Phasing Out Premium Accounts, and a Limited-Time Offer

Soon: No More Premium Accounts

Starting on June 1, 2015, we will no longer be offering Premium Accounts. Users who already have a Premium Account on that date will be able to keep it, but new users will no longer be offered this option: they will only be able to choose one of our Fixed-Price Worlds.

The reason we’re making this change is to simplify our offering. Currently we offer two very different ways to get land: Premium Accounts and Fixed-Price Worlds. However, we’ve found that having two different pricing models is often confusing to potential customers. Once we explain the benefits of Premium Accounts people understand them and often choose to get them. But this requires a significant sales effort, and we don’t always get the chance to do that: our analytics, and the customer feedback we’ve received, show that often people become intimidated by the wealth of options that we currently provide and decide to just go elsewhere.

What are Premium Accounts?

If you’re reading this and you aren’t a longtime Kitely user then you may not be familiar with our Premium Accounts, so here’s a recap:

Kitely currently offers two main types of worlds: Fixed-Price Worlds and Premium Worlds.

  • Fixed-Price Worlds – the world manager pays a fixed price per month, and then never has to pay anything more to use the world. In particular, the world manager doesn’t need to pay when users visit the world. Fixed-Price Worlds have varying prices (starting at $14.95): the more expensive worlds support more regions, more prims and more avatars.
  • Premium Worlds – the world manager doesn’t pay a fixed price per month to use these worlds, but does pay a small fee for various actions performed on the world. In particular, when users who don’t have a Premium Account visit the world, the world manager pays 1 KC / minute for each such user. (Premium Account users can visit Premium Worlds without costing the world manager anything.) In addition to being very cheap, Premium Worlds have another advantage over Fixed-Price Worlds: all Premium Worlds have performance that is equivalent to the most expensive Fixed-Price World (the Advanced World, which costs $99.95/month): they all support up to 16 regions, 100,000 prims and 100 concurrent avatars.

Only users that have a Premium Account can create Premium Worlds. This allows them to have a lot of land very cheaply: a Premium Account includes 10 free regions (upgraded today; previously it was 5 regions), and additional regions cost only 300 KC per month.

The only downside of Premium Worlds is that they require the world manager to have some idea of how many people will visit these worlds, as that can affect the total cost of maintaining them. (But of course, you can always restrict who may visit the world.)

The Return of the Gold Plan

Hundreds of Kitely users currently have a Premium Account. You can join them by getting a Premium Account before June 1. Anyone who gets a Premium Account before June 1 will be able to keep it for as long as they continue to pay for it.

We’re also making two changes to make Premium Accounts even more attractive:

First, we’re bringing back one of our most popular options from the past: the Gold Plan. The Gold Plan is a type of Premium Account, but it includes 30 free regions, and costs just $34.95/month. This is the absolute best way to get a lot of cheap land anywhere! This offer, too, will expire on June 1.

Second, we upgraded all Premium Accounts to get ten free regions (instead of five previously). This change is effective immediately, for both current customers and anyone who gets a new Premium Account before the cutoff date of June 1.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is Kitely making this change?

A: Premium Accounts and Premium Worlds offer people great benefits, but their existence makes our offering hard for people to understand and explain to others. This means that we’re losing sales because of our flexibility. By offering fewer options we’ll help people understand the value of our service better, which will help increase our sales.

Q: Does this change affect me?

A: If you only visit other people’s worlds, but don’t own your own worlds, then this change doesn’t affect you at all.

If you do own your own worlds, and you have a Regular Account, then the only change you’ll feel is if you Copy one of your worlds, because the new copy will now be a Stored World (which no one will be able to enter) instead of a Premium World (which Premium Account holders can enter). But the copied world will still contain a snapshot of the state of your world, and you’ll be able to Export it, or upgrade it to a Fixed-Price World.

If you have a Premium Account (or one of its variations) then this change doesn’t affect you as long as you retain your account status. However, If you ever cancel your Premium Account after June 1 then you won’t be able to upgrade back to a Premium Account, and all of your Premium Worlds will be converted to Stored Worlds.

Q: Will Kitely still provide a free trial period to new users who want to create a world?

A: Yes, as today.

Q: When does this change take effect?

A: The Gold Plan is available right now. You can upgrade to it (or to a Premium Account) by clicking on the “Change plan” link in your Kitely Account Settings page. (You might need to refresh the browser in order to see the new plan.) The increase of Premium Accounts from 5 free regions to 10 free regions is also already in effect.

Q: If I have a Premium Account, can I still get Fixed-Price Worlds?

A: Yes. You can have both Premium Worlds and Fixed-Price Worlds in your account, and you can switch individual worlds between these two types. Of course, you must get a Premium Account or a Gold Plan before June 1 in order to have this flexibility.

Act Now!

We encourage you to take advantage of our limited-time offer to upgrade to a Premium Account or Gold Plan before the end of the month, and get the long-term benefits that will be provided exclusively to those plan holders. This offer will not be available after May 31, so if you want these benefits you should order now.

We believe that Premium Accounts offer by far the best price-performance anywhere in the OpenSim metaverse, and Kitely is the only company capable of offering them because we’re the only ones who use on-demand cloud-based simulators. The only reason we’re discontinuing Premium Accounts is due to their complexity. But for people who understand their benefits and want to take advantage of them, there is no better choice.

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  • Karen Glammeyer Medcoff

    that can seriously hurt those of us who live on a fixed income that cannot pay for 2 months at a time. I get paid on the 3rd of each month. and by that time you have already made my account regular, so now i risk losing my world because I don’t get paid directly on the first of each month

    • Hi Karen,

      If you set your account payment method (in the account settings page) to use Kitely Credits when available then our system will try to bill your KC balance before attempting to bill your PayPal account. You can then buy the required amount of KC sometime before the end of the month so our system won’t attempt to bill your PayPal account when you still don’t have sufficient funds.

      In any case, this is change is just for the Premium Account / Gold Plan option of using Premium Worlds. If you use a fixed-price world (such as the cheaper Starter World, which costs less than having a Premium Account) then if billing fails your world will simply turn into a Stored World until you pay to upgrade it back to a Starter World (which you’ll still have the option of doing post the cutoff date).

  • Arton Tripsa

    I think this is a good idea – I will probably keep my Premium worlds and possibly buy more before the cut off date – but I agree the complexity of what was offered was huge and I do know folks who have been bamboozled and put off by it- I only came to grips with it by experimentation – which was time consuming and a little daunting too…when I have tried to explain the previous Premium deal it has been hard to explain – it took me months of peering at the Services page to get my head around it 🙂

    • Hi Arton,

      If you retain your Premium Account (or order a Gold Plan) then you’ll be able to continue creating new Premium Worlds after the cutoff date – you don’t have to rush to create them ahead of time. Just make sure you continue paying for the Premium Account / Gold Plan on time so you don’t lose it. 🙂

    • Freda Frostbite

      Arton! OMG– sooo good to see you! I did not realize you are in Kitely.

      • Arton Tripsa

        Hey Freda! You too:-) 🙂 Good to see you:-)

  • Dundridge Dreadlow

    Been on gold for AGES… it’s awesome, upgrade while you still can…

    • Thank you Dundridge 🙂

    • I just upgraded, so I will blame you if it doesn’t work out. 😉

      I’ve just got to figure out what to do with all those sims. I’m thinking about giving one of them to one of my students who’s been helping out a lot. I’ll just have to hope he/she doesn’t spend too long in-world.

      • Dundridge Dreadlow

        Don’t worry, normal use on premium sims/regions is VERY cheap (picking up the cheapest amount of KC will last ages for visitors), and if not – you can always get a donation cube for premium worlds, or If it gets VERY popular you can upgrade it to fixed price. Simple. Relax. Awesome 😀

    • Dundridge Dreadlow

      If you want to be kind to Kitely, upgrade. If you want to be kind to other premium/gold users, upgrade. If you want to be kind to yourself and have loads of land and freedom, upgrade.

      If you find the maths hard, or don’t trust the (lower than you think, most visitors are free anyway) variable cost, try it anyway, you can always change later if you don’t like it. Can’t afford gold plan ? Go silver (premium account).

      I will be sad to see premium accounts go, but it’s always been hard to explain just how good a deal they are. Get one while you still can !

  • Confused

    Tried to open Frequently Asked Questions page ( on ipad 3) — nothing happened- three days in a row.

    • Did you try to open it in a different browser tab or did you just click the link at the bottom of the page?

      What browser are you using on the iPad (Safari, the default one, or something else)?

      • Confused

        Safari default. Tried from website. Tried with and without the pricing banner( clicked dismiss).

        • I justed tried on our own iPad using Safari and had the following result. The FAQ link was highlighted when clicked the first time (turns orange with an underline) but nothing happened. I then waited a few seconds and pressed the link again. This time it navigated to the FAQ page.

          Please check to see if you get the same type of behavior.

  • I don’t quite understand what happens after June 1st.

    • Hi Frans,

      Starting from June 1st you will no longer be able to upgrade to the Premium Account (or Gold Plan). Only people who ordered those upgrades before the cutoff date, and continue paying for them afterwards, will be able to have Premium Worlds in their account. As stated in the blog post, Premium Worlds offer great price/performance benefits to those who properly use them.

      • IIan, Right now if you don’t have a premium account your cant access other peoples sims, so if I upgrade to premium account can people who don’t have a premium account come to my sim after june 1st if they can not get a premium account.

        • Hi Ruby,

          It’s up to the person who manages the Premium World whether or not to allow non-Premium Account visitors to that world. As there is a charge to the world manager of a Premium World when non-Premium Account users visit that world, most Premium Worlds are set up to not allow non-Premium Account visitors.

          That said, there are a fair number of Premium Worlds which are set to enable non-Premium Account visitors, and if you get a Premium Account, you’ll also be able to decide which of your Premium Worlds will allow people who don’t have a Premium Account to visit them.

          • and when someone lands on your land that is not premium you are charged for the full hour they are there? what if they tp out and back in and keep doing that does your system track that, my point is like on all grids like this there are greivers that will do things like that on purpose

          • You are charged per minute not per hour and you can view a current visit log with times and durations in your account history page. You can then easily ban people you don’t want visiting your Premium Worlds. You can also control who accesses each of your worlds using our control panel.

            This is a great feature for those that know how to make the best of it. If you don’t see the value then simply don’t create Premium Worlds. In any case, no one will have to even consider this feature unless they order a Premium Account or Gold Plan before the cutoff date. They won’t even see it mentioned as an option on our site.

            In other words, you’re arguing a moot point. There are many people who know how to take advantage of this option and love the flexibility it provides them. Those that fear it can ignore this offer and come back next month to see the new fixed-price world options.

          • its not and argument is lack of information and what the new pricing and access options to sims with non premium account holders fees to sim owners

          • The new fixed price world options will be announced when we start offering them. As with the current fixed price world options, world owners will only pay a fixed price per month for those worlds, i.e. no time based fee regardless of who visits the world.

          • ok thats not what you told me the first time, i asked if people can get to premium account holders land if they were not an account holder and you said at a rate of .20 per minute to the land holder now you are saying there is currently no charge. but after june 1st if you are a “current” holder of land will that change to where sim owners get charged?

          • I told you that there are two main types of worlds, one where the world owner pays a fixed price per month (i.e. Starter World, Standard World, and Advanced World) and one where the world owner pays a time-based fee of 1 KC per non-Premium Account visitor to the Premium World, and that that time-based fee comes to $0.20 per such user per hour. Please reread the blog post and my comments, nothing changed in my explanations. The offfering is exactly as described here and in our services page.

        • ok here is the catch… Premium Account, Gold Plan, and Silver Plan visitors to a Premium World don’t cost that world’s manager anything, their visits are free.
          Regular Account and Hypergrid visitors to a Premium World cost the world’s manager 1 KC per such visitor per minute (it comes to $0.20 per such visitor per hour if you buy KC at max discount rate). Most people overestimate how much time people will spend in their worlds. This cost is usually much lower. In any case it a variable cost and that scares some people from opening their Premium Worlds to non-Premium Account/Gold Plan/Silver Plan visitors.

          • It’s not so much of a catch as it is a feature of time-based worlds (i.e. Premium Worlds) that is explained in this blog post. The confusion and anxiety these options create for people who don’t fully appreciate their value is the reason why we’re removing this option starting next month.

            People who understand how paying for time can cost them less than paying a fixed-price can take advantage of this limited time offer. Those that don’t like this option can simply wait until next month when we announce our new fixed-price world options (i.e. worlds where the world manager doesn’t pay for anyones time inworld).

  • Iris Dolphin

    if you have a Premium account and wish to upgrade to a Gold
    later after june 1 will that be possible? and how much will it cost then??

    • The Gold Plan functions exactly like a Premium Account. The only differences being the number of free regions in Premium Worlds it includes (30 vs. 10) and the base cost per month ($34.95/month vs. $19.95/month). Specifically, the charges for non-Premium Account visitiors to your Premium Worlds are 10 KC per such visitor per minute regardless of whether you have a Premium Account or a Gold Plan and regardless of when you ordered it before the cutoff date.

      Please note that you will not be able to get any one of these account types after May 31 nor will you be able to switch between them. After the cutoff date, you will only be able to cancel your existing Premium Account or Gold Plan subscription and, if you want, get new fixed-price worlds.

      In other words, if you want to get a Gold Plan then do so now before the end of the month.

      • Dot

        “the charges for non-Premium Account visitiors to your Premium Worlds are 10 KC per such visitor per minute”

        The cost is 1 KC per minute, not 10 KC per minute.

        From experience, visitor costs total about 2 USD per month (i.e. very affordable); all my Kitely worlds are Premium and open to all.

        • Thank you Dot, I corrected the number shortly after I posted this comment (I was typing from my mobile) but the blog automatic email notification quoting the wrong number had already been sent.

        • Marstol Nitely

          I’d like to point out that Dot has some very interesting worlds and gets more visitors that the average Kitely user. I’ve been on the Gold Plan since it started and never paid close to $2 for visitors in any month. I have both public and private worlds and am very happy with the plan.

  • Carlos Loff

    I always preferred the freedom of having a Fixed-price World, cause we can plan and develop each time more events and not to get worried of extra costs

    My case is specific because I plan to launch very regular events and bring people from many grids

    But I also prefer Big Lands and the options were not cheap for fixed-price

    So I sticked with Premium account because Im still building and tuning things and a Big World Fixed-Price would be to expensive for sporadic curious Regular visitors, but later I would leave the Premium and go for fixed-price

    Now Im happy with this change because I believe there will be some Big Lands – 4X4 – with cheaper fixed-prices because they will have a bit less resources and as Im investing on learning to revert all stuff to mesh, I won’t be discouraged by more limitations on prims, also more limitations for concurrent avis don’t scare me, if I have 20 people events Im quite happy

    The only downside in cancelling my Premium Plan and just having fixed-price, witch is exactly what I will do, is that I will not be able to enter worlds from Premium members who only allow other premiums to visit

    But than again, I guess even some Premium Members will make their worlds fixed-price because of the new future variety of prices/prims/avis combinations

    I hope these words helped brainstorming a bit what is about to come and how it may affect our choices

  • Nlp VirtualCoach

    Hi Ilan, I have just upgraded to Gold – Is there a help page or guide to help understand the benefits? I have been around for a while but I have not been in for a long time. I have one world at the moment and Gold says I have 30 regions – are these at no extra cost if I create 30 other worlds?

    • Dundridge Dreadlow

      It’s 30 regions of space.. so if they are 1×1, then go mad, create 30. If they are all 2×2 (=4 regions), go mad, create 30/4 = 7 and then another two 1×1 worlds. Do strange combinations adding up to 30. Go for it, have fun.

  • Dot

    If you have been building on OpenSim for quite a while and as a result have an archive of OARs lurking on your computer that you would like to keep alive and accessible to others, it’s worth getting at least a Kitely Premium account.

    For example, I’ve just set up a new alt with a Premium account to archive some of the old Devokan builds as Premium Worlds.

    World storage beyond the included regions (10 for Premium, 30 for Gold) costs around 1 USD per region per month.

    Premium Account holders will still be able to make Premium Worlds after the cut-off date, so the archive can continue to be expanded as needed.

    For special events with lots of visitors, they can be switched to Fixed Price Worlds, and afterwards back again to Premium World. This makes the Premium plan extremely flexible and cost-effective.

    Compared to running instances on your own externally rented server(s), it works out cheaper, is far less hassle on the technical side, and gives superior performance (“all Premium Worlds have performance that is equivalent to the [current] most expensive Fixed-Price World … they all support up to 16 regions, 100,000 prims and 100 concurrent avatars”).

  • Talla Adam

    Ilan, you said in a reply to Ruby Lynn, and I quote; “Those that don’t like this option can simply wait until next month when
    we announce our new fixed-price world options (i.e. worlds where the
    world manager doesn’t pay for anyones time inworld).”

    What I’m wondering is why you don’t announce the new fixed prices now
    while offering the option to upgrade to Premium/Gold before the offer
    closes at the end of May. It doesn’t help with making a decision whether
    to upgrade or not if you don’t know what will happen after June 1st
    with fixed prices.

    If fixed prices are set to rise then I might consider upgrading is a better option for me. Having half the story doesn’t leave me feeling comfortable with the offer.

    • Hi Talla,

      We won’t post the prices ahead of time because we don’t want people coming to our site looking for the new offering and then getting upset when they still can’t order it. Not only would we lose potential customers for the upcoming fixed-price world options, we would also complicate the desicion process for people who we want to understand the current limited-time offering this blog post is about.

      As for your concern, the feature set of the upcoming fixed-price worlds will be different from that of our current options. Part of that difference will be in pricing, which will be lower than what it is today.

    • Dot

      Hi Talia. Having worked through the possibilities, I came to the conclusion that the best current action is to go for a Premium account. This will enable you to create the exact number of Premium Worlds you need in the future, for as long as you keep paying the Premium Account subscription of $19.95 per month.

      When you go over the ten included Premium regions, you pay an additional $1 per region per month storage cost. The Premium Account+Storage vs Gold Account crossover point is if you have more than 25 Premium regions permanently on the Kitely grid.

      As for the future, any of these Premium Worlds can be turned into a Fixed-Price World (and back again for those with grandfathered Premium/Gold Accounts). When we know the new prices and limits after 1 June we can weigh up the costs/benefits per world in detail.

      But if someone doesn’t have at least a Premium Account before 1 June, they will permanently lose out on all this flexibility.

      • Talla Adam

        Thank you Dot. I do actually have a Premium account and one fixed price region so yes, now Ilan has said fixed prices are not set to rise, I am content to be in a flexible position going forward.

  • Suzy Silverweb

    Dot: agreed! I use premium worlds for building and testing, they are affordable on my limited budget, and the superior world performance makes this a great deal. I’ve run opensim on my own machine just to learn how and it was a worthwhile experiment, however using Kitely worlds is far better. Plus all the friends I’ve made over the years 🙂 Under Ilan and Oren’s leadership, Kitely is world class!

  • Planet Concourse

    Will Premium account holders be able to upgrade to the Gold Plan?

    • Hi Planet,

      You’ll keep the account type you have at the beginning of next month until you either stop paying for it or downgrade it to a Regular Account. You won’t be able to switch between the Premium Account and the Gold Plan after the end of this month.

      In other words, make sure to order the account type you’d like to have before May 31 as you won’t be able to get it afterwards.

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