Four grids cut land prices

Just in time for the holiday season, four grids are lowering land prices or offering special holiday deals.

3rd Rock Grid

A week ago, 3rd Rock Grid program director Zinnia Frenzy contacted Hypergrid Business to let us know that the prices listed in our vendor directory had changed.

Instead of $50 a month for a 15,000-prim region, these regions cost just $15, with no setup fee. Each additional 1,000 prims is $1, and regions of 20,000 prims or more can be configured as varregions at no additional cost.

Plus, there’s a special offer for new residents, called the First Land Program. For $1 for the first month, new residents can get an 8,000-prim region — and then pay just $8 a month after that for as long as they want to keep that region.

3rd Rock Grid is one of the oldest OpenSim grids, known for its music festivals. A closed grid for most of its existence, it turned on hypergrid connectivity a year ago and saw a dramatic and immediate spike in both regions and usage. Traffic and regions then fell when founder Terry Ford left to start his own grid, DigiWorldz. Growth seems to have picked up again recently, however, as the grid restructured itself as a Dutch non-profit.

3rd Rock Grid has also historically scored well for its community, and did so again in this year’s grid survey.

Historic stats for 3rd Rock Grid. (Hypergrid Business data.)

Historic stats for 3rd Rock Grid. (Hypergrid Business data.)

DigiWorldz

And speaking of DigiWorldz, the grid has also brought back its First Land Program. When the grid first launched earlier this spring, it offered 15,000-prim regions for $8 each, but it was only a limited-time offer.

Today, a standard 15,000-prim region costs $20. Through the First Land Program, however, a new resident can get one new 10,000-prim region for $10 a month.

Features include OAR region exports and uploads, IAR inventory exports and uploads, 30 days’ worth of automatic backups, vehicle border crossings, a Web-based interface that region owners can use to restart their regions, and voice support for up to 50 simultaneous users.

DigiWorldz also had the fastest launch of any grid in OpenSim history. As you can see in the chart below, it took DigiWorldz just five months to hit the 1,000 active user mark, during which time it also grew to a size of 981 regions. The closest contender was YrGrid, which took three months to reach 1,000 users but was not able to maintain that size for more than a month, while DigiWorldz continued to stay above 1,000 actives. In addition, YRGrid only grew to 63 regions during that time. Other dramatic launches include Avination, back in 2010, and the Great Canadian Grid, which launched last year.

Growth of the 11 grids that have reached 1,000 active users at some point in their history. (Hypergrid Business data.)

Growth of the 11 grids that have reached 1,000 active users at some point in their history. (Hypergrid Business data.)

Craft

Craft World has lowered the price of its standard 10,000-prim region from 12 Euros to 7 Euros per month, the grid announced yesterday.

The price of its full, 25,000-prim region have dropped from 20 Euros to 15 Euros per month, and the 400-prim landscape regions went from 3 Euros to 2 Euros a month.

The grid has discontinued its 3,000-prim microregions and their owners are automatically upgraded to the standard regions for the same price.

In addition, educators will be able to get 25,000-prim regions at a discount, for 7 Euros a month each. See the full land page here.

Tangle Grid

Finally, Tangle Grid is offering a holiday sale on its regions. A 15,000-prim region is just $5 per month until the end of the year, while a 20,000-prim 2 by 2 varregion is $15 per month. Once rented, the region prices will not go up after the sale ends, but will remain in place for the life of the region.

Normally, 20,000-prim regions are $20 a month.

The grid also offers variable-sized regions as well as free lots, apartments and houses for new residents. See the land sales page for full details.

Tangle grid land sale 2015 holidays

Is there another grid that recently dropped its land prices or is offering special deals for the holidays? Email me at [email protected] or let us know in the comments below.

Related Posts

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

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.

  • Hi Maria,

    Kitely’s normal price for a Starter World that includes 15,000 prims is $14.95/month. The normal price of a Kitely Standard World, which is 2×2 regions in size and includes 60,000 prims, is just $19.95/month. Each Kitely world gets its own sim with a dedicated memory allocation of 1024 MB for Starter Worlds and 2048 MB for Standard Worlds.

    Kitely’s prices may not be currently discounted but they are sill better than some of the options you covered in this article.

    See: https://www.kitely.com/services

    • There are actually quite a few grids offering low land prices, and I list them here:

      http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/category/vendors/bargain-hosting/

      I focused on the four grids in this particular article because they just lowered their prices.

      • Alex Ferraris

        You did focus but you also are letting Kitely and Zangrid post their prices.

    • Carlos Loff

      Launch bigger VARs and you will rule

  • Suz Blessed

    To be honest with you all, I do not understand why grids are doing this. In Secondlife the ‘war’ about land prices did end up in a loss for many people who had an estate. And the ones with the bigger estates gave partly up because it was not worth working for. I really wonder How do those grids pay their technicians and the people in their Team, the Servers, the Events, the costumer service etc etc.
    Is it really worth working so many hours for nothing ? Or is this just a silly attempt to fool the people and try to get them to their grids. Once in there disappoint them again, because they cannot give the costumer support or get better servers, because there is no money to pay for all those extra things. We ‘ZanGrid’ stick to their prices, simple and easy. No Setup Fees ,but 35 USD per month for a regular region with 100 k prims. And we do offer very good costumer service. Using Kitely market and having really great creators, makes that we have high class content on the grid. Of course it is a choice, but destroying the market is at the end the worst solution ever. The moment the grid owners need to start paying for peoples pleasure themselves , i think the fun is over very soon:( It is very demotivating on the longer run.

    • Yeah, all go down flying the flag at full mast!

      This race to the bottom (which we see all around the western world) is sending larger and larger portions of the populations into poverty. Let’s repeat this for the virtual worlds too.

    • Suz —

      Three reasons:

      1. Technology is getting cheaper and easier to deploy. Data centers and cloud service providers are taking advantage of falling prices while also making their services easier and faster to use.

      Computing power available per dollar increases by a factor of ten every four years — while the requirements to run OpenSim are not changing anywhere near that dramatically. http://aiimpacts.org/trends-in-the-cost-of-computing/

      2. Grids are getting more efficient. While at the beginning, grid managers had to do everything manually, over time they’ve replaced most manual processes with scripts that let them do the same work in a fraction of the time.

      Then, they have rolled out self-management panels that allow customers to do a lot of work for themselves — save and load OARs and IARs, restart regions, manage their estates, etc…

      Third, many grids have outsourced their infrastructure to providers like Zetamex, Dreamland and CloudServe that have invested in extremely heavy-duty automation, backups, redundancies, and have the negotiating power to get better prices for their servers and bandwidth.

      3. Grids are getting bigger. Much bigger. That means more customers, which means that hosting providers can start enjoying economies of scale. Running a single small grid using all manual processes can be a full time job. If you have thousands of regions to manage, you have to look for efficiencies, invest in management tools, and outsource what you can — and, once you do that, you get to divide the cost of that staffer across many customers, leaving a profit margin that, for now, most grids are investing right back in technology. Creating a virtuous cycle.

