Maria published her monthly counts and analysis of OpenSim growth yesterday and she counts a total of 22,651 OpenSim regions and these include OSGrid, and public and private grids that report their numbers. her totals will always be less than all deployed OpenSim regions because not everyone reports their numbers
22,651 regions is a new high for OpenSim and approaches Second Life’s 23,619 private estates and isn’t too shabby compared to SL’s total sims of 30,840
while you can’t compare an OpenSim region to a Second Life sim as exact equals, you also can’t say that OpenSim is small from a land perspective. of course user accounts are still tiny for OpenSim compared to what SL has. they claim 10,000 signups per day but what’s the value in that number? i have 33,000 Twitter followers and what does that prove? maybe that i am OCD but as far as success goes, sims is a meaningful number since they represents the main revenue stream for Linden Lab
OpenSim can no longer be seen as a second-rate alternative to Second Life
people are showing the viability of OpenSim with where they decide to set up home, shops, and clubs. this does not mean Second Life is dead, it just means that equal or better options are available
Second Life lost over 1,000 private sims in the last year which could be as much as 3 to 3.5 million dollars per year (a loss of about 5% of LL’s annual revenue). some of that is flat-out attrition – people leaving that don’t want to do virtual world stuff, but some of that are people choosing something else that meets or exceeds their needs
Maria points out that 391 private sims inSL poofed last month and i’d say a good number of those were from the “no setup fee” special LL did October 21-23 (gee, i’d like the setup fees from my 19 sims refunded! i could buy a car!). the first month’s tier would have started on November 21-23 and that $295 is a big chunk of change to come up with!
so what does this mean?
for OpenSim it means we will likely see the number of regions surpass those in Second Life in 2012
overall, it means that virtual worlds are doing well and becoming more widely adopted. despite the small drop inSL sims, the growth of virtual worlds when you combine Second Life with OpenSim is significant with a total of over 53,000 sims/regions