As I reported back in March, Linden Lab has been quietly offering to renew 50% discounts to educational and non-profit groups who've abandoned their Second Life sims over the last few years. And now, the company is officially offering that deal to every institution that qualifies:
Effective immediately, any accredited educational institution or any organization with a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit tax status (or equivalent) is eligible for a 50% discount on private region set-up costs and a 50% discount on private region maintenance costs.
This move entirely reverses the company's 2010 decision to end the 50% discount on educational/non-profit sims, which is generally credited for the loss of hundreds (if not thousands) of sims whose organizations couldn't afford to pay standard tier. This seems like a move to shore up Linden Lab's waning land tier revenue, and the question is, will it help? Spoiler: Probably not, unless Linden Lab can put serious follow-through behind this discount.
In the years since Second Life was in vogue with many educators and non-profits, they've embraced other 3D-based platforms that are far cheaper. Namely Minecraft. (No, not OpenSim, which has usage so small it constitutes a rounding error.) To really be valuable as a tool for educators, Second Life needs to be much more consumer-friendly, and emphasize its value as a high 3D platform that would appeal to educational groups which need that very thing: Film and architecture educators, first and foremost. But Second Life needs a lot more fixes to be appealing to them. Alternately, full Oculus Rift integration could appeal to educators... but we'll need to see that soon for these discounts to really gain traction.
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