      So what about grids that aren’t keeping up? If a grid is insisting on doing things the slow and expensive way — and yes, change is painful and there are always trade-offs — then it either has to offer something special to its users to justify higher prices, modernize, outsource to someone who’s modernized, or go out of business.

      • Suz Blessed

        Agree on that Maria:) And that is exactly what ZanGrid is doing, so my question will still be: ‘How can they offer such cheap regions and pay the technicians and all? And why do cheap grids who offered regions against very low prices announce that they have to start raising the prices because of the costs to run a grid? Did they not know that running a grid is costing money? Maybe those grid run all on volunteers… lol …. no clue:) And frankly it is not that important at all, there is more needed than cheap regions to satisfy the costumers. And serious people do not mind paying a bit more, after all it is still a fraction of what people have to pay in sl:) And it is totally ok to do specials, we do too:) I am talking about those grids out there that offer regions for very low prices and cannot offer all they say they offer.
        Also i do want to mention that not all Grid Hosters are that cheap so grids can offer for such low prices to their costumers , and not to mention some have a very lousy costumer support themselves or it lacks when it comes to security. With is very important when it comes to the asset servers. We hire Zetamex for technical support and are very happy with them and their service:) I really think it is time to get back on our feet again and not try to ruin each other. ( some grids even send people to other grids to convince them to step over, so pathetic ). My idea is to work together and not against each other, something I personally always hated and because of this behaviour left other grids and started our own. Times to make millions are over !!!!! lol

        • We’re waiting for Netscape. A simple viewer that folks can use with their low-cost mobile-based headsets, or in a browser. OpenSim is currently the ONLY open source social virtual reality platform that allows easy user-created content, and is ALREADY supported by a large ecosystem of hosting companies, grids, and content creators.

          But we’re also waiting for Geocities. And I have been warning grids about this: the time will come when someone with too much funding is going to offer FREE regions (or maybe quarter regions) to anyone who wants one, and have a business model that depends on premium upgrades and advertising. The amount of VC money flowing into this space is getting to be astronomical, and it shows no sign of slowing down.

          Luckily — and yes, we’re lucky here! — mobile phones still need to improve to support interactive, multi-user virtual reality, bandwidth needs to improve, gesture-and-voice-based interfaces need to be built and we still missing a virtual reality operating system — a 3D Windows. (Apple, Xerox Parc — where are you?) That gives us at least a couple of more years to get a decent viewer. And to prepare for a world in which basic residential land costs are going to drop to zero or close to it.

          • Cinder Biscuits

            You’ll be waiting a looooong time for either of those dreams to come to fruition. The bottom line is loss leader priced grids are supplemented by their owners’ full time jobs that have little or nothing to do with OpenSim and are not stimulating growth of more profitable services. In turn, grids who were formerly able to invest in research and development can no longer do so which means even less improvements trickling into Core and a stagnant, unstable platform run by a development team with no roadmap.

            What makes you think someone “with too much funding” would bother putting their chips into an unprofitable market dominated by hobbyists and part-timers when it could be easily be invested in a promising new startup?

          • gabegw11

            Yes! So very true! BTW ty Cinder for Alchemy =-)

          • was about to say the same thing 🙂

          • But if opensim doesn’t keep up with 21st century requirements, this entire conversation will be moot before much longer.

          • “A simple viewer that folks can use with their low-cost mobile-based headsets, or in a browser.”
            That’s a huge contradiction. Several *years* of work that no one has even *started* yet, unless you count Dahlia’s prototype that can rez a prim or whatever (or InWorldz’ Dreamshare feature that can also rez individual objects in a browser window). And don’t bother citing MOSES here, it’s not anywhere near as far along as either of the above. Are you going to post an article on Dahlia’s or InWorldz browser work as a “web viewer” project too? They are both much farther along, but both have years to go before they could replace an actual desktop viewer.

          • Unfortunately this site keep purporting the idea of a viewer running in a browser (on a mobile device), not having the foggiest idea how to technically implement it. A viewer running in a browser session would only use more resources than a standalone viewer, and would have to render the full scene on the GPU to be of any point.

          • webgl, html5, and a couple of nifty engines now make it possible for browser based world building – with collaboration. It’s not a “viewer in a browser” obviously, but browser based worlds – that’s happening.

            I was checking out coppercube and worldforge/ember, and essenthal – a couple older ones but still showing that it’s doable. I played the kewelest room escape game – 3d interactive – done in html5 and webgl. Granted, it wasn’t cool graphics like opensim/sl environments or unity/ue4 but it’s definitely heading in the right direction and the cartoonish graphics may well have been the limitation of the creator and not the platforms used.

            Then there’s another tech that’s busting out of the shadows – VR live streaming.

            The potential applications of all these technologies coming out now, the momentum picking up speed, it’s enough to make your head explode. The biggest point to this is that the web based models are strong motivators for the tech to be going that direction over and above things like grid hosting.

            Oculus is working on their world building platform so it’s easily worked inside facebook. No way any of these grids can compete with that with the clunky viewers, the opensim learning curve, and drama that goes along with the community. When someone can pull up the web page and be “in” their little world, tinker with it on the fly, and slip on some VR gear and interact with people inside there with them – it’s unlikly grids, hosting, or os will survive that unless they move that direction.

            I want so badly for os to evolve and for the whole environment around it to evolve with it but it’s like 2006 second life forums constantly.

            And people gripe about Maria spending so much focus on VR – I’m glad she does…because this is the direction the world is heading. Opensim will become Netscape and AOL if it can’t get up to speed here and only about 28 people will miss it! It frustrates me because I like it, I got into 3dvr from second life and moved to opensim, Kitely, and I do not want to see it fail or be swallowed up in the mad rush to 21st century technologies that make things happen with a couple clicks.

            Case in point – I struggled with opensim for 2 years until I read one of these articles about new world studio. I downloaded it and it removed the crap part and let me just get started. No nonsense. Because that entry barrier went away with a couple of easy click installation and setup, I could focus on learning other stuff. That gave me enough familiarity to try out SOAS and that helped me start learning more of the coding/programming areas…and NWS was what did it.

            That’s where opensim is failing. NWS is history, thankfully I have that old pitiful copy and it’s still useful with some tweaking…but I don’t know how to make it hg enabled. I’m still going with SOAS until that stops being updated and then what?

            By middle of next year I guarantee you Oculus will bust out their web based world builder platform and it’ll be easy, click this, done. Nobody will be thinking about opensim…the dinosaur. I do not want to see that happen. That’s why I keep pointing this out over and over (and they keep deleting it, I guess to hide the truth from whoever, who knows)…but it’s just ignored.

