Second Life private sims will drop below 20k next week


private estates in Second Life are a primary revenue stream for Linden Lab. currently that’s over $4 million per month (mainland is an additional $900 K)

the other day on Wagner Au’s blog, there was a post framing Maria’s Hypergrid Business OpenSim monthly stats as being out of whack in comparing OpenSim to Second Life. the biggest argument being made was the number of active users and that more is better

Second Life has a concurrency of over 50,000 people per day and OpenSim doesn’t get half of that in a month!

but how do you count people like Kate Booth and all of her students who use Sim-on-a-Stick? and Erik in New York that has his students network into SoaS as a multi-tenancy installation? how about the universities that use OpenSim? i know the Air Force Academy still uses Sim-on-a-Stick, but how many instances?

personally, i think 500 daily users of OpenSim might not be a bad guess, that’s only one percent the number of Second Life users! but that doesn’t matter when you’re arguing which is better

saying OpenSim is better than Second Life is like saying an ggplant is better than a potato (i hate eggplants) *yuck*

i can unequivocally say that OpenSim is better than Second Life . . .

in certain cases, like having level 3 maths being done by seven year olds – you can’t do that with Second Life. but that does not mean OpenSim is better – just in this particular case

arguing concurrency is a valid topic but as far as which is better, that depends on your needs

BUT, Second Life’s success is directly tied to private estates and that number has been steadily declining for over two years (this is no longer stagnant, plateau, or flat as some insist)

maybe LL’s acquisition of Desura can right this ship or maybe that’ll be another Avatars United (me cynical?) =p


data from Tyche Shepherd’s amazing Grid Survey where you can view this data since LL’s start

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written by Ener Hax

July 12th, 2013 at 7:46 am

15 comments to 'Second Life private sims will drop below 20k next week'

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  1. How could ANYONE afford $1000.00 setup fee and then $295.00 per month for a single sim? Especially when there are other options these days. Unless they do something drastic, to bring these prices down, I’d bet SL will dwindle down…

    Hi Ener :-D


    12 Jul 13 at 9:12 am

  2. i fully agree and both you and i have had private estates in Second Life, so it’s not like we are simply pontificating from the sidelines

    concurrency is important, but money is what makes it go ’round!

    private estate owners, like you and i have been, are what supports SL!

    if LL would go cloud-based, they could reduce their operational costs drastically

    $1000 up front and $295 monthly is crazy expensive in today’s world (it was expensive in 2006-08 but at least it was the only game in town!)

    thanks Sunny! XOXOX =)

    Ener Hax

    12 Jul 13 at 9:46 am

  3. Yesyes, the tier is too steep, LL are a bunch of idjits and it’s all bad. But … what both of you ladies forget is LL’s technical advancement, which makes SL the best VW out there, by far. Physics! Do I need to say more? SL is the only VW where you can ride a bike, fly a plane or sail a boat. Every world where I can’t do these things is a showstopper. No use for worlds where all you can do is hanging out and playing lego. Also SL has the bestest communities and a working and vibrant economy.

    And with the ongoing Project Sunshine the grid is becoming really really good now.


    12 Jul 13 at 5:27 pm

  4. I don’t know where you get your ideas from, Orcsipoopsie but I am happily using a variety of vehicles in Opensim grids from racing cars to aircraft. I can use a surf board, an airship and even a microlight. Try the Proracer world or any one of many regions dedicated to assorted vehicle use on too many grids to name all. There is plenty of technical advancement in Opensim – a lot! – ODE physics works fine but the more advanced Bullet physics is under serious development and will be fully functional before long too. And Inworldz are advancing PhysiX from Navidia. Already some of those new features LL are adding to SL are in development in Opensim too like Materials for example so big deal! Opensim is more advanced in many other ways not least the fact it enables people to run their own worlds and connect with each other via Hypergrid. Linden Lab abandoned that idea years ago because they realized it would break their monopoly. And monopoly is the right word because it enables them to charge $1000 to spend 10 minutes setting up a single region then charge $295 a month thereafter to maintain it, and, not just that, but a staggering $150 just to change the coordinates to move a region! How bad is that when you can get a free setup with a hosting company for as little as $25 a month to host a server that will run a region in Opensim adequately for your needs. In fact you can get a region hosted for even less on some of the grids.

    Don’t get me wrong though, I like Second Life and still have land and friends there because I still run a role play game in that grid. As for project sunshine, though, well, so far it dose nothing that a good third party viewer and a decent graphics card are not already doing for me. I get the same quality in Opensim with a good viewer too as well and here is another one. LL have been pretty ambivalent about implementing Qual’s Mesh deformer and yet Inworldz has paid out to have it improved and the TPV developers are adding the code for Opensim use. You see, that is technical advancement that is really wanted!

