New grid to compete with higher prices

UpdateAvWorlds abandons high-price strategy

At a time when most OpenSim hosting providers are attempting to attract users with low prices, or, at least, moderate prices, one  OpenSim grid — AvWorlds — plans to buck the trend by pricing its regions at $145 per month.

“I am looking to give our estate owners value and protect their businesses,” AvWorlds CEO Alexsandro Pomposelli told Hypergrid Business.

“All the grids selling land so cheap have really created a big problem within their land economy,” he explained. “There are no incentive and value for an estate owner to build a land business. AvWorlds will protect that. For that reason I have decided to come in giving regions a certain high value so that not everyone will be able to buy a region. We will do that so that the little guy who wants to have just a quarter sim can get one on sale.”

Welcome center on the soon-to-be-launched AvWorlds grid. (Image courtesy AvWorlds.)

He added that a $145 region on AvWorlds will have a capacity of 45,000 prims, a dedicated processor, and have four times the memory of a typical Second Life region or regions with other hosting providers.

“I could go with the instant region set up and charge them 40 bucks but that would seriously interfere with the land business and value and quality,” he said.

The AvWorlds grid will also have the highest possible levels of content protection, he added. There will be no self-connected regions, no “God powers” for renters, no region exports in the form of OAR files, no hypergrid teleports to and from other grids. In addition, AvWorlds will have its own custom viewer — no foreign viewers or “copybot” viewers permitted, he said.

Content creators will also be able to specify whether they allow their objects to be taken off-grid, he said. “That is an original feature we will have that others do not.”

Another difference between AvWorlds and Second Life and other grids is that all shopping will be in-world.

“We are not going to drive store owners out of their stores and make an outside marketplace like Second Life did,” he said. “Our website will have an area where users will be able to place their objects for sale — pictures only and a URL leading the buyer to the in-world stores. This will keep the creators in need of land and will protect the grid’s in-world economy.”

Close-up view of the AvWorlds welcome center. (Image courtesy AvWorlds.)

Lower prices will be available for low-prim regions as well, he added, such as water regions. There will also be a 15 percent discount for educators, and discounts as well for estate owners who buy in bulk.

“By increasing the price of a region I intend to keep the estate ownership protected,” he said. “That will help create quality, and a healthy estate plot rentals environment.”

Pomposelli is also an estate owners in Second Life, with 30 regions under his management.

Pomposelli said he understands that he might not get a lot of customers right away.

“I am fully aware that AvWorlds is a new grid and there are other grids are charging low, low prices,” he said. “I am willing to wait the time necessary for growth to start.”

The grid will be up “in a few weeks,” he said.

The previous record-holder for high land prices was UFS Grid, a Star Trek roleplay-focused grid with a 20,000-prim region running for $119 a month. Another high-charging grid is Meta7, where $104 a month will get you a region with 15,250 prims.

Full list of OpenSim hosting providers is here.

Grids typically charge between $40 and $60 per region for moderate-use regions. There are also OpenSim hosting providers not affiliated with any grid that offer high-performance regions for $80 and up, such as SimHost and Dreamland Metaverse, but there are usually significant discounts if a customer gets a dedicated server and runs multiple regions.

In fact, some providers are offering 45,000-prim regions for less than $10 a month, though users should expect performance issues to appear if the region gets too many visitors.

In addition, just three days ago Kitely released their cloud-based sim hosting service into public beta, where user can get a region up and running in less than two minutes with just a couple of clicks — at $0.10 a region a month for up to 100,000 prims and 100 concurrent users. That’s ten cents a region, with an additional usage rate of $0.20 per user per hour. This is a big bargain for folks who want to have a lot of virtual land, but don’t see a lot of traffic — builders and designers, for example, making goods for sale on other grids. It is not a good deal for high traffic regions, however, where dedicated servers make more economic sense.

Which of these models will win out? Given the fast growth of the OpenSim metaverse, there is probably room for multiple approaches, multiple price points, and multiple revenue models.

On the Web, for example, hosting for simple, moderate traffic Websites is commonly at a flat fee, with unlimited storage and bandwidth. However, there are premium services for high-traffic Websites to ensure availability and scalability and uptime. In addition, many Websites offer premium content and charge for membership.

As OpenSim evolves, we’ll probably see something similar happen. We’ll see more providers offering  ultra-low-priced land, and providers offering even more expensive, high-end, high-availability regions. In addition, grids with exclusive, in-demand content will be able to charge more for access.