            So be it then. One day sooner than many in this community seem to realize is that grids and hosting and content theft and all these things will become moot. Nobody will care but a few small groups who get left behind. I dread the day I find myself deleting opensim the way I deleted IE or AOL or Netscape. And yes, even Second Life viewer…

          • The primary reason why OpenSim is not going to evolve much and most likely in int’s current state is what one of the developers; Melanie of Avination stated in a heated discussion that ran on the opensim-dev mailing list:

            “Core is consensus-based and there is no “boss” to set out a roadmap everyone else has to follow. We all volunteer our time and
            creativity for this project and to most of us, this is a
            recreational activity, not work.

            Admittedly, the project could profit from some guidance, but that
            same guidance would likely lead to a loss of active developers, as
            people who volunteer their time want to do what they like to do, not
            what some roadmap tells them to.”

          • Alex Ferraris

            Actually done that in Aviworlds. I offered 1/4 sim free. The problem is what i have already explained many times on here. Human nature likes opportunities and excitements specially financial ones. We all love to compete and FREE does not offer that opportunity. Free does not activate development and creativity.

        • > “I really think it is time to get back on our feet again and not try to ruin each other.”

          The SL-compatible metaverse has a declining user base overall, in spite of Maria’s “growth” articles that show growth by counting the same users multiple times through their shuffling around on different grids. When a new grid pops up and attracts 1000 users and a few hundred regions, that is not growth of the overall marketspace. It just means a dilution of the same users over a larger number of products, and both users and regions or sqm are being counted multiple times. This is especially true if regions are not cleaned up, or offered for free. I’d love to know the total number of *paid* regions across our virtual grid space, and only those that are up (e.g. not sure if Kitely still offers this, but when I had a free region there, it was common to just duplicate it as a backup, or variant, and I don’t consider that something to add to the total size of our metaverse).

          The market is so fragmented now that it is difficult to even try to keep track of the leaders. We have, what, over 300 grids or so? And total active users of, I would think, something less than 15,000 and probably closer to 10,000. Do we really think that most of InWorldz active users never try another grid? Or that most of OSGrid’s users don’t try another grid? Or Kitely’s or whatever? One of the benefits of there being such choice means that users get to see what’s happening at many different, and mostly-compatible, grids. I really like that we can have accounts on more than one grid, and if something is happening somewhere specific, you can just go there for a visit, yet have your home somewhere else.

          But I think we need to recognize that the overall total user count across all grids isn’t really growing, and may in fact be shrinking. This means we need to try to work together to make the alternative grids (alternative to SL) better overall. More reliable, more consistent, more capable. This is one of the reasons InWorldz has open-source virtually all of their software and made it available for other grids to take, completely, or whatever pieces work best for them: https://github.com/InWorldz In particular, the reliable and scalable WHIP asset servers might be nice pluggable huge benefit to many grids. The Phlox script engine, the updated PhysX.NET implementation, the “SOPMQ” (scalable optionally-persistent distributed message queue), etc. The idea there is to increase the reliability of alternative worlds. And as quality increases, it also allows for more realistic pricing that supports development, support staff and on-demand contract work.

          But I really agree with Suz comment above. The alternative grid market is not large enough to support these kinds of discount attempts a cut-throat competition. I can understand that smaller grids need to compete with the larger more established grids, but doing something like offering regions at 50% off and then being able to pay for a bit custom contract work your users want is far better than trying to undercut your competition. And if that means you don’t sell as many regions, nor does your “competitor” grid, then so be it; instead maybe these grids should look to *consolidation* as a way to grow.

          I think the alternative grid space would be far better off with several smaller grids merging to provide a smaller number of definitive alternatives to the larger grids. That is far better than fighting over the scraps in a lowest-price battle. That’s also how many businesses provide apparent growth and a less fractioned market space; through mergers and acquisitions.

          Currently, alternative grids seem to be going in the completely opposite direction: dividing and subdividing. Think about what that does to a region when you keep subdividing parcels, and whether that’s the direction you want the alternative grid market space to go.

          • To me also it appears the SL-compatible metaverse is contracting rather than growing.

            On OpenSim based grids, the users meanders among grids, and create accounts all around inflating grid active and registered users leaving empty regions behind them, a behavior that is in realty predatory on the overall base.

            One sign of contracting base is there is close to no innovation in content in OpenSim. The (still) very rich catalog of content in SecondLife does not have a mirror in OpenSim despite the “cheap” and “free” freedom to create. What I see is largely a small selection of regurgitated content originating from a handfull of creators intermingled with copybotted items and old stuff that made it over on SI years ago.

            Even a casual look at grid concurrencies give you a pretty good shot at what the real situation is. As others have pointed out, a look at contributions to the OpenSim code base gives you another. Add to that the few but very vocal who is doing their best to choke the interest of real investors in the space with their “all free for all” mantra.

      • Tranquillity (InWorldz)

        I can’t even run a simple low traffic website on DigitalOcean, one of the cheapest (reputable) hosts available for less than $10 and you’re telling me you think that grids somehow have the buying power to get compute, memory, and disk cheaper than them?

        Good luck with a single core and 512 MB RAM for a simulator instance that you actually want to have anyone come and visit on. That’s about what you’ll get from a cloud server host for $5. Good luck being packed together with 100 other regions on a single server when they actually start being utilized so that a host can charge $5.

        Even if server hardware was free and a company charged $10/region, they’d need to sell 600 regions just to pay a single software developer below average. That’s with free servers. Economies of scale and low margin pricing only work when the market for a product is large enough to support it. Is the theory that “any time now” everyone in the world will want an opensim simulator? Why is the minimum price for a cloud server on AWS still hovering around $10/mo for very low specs that aren’t even suitable for a sim. Amazon has more economy of scale than anyone reading this page will ever have.

        The only way these prices make business sense is on-demand, and there’s only one company in the space doing that. Not everyone likes that model either.

        • Suz Blessed

          Right 🙂

        • gabegw11

          VERY WELL SAID!!!!! I agree 100% with you!

        • This!!

          When prices get too low, I start to wonder what corners have been cut.

          While I agree the on-demand model is not for everyone, the only real drawback is sometimes you have to wait a minute for a world to come online. Which to me is no real biggie. I have also heard it makes some scripts behave weirdly and need a re-write.

          Its also more environmentally friendly than constantly burning juice to keep the lights on in empty regions. I know thats not much of a consideration for many, but to me its very important. Save the trees! You can re-boot them later :).

          • Except…when the people saying it are doing the same thing. You may not be aware inwz added a new product recently, but it is explained here;

            http://wiki.inworldz.com/izwiki/index.php/2×2

            Essentially it is 85 usd for a 2×2 square 4 region cluster equaling 12k prims per region (and unable to be spread to any of the others) and thus each region costs 21.25 usd.

            Most if not all active land renters have converted to that.

            Doesn’t anyone else here find that rather interesting?

            Of course some who know of it will excuse it anyway, but I know you as being smart, and so likely were not aware of it. I also expect others chiming in here agreeing with inwz people do not know this.

            But that is really close to even the least expensive land rentals.

