPs and Web Hosting.  Sim hosting is not going to get too far adrift of that.

Observe history, folks :-)  Look at the AOL days of being a large walled garden, and what happened after that as people migrated to ISPs and web sites.  There are many parallels.

The one thing I would caution people on.. dont go for the cheapest alternatives.   Someone running too many VPS instances on weak hardware for $10 month would be a red flag.  Too much of that will give people the perception that something is wrong with OpenSim -- when in fact the problem is cramming too many servers into too little hardware on the back end.

Link to comment

Yanni Hinterland  says                                          in response to                                            Yanni Hinterland:

Rockerduck Bogdanovich  says


not to advertise i, but i have been there today and believe me they will be in beta for long time

I looked around before Emerald was banned, it was the only viewer my machine would run that could get in. I landed in a small city type sim, there were not very many islands around on the world map that I could see, I won't try to guess the number it would likely be wrong.

I noticed big lag right off and lag is the single most annoying dam thing there is, because you can't do ANYTHING when it takes "5 minutes" for every move, 15 minutes for everything to rez, and waiting 15 seconds fo rthe forward arrow to actually start moving you forward and when you see you are moving you find you are now half a sim away from where you were.

Link to comment

Over a barrel, um like LL has some over a barrel.  Naw we just pack up our toys and move on again.  there are lots of choices now springing up which leads to a good amount of competition for business.  Gone are the days of "if you want to play you have to pay this high price to do".  Thank God too.


I had some lag issues too, till I moved off the main tp in area then I was great

Link to comment
@Doggie - . Once   everyone is all nice and moved, transferred everything, and built up  entire sims, networking and friends, they got you over the proverbial  barrel and could easily charge $295 for  a sim.

You don't know what you are talking about.

Lay off the reply button, research, and come up to speed before spouting such nonsense.

The fact is, SL is the walled garden where you cant easily backup your own work and move somewhere else.

The fact is, with OpenSim it is easy to back up your work and take it elsewhere.

The fact is, with OpenSim there are multiple providers, and HyperGrid, and the situation is much closer to current ISPs and Web Hosts.

There is as much lockin in the OpenSim scheme of things as there is lockin with a company web site.  One takes their asssets, their domains, and they move.

Link to comment


the fact is that the same issues i have in opensim grids i have in my LAN where  opensim is not running on a low end machine as you seem to suggest, and i'm the only one logged in there.

the fact is that virtual worlds are by constitution a niche product and 100 empty grids are just empty grids with a bunch of buildings no one cares a damn but the builder. to spread 1000 people in 50.000 sim doesn't multiply  them. They are still 1000 people.

the fact is that the golden pot at the end of rainbow is empty mate and blue lagoon was just a  bad movie. But yeah freedom is also let people go if they want to do so, then good luck. take care and have fun in your lost paradise.

Link to comment

Bucky is correct. Doggie is barking up the wrong tree.

With the ability to export entire builds and port them into any OS grid, it's a no-brainer why we educators are going to migrate. And increasingly, we have the knowledge base on our campuses to host our own grids.

Just as we do Apache servers. It's called back to the future. Right now, it's 1993. I'm sure AOL users thought they were cutting edge, too.

@Rockerduck, there ain't no paradise. That's an ancient myth in a bunch of holy books or a modern one in Conde Nast Traveler.

But there is a captive audience (students) who like to use simulations for education. Frankly, in my experience, they enjoy it more than writing another paper. And if they don't use the sim after a class ends, so what? Education has too long been focused on retaing users for LL to pump for money.

Goodbye to all that.

Link to comment

I beg to differ;

inworldz for example;

grid status
total users 18757
users online 174
total regions 617
lets take a look at those 617 regions currently online;  at 295.00 a pop per month;  that equates to $182,015.00 per month; not in LL pockets anymore.
Link to comment

That there is no paradise we agree entirely, both in a metaphysical sense and in a metaversal sense.

best wishes to you and your colleagues. I reckon it's not easy.



