Oskar’s Test Regions Go Offline

In her latest region report Tyche “Statto” Shepherd informs us that forty eight regions have gone offline this week, which does suggest that last week’s decline of just nine regions was an outlier. However the figure of forty eight regions is bloated due to twenty five of these regions being Linden owned, which means we’ve lost twenty three private regions.

Matters are further complicated by two Linden regions coming online somewhere … I think, because twenty seven Linden regions have vanished from the grid in the shape and form of eleven Corndog RC regions and sixteen Oatmeal regions, so that’s twenty seven, so two Linden regions have appeared or came back on to the grid, it would seem.

The eleven Corndog RC regions were directly owned by Oskar and the sixteen Oatmeal regions were originally brought online for region maturity rating testing by Oskar, Tyche informs us. When I say the eleven Corndog RC regions were directly owned by Oskar this means he was named as the owner, I don’t mean he was paying for them himself.

These regions going offline are a bit hmm, but I don’t know exactly what Oskar was doing with them. Linden owned test regions can obviously come and go as the developers see fit, they aren’t attractions or anything like that but on the other hand, the grid does need test regions for, well, testing!

In other news, Adult rated regions continue to grow, up nine this week, whilst General rated regions continue to fall, down eight this week. 13% of the grid is now occupied by adult rated regions, whilst 14.7% of the grid are General rated regions. Therefore we can happily conclude that the vast majority of regions are rated moderate. Usual caveats apply here, just because a region is adult rated, it doesn’t mean it’s full or porn and just because a region is General rated, it doesn’t mean it’s full of ponies and fairytale Princesses.

The decline in regions shows no sign of going away, but there is still activity in sim sales, I received a group notice this week from someone wanting to buy regions, so people are still enaging in creating new regions, even if they use existing sims to do so. However the grid shrinkage does suggest a loss of tier income for Linden Lab and although tier revenue is extremely healthy, the decline remains worrying.

For more detailed statistical goodness, visit Tyche’s Gridsurvey.com.

2 Replies to “Oskar’s Test Regions Go Offline”

  1. May have mentioned it before, but Tateru estimated around the start of the year that it would take around 6K more in private regions for things to negatively bite at LL. Based on the rate of decline through the first half of the year, she and I came to the conclusion that it would mean crunch time about 36 months from then +/- several months).

    Granted the time frame was based on very rough-and-ready calculations on LL’s outgoings, but it seemed a reasonable projection. Since then, of course, things appear to have accelerated slightly, suggesting that the time frame is somewhat reduced. But the flip side is, calculations from the start of the year were based on a Lab headcount f some 250; from comments passed in October in interviews focused on Rod Humble, it now appears LL’s headcount is around the 170-180 mark, which obviously translates to an overall drop in outgoings.

    It’s still really hard (if not impossible) to determine just when the revenue fall will bite, but overall I still tend to think that LL have some room to manoeuvre yet – and possibly to be able to do so on the basis of revenues generated from new products, depending upon how the first year sales go, remembering that Patterns will not reach full price until the end of 2013, and details aren’t clear as to the revenue model for Dio (which given it is about online sharing of the kind other sites do for free, seems to have a larger question mark over it than perhaps Versu does).

    I just hope that they are actually planning for a more substantive shift away from tier revenue, rather than hoping matters will magically reverse themselves over time…

    Your comment on people asking after regions already available in-world adds a small underline to the argument that simply lowering tier will not necessarily raise revenues at all for LL, and that as such, current calls for a tier cut are misplaced it this regard. As Tateru and I have again both pointed out, there is potentially more than enough available land held by private estate owners (as well at the huge amounts of Mainland parcels lying fallow) that any tier reduction (asuming estates pass it on to consumers) will intially only result in the available land being picked-up, rather than any guarantee that LL will face a sudden and massive renewed demand for new regions from estates.

    It’s a tough nut for LL to crack either way – which is again not to say that they shouldn’t be looking to do something in time.

    1. They are still at the point of the curve where they have plenty of breathing space, that’s for sure. However they do need to address the issue sooner rather than later. The grid is over 10% smaller in terms of land mass than it was at the start of this year and although tier revenue remains healthy, the direction isn’t.

      I agree that slashing tier is unlikely to happen, I can’t see a halving of tier, for example, doubling the amount of Islands on the grid, so slashing tier would be slashing income, which would be a dangerous path to tread for LL, although many users would see it as a wonderful thing to do, it’s too big of a gamble in my opinion.

      However, I think they need to take a look at their infrastructure at some point and see if they can take advantage of cloud based solutions where people pay for usage or flat fees, this isn’t something that could happen quickly, due to the way revenues need to be balanced but it’s something that has potential to preserve longevity here.

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