Privately, among friends and during an interview this week I’ve noted that the controversy surrounding Openspace Sim raised the need of a new product; something that was not a full sim, but not an Openspace sim. Moments ago, M Linden has announced a resolution to the Openspace Sim controversy, Homesteads. This is a really good move for Linden Lab and community. This new product bridges the gap between Openspaces and full fledged sims. A win-win, for those those who wanted to keep cheaper sim land, Linden Lab wanting to maintain their grid stability initatives. This announcement also displays Linden Lab’s continued ability to recognizing, listening and adjusting their policies based on feedback.
As for the details, Openspaces will remain as they should, light use simulators, but will carry embedded performance restrictions and the same price of $75 a month. Homesteads will be higher light use (lets call these medium use for now as the technical details have not been released) and will include the $125 price increase over six months. I wonder if these will also include any performance restrictions.
From this decision it is obvious that Linden Lab is listening and finding ways to support the customer base. This resolution is something that helps build and maintain private large communities by filling the void between those whom wanted private homes and areas but could not afford a full priced sim; it also helps Linden Lab (I believe) achieve their goal of platform stability.
While this will be viewed as a victory for those fighting to maintain cheaper sims, I’m not sure about it’s long term effects. While there are benefits to those estate owners who have been using Openspace sims as a part of their business model, what about those who never considered them a part of their model? I also wonder about the effect Homesteads have on the mainland. While the new Homestead product is a positive, it will be some time until the full effect of this decision is demonstrated. Only time will tell, but this decision should quiet the critcs of their Opensim decision.