In better late than never news, Linden Lab have announced that the new skill gaming policy will not now go into effect until September 1st. Linden Lab had originally announced on the 9th July that the policy would come into effect on August 1st, which didn’t give sim owners a lot of wiggle room on a monthly billing cycle.
The new blog post states :
Since our original announcement, we’ve received many applications from Second Life users who want to become approved skill game creators and operators. By moving the date back, we’ll be able to process a larger number of applications and also offer creators more time to make necessary changes to their games.
However at this point, just a few days away from the original August 1st deadline, there are no approved operators or games on the public wiki. This deadline provides all parties, operators, game makers and Linden Lab, some breathing space to ensure the skill gaming policy is smoothly launched.
The policy itself aims to bring some responsibility and legislation to skill gaming in Second Life, with the following broad aims :
- Skill games that offer Linden Dollar payouts will be allowed in Skill Gaming Regions only.
- Only operators approved by Linden Lab will be allowed to run skill games that offer Linden Dollar payouts on Skill Gaming Regions.
- Creators of skill games that wish to make them available in Second Life may do so only through Skill Gaming Regions and only after the games have been approved by Linden Lab.
- Access to Skill Gaming Regions will be restricted to Second Life users who are of sufficient age and are located in a jurisdiction that Linden Lab permits for this kind of online gaming activity.
- In summary, skill games that offer Linden Dollar payouts will be allowed in Second Life, but each game, its creator, its operator, and the region on which it is operated must be approved by Linden Lab.
Skill gaming regions are more expensive to run than regular regions, with a monthly tier bill before VAT or any other applicable taxes of US$345.00 a month as well as a US$100.00 conversion fee. I must admit I did not notice the conversion fee cost before and I don’t quite understand why that is required as there’s already a fee for applying for this as well as a license fee so this conversion fee seems to be a tad over the top.