Related Posts'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

11 Responses

  1.' AvWorlds says:

    We are dedicated to provide quality and performance. We believe that this platform will give us a head start and also attract players that will stay with us for a long time. Sure the price is higher than others but we are also balancing it out with our kick butt regions that will allow our land owners to use them without worries. Stability, quality, performance is our objective.

    With that we will also add a nice discount table for our estate owners. The more they buy higher will be the discount. Cap at 25% discount. This an incentive for the estate owner to buy more land. More land you get less you pay!

    We are also focusing in new features that will enhance the object, content creators the ability to have more control over their creations!

    So in a few more days we should open up and we are inviting all to come and join the party!

  2.' Ener Hax says:

    what a good idea! so many people are selling under powered sims and this creates a perception that OpenSim is not as good as SL (performance wise). this is then justified by terming yourself a “pioneer” due to craptacular performance

    this is one of my soap box issues – defining what a “sim” is

    proper hardware and understanding what it can do helps meet expectations and result in finding that OpenSim does run faster than Second Life

    one cpu core and 4 gigs of RAM (if he is really 4 times the RAM) would yield a near SL-equivalent sim – bravo Alexsandro!

  3.' Gaga Gracious says:

    AvWorlds hits one button I have blogged about in the past criticizing Linden Labs for discouraging in-world transactions by focusing on web site sales. The malls in SecondLife have been emptied of consumers causing many to close. It has been hard on role play venues too which depend on their themed markets to help meet LL's high land charges. AvWorlds clearly recognizes this and, according to the article, will only use their web site as an index for goods while directing the buyer back in-world to make their purchase.

    I think that seriously makes sense!

  4.' IEEEVirtual says:

    I"m rather torn about the in-world versus marketplace approach. I do enjoy both.

  5. Vanish says:

    Addition: Is it correct that AvWorlds regions are hosted by Dreamland Metaverse? If yes, what exactly is the "value" over other regions hosted by them?

  6.' AvWorlds says:

    AvWorlds will come into existance with the best knowledge base regarding Open Sims Development and also the best quality, performance with our own servers. We have our own autonomy.

    Ideas and features not found in any regular open sim regions. Ideas created by me and my staff.

    Prices as explained above will depend on the amount an investor decides to buy or the type of region. We will have an incentive discount price table. The more you buy bigger the discount.

    The price of a region was given 50% according to our costs and 50% regarding a creation of a VALUE . Plus the fact that you would be joining a community not only a region floating in a computer.

    We must keep a value on something that people will invest on and try to resell.

    Safety, Performance, content and knowledge is the base for of our creation.

    The website is not ready yet. We are still developing it.

  7.' AvWorlds says:

    It is easy for a buyer to find an object he or she wants in a marketplace outside the GRID. Also when you take a specific medicine it does come with its side effects. The medicine will satisfy one part of the symptons caused by a disease but at the sametime it can shut down many parts of your body creating then a huge colapse of the entire system.

    So yes it is convinient and that is why we are designing a special place where the creators will be able to give this convinient method of finding their creations but without the side effects.

    A marketplace outside the GRID in my opinion created a huge snowball inside a grid I know.

    It cause DEFLATION in all factors of its inworld market. I m not going to let that happen in AvWorlds.

  8. Vanish says:

    Say, how do we know how much memory a “typical Second Life region” does have? And what hardware exactly can we expect for an AvWorlds region?

    Also, who’s going to fix the typos on the AvWorlds website?

  9.' AvWorlds says:


    AvWorlds now has fixed the prim count bug. All prim counts are now 100% functional.

    Also fixed another known bug (REGION CROSSING).

    We are also pleased to let you all know that an important development has just been successfuly made regarding the ESTATE MANAGEMENT tools.

    Open Sim does not come with this feature 100% functional. We have just upgraded the GRID with a 100% Estate Management tool.

    ALL REGIONS or THIS REGION ONLY buttons now working.

    We are still developing our website. Yes there are typos on it and we are going to fix all that.

    We are moving our website to a dedicated host and this pushed us back a little.

    We are also working on our welcome areas which consits of 9 regions. 4 of them are ocean where users will be able navegate through them.

  10.' AvWorlds says:

    AvWorlds website is now ready to take on new users. Alot of the features are not yet in place. The BUY LAND, COMMUNITY and other goodies are not yet functional.

    The GRID is open and working! We got 4 SIMS , Welcome Area, Deep Forest, EXPO CENTER, and the SAND BOX ISLAND.

    Anyone interested in building content can, upload is free for now and the AvWorlds Sand Box is open.

    I want to just say one thing here that we are in development. This is not Sl and that we are trying.

    AvWorlds is open for anyone with good ideas and want to help out.


    Alexsandro Pomposelli

    AvWorlds CEO.