It is my belief that if Linden Lab were to produce a Residence Only Sim product, price it more in line with what non-business people can pay and equip it with all the same Prim Counts, Script Limits, etc. that a full size Sim has now … they would almost overnight save their precious Virtual World. We would see an increase in people willing to spend time at “home” because they would HAVE a home. We would see sales of merchandise going up because you suddenly have a lot more residences to fill up, and we would see a rebirth of social activities because there are enough people logged in to actually make an event successful.I'm all for lower pricing, but saving potential residents $10, $20 or even $50 per month isn't going to bring new people flocking into Second Life or keep discouraged residents coming back. The problem for most people isn't that Second Life isn't worth their money, but that it's not worth their time.
People who can afford broadband and Second Life-worthy computers have enough disposable income to pay a bit of tier. Most of them spend $100+ per month on entertainment such as cable television, movies, Netflix, books, etc. So if they are choosing to stay out of Second Life, it's not because they can't afford it, but because they choose to spend their time in other ways.
So if there's going to be a "Rebirth of Second Life", it's going to come from figuring out how to increase the perceived value, rather than how to decrease the price. A few things that come to mind are:
- Improved search, maybe adding the type of algorithms Netflix and Amazon use to recommend likely options
- Interest-based marketing, training and promotion
- A new client that actually decreases the learning curve, perhaps configured for specific interest groups.
- More Linden Lab support for existing communities.