Some recent events in my RL work, followed by a discussion with Crap Mariner, caused me to start thinking about the topic of SL land tier again. Let’s start by admitting that the cost of virtual land in Second Life is high. If you want a sim of your own (an OpenSpace sim, a Homestead, or a full sim), you have to pay a price that is rather unattractive to most users, especially if we are to compare it with OpenSim-based grids like InWorldz or Kitely. This price is often cited as one of the main contributing factors to SL’s on-going region loss, if not as the single most significant factor. It’s true, of course, that virtual land ownership in SL has been in a steady decline for quite a few years now, and I’m not going to tell you that the monthly tier (not to mention the initial set-up cost, if you are to rent directly from LL rather than a landlord) is not high.
But this is pretty much what the situation has always been like. The cost of virtual land in SL has been pretty much stable throughout the years that Linden Lab has been using the tier model. But, back in the days when SL was the darling of the tech media, people were far more willing to turn a blind eye to this high cost.