Thursday, May 30, 2019

Linden Lab Raising Price of Premium Accounts, Reducing Group Capacity in Basic Accounts

Yesterday on Wednesday May 29, Linden Lab announced "Land Price Reductions, New Premium Perks, and Pricing Changes." But it's the "Pricing Changes" that are getting most of the attention plus The "Premium and Basic Account Changes."

The Lab announced "the difficult decision to make our first Premium price increase in over a decade." Their monthly rate was going up by over 25% from $9.50 USD a month to $11.99. Their quarterly rate was going up by almost 50% from $22.50 every three months to $32.97. And their yearly rate was going up by almost 40% from $72 a year to $99.

The Lab did say on June 3 they would be offering a "limited time offer" until June 24 for Premium account residents to renew at the old rate for one more cycle, including for those being billed monthly to switch to quarterly or annually and for those billed monthly to go quarterly. For basic accounts going Premium, being billed quarterly would no longer be an option. That option would remain only for existing Premium accounts.

Linden Lab was also increasing the credit processing fee for selling Linden dollars to Paypal and Skrill accounts from 2.5% per transaction to 5% (with a minimum fee of $3). In Nov 2017, it was raised from 1.5% to 2.5%. The Lab gave "increased regulatory and compliance costs" as the reason.

The good news for Premium account residents, Linden Lab announced that effective June 24, their group limit would rise from 60 to 70. The number of stored offline IMs would rise from 50 to 80. Unfortunately, Basic account residents would be taking a hit. Their group limit would be cut from 42 to 35, and their stored offline IMs would go down from 25 to 15.

This is the first time that group capacity for residents has been trimmed back. In October 2010, the limit for all accounts was raised from 25 to 40. In January 2011 it was raised to 42. In June 2015, it was raised to 60 for Premium residents, with regular ones still having a limit at 42.

The best news was for landowners. Linden Lab announced that the tier for full sims was going down again, effective June 3. For most, it would be from $249 USD to $229. The rate for grandfathered, or "bought-down", sims was also being cut, from $195 USD to $179. The $30 fee to add to the prim limit was unchanged.

The residents were quick to react, numerous comments in two threads in the Discussion Forums, "$99 Problems," and "What Are Your Opinions ..." There's also one in VR Universe. Needless to say, there were many expressing disappointment and anger, with accusations the Lab was acting out of greed.

For the blog post in full, Click Here.

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