        • hack13

          I have to agree with Tranquility here, this was one of the biggest mistakes that Zetamex made when it was under my ownership. The single digit priced regions we offered, hurt us badly. Zetamex was always used to being able to take care of our customers fast and timely, however when we lowered our prices while we could afford the server costs, we were not able to afford our costs to get enough people staffed to handle the work load.

          As far as technology getting cheaper in the web space, I would tend to argue here, I have noticed the price actually increasing as of late, not by a lot but by a little. But when you end up going with the ones that are going cheaper like say OVH, which we used to use, they tend to have many issues they overlook. Such as major network issues, and bad support, and unreliable North America to Europe connections from our personal experience. If you are a current customer of OVH – BHS this past weekend they had a full outage for 3 days due to a fiber line being cut for the third time this year!!! Granted now they have taken action to make their other fiber lines more reliable, but reasons such as this is why you should when running a large grid with several customer start thinking about QUALITY over PRICE.

          And to chime in with Tranquility here, yes you can say run a small site on one of these very low end machines so long as you are expecting low traffic, and are willing to setup everything with command line, as using interfaces like CPanel and such consume a lot of resources. So I am not saying companies cannot pull this off, but I learned a lesson:

          “When you go low, make sure you can still make enough money to not just pay your bills but to hire the people you need to keep things running smooth.” ~Timothy Rogers.

          I speak from experience here, I still beat myself up today over that mistake I made. Zetamex is sadly still recovering from that mistake I made…

        • Suz Blessed

          I am a bit surprised now hearing this from one of your residents in IW:

          [07:51]Fake Name: but we just was able to get a sim on inwordz for 25 a month, yes they saling them

          So is IW now selling their regions for 25 USD per region?

          • Tranquillity (InWorldz)

            Nope. Never have, never will. Just remember there are a few people out there that will say anything to try to prove silly points. We’ve gotten used to it.

            We have a $75 region package at 45,000 prims. We have a $85 region package that comes with 4×256 meter squares for $85, but the parts cannot be purchased separately and they share compute resources making them a single product. We have a scenic package for $20, but you have to own a $75 or $80 region package first to connect them to and the regions are limited to scenic use only and 5k prims.

            There are two groups left in InWorldz I am aware of that have grandfathered pricing for a FIXED NUMBER of regions from when the grid first opened and they made an initial large land purchase. People report this as favoritism, but it’s just us honoring our agreements from 6 years ago. There is no other special pricing beyond sales that we’ll put on sometimes. What you see is what you get.

            “Super seekrit evil greedy founder specials” should be subject to reasoning ala Occam’s razor.

          • I think some people may be getting confused by (third-party) landlords who buy a 2×2 and rent out the regions in the 2×2 separately. One of the nice features of 2x2s is that landlords can offer roughly the same 1/4 region parcels that they used to, but now with the land area of a full region. So to some virtual world residents, this *looks like* a $25 region, when in fact it’s subletting one quarter of a 2×2 from a landlord. This is a very attractive offering to renters, but of course it has nothing to do with special deals, certainly nothing in secret.

            Anyone can grab one of those and I’d encourage virtual land owners to want a cheaper entry point to InWorldz than renting “a full region” directly from the grid at a higher cost.

          • Tranquillity (InWorldz)

            Oh yes! I didn’t think of that.

            Yes that might be the case here, but the regions are subleased then. We don’t directly sell them at those prices. So yes you can get a region cheaper than we can offer from our landowners.

          • Suz Blessed

            Thank you Tranquility for making this clear 🙂

    • There are many problems with these rock-bottom pricing models. First, this is also a betrayal to any private landlords trying to run a business on these grids. Wal-Mart pricing for regions means there is absolutely no market for resale land, since everyone can just own “a whole region” (whatever that means at $5 or $10 or even $15). But more importantly, since it is not a sustainable business model, it means upheaval or even grid closure when the race to the bottom eventually causes a collapse.

      The worst part is that we’re not just talking about the grids doing this, but also the others trying to run a business who have to face temporary activity/economic losses while the residents explore cheapo options. Only the most secure will survive those pressures, and as more and more grids try it and then go the way of the do-do, it ends up hurting the reputation of virtual worlds, and specifically SL-compatible/OpenSim-compatible virtual words, as reliable businesses upon which to invest time and currency.

      Don’t these grid owners see the damage they are doing? This approach is a spiral of doom that only hurts the metaverse as a whole. And I think the only way to avoid it is to either charge a sustainable pricing model that can pay for staff and the development improvements the residents need or want, or to find a large umbrella organization (such as a corporate sponsor like Google) who will effectively fund the staffing and hardware (effectively supporting free regions with professional hosting). The latter hasn’t happened yet, and I can easily count the number of grids that meet the former on one hand (with lots of extra fingers).

      • Suz Blessed

        We have to understand that the majority of the people do not read anything that is posted about Open Sim on the web. They just have things from ‘Hear saying’ and the only page they click is the ‘Region Pricing Page’. Most people have no clue what it takes to run a grid. They only thing they seem to be interested in is the pricing, They want all for almost nothing or even free. Why? Because they can get that on other grids. We have had Creators who wanted to come, but only if we would offer land for free. What are they thinking? The normal player who does not earn a thing has to pay and the once who can make a bit do not? This is the world upside down and ZanGrid does not do deals like that. Everyone is paying for their space on the servers. No exception! Time to also put those creators back on 2 feet!
        Those people are also the first to complain when a region has some issues. expecting everything fixed soon and free ( because they pay for it, lol).
        I think we should teach them reality and this starts with the grid owners. They should get real about pricing and indeed, Jim, ask fair prices, so we can invest in development and security. They should be honest and tell their costumers that they cannot offer the same as grids who have more money to invest. It really is not only the pricing, but also the dishonesty and screwing with the numbers that is giving Open Sim a bad name. If we want to continue we need to work together. And be Honest to the costumers. We have costumers who left because elsewhere it was cheaper, now they deal with the bugs we solved long time ago.
        Again i think the major problem is the ignorance of the normal costumers who are blinded by the low pricing. And we should open up their eyes as well. So that they understand that they cannot compare Apples with Oranges.

  • Alex Ferraris

    Why was my post taken down? You got KITELY , ZANGRID here placing his prices which is not one of the 4 . My post is taken down? Ok.

  • Our prices will stay the same. This is only a xmas promo to start with. Plus this has been going on for a long time. remember Great Canadian Grid and Skylife where offering $5.00 and $3.00 regions and I said back then how this would turn out and all you told me that is called business.Well we are having this sale of Regions & VAR (2×2) as kind of a Christmas gift. We know how tight money is around this time of year. But if you buy one of our Specials or a normal price region the support and service will stay the same (Very Good). As for the other 2 grids I mentioned they don’t, as far as I know, still have them $5.00 Regions anymore. As soon as they got to curtain number and filled their grids that stopped very quickly. lol Plus there is just too many (home grids) or starter grids that do this all the time and old timer grids that truly want to be around for years are finding it harder and harder to stay open. Yes we do all have bills to pay for sure. So I guess I am agreeing with you somewhat Suz Blessed.

