July 31, 2009

Betting with Trinity regarding Linden Lab actions

Back in January Linden Lab announced to take over Xstreet SL and OnRez, and I had some heated discussions with my friend and SL sister Trinity Dechou about future developments.

While we both agreed that the major reason for the XStreet takeover was the control of the Linden Dollar exchange run on that site (and its eventual blending into the LindeX), we disagreed on sales commissions. Trinity assumed that in order to make XStreet even more attractive, the commissions will fall, while I was (and am) convinced that LL would be foolish to plug what turns out to be an addition to their portfolio of L$ sinks (upload fees, tier, partnering fees).

Another area of speculation was the limitation on group slots. Linden Lab keeps telling us that the 25 group limit is deeply coded into the structure of SL and that changing it is far from easy (which does not keep them from occasionally granting 26 groups). However systems like Subscribe-O-Matic have effectively taken away the pain of the group slot limitation and basically taken away any sense of urgency for the matter. While we both agreed that incorporating a SoM like system into SL would bring a whole bunch of benefits, Trinity could not agree to my speculation that rather than making a system of their own, following the XStreet/OnRez example LL simply buys Subscribe-O-Matic. She rather suggested LL will implement a two-tiered system of their own, with "real groups" as we have them now, and "watered down" groups used for announcements etc and no limitation to the number of them.

What happens if an anglophile and a Scottish lass strongly disagree on things? They wager! So on January 22 the following bet was placed:
Peter: I bet 100 L$ that by August 1st LL has bought Subscribe-O-Matic. And I bet 100 L$ that by August 1st we still have commission for sales on what used to be SLX.
Trinity: I bet 100$L that by August 1st LL won't have bought Subscribe-O-Matic and instead will have introduced their own two tier group system. And I also bet 100$L that by August 1st commissions on what was SLX will be gone.
As defined by the conditions of the bet, tonight at midnight SLT the time runs out. And as far as things look like, my beloved sister Trinity owes me 100 L$:
  • We still have commission on XStreet, and while many changes have happened to the system - and some obvious ones (like unifying the XStreet balance and the in-world L$ balance) are down the road, there were no indications that the commission will fall. Unless this changes in the next 22 hours, it is a full win on my behalf.
  • Linden Lab has not bought Subscribe-O-Matic, nor are there any indications or signals they will. So this is a full fail on my behalf, however...
  • ... Linden Lab has neither introduced nor announced nor showing any hints that they will touch the group system in the foreseeable future. On the contrary, they still claim extending the 25 group limit will turn SL in a screeching snail if ever extended due to database issues. So this is a fail on Trinty's behalf too, and according to the conditions nobody wins this part of the bet.
There is still 22 hours to run, and the folks at Linden Lab are known for surprises. But I think I'll be 100 L$ richer by tomorrow.
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