Written 1 March, 2007
Adieu, First Land
I’ve been meaning to write about this.
A couple of weeks ago, Linden Lab announced the discontinuation of First Land.
First Land was a one-time benefit for Premium Members (i.e., subscribers) to Second Life. They have the opportunity to buy a 512 square meter parcel for only $L 512, about two dollars or 42 hours in a camping chair. There is no tier, meaning there are no further costs associated with the land.
A 512 parcel will sell readily for about $L 8000, which translates to $US 30, almost half of the $72/year fee for Premium Membership. And it will readily rent for $L 250/week, which adds up to $L 12,000 or $US 45 a year. Thus, if it’s sold, it will pay half of the membership fee for a year, and if rented, will pay more than half of the membership fee in perpetuity.
If one adds the $L 400 (well, it was for me; I got in under the deadline in November) weekly allowance that comes with Premium Membership, then being a Premium Member is— or was—actually a paying proposition. The allowance comes to nearly $US 80 a year. That makes the rental of First Land 100% gravy, forty-five bucks in your pocket.
But there will be no more First Land.
It’s a shame, but I can see the reasoning behind it. First, most people who buy First Land flip it. Second, the wide availability of rental properties on and off the mainland ensures there are plenty of places where an avatar can live inexpensively. Third, since I’ve been on the grid, at least, there wasn’t much First Land. I must have looked a hundred times before a parcel showed up in Search. I was lucky to get mine.
I rather suspect the scarcity of First Land has been due to the exploding population on the Grid. Linden employees have been busy getting servers on line as fast as they can; opening a server to First Land removes it from duty as a private island or a mainland sim on which LL can sell parcels for real money.
Even without First Land and with the allowance reduced to $300 per week, Premium Membership will essentially be free. Still, First Land will be missed.