  • Carlos Loff

    And performance and assistance is very good at Aviworlds – They shw us how mch money other grids are pocketing with several excusees

  • “We have had Creators who wanted to come, but only if we would offer land for free. What are they thinking?” “Suz said” except that most all other commercial type grids do indeed do this, and inwz is no exception.

    Offering large discounts and free regions to certain (but not all) creators and land barons is standard operating procedure. The issue is not to change what works to try and stem the tide of residents going elsewhere, the real issue is to listen to the customers and watch where they go and ask why.

    So many here think that their customers have a duty to them to help them make money, and all sorts of reasons why they should, but that is really for a company (or individual hosting people) to be intelligent about supply and demand.

    Supply and demand is at work here, especially since government influence has yet to fully involve itself in all this which would skew normal free trade.

    Free trade is what is happening now and there is still a lot of “trying out” of different ideas in order to find the sweet spot that customers like.

    Obviously the Hyperverse is growing and people like it, so that would be number one on any astute business person’s business plan.

    Trying to say all all sorts of reasons people should be wary of it is not working, obviously…as they go there anyway.

    Rather than make your game plan based upon red herrings, notice where people go and do what you can to make your own business follow that, this idea some try to get people to do is against the grain of the real market here.

    Most users just want to enjoy themselves and this is why, no matter what tech is boasted about, or what other specious arguments they use, they still leave…pricing is secondary.

    If pricing were the be all and last resort of grids then SL would never have been, and most certainly would not be around now, if that were so then pricing boasted about being 1/4 the price of SL would mean an exodus to such a grid, or other grids with lesser pricing.

    I would suggest that rather than some people here blame everyone but themselves that they take some business courses.

    Trying to lay on all sorts of things that others’ should do because their own lack of business acumen is not true business or professional at all.

    The market will find a mean point of customer satisfaction.

    “Jim said; Wal-Mart pricing for regions means there is absolutely no market for resale land, since everyone can just own “a whole region” (whatever that means at $5 or $10 or even $15).”

    But you conveniently don’t mention the fact that Wal-Mart is one of the largest companies in the world, serving millions of people, and still making great profits.

    You miss the point, also conveniently, that owning or renting a whole region is a good thing for customers…having lots of land is not a negative it is one of the greatest pluses in OpenSim. Trying to move the debate in that direction speaks volumes to your own agenda, not the peoples.

    “David says; The only way these prices make business sense is on-demand, and there’s only one company in the space doing that. Not everyone likes that model either.”

    Aside from this being untrue, taking potshots at other companies, as you often do, only shows a true lack of professionalism. The same can be said of your grid; “Not everyone likes that model either.” which is why so many people are leaving to those lower pricing business models and why most people hardly stay very long as evidenced in your total users stats.

    Rather than the usual suspects come here and throw out reasons THEY think other grid owners should do, which basically says; “raise your pricing to our pricing so we can have a level playing field OUR WAY” is not a valid argument.

    It leaves out basic business 101 common sense.

    Rather than raise pricing to THEIR concept of pricing, which SL residents surely say the same thing about ALL lower priced grids as having to do so to attract people, one might stop blaming the residents for wanting to save money and just have fun and blame their own business model and change it to what the people want and less what the grid owners want them to want…wishful thinking, but unwise.

    • Rene

      Trying out of different ideas is great. However, once a product becomes the loss leader for some other business model, it is poised for its own ending or irrelevancy because the resources for innovation are drained. This race to the bottom on region prices is doing just that.

      What often happens to service products in a free trade market, especially one in which loss leaders become the norm, is that everyone competing in the marketspace dies except for two sometimes three corporations. Those with the deepest pockets win. Once there, the product withers slowly because the goal was obtaining a revenue stream and not the product nor its innovations nor its dreams. That is the best case scenario. The worst case scenario is where some other similar small or new product, also supported by deep pockets, flourishes to grow on the compost of the previous product space.

      • Hi Rene, aka Balpien, are you still involved with inwz?

        And with your thinking, as well as the others around here saying similar, it fails the test of basic logic.

        If, as you and they say; “Trying out of different ideas is great. However, once a product becomes the loss leader for some other business model, it is poised for its own ending or irrelevancy because the resources for innovation are drained. This race to the bottom on region prices is doing just that.”

        This can easily be applied to the entirely of OpenSim (and its forks) from the perspective of people who are ardent fans of SL.

        And what is considered a “loss leader” (altho I think the use of that phrase is misapplied here)…would that be even more than SL charges, or would that be 250 per region, or 200, 0r 150 (half the normal SL price), and who decides that? and what test can be applied to show it’s truth?

        Just because someone states some price is proper and adequate does not by any means mean it is true. And likewise just because someone says other peoples pricing is to low, the “loss leader”, does not make it true.

        Everyone wants to make more money if they can, the true business model will find that point for which they are comfortable with, and do their best to market it to others.

        This will attract the buyers (customers) and retain them. A business who thrives on disinformation, especially in this small space, will always only be useful for the choir already buying into it…but most people are actually smarter than that.

        The idea that, in this small space, some are loss leaders is irrelevant, it isn’t like they are buying milk (an often loss leader in some markets…set far in the back so impulse buying helps to overcome it).

        And people do all this for all sorts of reasons…low pricing by some grid owners (as defined by other grid owners on the losing side of the equation) is the least of it.

        • Rene

          Minethere (the anonymous avatar) wrote:

          “Hi Rene, aka Balpien, are you still involved with inwz?”
          In one sentence you outted me, highly inappropriate, and you tried to associate me with InWorldz, which somehow is a silly attempt at tarring me with your hatred of that business. No I am not involved with InWorldz LLC insofar as I do not work for them, do not contract with them, and only maintain a minimal presence there. I have moved on to High Fidelity virtual. I agree with what Tranquillity posted simply because what he said makes a lot of sense. Grid operators are both hurting themselves by this downward harmonization of region tier and they are exploiting developers, the very people they need to maintain and innovate.

          “And with your thinking, as well as the others around here saying similar, it fails the test of basic logic.”
          The thinking here is nothing about your irrelevant remarks. It is about the simple fact that the race toward the bottom in region pricing leads to many grid operators unable to pay people for development work. It even leads to grid operators running at a loss since they cannot cover the cost of their operations given the miniscule revenue they make off of those tiny tiers. That is an unsustainable model. It requires either deep pockets (the person does it out of the love of doing it, hence they pay out of pocket), or it requires finding some other form of revenue generation, like advertising (Maria mentioned that possibility). Both of these approaches lead to stagnation because development does not happen. Or, it leads to exploitation where developers are leaned on to provide code fixes and improvements at below poverty level wages or do volunteerism which as a lifestyle is unsustainable without some other day job. Neither are great models. OpenSim has already lost some key developers because of this problem.
          Right now there is a zero sum game being played out as people shuffle around between ever lower priced regions. Hypergrid, by letting people flow anywhere, has commoditized regions, and though that is generally a good thing, it gets very bad when prices drop below costs. Without capital reserves to fund innovation, one ends up with something that is in danger of becoming surpassed by other ventures. Lowering the prices are not causing a massive influx of people – it is just shuffling the deck chairs. The iceberg is ahead. Time to steer clear soonest.

