Lab promotes Second Life through Amazon

Update, January 5th, 2012: The “limited offer Vehicle Starter Pack” has been withdrawn ahead of the stated end of the promotional period. This is apparently because no-one thought to ensure the offer could in fact be limited to “one per customer”.

secondlifeIn something of a surprise move Linden Lab announced on the 4th January, 2013, that Second Life is now on Amazon.

But only (perhaps only for the time being) if you are a US resident.

The announcement reads in full:

It’s a new year, and we have news: Second Life is now available on Amazon! 

In addition to the standard Mac and PC versions, we’re offering several bundled packages for sale, which include vehicles to enjoy and L$ to spend inworld or on the Marketplace.

As a special promotion, this weekend only the Starter Vehicle Pack (usually $9.95), which includes a hoverboard and L$1000 will be available for FREE [limit one per customer].

If a friend of yours has been waiting to join Second Life, now is a great chance for them to head over to Amazon and get started with the free Starter Vehicle Pack. Spread the word!

One of the SL offer pages on Amazon.com

One of the SL pages on Amazon.com

The links lead to a series of pages offering various packages for download, which comprise:

  • A PC or Mac “basic” pack, which appears to offer the current version of the viewer,
  • A “Deluxe Vehicle Pack”, comprising a hoverboard and what appears to be the sailboat previously offered to Premium members together with L$2000, at a cost of $14.95
  • A “Premium Vehicle Pack”, comprising the hoverboard, sailboat and the Premium gift dune buggy together with L$4000, at a cost of $24.95
  • The special “limited offer Vehicle Starter Pack” mentioned in the blog post of a hoverboard and L$1000, for $9.95 (offer expires on the 6th January 2013, and is limited to one per customer.

Amazon’s account linking facility is used for the downloads. Whether this means that in the case of new users any required Second Life account must be created through Amazon’s servers prior to downloading the viewer, or whether the SL account creation can be handled once the viewer is installed (as appears to be the case with the forthcoming Steam link-up), is unclear.

Certainly, it is interesting to note there is a subtle difference in the wording of the account link-up instructions. Those provided on the viewer pack pages refer to the need for a “Linden Lab account”, while those on the vehicle pack pages refer to purchasers having a “Second Life account”, suggesting the two are different – although granted, the different wording might simply be an error and not indicative of anything.

Even so, leaving it to the LL side of things for the actual SL account creation would appear to simplify matters considerably for Amazon – although it does beg the question as to *what* account would require creation prior to downloading either viewer package where new users are concerned. Doubtless, someone from the US will be able to enlighten me, should they opt to try the mechanism out!

Another interesting tidbit with this move is that it seems the packages have all been available through Amazon since … December 10th, 2012, with, it would seem, nary a word from the Lab.  Katharine Berry was perhaps the first to notice things when, on Christmas Eve, she Tweeted:

Eagle-eyed Katharine Berry spotted the packages on Christmas Eve

Eagle-eyed Katharine Berry spotted the packages on Christmas Eve

This possibly explains why the special offer package appears to be on such a limited-time offer (until January 6th, as mentioned) – although it is not uncommon for the Lab to run “weekend only” offers with regards to Second Life.

For the majority of us, however, the news has come somewhat out-of-the-blue – although with a degree of hindsight, a large rear-view mirror and the fact that we had the promise of Steam being on the horizon for a while now, it perhaps should have been. After all, LL have an established relationship with Amazon both  with Jeff Bezos being a former (current?) investor in LL (2006), and through the development of a Kindle Fire specific version of Creatorverse. So chalk that one up to the first prediction for 2013 most of us missed!

For now, however, it’ll be interesting to see how the move fairs, whether additional packages will be added to it and if it will spread to Amazon’s international operations (amazon.co.uk, etc.) – and whether LL have any more surprises up their collective sleeve!

With thanks to Ricco Saenz for the pointer to Katharine’s tweets.

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14 thoughts on “Lab promotes Second Life through Amazon

  1. Pingback: Lab promotes Second Life through Amazon | Second LIfe Good Stuff | Scoop.it

  2. slutrix

    Two observations from me:

    1. i agree with Tateru Nino on the choice of gifts: Vehicles? Vehicles work poorly in SL – Who thought this would be a good gift for someone who is introduced to SL for the first time?
    2. No matter how hard they promote the product, if they don’t back it up with much better customer care, they won’t manage to do anything.

    Reply
  3. JubJub

    Whoever pays is going to be very angry when they realize SL is essentially free, and you can also find hundreds of different vehicles for nada too. They’ll feel like fools ripped off by Linden Labs within a week – a great first impression :/

    Reply
    1. Inara Pey Post author

      One of the reasons I took a while to post on this was that I sidetracked myself along similar lines, and hate voicing opinion in what is essentially a “news” piece. But you’re right. And maybe i should have gone the opinion route, rather than the news route.

      Reply
  4. Adam Greenthumb

    “Whoever pays is going to be very angry when they realize SL is essentially free, and you can also find hundreds of different vehicles for nada too. ”

    Anything that I purchase from Amazon also includes sales tax. I hope that the future of SL does not involve Amazon being the middle man through outsourcing.

    Reply
  5. Wolf Baginski

    The free pack with one vehicle and L$ 1000 is now “no longer available”. Somebody discovered that “one per customer” limit was per SL account, not per Amazon account, and started making Alts.

    I can’t say I am impressed with the affair, and since the vehicles look to be from the Premium Freebies promotions, it’s an expensive way of getting L$, even before any taxes.

    Dr. Gatling is obviously still supplying toenail clippers to the Lindens.

    Reply
  6. Sauce Sorrowman

    As far as I know, Amazon’s game service has been US-only since it started, so the US restriction is not something imposed by Linden Lab.

    Reply
  7. garvie garzo

    how odd! selling the ‘game’ on Amazon makes some sense, but why those premium gift vehicles of all things, why not just start up money or a Linden home, or a fashion shopping weekend extravaganza? i think it’s the idea of the Lindens actually selling products for use in world that kinda creeps me out. it puts them in direct competition with their customer base – we, the other content creators, and at not very competitive rates… 10 bucks for something already given away for free.. seriously?
    maybe they should be approaching established merchants and arranging package deals instead.
    also, i don’t understand why US residents only. we use amazon on at least a weekly basis, sometimes the US one and sometimes the canadian one, the only difference seems to be specific inventory items available.
    the whole story is just odd.

    Reply
    1. Inara Pey Post author

      The packageas are odd – and has been pointed out elsewhere, liable to upset new users should they get settled in-world and find out what else is available. There are other flaws in the approach, which I resisted commenting upon on the piece (I’m saving them for one of my “opinion” pieces. God, I’m so opinionated….), not just with the the actual package contents. That said, I did / do wonder if something like a “genuine” “Premium package” range might not also be offered in time, and also something like a “house pack”. Again, I’ll be expanding on these in the follow-up piece. :).

      Reply
  8. SFly

    Cant find the right blog article. But LL would keep more people inworld if the get better prices for my feeling. People get very limited with what you can do because the extreme HUGH land tier.The result , people run away to kitley and inworldz etc. Ok. ther emaby a few more parameters. Bu still tier is a killer.

    Reply
    1. Inara Pey Post author

      Tier is also not as easy to reduce as people might think. LL have considerable overheads compared to other grid operators – with due respect to the latter. For a start, they employ between 175 and 200 people, and have all the associated infrastucture costs that entails, a scale of costs simply not felt by other grid operators. So comparing SL to other grids purely on the basis of tier fees alone isn’t entirely balanced or fair.

      Reply

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