    Fact is, Orcsipoopsie SL is developing but so too is Opensim and while Opensim is growing slowly Second Life is declining steadily. The free Metaverse has a surprisingly active community too if you check out Google plus you will find quite a lot of communities interacting there and sharing news and information so don’t get the idea Opensim has no community. It has a lot more than you like to believe. And you know what, lots of people login to both SL and OS these days despite Linden Lab’s attempts to make it difficult. Look here…


    12 Jul 13 at 7:55 pm

  5. […] Second Life private sims will drop below 20k next week at i live in science land […]

  6. I sometimes feel that working vehicles are a distraction. They’re fun, but they’re not essential for serious and practical virtual world use. Nonetheless, I’ve had working vehicles in my private sims for years, not great, but working, and vehicle availability and physics engines in OpenSim are both improving continuously.

    Overall, OpenSim and SL are not directly comparable. You can do useful things with OpenSim that are not feasible in SL, SOAS and MOSES come first to mind, whereas SL seems to be still be the de facto home for social life.

    That may change as OpenSim becomes more established, in systems like Kitely, and as SL runs down, but who knows for sure.

    Keith Selmes

    15 Jul 13 at 11:20 am

  7. “working vehicles are a distraction” funny that you say that – i have come to that conclusion as well

    at first i didn’t use vehicles because of both OpenSim challenges (think two years ago) AND my craptacular scripting ability

    but . . . as time has gone by, i really don’t have a need for vehicles

    i’d thought that i would like to have self-rezzing segways for students but in thinking about it more deeply, they would be distractions for our goal

    there are for sure awesome uses for vehicles in OpenSim, but not all applications of OpenSim need vehicles

    Ener Hax

    15 Jul 13 at 11:55 am

  8. /me *whispers* breedables in Open Sim……? *runs and hides* :O)



    17 Jul 13 at 7:50 am

  9. Sim owners in SL usually literally struggle with maintaining a full sim, and must resort to either having a large amount of cash to throw at the sim every month, becoming a laggy vendor magnet for scraping off of the sales of various other people, or becoming an SL land baron, which in itself does not really pay to try.

    The majority of tips for sims really do help, but as SL sees and analyzes this behavior, is it not feasible to think they may be holding back on prim count while increasing tier costs as a form of adaptation of this trend? Surely the hardware and software have both evolved enough to support more than 15k prims per region.

    I was told that SL uses the computational equivalent of my 1 core laptop for many of their servers, but with server grade hardware. This may be their reasoning for the limitations. Many real life corporations have adapted the costs of living to the trend of a multi-worker family. I look outside the box to see what others overlook.

    I am planning something big soon for a new computer. Something with more than enough power to support an 8 region sim with several graphical viewers running at the same time. I want to see what OpenSim can do on it once I complete the build. i would probably run a 4 region sim on it, mainly because I like “lightness”.

    Mick Scarbridge (SL).

    Mick Scarbridge

    21 Jul 13 at 11:49 pm

  10. And lo it came to pass… And was it a coincidence that Linden Lab reversed their policy about the discount for accredited Educational Institutions? I think not. Linden Lab must come to their senses and they must do it fast; meaning they need to lower the ridiculous tier and setup charges. Otherwise land will continue to shrink in SL.

    Wizard Gynoid

    28 Jul 13 at 3:29 am

  11. Sl’s private islands tally is now under 20,000 sims, almost close to 19,900 actually (info link

    I looked at opensim myself, but it did not really seem to offer anything more than soas does, unless I missed something.

    (and once again, a big thanks for the 16 region soas.)

    chris haylerson

    2 Aug 13 at 7:55 pm

  12. I am wondering now, that maybe another college or university left, the island tally is now 19840, so much for the discounts LL offered, it seems to be working in reverse!

    chris haylerson

    4 Aug 13 at 6:47 pm

  13. spot on chris, today it stands at 19823

    i’ll wait two more weeks and put up another graph – sure seems to have accelerated back to the 8% loss of 2012 versus the first 6 months of 2013 with a 5% loss

    Ener Hax

    8 Aug 13 at 8:43 am

  14. I think LL may be leasing part of their server power to make up for the losses. It may explain recent derpiness of the grid that my friends and I have been experiencing. Lately, we have experienced all flavors of lag for no apparent reason, and in more than five different servers. A dedicated server yields great performance, while a shared server lags a bit with a heavier toll on overhead. I wish SL would innovate more. It is too advanced to let it continue with it’s sinking trend in the high seas of the net. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. X.X

    Mick Scarbridge (SL).

    Mick Scarbridge

    4 Sep 13 at 6:05 am

  15. “derpiness”!!! that’s my kind of tech speak!

    leasing servers would probably make sense right? get rid of the upgrading and maintenance overhead

    interesting about your perception of the lag (which is clearly real and something that should steadily improve!)

    Ener Hax

    5 Sep 13 at 7:19 am

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