      • Dharma Galaxy

        All the original innovation was hobbyist to begin with. If it’s all been drained then it is probably because of the business models which have been in vogue for the last half dozen years or so.

    • Suz Blessed

      Only one thing……what will happen when costumers find out that some creators do Not pay and they themselves have to? Or are those deals between Grid and creator and the creator is not allowed to mention this. I go for honesty and treating all people the same. If people want more content, they can make it or buy it at Kitely market or try convince creators to also open up a shop at their region ( if landowners offer the shops free they should.) But as a grid we need to keep our head above the water and threat all people equal. And most of all be Fair and Honest to our members. My advise to creators would be go sell your items at Kitely market and set all on Export:) If a Grid is asking you to lie or shut up about things, think about what they would do behind your back if they ask you to help them go behind other’s. If you want to be part of that … ok 🙂

      • And this is the crux of the matter, really. “Only one thing……what will happen when costumers find out that some creators do Not pay and they themselves have to? Or are those deals between Grid and creator and the creator is not allowed to mention this.”

        Some have no issue discussing it, whether the grid owners or the creators/land barons, and others will emphatically deny it. But either side of that those people will not offer the info but some will answer truthfully if pressed. The presser would need some leverage tho. Or be acquainted in some other more real way.

        It’s really a matter of how a business does things, their standard operating procedure, and I would love to see all in this space be aboveboard and honest …but the reality is that for some people they think anything is good if it bumps their bottom line penny or makes their grid look better (so they can brag about it).

        They have no shame in that thinking and anyone who gets in the way will be derided or otherwise bullied.

        All sorts of carrots can be strewn about to get what they want.

        And I am not saying it is all that wrong, really, as long as it is aboveboard (one caveat showing honest grid owners would be so), and the field is level.

        I most definitely agree it would cause all sorts of issues from the people who think their grid is fair to all, but are not…and then there would be those people who would excuse it, especially if they are benefitting themselves.

        I won’t name the grid, but I brought a most sought after hair creator into a closed commercial grid because I knew him a bit from past dealings. He used space in our mall some of us had created but then all of a sudden he up and has his own region where he put most of his efforts into from then on….of course this reduced our Malls visitation.

        He was a decent guy tho, and told me since I had shown him that grid he would keep his items in our Mall, tho it would not have the efforts to it than his own free region. The free region given to him by the grid owners who knew full well it would elevate their status in the Meta and get more customers. Those owners did not care that other customers, Us, would lose visitors, at all.

        This same creator I got to try out another (formerly) closed grid. He first brought in my favorite hair (he liked how I helped him, or tried to help him) and then he asked for a free region…he was refused by people who actually felt like you do, for the most part, at least publicly, so he left. At the same time there were other customers, favored by the grid owners, who got free regions.

        There is another much sought creator who gets a free region wherever she wants to go.

        So pragmatically speaking this is required…from a humanistic point of view, yea, it kinda stinks.

        And this is part and parcel of why I finally left behind all that commercial stuff and love the free and glorious Hyperverse!

    • >> “We have had Creators who wanted to come, but only if we would offer land for free. What are they thinking?” “Suz said” except that most all other commercial type grids do indeed do this, and inwz is no exception.

      This kind of uninformed misguided remark wasn’t called for. Why did you add InWorldz to this comment from Suz? InWorldz does not offer free land to SL creators or creators from any other grid to encourage them to set up shop in InWorldz. InWorldz doesn’t even offer them a discount.

      The only discounts offered are region volume discounts offered across-the-board to all residents. The only exception to that was that, 5 or 6 years ago, there was a limited number of discounted regions offered to pioneer buyers at that early time to encourage region growth and that limited number of regions were grandfathered. A few of those still exist, but it had nothing to do with trying to recruit creators and is not relevant to anything in many, many years. It was when InWorldz only had a few users, and was discounts of about one third off the price, nothing like the unsustainable pricing being offered by bargain grids.

      >> “But you conveniently don’t mention the fact that Wal-Mart is one of the largest companies in the world, serving millions of people, and still making great profits.”

      Yes, Wal-Mart has millions of customers, providing the economies of scale that David and others referred to, that virtual world grids do NOT enjoy. And Wal-Mart pays minimum wage to deliver the cheapest product made from the cheapest factories in China to its customers in mass bulk volumes. This provides Wal-Mart with millions (or is it billions now) of dollars with which to fund investment and growth, something no virtual world grid has. Without the economies of scale, virtual worlds struggle from month to month, or simply take a personal loss to deliver something the grid owners want to do for fun. I don’t think any grid is “making great profits”. I didn’t “conveniently leave out” something that didn’t apply to grids, but you conveniently brought up something that does not apply (millions of customers, and “great profits”).

      >> “You miss the point, also conveniently, that owning or renting a whole region is a good thing for customers…having lots of
      land is not a negative it is one of the greatest pluses in OpenSim. Trying to move the debate in that direction speaks volumes to your own agenda, not the peoples.”

      Well, yes, I should have let you speak for the people. 😉 Of course more land is a great thing, I would have thought that was obvious. However, I stand by my comment that making sudden changes to the pricing model of land is detrimental to business owners in a grid. That is the same mistake LL made with the “Open Spaces Fiasco”. Making significant changes to the economic model of a grid means the grid is not a suitable stable platform upon which to build a business. So if the plan is to eliminate those wanting to be landlords and renting out half regions and quarter regions, and more land for less $ is the only goal, why doesn’t the grid just offer free regions for all? There. Lots of land.

      • uh, Jimbo-))

        As far as I know you don’t have your hands on the bookkeeping of inwz, and afaik only Beth does, and without annual 3rd party un -affiliated audits (that is important, btw), one can SAY all sorts of things, even untrue ones…whose to know otherwise?

        I suppose nobody else but the elf clan gets deep discounts then? well, nah, not really, and I do know…unfortunately I am not going to draw those people into what they would feel is drama by naming names….in any case, you would find some reason(s) to refute it, and with really pretty words, I am sure.

        It doesn’t make my statements any less true just as you saying otherwise makes that true.

        You believe anything that is said to you by the owners, you even stated once you love them (which in turn gave me this rather ghastly vision of you prostrating yourself on the ground every time they walked by) and think there is no reason to question any of it…I think that invalidates anything you say on the matters put forth. One the other hand, let’s say you know ALL truths, well that would just make you a part of the problem, yes?

