Friday, November 4, 2016

Prim Increases - Pros and Cons

This week, LL increased the land capacity of Mainland regions, and they will shortly be increasing the capacity of Private Estate regions as well.  Here's a breakdown of the changes:

While full Mainland regions are getting a boost from 15,000 to 22,500 (a one third increase), full Estate regions will only go up to 20,000.  That's still a nice increase, however.  Plus, LL says that for an additional $30 initial fee and an extra $30 per month, Private Estates can increase their land capacity up to 30,000.

Homestead and Openspace regions will also be getting an increase, to 5,000 and 1,000 respectively, across the board.

What does this mean for us?

For the ordinary Second Life resident, it's terrific.  In effect, prims have just become about 33% cheaper.  Alternatively, you can think of it as being able to add 33% more Stuff to your home.

This is especially beneficial to those with small parcels of land, such as Linden Homes.  Instead of 117 prims, now you can have 175!

It's an incentive to creators to make more realistic content, too.  Regions can now support more Mesh objects with higher levels of detail.

On the other hand, I see some downsides.

For those of us who are in the land business, land has just, in effect, been devalued by a third.  The price we pay to LL has not gone down, but instead of being able to charge, say, $L 7 or 8 per prim for a rental, we'll now be faced with charging around $L 5 per prim.  We can make that up, but ONLY if our tenants are willing to rent more prims from us.  If they aren't, then we'll have to think about renting smaller parcels to our tenants, and squeezing more tenants into a region.  With SL slowly shrinking, I do not think this model is going to be very attractive.

Some landlords may not be willing to pass the additional prims or the lower cost of them on to their tenants.  This will probably result in some changes in who's living where, as people seek the best deal for themselves.

The additional prims available to Linden Homes and the owners of other 512 square meter parcels may reduce the incentive for them to upgrade to a larger parcel, or to rent additional square meters and prims from a landlord or Private Estate owner.  This will further increase the pressure to reduce rental fees, and could result in more landlords being unable to remain in business.

While we're talking about devaluation, you may also have noticed that the Linden Dollar has been devalued a bit as well.  A couple of months ago, the exchange rate for selling $L was about $L250 to $1.00 USD.  Now it is steady around $L261: $1.00.  (If you go back a few years, the normal rate was around $L270 : $1.00, so if you take the long view, this change may not be all that significant.)

One may speculate on any number of reasons for these moves on the part of the Lab:  for example, the coming of Sansar, or declining interest in SL.  Whatever the reason, though, SL is still alive and well and I expect it to be so for a good long time to come.  We'll adapt to these changes just as we've done for many others in the past.

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