SL private sim loss slowing slightly


the slow steady loss of private Second Life sims might be showing a change for the better

up until a few weeks ago, the average daily loss of private sims has been about 8.3 sims per day for the year, but the last two weeks has revealed that this rate of loss might be slowing. as of today, SL has lost 2523 private sims this year which works out to an average of 8.02 sims per day

8.3 versus 8 may not sound like a big difference and losing 8 sims a day is serious revenue but to shift the average that much in a few weeks means the loss has been slowing down drastically. of course, conclusions based on short term changes are imprecise and simply a snapshot

however, winter in the northern hemisphere typically sees an increase in Second Life resident concurrency which would naturally see an increase in land sales. with an increased number of resident hours comes a “wider” opportunity for introducing improvements or new offerings. in other words, the natural seasonal increase in user hours means a greater chance of success through larger exposure to whatever that “new” thing is

will this winter’s larger audience be an opportunity Linden Lab takes advantage of or will SL remain status quo?

only time will tell and my two cents are that SL will continue to see a decrease in sims and OpenSim will continue to slowly grow and see increased use by non-traditional users (a wider demographic than SL has)

sim loss

could sim loss level out to a slower daily rate? or is the end nigh?

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written by Ener Hax

November 13th, 2012 at 9:11 pm

posted in second life

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17 comments to 'SL private sim loss slowing slightly'

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  1. I occasionally read that “a successful Second Life is good for all virtual worlds”.

    I dunno, if SL fell into a smoking crater tomorrow, I think the Avinations, the Kitelys, the Simhosts of the world would pick up the slack.
    And theres no shortage of Opensim Bloggers to spread the Good Word.

    Plus I would make my way forthwith to the nearest thoroughfare, and dance a happy jig in the middle of it, while whistling, all be it poorly, an Irish ditty.

    Breen Whitman

    13 Nov 12 at 10:49 pm

  2. Sorry, I am not sure it is slowing, Ener since a huge part of the loss has been since June and it’s been a consistent drop with little that is new coming online to off-set the Fall. And, if the statistics from the early part of this year are anything to go by, then expect more sustained falls in the new year. Couple that with the education grants running out next year I think LL will be in real trouble. So far Rod has done nothing to stem the decline and may have actually made the situation worse. The tier is still way too high and the residents only see their money going on video games development. I think the dedicated residents are beginning to seriously worry over the direction the CEO is taking the firm while the competition do now pose a serious threat.


    14 Nov 12 at 6:26 am

  3. As a dedicated, traditional resident I’m most concerned about a viable alternative to SL. Do any of the “Avinations, the Kitelys, the Simhosts” have working physics, a working economy, a diversity of communities that are about more than just “let’s build a world”?

    Orca Flotta

    14 Nov 12 at 7:26 am

  4. you found me out Gaga! i was trying to not seem like such a “the sky is falling and i hope SL bites the dust” and looking at Tyche Shepherd’s all encompassing graphs, there’s no doubt that SL is declining stadily. little blips in growth do show up, but it’s a death spiral imo

    now what i find really interesting is what you said about tiers funding a game company!

    i had not thought of that but now that you said it, i would have been a bit miffed that i was paying $2930 a month in tiers and not seeing big improvements or efforts to retain and attract customers on the part of LL

    wow, that kind of changed my spin on LL! thanks Gaga for expanding my perspective

    i secretly am more like you Breen – i don’t have much vested in the success of SL and know that the chances of me ever using their services again are pretty slim. i can’t see any reason i ever would from where i am now

    SL can fall off the face of Earth and i believe OpenSim would continue – who knows, it may be a good thing in the end

    heck, even Philip didn’t stay vested inSl (although he makes a nice chunk of change from being on the Chairman of the Board)

    Ener Hax

    14 Nov 12 at 7:27 am

  5. hi Orca, i was answering while you were but my slow typing put my comment after yours

    ah, that’s the rub! there isn’t anything like SL out there

    sure, i’ll say “but this and that” but if you are looking for something 90% analogous, there simply isn’t

    InWorldz has awesome physics in process (better than SL imo) and an in-world economy, but they are not the size of SL in both concurrency or land. will they be at some point? it could very well be but that does not help if you are making a living inSL and trying to fully move

    Kitely is poised to be the a viable center of the OpenSim world once hypergrid is in place but, again, not analogous to SL

    will something ever become like SL or “SL plus better”?

    who knows and only time will tell, so for your question, the answer today is: no =(

    Ener Hax

    14 Nov 12 at 8:12 am

  6. Breen —

    Right now, SL is the biggest source of customers for OpenSim grids, a huge training platform, and a big marketing arm for virtual worlds.

