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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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Jupiter Firelyte

Aw, that really is a shame. The Minoan Empire is stunning and refreshingly free of terrible sex and sandals roleplay.

Alberik Rotaru

The problem with sim owners monetising their sims is that it would make the grid a wall-to-wall mall. And that, in turn, would make the grid a much less interesting place to be.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

Alas, the link to Tikaf's magnificent video seems to have gotten lost. It's http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0NnXihBDkU and I cannot urge you strongly enough to see it, and to visit the Minoan Empire while you can.

Ann Otoole InSL

/me goes to make a nice wide selection of deadly vknives for bloodthirsty sl creators to arm up with.

Eleri Ethaniel

This just breaks my heart. All these sims that make SL a Virtual Reality, rather than just a chat room with pretty pictures, are going away. I wish there was some indication that LL knew what it was losing.

Hamlet Au

Ack, thanks Melissa, I accidentally deleted the YouTube code, it's back up in there.

Dox Voom

The owner asked you not to blog about his sim's closure.

And so you respected his wishes by blogging about his sim's closure.

And headlined the article "Sim Deathwatch".

Sim Deathwatch.

I'd expect that from the Alphaville Herald.

I'd expect that from Prokofy Neva.

You're classier than that, Hamlet.

(And on a side note, is there any possible way that you could shift the blog index from the left column to the right? It would make reading the site a lot more easier for some of us who like reading your blog from our phones, but who have to read in column mode.)

Saffia Widdershins

I must admit that I, too, was disappointed that you released this news against the owner's wishes.

I appreciate that you wanted to give people the opportunity to visit the sim before it closes - and many people will be grateful for that. On one level, I am myself. However ...

Sometimes sitting on a powerful story hurts. But we should always respect "off the record" if we wish to be journalists who report the news and not force the news to our agenda.

And yes, this is horribly pompous and sanctimonious coming from someone who has a blog that largely exists to promote her Home and Garden magazine and her TV show about virtual world design!

But, like Dox, I think we expect more from you, Hamlet.

On another point, I have seen you argue many times that a land based revenue model is not sustainable for the Lab (as you do here). But then, what would you put in its place? Where should the money to pay for Second LIfe come from? What should the revenue stream be?

Senban Babii

@Saffia
"But then, what would you put in its place? Where should the money to pay for Second LIfe come from? What should the revenue stream be?"

Pay for your account with the option of up to two extra alts associated with it for those who want or need them. Allow for transfer of inventory between those alts. It works for lots of other systems perfectly e.g. EVE Online. Give every paying account a piece of land for them to do with as they wish (with some kind of covenant in place to prevent abuse) including linking it up with other residents to create larger builds. Get rid of all the free accounts (although you may have to incorporate some kind of free trial - but why not make the free trial occur on a "trial grid" or limited to certain areas of the main grid to prevent abuses?) You'll lose a lot of residents initially but once the initial bitching that accompanies any change is over, the majority will settle into a much better and more sustainable system.

Ciaran Laval

@Senban it's way too late to do away with "free" accounts and plenty of MMO's are moving away from subscription towards free to play, plenty of people spend far more than the price of a premium membership every month by purchasing Linden dollars.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

Not to mention that people have so much they're willing to spend on entertainment, so if LL grabs $X more per month, that's $X less that will go to vendors and those who run sims, the latter being the folks we're presumably hoping to help.

Senban Babii

*shrugs*

Let it die then.

I honestly don't believe anything can save Second Life at this point without a massive shift in thinking on the part of both the residents and the Lab. Neither will happen because both parties are too entrenched in their thinking and expectation.

Free accounts only work if the users behind them are spending money. The simple fact is, such spending is being drastically reduced. Speaking in basic terms, the number of avatars that are a drain on the hardware whilst not contributing to the economy is increasing.

*shrugs again*

Alberik Rotaru

What is the evidence that it is too late to abandon free accounts?

Would vendors be better or worse off with lower tier costs and lower revenues. Would the drop in costs be more or less than the drop in revenues? Those are precise exercises in elasticity of demand and it is not hard to do the sums.

And lastly, would the grid itself be cheaper or more expensive to run without free accounts?

Ann Otoole InSL

Even Team Fortress 2 has gone free to play. Premiums there will have capabilities free players don't get. Like a bigger backpack (inventory) and capabilities/stuff free players can't get. Maybe LL needs to limit free accounts to 2000 inventory and charge more for uploads and restrict selling on SLM to Premium. The issue is these would be clamps on existing privs and people don't like stuff being taken away. LL sort of messed up long ago. Like with paying european customers taxes out of LL's bottom line. So what has LL to offer now that they gave away the candy store? What makes LL so special that SL is the compelling place to be given the now growing serious competition?

(BTW limiting inventory will not reduce the overhead of the asset system unless LL wants to risk deleting assets. Unlikely)

To me the primary matter rests on my inventory that LL keeps. I can't take most of it with me. All I can take is what I 100% originally created. If things get worse then I will just drop to basic to keep access to my inventory while dropping costs to zero.

What can LL offer to make me want to spend out of pocket now? The real world economy is not improving and the cost of living irl is rising fast. Discretionary income is fading away and that is all LL can bank on.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

It's been some time, but for completeness's sake: alas, the YouTube video has gone away. The video of the Minoan Empire sim can be seen on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/46612968

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