Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Linden Lab - The big scam?

by Yolanda Hirvi
The dream is over folks.. I am too angry to even write about this so I have gathered quotes from the blog by Atashi Toshihiko owner of Waikiti Island -estate. She really says it all.
This move from Linden Lab is killing SL economy. Not just estate-business..it affects to ALL.
Is this a scam? Or just a huge mistake from Linden Lab.. It is up to you to decide.

Atashi Toshohiko writes:
Linden Lab has a history of making sweeping policy changes without any consultation with their customers, and seemingly without any concern for the consequences. They have a history of deceit, misrepresentation, and general mismanagement. By now, I've come to expect that - it's part of the "Second Life Experience."

In March 2008, Linden Lab announced huge changes to their Open Space region policy. Originally, OpenSpace regions were only available in blocks of 4 at a time. They had to be anchored to an existing sim. They only had 1875 prims (1/8 the prims of a regular region, but at 1/4 the price.) Now, you could be them in onesies. They would have 3750 prims. They didn't need to be attatched to anything.

The OpenSpace market exploded. In the first 6 weeks, they were selling thousands of these sims, at $425 each. We bought three of them. It seemed like a great deal.

Then in April 2008, Linden Lab suddenly announced that they were cutting the price of buying a private island. From $1675 to $1000. And Openspace from $425 to $250. The already-flooded land market, was about to get flooded some more. The number of private estates skyrocketed. Now in addition to vastly increased competition on a level playing field, we had to contend with yet more competition, where all our new competitors had a 35% advantage on us in terms of startup fees. Waikiti started to see occupancy drop, and not recover.

Meanwhile, they continued to pump out more and more mainland - including themed areas like Bay City and now the new Nautilus. The price of mainland continued to drop lower and lower, while the map got bigger and bigger. Concurrency however, remained the same. 60,000 people and 30,000 regions.


Yesterday, Linden Lab announced another policy and price change: See the blog entry here.

In a nutshell, they a) cut all the big barriers to ownership of Openspace regions, b) doubled the prim allotment for openspace regions, and c) encouraged their use as standalone islands by not requiring them to be anchored to anything. Now they are blaming their customer base for using openspace regions "too much". They claim that they never thought usage of openspace regions would double. This from the people who doubled the prim allotment and cut the purchase price - they doubled the prims and didn't expect usage would double.

So instead of either throttling performance to be inline with expectations, or raising service levels to meet the demand, they have opted to simply increase the monthly fees by 67%, from $75 to $125 / month. Unlike the price increase in November 2006, there will be no grandfathering of rates. Indeed, for holders of already-grandfathered openspace sims, their monthly fees are going from $50 to $125 - a 150% increase.

Somehow, according to Linden logic, this will magically make the problem go away. Of course, the problem will go away with all the estates that go bankrupt or abandon their openspace regions.

You can read the original post here http://www.waikiti.com/cgi-bin/fccgi.exe?w3serverpool=polaris&w3exec=phlog&site=waikiti

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