Often when people are debating costs of online services, such as MMO’s or SL Go, the coffee argument will be trotted out. On the face of it the coffee argument is a good one, the cost can be compared to buying a few cups of coffee a month, which is true. The problem with the coffee comparison is that coffee is a consumable product, with little investment opportunity. I mean you may get a coffee loyalty card which can earn you free coffee, but you know that each cup is going to be disposed of in one form or another.
People who spend time in MMO’s and virtual worlds such as Second Life are investing in their avatar, there are various different ways of doing this but people generally don’t think of this avatar investment as a disposable product. They see it as an ongoing cost in developing said avatar.
That avatar investment is extremely important for developers of MMO’s and virtual worlds, it’s the hook, it’s why people are prepared to keep logging on, there’s progression. This is why in MMO’s a hardcore mode where you lose everything if your character is killed is not the norm, some have it as an option, but it’s not the norm because if that were the norm, people would see their character as disposable, like coffee.
Coffee is not a good comparison, nor is Pizza or even a trip to the pictures. This of course leaves one in the awkward position of trying to find a good comparison. In terms of something like The Elder Scrolls Online, it’s other MMO’s, and there are plenty of them with different pricing structures.
In terms of SL Go, it’s a lot trickier because there’s nothing really like it. Lumiya is a mobile client for Second Life, but it doesn’t deliver its service in the same way as SL Go and it won’t provide the same levels of performance. However Lumiya will provide a means of logging into Second Life on a mobile device.