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  Major Price Increase for ‘Second Life’ Islands  
Posted 2006-10-30 by Tony Walsh
Fees for owning a virtual island in the online world of Second Life will soon be raised, Linden Lab announced yesterday. Starting November 1, 2006, the setup cost will rise from $1250 USD to $1675 USD, while the monthly maintenance fees will rise from $195 to $295. A limited amount of virtual islands will be sold at the old price starting at 1pm Pacific time on November 1, but when supplies run out, the price goes up for all new islands--existing islands are not affected by the change. The new pricing scheme effectively raises the entry-barrier for individual users, but has a negligible effect on businesses or organizations (a handful of large corporations have moved into Second Life this year).

Linden Lab made the pricing change due to what it described as "ongoing investments in developing and maintaining the underlying technology" of Second Life. I see the move as part of a recent company push towards maximizing its product's revenue potential. Last week, Linden Lab announced it was considering a tiered, paid customer support plan (support is currently free) in order to "expand" customer service options; the company also stopped giving away free "alternate" accounts after it surpassed 1 million registrations--pricing has returned to $9.95 USD per additional account. Earlier this month, Linden Lab announced it would be selling custom avatar names for a setup fee of $100 USD and annual fee of $50 USD. Most of these changes seem to favour cashflow over culture, I just wonder if this a deliberate strategy or an unfortunate side-effect.
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Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
October 30, 2006 @ 3:55 pm
Currently, monthly tier for a mainland or private island sim is $195, not $175.

The SL Herald scooped Linden Lab's announcement:
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
October 30, 2006 @ 4:16 pm
Thanks for the correction, Prok, I updated the post.
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