How do RP sims break even?

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Since I am very interested in RP and currently live on a family RP sim, I couldn't help but be curious of the running costs of a sim. Having done some research, I can't help but wonder how RP sims even manage to break even.

A full non GF sim with an upgrade to 30,000 prims has a monthly fee of \$325 or around L\$81,000 at the current exchange rate.

Even if you rented out all 30,000 prims (not realistic) at a rate of L\$2.5 per prim, you'd still only bring in L\$75,000, leaving a shortfall of L\$6,000 or \$24.00

Which beggars the question, how on Earth do sim owners even break even?

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@Ikonn Giano He's the man, not sure if he'll respond, but he is one to know about that information.

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Many of them don't.  A lot of the sim owners simply pay the excess amount out of pocket simply out of their love for the RP.

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3 hours ago, brodiac90 said:

A full non GF sim with an upgrade to 30,000 prims has a monthly fee of \$325 or around L\$81,000 at the current exchange rate.

well, for your 30K example: sell @L\$248 = L\$80,600 * 12 / 52 = L\$18,600 a week  = L\$0.62 a prim/week.

GF20K = US\$195, so sell @L\$248 = L\$48,360 * 12 / 52  = L\$11,160 a week = L\$0.55 a prim/week

A lot of it can be on homesteads too.

US\$125 non-gf sell @L\$248 = L\$31,000 * 12 / 52 = L\$7,153 a week = L\$1.43 a prim/week

GF = US\$95, so sell @L\$248 = L\$23,500 * 12 / 52 = L\$5,423 a week = L\$1.09 a prim/week

Family RP sims will want around 20-25% for deko, and you should only count on 75% tenancy (with a lot of work). You will be adding a little each month, but you will have a home and estate (and a lot of work)

edit: Notice that I multiply the monthly figure by 12 months then divide by 52 weeks? that's because there are not 4 weeks in a month. 80,600/4 = L\$20,150 where as it's L\$18,600 when you do it properly.

Edited by Callum Meriman
Math fails

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Agreed that many to most do not. SOME however do by incorporating rental units with minimal prims (like 50 for \$3 or \$4 a prim --or more). If it is a very nice place and some are, then the cost works well and the sim stays full so far as rentals go. But RP folks are sometimes fickle so there is no way of knowing if "paying your way" will be a long term thing. So best not to count on that.

Edited by Chic Aeon

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7 hours ago, brodiac90 said:

Since I am very interested in RP and currently live on a family RP sim, I couldn't help but be curious of the running costs of a sim. Having done some research, I can't help but wonder how RP sims even manage to break even.

Simply put, in order to give the best experience and a quality place to live we don't.

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With my former account, I was on quite a few RP regions from May '09 through Dec '15. Gor, Medieval, Fantasy, Urban, what have you. However: To my knowledge, not a single one of these RP regions managed to break even - not even those which had an OOC platform with a themed mall around. A few managed to get half the tier back through shop renting and donation jars, but most regions and parcels I've played on have not been so lucky.

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I own a community in SL called Cedar Creek and we continue to make profit but it takes time to get to that point. You wont be able to make profit right off the bat. If you would like to know more you can contact me in-world. I will give you one helpful hint; dont purchase the land from LL you are actually losing money that way its cheaper to rent from a real estate company.

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On 24/02/2018 at 3:38 PM, animats said:

The mandatory tourist trap in the name of access control

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On 2/24/2018 at 5:41 AM, brodiac90 said:

Since I am very interested in RP and currently live on a family RP sim, I couldn't help but be curious of the running costs of a sim. Having done some research, I can't help but wonder how RP sims even manage to break even.

A full non GF sim with an upgrade to 30,000 prims has a monthly fee of \$325 or around L\$81,000 at the current exchange rate.

Even if you rented out all 30,000 prims (not realistic) at a rate of L\$2.5 per prim, you'd still only bring in L\$75,000, leaving a shortfall of L\$6,000 or \$24.00

Which beggars the question, how on Earth do sim owners even break even?

Prims in rentals are rented usually per week, not per month. The cheapest end is around 2ls/prim/week which would make around 240 000 k L\$ per 4 weeks, if you had every prim rented out. This is by all means completely impossible, as a rp sim in order to attract people and have rentals, must use the majority of the prims for decorating the sim itself.

In order to break even, you would need to set aside at least 10 125 prims for rent. (10125 x 2 L\$ x4 ), and if you rent out around 100 prims per rental, that would be  around 101-102 rentals. There are some limitations in rental box systems, in how many rentals there can be per parcel, so i'd say it could be varied up and down a bit, in order to bring it under 100 rentals.

Assuming you have full occupation in housing.

For each of those 100 rentals, you will need to spend some Li to have an actual building to let. 30- 100 Li depending on what it is. So only about 10 k prims to spend on making the sim itself, and whatever winning you have done with getting lower Li houses, you will need for future events etc.  It's not a lot to build a mesmerising sim with, that keeps at least 100 people engaged enough to pay for a rental.

So no, the absolute majority of roleplay sims don't break even, by a long shot.