        Yes “Well, yes, I should have let you speak for the people. 😉 Of course more land is a great thing, I would have thought that was obvious. However, I stand by my comment that making sudden changes to the pricing model of land is detrimental to business owners in a grid.”

        then I suppose you absolutely burned in shame that you all “had” to succumb to such dastardly low and unrealistic pricing when the quad 2×2 was added (85 bucks for 4 contiguous regions but with region crossing required (different than a varregion to those who don’t already know this)), to which pretty much all active land renters moved to, once again showing that low pricing and more land sells…..odd that.

        I suppose, as usual, this does not apply to your fav grid atm “Making significant changes to the economic model of a grid means the grid is not a suitable stable platform upon which to build a business”

        I do speak up for some people, a lot… I doubt. Most others have either been browbeat so much by you and others from inwz they are scared to say anything at all, or don’t want to get involved, or just ….left…which I kinda feel isn’t a good thing for all this stuff….

        Heck, even David once said;

        “”TranquillityDexler Post subject: Re: The State of Virtual Society– why no “clone”Posted: Mon May 19, 2014 3:30 pm Admin
        Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:44 pm
        Posts: 3815
        The market for SL based VR has proven saturated. There has been no real growth in unique user numbers in opensim based grids for years. This is the core of the problem. Most places showing any region growth give out dree (sic) regions in some form which count on their stats.
        (snip)
        I’m also not seeing some huge incentive for people to leave here unless they’re giving up on VWs entirely. While there are some wizz bang type things going on in the VW space, none of them have proven viable to attract new attention yet.”

        but I suppose you all are REALLY very concerned for the rest of the Meta, regardless.

        So, really, this penchant of inwz ppl to occasionally use these articles to try and convince others to bend to their will. is not even important at all…heck, you all could have just said nothing and the “nice” idea of grids offering discounts would be just that “nice”…leave it to you folks to rain on others parades….bleh

        Really tho, since you interjected your comment (always a bad idea but some people never learn…lol) even if we use your pricing of 75 per region (no setup charges of course…and who would charge that….dunno) who is to say that is enough to pay “all those things you all think you should be getting more money for and how unfair is it that others undercut us…pout pout, etc.)

        It might just as well be 100 or 200, whatever.

        The real issue is what you folks have actually used as another ploy to say to blissfully ignorant people…that you need more people so that the results of the numbers game, at any price, would give you more and more of the money to, heck, even pay YOU more…maybe even hire Balpien back…that would rock wouldn’t it.

        And that would be as even you mention, Jim, the economy of scale, just like Wal-Mart…golly

        Since that isn’t working out so well since people are actually more and more going outside of the box, whether it be SL or your grid, or others similar, of course you have to find a new angle.

        Some here were and are looking to your grid as the last word and beall to answer all our problems, even backpains, I suspect…so mentioning inwz is just part of the string of commenting here.

        It was not “This kind of uninformed misguided remark wasn’t called for. Why did you add InWorldz to this comment from Suz?” at all, just as I have stated.

        Anywho, more comments from me will have to be tomorrow, if I still feel like jabbering-))

        • First, the name is Jim. But what I do know is that you know a lot less about the financial situation in InWorldz than I do. Yes, I was referring to the Elfclan regions above when I mentioned a limited number of grandfathered regions. That is all public knowledge and discussed several times and a completely appropriate reward (and limited to those old grandfathered regions) for those willing to take a chance on a new grid, and not related to attracting creators from other grids. So what I also do know is that your comment, that I quoted and corrected, is *completely* incorrect, and the main reason I replied to your bait at all.

          I also know that your personal attack trolling comment above which I will not quote here was completely out of line and I’m not going to respond to this other than this comment and to report your posting.

          • ah, good, the old tried and true browbeating is alive and well!! yippee!

            Sometimes it is fun to bait you, Jim, because you so easily fall for it. The reason you do, and I am NOT a psychiatrist, but wish I was, is that you think you have the high road and have all truths, and thus this gives you the right to try and browbeat ANYONE who says differently….I know…but it must be so hard to be so good and see things not go the way you think they should.

            But what will be really sad is when you finally open your eyes and actually SEE the truth…I hope you are stoic enough to embrace it and let it make you stronger.

            Your continuing stuff you say in my direction makes me think you would not hold up well.

            But all your snarly little insults never meant anything to me, because I know better….the only thing that has lessoned my time I spend on such things is my real life issues…it does bother me in that regard, but not really so much.

            A hint…calling others a troll when you get a perceived attack only shows a very small person…end hint

            and good night!!

            ps i never said the elf clan issue was a problem, in that, also, i know the deal…in fact part due to my finding out something which was not commonly known, that I then spoke to someone who did not know, which resulted in her getting special discounts….you don’t know and nobody will ever fess up, but true it is…

            pps I also didn’t say you knew nothing about inwz finances, just that you don’t know as much as you think you do, and regardless, it does not matter as you will believe anything you are told…bye bye winky wink

          • opps ppss whatever….oh noooo, have me censored! oh my, I will die if I am censored….bleh….you may be excellent at censoring your forums and elsewhere on the grid, but certainly not here nor with me…

            such stupid threats mean absolutely nothing to me other than seeing in all its beauty how much you think that is even ok to say, or do, rather than deal openly and honestly -)))

          • I’m personally hoping it all stands, and that you don’t self-edit it out. I want you to own your words, and for others to see how balanced, fair and constructive you are.

          • gabegw11

            Thought you were going to bed?

          • I’m glad you’re here to enlighten us all with Your Truth, but I just wish it wasn’t presented in such a negative confrontational way.

            We can work together to make things better, or we can continue to try to divide, until we are all running our own single-user grids.

            Which can be *free* since it won’t need special hosting or development staff, and you can do that now with the Halcyon or OpenSim software (but then everyone will just have to pray that the open source developers volunteer the features and fixes everyone needs).

            Be careful trying to bait others: they can selectively choose to engage or to just leave you exposed with your own words.

  • Tony Anytime

    I agree with many below that lowering prices is not good for business long term. Most grids aren’t that profitable anyway. I would be looking to raise prices but offer more services, decent tech support and better performance. People complain all the time about grids losing their inventory, part-time support, etc… Well it is because most business models are just not profitable enough to pay for proper tech support. I have being in the webhosting business since 1995, and learned that competing on price is silly. I charge upwards of $50 a month, some as high as $250 to host websites. And people are happy to pay it because my service give them something they can not get somewhere, and offer great webhosting and support. OpenSim can’t compete with SL because everyone is just thinking Free or cheap all the time. SO grid providers offer a balance package of services, you might be surprised what you might sell.

  • Guest

    The real competition for grids is not other grids but standalones. The technology has reached a state that anybody can run a region at home for the cost of keeping the machine powered up and connected to the internet. There is nothing you can do from a region connected to a grid that you cannot do from a standalone with hypergrid enabled, and a number of things that you can only do from a standalone such as manage your own assets and opensimulator version.

    It seems to me the future of the metaverse is quite likely to be a hypergrid network with grids gradually falling by the wayside in the same way that one-stop internet portals became relics of the early days of the internet.