Link to comment


more or less the same  for me. Unsit didn't work and have been stuck in several islands. i stood there  a couple of hoiurs to understand, but  it's the same opensim i yet knew.



competiton for business. LOL m8. I happily believe that it works well for you (or you would be a masochist should it work like it works for me). Look if one thinks that VW are a market similar to ISP and networking market - believe this old european commie - you are going to be disappointed. you will enjoy a superbowl but without the crowd. have fun anyway

Link to comment

There is a lot of focus on whether "SL is better" versus "some other grid is better", as well as for overall costs -- whether SL is cheaper versus some other grid host is cheaper. That focus detracts from the main salient point that some organizations, who are cash strapped and/or who have established IT departments, will find useful: there are options, right now.  Particularly for the organizations that are bringing their students/clients into the 3D world and providing them services there rather than those who are getting their students/clients from the 3D world. The "open" solutions are in beta and are behind SL, but they are noticeably speeding up and already provide a couple of bells that SL does not. As I suggested in an earlier post, organizations affected by the price increase, at a minimum, should host an in-house "open" grid in which all building would originate (to be ported to SL), so that dependable back-ups can be performed.

SL is further along in functionality, physics, stability ... and in particular, participation ... by a long shot.  It is behind in that it is isolated and there is one choice for accessing its features. A resident can lose its entire assets (particularly anything purchased) and investment of resources anytime the rules change, when pricing changes, if the company goes away.

Those terms and conditions are fine for people like me. I use the platform strictly for entertainment and I think it is incredible. However, because of those risky terms and conditions (we have all recently had occasion to re-read the TOS), for as long as SL remains isolated I will never depend soley on SL for a commercial or professional venture.


ETA: I forgot to mention, I also tried Inworldz and found it intolerable. Keep in mind that that is also a closed grid, no hypergrid support. On the other hand .... I set up a region on an open grid .... found it much more manageable. Still experimenting though.

Link to comment

Thanks, all. I think you've successfully covered almost every angle on this above -- and kept it very civil to boot! Thanks, all, for a productive discussion. I know Linden comments were scarce in this thread, but we were definitely looking in, and we're grateful for the feedback. I'm going to close the thread at this point, and we'll be on the lookout for more conversations in the forums.

Link to comment

Great shot against all kind of edicational stuff in SL.

Sorry, i just dont understand your business politics anymore.... You WANT People to leave?

You know, i would love to have a homestead, but no way i would pay for a full Region at THOSE prices first, other grids are just cheaper in that, so what dies Linden have, at PRESENT the biggest grid, do you want to keep being the biggest? Then i would rather make the ground fruitful for educators to set up camp, rather than drive them away.




Link to comment

I totally agree to dropping the rule of having to own a full sim first before you can purchase a Homestead for EVERYONE, especially after these alterations. There is a recession going on, and homestead is what most people can afford only, if at all So actually it would mean selling more land, to people that may use it to later expand to full sim. That would be in everyones interest, including Linden Lab, since many are selling full sims not being able to afford them anymore. If it had been the other way around from the start Iwould own a full sim by now, given the opportunity to develop at a lower cost! That way linden Lab as well as consumers can ride out the economic crisis much better, in my opinion. Waves, back to providing content.....

Link to comment

I understand the problem educators face with budget problems but even the regular person is being affected by these policies. I have rented many sims in SL and if i have to go look at my bank statments  I have pesonally spent a couple of thousand just in sim rentals never mind about purchasing items or tipping for services has anyone else noticed how the population that they used to put on the login page is no longer there. I think they dont want us to know how many people have left Sl because of the economy so they have to make up the difference by charging the rest of us more. They must think educators are cash cows ( wow talk about dillusions of grandure ) and not being able to get help even when i was a premium member or worse the person i was talking to sounde like they were speaking from a scripted page.  

1) dont be so greedy LL

2) lower your costs to rent or own land

i am starting to wonder when the patent rights to Sl expire

Link to comment

  • Create New...