Linden Lab buys XstreetSL and OnRez Shop — why?

xtreetsl is now officially part of second life

I’ve just posted this on the Second Life forums, where it will be buried for all time, so I thought I’d re-post here as a reference:

I might imagine that the major reasons for prompting this buy-out have pretty little to do with “LL wanting to be a monopoly”, although I’m pretty sure that’s what the media (SL media mostly) will say.

There is one practical side to it. IMVU has a content market almost as big as SL’s (they have roughly the same number of content creators — about 100,000 — and more registered accounts), not in terms of unique items (SL has perhaps 2200 times more content), but in sales. The reason? All sales go via Web, they’re not done in-world. In fact, all 3D virtual worlds I’ve seen so far have Web-based shopping, with the possible exception of vSide (which I never managed to figure out how in-world sales worked).

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