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Running an RP SIM is and can be an almost full time job, you yourself end up not getting to participate a lot of the time. Best advice is have a plan, research what makes other RP SIM's successful, what are they missing that you can add to give yourself the edge. Put up a Donation meter where people can tip and donate in a few key places on the SIM, Provide Vending that will support any needs they may have, Clothing, perhaps weapons, and miscellaneous props. Use the profits if they are profit sharing Vendors to funnel back into the SIM and tier. Plan and host activities on weekly, to monthly schedules. Yes a lot of people anymore want to be entertained like so many new persons that come to SL anymore. You are going to need ambitious and dedicated persons to help you run a good RP SIM. They are your council and you need to meet with them at least monthly. Look at the numbers share important info how you measure up to other places that could be your competitor. Be new be innovative be flexible, be open to new idea's, keep communication open in your SIM group as to what is going on, and where things are going. It is a lot of work. BUT if you are willing to invest Time, Money, Time, Friendship, Time, did I mention time? If people see you willing to put in the effort they might too. I dont know if this will be helpful or not I hope so.

Roary McGillivary

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Which beggars the question, how on Earth do sim owners even break even?

We don't.

Pretty much any 'roleplay' sim that claims to break even or better, other than from the generosity of its players, is a themed rental sim (or, occasionally, a paid-sex sim). Some of us run malls, or rentals; some (mostly adult) RPs charge joining or member fees; all of us beg from our players (and any & all visitors). But, at the end of the day, the people (not groups; sims aren't owned by groups) listed as 'sim owners' are paying the tier out of their own pocket. They may have SL businesses that subsidise the sim tier(s) - I know a few who do, running rental sims or successful shops - but we're personally liable for those tiers, whatever happens to our SL or RL.

How do I know, since I'm just one owner? Well, wearing my other set of horns as New Citizens, Inc's instructor in Roleplay (plug: class at noon, every Sunday, NCI Beach campus), I visit a lot of RP sims, and get to talk to a number of owners, admins & players - and more pass through my class. Lifestyle or storyline, event or immersive, para or bullet, sci-fi or fantasy or modern, combat or carp or conventional, English or Japanese or German or Russian... the variety of roleplays SL supports never ceases to amaze me. But every owner has the same concerns: how to bring in new players (to replace those we inevitably lose), how to handle disruptive players, how to keep the drama in the roleplay both fresh and out of the communities we manage (although 'manage' might be a misnomer!), and, above all, how to pay next month's tier...

So, whenever you visit a roleplay sim, and you like the build or the people or just the concept, please give generously!

Vee, demon; owner, Gianfar Peaks of Pern roleplay (find us on Kuma sim!)

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9 hours ago, Varian Altney said:

although 'manage' might be a misnomer!

Is liek herding cats?

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In most cases they don’t and never will. Not everything on SecondLife is about breaking even. Many own RP sims for fun. Split the cost between a few people or get back some of it via rentals and it’s can end up being the cost of a few nights out. I have broken even or turned a profit on every RP related parcel I’ve had but only because I have managed to make enough in sales to cover my costs.

I current have a small (very small) marker where I offer rentals for close to nothing because I make enough in sales from my own stall there that I do not need to worry about getting money from rent.

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On 16.3.2018 at 6:11 PM, Love Zhaoying said:

Is liek herding cats?

more like herding fleas.

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4 hours ago, ThorinII said:

more like herding fleas.

Fleas on cats perhaps?

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Roleplay sims pretty much are funded by people who “just love Roleplay”.

If they can defray some of the expense via rentals or a mall area - that helps; but donations from Players and Owner funding are probably the biggest method for keeping them afloat.

Note- I am talking about Roleplay sims and not the specific Sexplay sims - which monetize better.

The inworld economy takes something of a hit when a RP sim fails - as RPers also tend to be shop-a-holics, so I personally think the owners of RP sims might benefit by a little Linden Lab generosity. This is unlikely to happen as it would be hard to regulate.

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As stated previously; RP sims are funded by people who love RP, my group has two RP sims that are funded by 4 people & managed by approximately 10 GMs, that manage & run the day to day activities. There are ups & downs, but rentals & store locations don't even make a dent in monthly expenses. Running & maintaining RP sims is expensive work, you have to constantly update to stay relevant & not to mention builds & furnishings. We don't break even or even turn a profit, but it's all done for the fun of the RP; everything else is secondary.

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Some roleplay sims operate at a technical loss but are however funded by an existing SL business. I've known of a few such places where their primary source of income is an inworld and/or marketplace store possibly even unrelated to roleplay sim itself other than sharing the same owner. Others do sell to their patrons, whether it might be weapons for a combat system they are using or vehicles used in modern day RP sims that operates a police station and emergency response RP. Some do rent mall space to creators who might sell clothing and accessories consistent with the theme of the RP sim.

I believe for the most part that just about all roleplay sims are a labor of love which people hope might bring in enough in rental fees and donations to offset most of the monthly tier bill. I haven't seen very many where the business model was about profit and not the actual roleplay itself.

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