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The Virtual World Has Its Own Housing Crisis: Second Life Jacks Up Land Rental Fees

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In an attempt to keep its coffers full, Linden Labs is raising the prices of Openspaces, the cheaper parcels of Second Life land. The setup fee for the virtual space will increase by 50 percent from $250 to $375, and the monthly maintenance fees will increase by 66 percent from $75 to $125. Land manager Jack Linden said the increase is needed because too many Second Lifers are setting up apartments or shops on the land — not using it for “open spaces” like the forests or beaches that it was intended for — and the heavy usage is straining Linden Labs’ network and database infrastructure “at a much higher ratio than is reflected in the current pricing.”

Unlike pricier parcels of “Mainland,” and private islands that typically get their own CPU, up to four Openspaces are connected to a given unit at any time (hence the lower maintenance fees). And the lower fees seemingly attracted users who wanted to maintain their virtual existence and be budget-conscious at the same time. SAI’s Eric Krangel says Linden Labs’ announcement is indicative of larger issues facing Second Life: a declining paid user base, an in-world real-estate market that’s bottoming out, and dwindling demand for the pricier Mainland. New CEO Mark Kingdon may well be wondering what he’s got himself into. After all, if people are having a hard time paying their rent in the real world, how quickly (and easily) do you think they’d default on their virtual mortgages?

2 Responses to “The Virtual World Has Its Own Housing Crisis: Second Life Jacks Up Land Rental Fees”

  1. Thank you for your report on the Second Life Regressive Tax on Open Space Sims.

    We welcome you to either attend in person in Second Life or view the live video of a large very photogenic PROTEST event in the original open space sims (the type of sims that will likely go away if Linden Lab's announced policy stands).

    Tomorrow morning at 10AM Pacific time there will be a large PROTEST REGATTA starting from the four open space sims which were the first such sims created in Second Life (Santa Barbara,Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, and Santa Catalina sims).

    Surrounding Hollywood sim and Starboards Yacht Club these sims will host a PROTEST REGATTA which will be webcast live on the SLCN.TV network ( Boats from various SL communities (such as the very popular sailing and pirate role-playing communities) will wear colorful protest sails and flags.

    The race course will take the protesting fleet through more than twenty open space sims, each of whose very existence is threated by the Linden Lab policy announcement.

    For further information contact MarkTwain White in world or at [email protected]