Such A Deal!

It’s pretty simple to find a low-cost virtual world these days. It makes one wonder how Second Life can survive with its current pricing structure.

As I have written many times, SL isn’t going anywhere, certainly not out of business, anytime soon. If I‘m wrong, it’s going to be an awfully long time before you can say, “I told you so.”

But the alternatives to SL that are available today are numerous and inexpensive. You can have your own region – or multiple regions – for free if you like. Or, you can take advantage of reasonable prices from OpenSim grids or hosting companies.

For those of you Second Life residents who are just looking into it lately, you will find that you can easily get a full region – with more prims than in SL – generally anywhere in the $20 to $45 per month range. There are some cheaper options too and some just a little more expensive as well.

Even though I’m planning to continue running my own personal grid (for free), I have been toying with the idea of paying in that 20 – 45 USD price range and establishing a region on a larger, existing grid as well.

Then I read the recent news from Kitely…

Kitely is changing it’s pricing policy as of January 1, 2014. Although the element of time will still apply to some Kitely accounts, they are moving away from counting your minutes and focusing more on accounts that require monthly fees. It seems one big reason is marketing – potential customers found the old pricing system confusing.  And yes, they will still have a plan for customers who don’t want a monthly fee.

The details are on the Kitely blog. The blog post also announces a special offer, good until the end of 2013.

The offer is so attractive, I had to jump on it even though I’m not sure whether I want it for the long run. It doesn’t lock me in for a year – or even a quarter, it goes month to month, so I decided to try it for a while and see what my needs are.

The other day I upgraded my Free plan to the Gold plan. The cost of the Gold plan is 35 USD per month. That comes with unlimited minutes and 20 regions but by going for the Gold at this time, they’ll add another ten regions to the plan on January 1 and they will grandfather my account in.

So, as of January 1, I’ll have 30 regions and unlimited time with my Kitely account.

It’ll be just like having an account in Second Life.

Well, almost.

I got my calculator out last night…

30 regions in Second Life would cost me $8850 per month. No, I didn’t forget a decimal point. We’re talking about close to nine-thousand dollars a month in SL. As opposed to $35 per month in Kitely.

Not to mention the tens of thousands of extra prims in Kitely. Or the fact that their management doesn’t treat its users as if they don’t exist.

But I will mention the set-up fees. In Second Life, the set-up fee for each region is $1000. In Kitely, there is no set-up fee.

So, right away, I’m saving $30,000.

Doesn’t it sound like I am making these numbers up?

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About Danko Whitfield

writer, explorer of virtual worlds. semi-retired time traveler.
This entry was posted in Virtual Issues and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Such A Deal!

  1. Minethere Always says:

    Sounds like a good move-))

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  2. OpenSim grids have a few advantages that allow them to be far cheaper:

    1. They don’t have the enormous data centres SL needs.
    2. They don’t have 150+ personnel.

    However, the bulk of server-side R&D is done by LL. So, I guess OpenSim grid providers secretly hope LL sticks around as long as possible, because I don’t think they have the budget (even if they all merge into one provider) to do all this work. And they certainly don’t have the manpower.

    As for LL’s user support… While it leaves an awful lot to be desired, have you perchance tried getting anything resembling user support from WordPress?

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  4. Selena says:

    I still don’t see anything worth leaving SL for – price doesn’t do it for me. I am in SL for the vast quantity of quality designers and products available to help me create a beautiful life. This next point is slightly invalid for me because I am an estate owner in SL, but if I weren’t… Id rather spend $30 on a reasonable sized parcel in SL and have access to what SL has going for it than spend $0 in Kitely or any “other” non SL grid and hear my voice echo in the fast void. Yeah that last part “vast void” was slightly uncalled for, but to me that’s how it feels.

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  5. Mera Kranfel says:

    If u need a whole region it is price worthy. But remember, not all ppl want that 🙂 ♥

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  6. Keith Powell says:

    “However, the bulk of server-side R&D is done by LL. So, I guess OpenSim grid providers secretly hope LL sticks around as long as possible”
    I’m not sure this is wholey correct as far as the Kitely worlds is concerned? I have always thought that Kitely upgrades its own Opensim open source and shares it back to the other communities?
    I don’t want to see the demise of any Grid but the Kitely offer is good for people who want to make regions for a bit cheaper. If your a SL person, then thats your choice. Its about choices for me, 🙂
    Mat

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    • Minethere Always says:

      It isn’t really. There is a lot of ppl who talk about stuff that they just heard from others. Opensim is opensource code that LL originally created, but abandoned. Others decided to take it from there. It has many things that still harken back to SL but so much has been changed it is really nothing like it was back then.

      What Kitely does is contribute code to the core development group, which in turn is made up of some main contributors and several patch contributors. Kitely does not contribute all they do back, but quite a lot.

