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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

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Cube Republic

It's a gateway cube

Dizzy Banjo

I'm really glad that Linden Labs strategy of exploring different products seems to be achieving some traction.

I think its too early to say if Blocksworld will have good longer term engagement and retention and if it really does generate significant revenue - but I hope it does. The appstore is a tough place, but from what I could see Blocksworld is executed very nicely ( not sure if this was all in house Linden or not? ) and has good potential for in-app monetisation as Hamlet mentions.

Either way - it seems like my guest post from 2011 is beginning to be realised : http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2011/09/how-to-save-second-life.html

I hope it does liberate their approach to SL too.


Hitomi Tiponi

@Dizzy - Blocksworld was a 'bought in' app. So far it has massively outperformed LL's in-house produced non-SL products, though to be fair many are still at an early stage.

The success of Blocksworld is good news - hopefully it will pay off the (undisclosed) money that SL spent on acquiring it's parent company Boldai.

Pussycat Catnap

""And how does this help the SL community exactly?" Which is a common question many in the SL community ask, and frankly one I don't understand, with its implication that only things which benefit the Second Life community are worth talking about."

Well...

I'm sure its very important that Sea Otter populations in California have failed to move away from where fisheries operate.

But...

We're Second Life users here. So that's what we care about, more often than not, when we come here.

So the question of 'how does this help SL' is essentially the question of 'why should I care about this news, as an SL user?'

Like it or not, your readers are still mostly SL people, so they still crave the SL angle. :)

How well LLs does is not really important to us. How well SL does is, and so LLs health is only important to us where it connects to that of SL.

Metacam Oh

I'd love to see the success of other LL products so they could finally remove their mouth from the teat of the dying cow. However, I think the insinuation that Linden Labs revenue from other products would lead to more realistic prices in Second Life is a faulty one. Nor more than wishful thinking. It's like saying, well let's hope Walmart increases its sales so that they can finally pay their peasants a living wage, meanwhile 3.8 billion profit goes in their coffers every year. There's no morality in the corporate world. Linden Lab's prices are the way they are because they can get away with it. The profitability of their other Minecraft ripoffs will just lead them to make more Minecraft ripoffs.

Ezra

@Metacam Dead on.

Every single interview I've read of Rod humble, when asked about Linden Lab's financial status, he quotes something akin to "extremely profitable". If Linden Lab is already extremely profitable and Linden Lab hasn't done a thing to lower tier prices or even hire to make sure there's resources for projects like finishing the Deformer, then I wouldn't hold my breath success of another product will change that stance.

If Blocksworld manages to become a success (i.e. if it maintains these chart positions for more than a week, preferably for years like Plants vs. Zombies), I think Linden Lab would care about Second Life even less.

If I'm going to hold my breath for anything it'd be a Second Life successor from Linden Lab, not any radical price drops or feature additions for Second Life itself.

Pixeleen Mistral

Hamlet,

Perhaps I am mistaken, but based on their behavior since I started playing this game in 2005, it seems that Linden Lab is only interested maximizing short term profit. Your claim that Linden Lab might begin "discounting its core revenue source, i.e. SL land sales and tier" is something only children and the very naive find credible.

Wagner James Au

No naivety at all, Mark -- Linden Lab actually just restored the 50% education/non-profit discount, so they've already proven to be willing to do so.

Wolf Baginski

Some of the costs of the Linden Labs operation will be shared by all their products, and it can be a thorny accounting problem assigning shares of those costs to products. Blocksworld will be paying for office space, for instance. Is that new space in another building? If it isn't, the costs of Battery St. don't all have to be paid by Second Life.

I am not sure that programmers are a fungible asset. But some tasks, such as wep-page design and management are no longer just for Second Life. An opportunity to redesign the web pages is here and, despite the wails from users faced with a new design, some problems might be fixed (think of the number of different places an already logged-in SL user is presented with a log-in page, but will a Blocksworld user have a compatible account?).

Ezra

@Hamlet

Giving back ground isn't breaking new ground. Second Life was already stagnating when those education discounts existed anyway, so it isn't a move to reverse stagnation so much as...repair image? The tens of sims disappearing a week aren't mostly education sims.

Also you've said it yourself before that Rod wouldn't even respond to questions to you about tier. Until that attitude changes, I think everyone should take your old advice and give up on the idea of there ever being tier cuts. If Linden Lab won't cut tier costs when extremely profitable from Second Life, they probably won't do it with extremely profitable from Second Life with pocket change from side projects.

Pussycat Catnap

I'm with Metacam and Ezra on this one.

And the Walmart analogy is spot on.

Rod to the users of SL: "Let them eat cake."

As long as tier prices are above $0, land will continue to sink. It has very little connection to the actual price... merely that there is a price for an unneeded commodity. Merchants no longer need land (unless they are marketing savvy, and most are not)... and once they go, no one has any form of funding, AT ALL...

So all the people who keep praying for a drop in tier as the way to save SL... are basically praying for Moses to get a new iPhone to save the Israelites from Egypt. The man needs to part the ocean, not make a call... Looking to the wrong solution.

Eurominuteman

Forbes: How Much Do Average Apps Make
http://ht.ly/orjES

Huckleberry Hax

This is sound logic. Yes, it is stating the obvious, but the obvious isn't always apparent - particularly if people can't see past their anger about Linden not being what they want it to be. The lab's recent reduction of educational tier is a demonstration of their willingness to take a few risks when things are financially a little more secure. Of course, this isn't being done purely out of the goodness of their hearts: reducing tier will always be about long-term business investment, because Linden is a business, not a charity.

Companies which rely on a single product fail. Linden's diversification is in all our interests.

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