Monday, August 30, 2010

39 of 52 - What if Linden Lab was a car rental company?

Having just spent some RL time (not to mention money lol) to buy a replacement for the 1o-year-old-car-that-had-a serious-oil-leak thing, it seemed a bit natural to apply that experience to virtual worlds.

Imagine a world where the sole inventor of cars are the only one producing them, and they are making them for rent only.

So you want a car too? For some reason or another, no-one is actually selling a complete car. Sure, all the parts are available, some even for free, but putting together your own car has always been a hassle.

That leaves you basically with two choices: Linden Cars and Open Cars.

Linden Car offers 3 different models (Full, Home and Open). They are all extremely popular, well built and whenever you go to a Linden Car event, you get to meet a lot of people. If you want to manufacture and sell equipment and gadgets for Linden Cars, you have to rent from them to be allowed access to their marketplace.

The full car is black, big and powerful - you know you want one!

The Full car has a 1500 liter trunk, one-time rental fee of US$1000, and a monthly fee of just US295. In theory, it accommodates up to 5 passengers, but in practice it's slowing down when it carries more than 3.

The Home car is slick and fast, but don't carry much load

If you can't afford 295 a month, there are cheaper models available. The Home model has a smaller trunk, just 375 liters, and it's a two-seat model only. Even smaller, the Open car has just one seat and a mere 75 liter trunk, really just suitable to shop some nice-looking flowers at the local store.

The Open car: Mostly a toy

To get one of the small models, for some reason you have to rent a Full car also. This has led to a marked where owners of the Full model are sub renting their Home rentals, though this does come at a premium. Even if an Open model is just US$125 / month, you normally have to pay 150 to sub-rent it.

All Linden models include free mileage and gas, which is nice since a Linden car can't be stopped - it's engine is always running even when it's parked overnight. Being an environmental-aware guy or gurl (Calefornian?) you may worry about this a little bit, but since gas is included in the rent most people seems not to care.

Initially, Linden Car was the only car-maker in the country. In later years, a number of smaller companies have started to offer cheaper models based on the Open Car standard. In my next posting I will have a look at that market too.

1 comment:

Cristopher Lefavre said...

Virtual cars courtesy of EMH Motors (secondlife://EMH Motors/128/128/20)- have not tried any of them but the store looks great!