Kitely, the OpenSim grid that charges people for the time they use rather than how much land they have, announced a dramatic price cut today, reducing the cost of its unlimited use plan from $100 to just $35 a month. The company also added a new feature where region owners can bill visitors for the time they spend on their land.
Kitely is a cloud-based grid, where regions are only up and running when people are visiting them. This already allows Kitely to offer lower land prices than most other OpenSim hosting vendors.
With this price cut, the company becomes even more competitive.
However, while usage prices went down, land prices went up slightly. Previously, users who wanted to have more worlds than what came free with their monthly plan would pay 10 cents a month per world. Now, that price has gone up to US $1 a month per worlds. And by “world” Kitely means a region on their grid.
These are high-performance regions, too. They hold up to 100,000 prims — comfortably, as recent tests demonstrated. (You can visit a 100,000-prim test region here.) And they can hold up to 100 avatars at once. Vivox voice is included, as well as OAR exports and imports, and the platforms runs the latest version of OpenSim with mesh, media-on-a-prim, NPCs, and other new bells and whistles.
In addition, the new $35 unlimited use plan only comes with 20 free worlds, instead of the 100 free world that came with the $100 plan.
One possible reason for the increase in land prices is that land is about to get a lot better — depending on the plan, customers will be able to have worlds that are more than one region in size — four-region, nine-region, and even 16-region worlds are currently in the works.
There was also one more significant pricing change. Free users previously got one region and two hours of usage a month. Now, during their first month in Kitely, users will get six hours — but this will revert back to two hours a month for subsequent months.
By default, Kitely users pay for their own time whenever they visit other people’s regions, though some region owners may optionally choose to cover the usage costs for their visitors.
Now, however, there are two additional options. First, region owners can now add an extra charge on top of what their visitors normally pay, and keep it, minus a 10 percent commission to Kitely. This allows event organizers, for example, to easily charge attendees, teachers to charge their students, musicians to collect money from their audiences, and popular bars to have cover charges.
Second, region owners can also choose to pay attendees. For example, they can pay bar tenders, musicians, teachers or dancers for the time they spend at work.
All of these options can be mixed-and-matched on a single region. At a concert, for example, musicians can be paid, VIPs can attend for free, and regular audience members can pay the cover charges. Kitely uses Facebook groups, Twitter lists, and in-world groups to determine who gets what kind of access, and everything is managed through a simple web interface.