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Friday, December 28, 2007


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Dedric Mauriac

Although we are still at 10%, many virtual businesses in-world are looking at a steady decline in sales dropping (more sharply in March/April). It appears to be directly related to the liquidity of the economy for the younger residents (less than 6 months) freezing up. Ten percent retention may be ok for the grid, but something is holding back younger residents from making as many transactions as they used to. It is this result that everyone is looking at why SL isn't doing so well and trying to find a reason to blame it on (gambling ban, account non-verification, scripted pay info restrictions, over-hyped media, competition, allowance reduction, etc).

CyFishy Traveler

My thinking is perhaps that SL itself appeals to a certain KIND of person, which may be only 10% of the total population. I'm still trying to figure out what that person is like.

Ann Otoole

some will say sl is full of people with no real life worth paying attention to. Others will say sl is the 10% of the populace that has some mental issue. Others will say some of this or some of that. but that is all speculative and has little basis in scientific method.

I say it is simple. how many people do you meet in sl more than 3 months old that has an IQ under 120? none? good answer. SL is way ahead of it's time and the top 10th IQ percentile is who sticks with it.

when you arrive at the simplest solution you just heard God talking and you chose to listen.

CyFishy Traveler

My thoughts would have been more lengthy, but I was interrupted by a phone call and decided to just hit post and get back to it later.

Dedric--I think the biggest reason that new people aren't spending Lindens is because they now start with nothing at all. When I signed up, I at least had L$250 to start with and another L$250 just for linking to my PayPal account. This gave me money to do my first few texture uploads so I could attempt to make custom clothing (very badly at first, since I had no clue about optimal sizes or template mapping) and then I was coaxed into spending money on some prim hair. Then I dumped some spare change from my PayPal account into the Lindex, and the rest is history. But I don't think I would have gone down that road as easily if I hadn't had a little something to start with. The idea was presumably that having nothing to start with would encourage people to provide payment info and buy Lindens, but simply hasn't worked out that way. Frankly, it's a lot easier to fall into the habit of spending nothing when you have nothing to spend. And it's a lot easier to fall into the habit of spending money when you have money to spend.

As for what qualities those 10 percenters have, well, yes, a certain amount of intelligence would be one of those qualities, but also certain likes and dislikes as well. There are probably very bright people who would find SL boring because they prefer the tangible to the cerebral.

Indigo Mertel

Dedric, have you considered that the unwillingness to spend is related to bad economy in RL? I know a number of people who joined SL with the idea of spending no money. Number one thing they want to learn about is how to make money in SL, so that they don't have to spend out of their pockets. Many are not willing to have an extra cost in their family budget for what they perceive as a game which can be played for free.

Those who end up to stick around are the people more willing to spend, who recognize that SL is not just a game after all and that it may be worth to invest a bit of money into it.

Cyn Vandeverre

That's a great realization, CyFishy, about the seed money. My spending behavior echoed yours, and I was intending to not spend any money in SL at all. Three months later, I'd bought some land. I remember the days of wincing at a $L10 upload charge....

Nicki Clary

Many of the new users who I've seen drop off have done so because of hardware problems. Their computer worked with SL but not well and they haven't gotten around to upgrading. My guess is that this is an issue with quite a few non-gamers who join. I also think that in a few years it will be less of an issue, as more people's computers will be handling the graphics content of 3-D worlds.


It depends what the definition of "active monthly users" is. If that means "paid" subscribers than actually the "conversion rate" would be 10% and and the retention rate could be much higher. For example, 80 million sign ups, 30 million free and paid users, 8 million paid users.

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