Developer Megabucks?

by Pixeleen Mistral on 22/11/06 at 12:48 pm

by Pixeleen Mistral, National Affairs desk

Prokofy Neva reports on the Second Thoughts blog that he has obtained a leaked e-mail with the results of an independent developer survey conducted by Linden Lab and distributed to a select developers list today.

The numbers reported suggest that significant sums are being invested in third party development for Second Life – an estimated $2.2M is claimed for Q4 2006 – although it is not yet clear how reliable these numbers are – or if this leak is a marketing-driven attempt to create a virtual world developer land rush.
[text of the leaked e-mail after the jump]

Forwarded message
From: Glenn Fisher
Date: 22.11.2006 01:22
Subject: Results of Developer Program member survey
To: undisclosed-recipients

Dear Developers,

Thanks to the 31 of you who responded and took your time to fill out our recent survey. As promised, we are sharing the results with you. We will distribute the critical issues summary next week once we’ve completed the analysis. Here’s the information about the size of the developer community. This email also went to everyone at Linden Lab.

Results of Developer Program member survey, November 2006

The survey was sent to 103 people representing 46 external developers (individuals or companies) who are currently in the Developer Program. There were 31 responses, representing 28 companies – more than half of LL’s external developers. We believe this is a representative sample.

How many employees do you have?

Average 8
Median 5
Maximum 32
Total 224

The developers have grown enormously in the last few months, mirroring the growth in development in Second Life and press attention. The identified external development community is now somewhere between 2 and 3.5x the size of Linden Lab. They are a great resource promoting Second Life.

The size distribution of responding external developers is a few (about 5) large developers (>20 employees), a lot of small developers (3-5 employees), and some individuals and mid-sized companies.

How many Second Life Projects do you have in the pipeline right now?

Average 5.3
Median 4
Maximum 23
Total 148
The external developers are bringing significant new business into Second Life, with about 1.5 people per project.

What is your estimated revenue from Second Life projects for Q4 of 2006?

Average $80K
Median $18K
Total $2,236K
The external developer community has a significant economy, exceeding $10M/year. This works out to about $700K a month from the respondents, and potentially as much as $1.2M/month for all developers.


9 Responses to “Developer Megabucks?”

  1. bluesapphire

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    I looked at this directory, my question is, how many of these are hyping their position?

    How many are just SL designers cashing in on the influx of brands into SL, attempting to catch some of that ‘real hard green back’?

    Surely, most of the work is being done by ESC, RRR, MofU. Is it me, I only ever seem to see those names in the press etc?

    Out of all those listed in the Develop Directory, how many second life builds and projects have they delivered? I clicked through, and it would seem 80% of them haven’t completed or listed any real life projects? Is it just me, or does that discredit most of the companies listed in that directory?

    Have you noticed that Crayon are missing too?


    Nov 22nd, 2006

    Big freaking deal.

    This is all just consulting folks, and this is chump change compared to what companies can make working for corporations.

    18K for 3 months for 5 employees? That’s basically 1200 per employee. I couldn’t even pay my rent with that.


    Nov 22nd, 2006

    Big freaking deal.

    This is all just consulting folks, and this is chump change compared to what companies can make working for corporations.

    18K for 3 months for 5 employees? That’s basically 1200 per employee. I couldn’t even pay my rent with that.

  4. news

    Nov 22nd, 2006

    Sure, the new TOS appearing out of the blue… what’s it’s purpose?

  5. tp

    Nov 23rd, 2006

    when you click the I accept on that TOS it basically says you give up any legal rights against SL so you couldn’t sue them. Probably a direct result of the copy bot.
    Typical for mmo’s to click those before each log in.

  6. Lewis Nerd

    Nov 23rd, 2006

    The developer list is rather short at the moment as it’s just been completely redesigned and everyone has to resubmit their entries. I haven’t gotten round to getting my entry up yet, simple as that.

    Disregard ESC, RRR, MofU – and there are plenty of others out there who actually have a life and do development work on a smaller scale; in fact probably the majority of the work done is for places that can’t afford the thousands of dollars that the big three charge. My ‘company’ – Pocket Protector Projects – offers a personal, individual service tailored to your needs, rather than you just being another customer getting the same marketing hype and bull as the last 50 people who enquired.

    I guess it’s all a matter of perspective really. ESC, RRR, MofU have long since lost all touch of what SL really is, and just treat it as a cash cow.


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