Blocksworld from Linden Lab is not just an extremely popular iPad app at the moment, but according to analytics company App Annie, it's also bringing in some decent revenue to Linden Lab. At the moment, the free app ranks 4 and 25 among top grossing Educational and Family apps in the United States, through in-app payments. (Players can buy in-game coins for payments of 99 cents to $24.99.) It's also in the top 250 of money-making apps in the Games category, which is where most app money is made. That's not a great ranking, but as the chart above shows, it's trending upward in Games. As a point of contrast, the current hit mobile game Candy Crush Saga (which Blocksworld is currently more popular than) brings in an estimated $880,000 a day. If Blocksworld made just a fourth of that daily revenue (i.e. $200,000), it would be making more money than Second Life.
Speaking of which, when I first blogged about Blocksworld's success, longtimer SLer Wizard Gynoid demanded in Comments, "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. But yes, Blocksworld's success is also good for Second Life. At the risk of stating the obvious, here's several reasons why:
For one thing, if Linden Lab begins earning revenue through other products besides Second Life, it'll probably be more inclined to take more chances tweaking and discounting its core revenue source, i.e. SL land sales and tier. Even more crucial, a Linden Lab that's profitable through a diverse portfolio has a better chance of succeeding in the long term. Before Blocksworld, Second Life's constantly waning revenue was putting the entire company at risk, which consequently puts Second Life at ultimate risk of going up on the auction block in a fire sale -- and who knows what would happens to it then?
More broadly, any popular game or toy which enables user-generated content is good for all user-generated games and toys, including and perhaps especially Second Life, since it's made by the same company, and a new fan base for Blocksworld is also a fan base that might become interested in Second Life. (Perhaps Linden Lab could revive Teen Second Life to serve that younger audience of Blocksworld players?) Even more broadly still, I believe platforms which foster and encourage user-generated content and individual creativity are inherently good, interesting, and worth writing about, and while I understand some New World Notes readers only care when creativity is evidenced in Second Life, New World Notes will always be about that larger theme.
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