Second Life's Private Sim Revenue in 2013 Forecast at $48M, Down From $61M in 2010
Crunching the numbers from Tyche Shepherd's Grid Survey data, Ener Hax has a new forecast for revenue Linden Lab is earning from private sims: $47,700,000 in 2013, which is down from $60,624,000 in 2010. Back in 2011, Linden Lab's spokesman told me just under 80% of the company’s revenue is from land fees, so this could be a fairly sharp drop in overall revenue for the company. At the same time, Linden Lab seems to be getting pretty good revenue with Blocksworld, its new iOS app, while it's also boosted promotion for its monthly Premium subscriptions for Second Life, so it's possible some or even much of this private sim shortfall has been made up for by other revenue streams.
And yet again, as I've saying for several years, this also means Second Life needs new users to survive. Oculus Rift integration could bring many in, as could a robust mobile version. And yet again, no, as I keep repeating about as much, lowering private sim fees will not stop the loss of private sim revenue, only make it worse. Here's why:
As I noted last year, 76% of Second Life private sims are owned by 500 land barons. Most of them are breaking even or even making a profit on these sims, through rentals, which is why they're (relatively) secure for now. (But probably not in the medium term.) So while cutting monthly sim fees might keep the 24% minority of smaller sim owners from giving up their land, it would also mean a drastic, drastic drop in total revenue for Linden Lab. So no, the future for Second Life isn't private land -- it's new users, and new platforms, and radical experiments in how Second Life is used and designed. For instance, some Lindens have been trying to add game mechanics to Second Life for several years, but have been stymied by bureaucracy and fear of protests by a minority of hardcore "Second Life is not a game!" users. But as we keep seeing, something dramatic has to change, or the hemorrhaging will continue, until it no longer can.
Please share this post: