UPDATE April 13th, 2020: Avatar name changes are now finally available! Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to change your first and/or last name on your Second Life avatar.
Linden Lab has just posted an item to their official blog that outlines some changes coming to Second Life.
Chief among them is, finally, an expected release date for an eagerly-awaited feature: the return of last names for Premium members!
We heard you loud and clear. Soon it will be possible to change the name of a Second Life account. This is one of our Residents’ most requested features and we’re working furiously to make it available by the end of January. Name Changes will be exclusively for Premium members at an additional fee. Changing one or both of your First and Last Name will be available as a single transaction. Last Names will be picked from a list, which you can help us curate.
What’s a last name you would choose for yourself? We’ll soon hold a contest seeking your contributions to the pool of last name options. From all of the suggestions, we’ll pick five, and those five lucky Residents will be able to change their names completely free of charge! You will not need to be Premium to participate or to win. The contest will run December 16th, 2019 through January 15th, 2020, and participation details will be announced shortly.
So put on your thinking caps and come up with some great last names! Please keep in mind that Linden Lab has already announced that they will not reopen last names that have previously been used (if you’re not sure whether or not a last name has already been used before, check out the SL Name Watch website, which allows you to sort the names alphabetically by clicking on the Last Name column title):
In other news, Linden Lab is increasing the commission rates on SL Marketplace sales:
On December 2, 2019, commission rates on Marketplace sales will become 10% of the item price. This will be the first commission increase since the Marketplace debuted a decade ago. This new rate remains significantly lower than most digital content commissions across the industry. Apple and Google charge a 30% commission on sales in their app stores, as do many other popular virtual worlds, VR and gaming platforms, such as Oculus and Sinespace.
Also, to address the longstanding problem of Events listing spam, there will be a new fee charged for Events listings:
We’ve heard many complaints from our Residents about duplicated event listings and spam. To combat this problem, we’re introducing a nominal fee which will help discourage spamming and encourage higher-quality events from committed event hosts. Basic members will be charged L$50 to create an event listing while Premium members will pay L$10.
Those are just the highlights, you can read the full text of the announcements here.