    • TribeGadgets

      Yes and no. As we can run a teeny private shared space for no more than it takes to run our own machines – yes. If we want to open that then – maybe, theres enough released code out there. As it stands basic CBA means we can have collaborative fun and only need one (or two) ‘real’ ways to perhaps make a few ‘virtual pennies’.
      (Taking into account that net access is factored in – vive Europa)

    • Dharma Galaxy

      I’m in full agreement here. I’ve been running a private grid as my home for over a year now.

      The only business models which are going to survive are those which can find a way to make money off me when I go visiting.

    • Talla Adam

      I do agree that the real competition comes from Standalone worlds simply because they are not hard to setup and can be run for practically nothing on home PC and broadband, albeit limited in important ways. The commercial grids of Opensim are competing for a relatively small pie of paying customers unable or unwilling to run their own standalone. This is where Linden Lab has it all worked out with Second Life. They don’t just run a closed grid with huge concurrency and content, which is the real value of paying over the top for land in SL, they also have the money to keep developing to stay ahead of Opensim – just. It seems to me the commercial grids of Opensim can only survive if they take a leaf out of the Lab’s book and spend money developing unique features they aren’t going to share with the open source community such as Kitely and Inworldz have done (although they do share some useful code). Customers that stick with commercial grids have compelling reasons to do so and they are willing to pay their prices as we still see with SL. The rest who shop around for the cheapest service are mostly floaters and a lot of commercial grids are trying to get them in. New grids and even existing grids do that by hosting on the back of open source software anyone with a modicum of technical know-how and a cheep VPS service can start up. Inevitably, that leads to stiff competition and poor quality service so I really don’t think the bigger commercial grids like Kitely and Inworldz need worry too much. I think they are better off advertising their quality of service and technical advancement. This is still what Linden Lab has going for them with Second Life, and, although seeing a very slow decline, they still stick to the high pricing while continuing to favor land barons with discounts.

      I have no problem with small commercial grids surviving off the back of land hosting (it is their bread and butter after all) but what is it that is special about their grids individually? Not a lot really. Well, not a lot in many cases but there are a few exceptions. They all have some kind of clubbing/dancing/freebies/shopping, etc, etc. Some have a nice welcome region with one or more helpful greeters but a lot don’t. But here is the point; in SL there are thousands of regions with some real gems of entertainment or service in many of them. It seems to me too many of the “small” commercial grids want to tread the same well trodden path hoping they get a few of those gems of entertainment or service hosting with them and, unfortunately for them, it just doesn’t happen very often so they all end up looking pretty much the same and it ends up a waiting game as the pocket book bleeds money.

      The bigger grids do have some gems like role play communities and quite well established entertainment venues – adult, gambling and such included. But, technically they do tend to be better serviced than the smaller grids and startup’s. And their customer service, although not perfect, is generally better. Small grids can’t compete with that and so are better off settling on a particular theme or service like Nara’s Nook writers community or some role play genre like Gor or something other of an adult nature perhaps. Some themed grids already exist like The Counter Earth grid and attract a kind of user so I personally think standalones and small themed grids will do better. But the bigger established grids would be better off concentrating in technical improvement and quality service. I think this would attract more people rather than an ugly price war.

    • I agree “It seems to me the future of the metaverse is quite likely to be a hypergrid network with grids gradually falling by the wayside in the same way that one-stop internet portals became relics of the early days of the internet.” but think it is already becoming the reality.

      I would add that there will always be people who can’t or do not want to run their own simulators so land hosting companies should do well.

    • Shy Robbiani

      I partially agree. At least I look at this as an option.
      I successfully managed to turn a 130 US$ media hub into a black box that is able to run a single region quite well. However, it’s running on its limits and required a lot of tweaking and knowledge not everybody has. Its still very experimental and far from a solution out of the box. In fact, there is still a gap between these low cost SoC based devices and what’s needed to successfully run a sim.
      If you think in another category, lets say 300 US$ or more, then it’s hard to compete with some of the land prices offered here.
      But even more important to me is that a grid is much more than just a bunch of loosely coupled simulators running in the wild. Its service offers, its performance, its help desk and user support, its content and last but not least its community is what qualifies a grid.

      • Guest

        Wow! I have yet to spend anything at all on anything opensimulator related except for my periodic contributions to OSGrid. What we are talking about here is running opensim on an existing pc which you already have lying around, in my case an old laptop which I also use for media streaming. At a bare minimum all you need is something to log onto and to store your assets. Everything else can be accessed via hypergrid (except for Kitely unless you have a DNS name). This setup is essentially free. You do not need to belong to a grid or to run a grid to access any grid using hypergrid; very much in the same way you do not need to run a web server to access the internet.

        Everything opensimulator works just fine as long as you avoid the “bleeding-edge” weekly releases and stick with one of the master branches. If I were to spend money on my set-up, I would pay for cloud storage and create a virtual windows server just to get access to a faster line.

        And you do not even need to join a grid to be part of a community. The diverse, free-wheeling society of Second Life is the function of several thousand users jammed onto one grid with a fully-functional internal economy. Opensimulator will never duplicate Second Life, but it does have the potential to be the infrastructure for something infinitely greater.

        • I have a feeling that Kitely will emerge way over SL in the online virtual market race and probably drop the grid hosting entirely once people roll their own.

          Ilan – if you see this – does or can Kitely’s market deliver to home based standalone regions? If it can make that happen, you guys are going to own – or pwn – the virtual shopping space.

          • Kitely Market can deliver to any Hypergrid-enabled OpenSim gird or standalone and to closed OpenSim grids and standalones that are properly set up. See:
            https://kitely.atlassian.net/wiki/display/doc/Kitely+Market+Delivery+to+Other+Grids
            https://kitely.atlassian.net/wiki/display/doc/How+to+Add+a+Grid+as+a+Delivery+Option

            The only limitation is that the grid or standalone must use a domain name instead of an IP number for its Grid URI (this is a security feature designed to reduce marketplace abuse). You can use various Dynamic DNS Services to get a free domain name if you don’t already have one. See:
            https://kitely.atlassian.net/wiki/display/doc/Dynamic+DNS+Services

          • I still love you guys. That’s so awesome!

            I do miss Kitely – is there any other option yet besides paypal?

          • Thank you Delana 🙂

            You can change your payment method to Kitely Credits, as we do accept our virtual currency as payment for our own services, but the only way to directly buy Kitely Credits is via PayPal.

            That said, please note that buying KC can be done as a one time credit card charge that is simply billed via PayPal and doesn’t require creating a new ongoing PayPal subscription for our service. This enables most people who’ve encountered technical difficulties with creating a PayPal subscription to successfully purchase KC and use that for paying us for a Kitely subscription.

  • LOL See. I told ya Kitely would be the game changer! They couldn’t compete with that initial pricing model and Kitely soared to the top. Now with their marketplace, things are tough for the rest. Especially the ones rife with drama. When there’s so much nonsense on a grid people leave, the demand drops…so the prices always follow.