On Monday, March 6th, Linden Lab announced a series of fee changes / payment changes to Second Life which have sparked some debate.
The announcement leads with the reduction in “standard” Full private region (i.e. a region with the standard 20,000 Land Capacity) monthly tier being reduced by US $20 a month, from $229 / month to US $209 / month – the reduction being to mark 2023 being SL’s 20th anniversary.
Note that the monthly Homestead tier and the US $30 / month for the Full Private region land capacity bonus remain unchanged.
It also introduces an option that has been requested numerous times over the years: the ability to pay tier on regions obtained directly from the Lab using Linden Dollars. However this option comes with some caveats:
- It is limited to only one region per Premium Plus subscriber.
- It is only available for Premium Plus subscribers.
- It is currently a “beta” programme, currently set to end on September 6th, 2023 – although this date may change / be extended.
Payments are made on the basis of a stable conversion rate of L$250 to the US dollar, and to facilitate payments, Linden Lab has created a Land Payments region, although at the time this blog post was written, it did not appear to be available. For further details on it, and the all information on using Linden Dollar to pay tier to Linden Lab, please refer to L$ Payments for Land.
In what is likely to be a less popular move, the blog post notes the following Lindex fee changes, which come into immediate effect from Monday, March 6th, 2023:
- The buy fee is increased to 10%, with the minimum and maximum fees charged remaining unchanged at US $1.49 and US $14.99 per transaction respectively.
- The sell fee is increased to 5%, regardless of the size of the transaction.
The blog post notes that these increases are to offset the above land price reductions (and thus a continuation of LL’s policy of redistributing their means of revenue generation to be less reliant on a single product (land)), and also as a result of rising operational costs.
A brief FAQ on these changes is provided in the official blog post, and specific questions on them can be made through the forum thread associated with the blog post, or possibly submitted as a question which might be asked of the SL management team as a part of the Lab Gab session to be broadcast on Friday, March 10th (in which case the question must be submitted by 09:00 SLT on Thursday, March 9th, 2023.
- Infrastructure Investment Update: Buy/Sell Fee Change and Land Pricing Effective Mar 6, 2023 – official blog post.
- Infrastructure Investment Update: Buy/Sell Fee Change and Land Pricing Effective Mar 6, 2023 DISCUSSION – SL forums.
- L$ Payments for Land – Second Life Support.
- Lab Gab Returns Next Week with Grumpity, Patch, and Mojo! – official blog post.