      So Kitely, and all OS grids except inworldz, are pretty much on current OS dev code, though some lag a bit behind in upgrading, 7.6, as Kitely just did, is the current production release. 8.0 is next and is being heavily tested by all sorts of ppl and some grids have it up already….osgrid and craft are 2 I know for sure use it.

      This will also include the bullet physics enable by default as I understand it…bullet has been available since, I think it was, 7.4 but it had to be enabled to work, and many have done that also. It is going to be awesome software.

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  7. Ilan Tochner says:

    Hi Minethere,

    It’s true that LL created the SL viewer and OpenSim still mostly relies on people being able to use TPV viewers that derive from it.
    It’s also true that OpenSim is an open-source project. What isn’t true is that LL had started OpenSim or even played a noteworthy part in its development. In fact, up until recently, the OpenSim project had strict rules against accepting code contributions from developers that had even so much as viewed the viewer code. Both IBM and Intel were (Intel still is) involved in developing OpenSim and they didn’t want LL to have any legal claim to any part of it.

    OpenSim’s development history is available on the project’s site: http://opensimulator.org/wiki/History . It’s time people stopped with the silly notion that LL created OpenSim. LL didn’t start the OpenSim project, it was started by Darren Guard in January 2007 in an attempt to create an open-source version of the SL server that the, then, recently released open-source viewer could connect to.

    LL deserves a lot of credit for a lot of things but creating OpenSim is not one of them.

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    • Minethere Always says:

      ah…you know what, I think you had mentioned that someplace else also…I do recall reading that link once….apparently it did not stick on the remaining 2 brain cells I have left…thx for the clarification….I do prefer clarity even over showing I also was repeating some oft said nonsense…lolol

      but some of what I said was right, that makes it all good-))))

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  8. Talla Adam says:

    I think it is absurd to suggest Opensim, which is an open source project, is dependant on LL R&D when their server code is proprietary. None of their code is contributed to Opensim and any similarity between LL functions and Opensim functions is built on pure guess work after looking at the way in which the viewer handles things. Linden Lab might be spending a lot of money on staff but a great deal of their R&D is now directed at unrelated products like video games anyway. Opensim has many contributors as Minethere points out and those contributors are all actively involved in Opensim running grids and hosting services. It is a whole industry quite separate from LL where there is a common aim to develop an open source system that is not locked in by monopoly interests. However, all that said, Second Life has built up a lot of user-made content over the years and, of course, it is all locked in which keeps a fair few of the residents locked in too because, understandably, they wont be parted from the inventory they have paid good money for. People have built friendships and investments in role play and other interests too so they are not going to drag themselves away Second Life readily. It seems no matter how expensive Second Life is there are still people willing to fork out the cash in order to tap into the traffic potential SL still commands but there is no escaping the obvious decline.

    It is perfectly understandable that people who have a vested interest in Second Life will defend it and put down Opensim. Who wouldn’t if you’re making money? But the vast majority don’t make money in SL or could ever hope to since most things that can be made have been and often better that any upstart can hope to do it. The boom years in SL have passed and Opensim is now improved beyond all recognition to how it worked just a few years ago. It is just too good to ignore really and massively cheaper than Second Life. Lots of people are now spending time in both SL and OS grids which often are of their own making. What’s more the content is getting better too and no, it’s not all copybotted. In fact copybots are guilty of stealing plenty of stuff from OS grids and selling it in SL where their is still more money to be had. But anyway, the things that separate SL from OS are fading regardless and more and more people are exploring the alternatives and will likely find enjoyment in both systems since they have plenty in common.

    Opensim development is unrelenting and developers like Kitely have done a lot of work on improving content security too and with export perms under the control of the creators with the possibility of white lists where content can go we will soon be experiencing a much more advanced server code and Hypergrid connectivity thus establishing the free Metaverse as an important market for virtual goods. The economy is in place and functional with various forms of token currency and there are plenty of grids and places where folk are gathering if one takes the trouble to seek them out. Granted, it is not as easy as dropping into Second Life and teleporting around to find a busy spot but once you understand the how the free Metaverse works then you will find it is better populated than it appears at first glance. Second Life can show traffic metrics for the grid because it is all under one roof so to speak but Opensim grids are wide spread on many severs around the world so it is difficult to get the full picture, and yet we try. Moreover, we have found ways in social media like Google plus to make contacts between grids and that is already working for us just fine.

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  10. I have no problems moving to kitley. And taking my friends with me as well> We almost all started out in IMVU, then moved to sl, tried RLD, but that went nowhere and was too expensive, now we are happily in kitely and are bringing our talents ans products to the marketplace. I hope that kitely will thrive. While I adore my continent in os standalone, it can be quite lonely since i haven’t been able to figure out how to let other people in without crashing my computer.

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