    Plus, many OpenSim-related events actually take place in Second Life — every panel discussion or speech I’ve given on the hypergrid, with the exception of one conference on FrancoGrid, has been in Second Life.

    Despite the fact that it’s not hypergrid-enabled, it’s still the starting point and the main meeting point of the metaverse.

    We will all suffer if it goes down.

    Maria Korolov

    14 Nov 12 at 9:18 am

  7. @Orca

    Sweeping generalizations don’t prove that much Orca. None of the current Opensim worlds come anywhere near to SL in size but collectively (200+ worlds and growing) they do start to look like the growing Internet that brought down the likes of AOL’s closed Internet. But I was referring to more than Opensim when I spoke of the growing competition to Second Life. I was thinking of Opensim collectively, Cloud Party, Unity and Utherverse to name a few this time. As for not having physics well that is easy to say but it is wrong. Sure, it ain’t Havoc but it actually works well enough for now while the dev’s work on PhysiX and Bullet. As for economy many grids have all that but granted not on the same scale individually – yet. As for diversity that is wrong too.

    And, you know what?

    Many people are moving their communities and builds out of Second Life simply because Opensim is cheaper and becoming more stable and feature-rich. Like it or not that is the way it is going and the reason SL is hemorrhaging regions and user traffic. The metrics are there to see like glowing writing on the wall.


    Hehe, I thought I would help you out and be the prophet of doom for you. Like I said the numbers are there to study and I do.


    14 Nov 12 at 9:41 am

  8. thanks Gaga! i think we are long lost sisters =)

    i very much like your last comment here and i believe it is a very accurate summation of OpenSim/VWs compared to SL

    the cost factor plus the ability to save out your work (not in all places, but many) are such huge pluses for OpenSim

    OpenSim isn’t for everybody but it can fill many needs that SL does

    i can’t see why any educational venture or educator would not have their own grid on OSgrid, on their own servers, or possibly with Kitely

    Ener Hax

    14 Nov 12 at 12:00 pm

  9. I think the real question for SL is: what does it offer that other grids don’t? In terms of features, the short answer is: not much. (I can’t think of much other than the new pathfinding mess, which is of course of nearly zero value to most of us who aren’t region owners.)

    So if it offers no features compared to other VW, how is it still afloat? There are probably many reasons. One is the simple fact that many of us have invested literally years of life into it. I know for myself, that not one of my favorite skin or hair shops is located on any other grid. This doesn’t affect my opportunity to build, but if I’m realistically wanting to build a world to share with anyone else, I’m forced to ask this simple question: if they are NOT builders like myself… what is their reason to come to any VW? If I want visitors, I’ll need to provide them with the same opportunities as elsewhere. Many of these shops will simply NOT consider any other grid.

    On the building side: I can’t blame builders for not wanting to pay for the same texture 2 or 3 or more times just to use it on multiple grids. Even when a merchant allows a multi-grid license without extra payment, the transfer process can be a pain. Then there are scripts and other building tools which may not even function properly or be available on other grids. Some can be expensive.

    On the subject of virtual economies: items which cost you $1 US in SL should not end up costing you $1.50 US on a grid where the tier is 1/10th of that of SL… but I’ve seen this plenty of times. I don’t know if it’s an attempt to cover the merchant’s SL expenses or simply the confusion of operating in several different and sometimes confusing economic paradigms, but it’s off-putting for many potential residents.

    Finally… a list of things SL has in its favor…
    (keeping in mind that this is only my own personal experience)

    99.99% of the time… my inventory is there and nothing is broken
    99% of the time… I can log in to both the grid and website
    99% of the time… region crossings and teleports work for me
    99.99% of the time… my contacts list is reliable
    0% of the time… I log in to white prims because textures are lost or corrupted in the database (this is a real problem on some opensim based grids… and I can’t imagine being a merchant and suddenly receiving 1,000 IMs from customers with broken products)

    (You may notice: the theme here is reliability. SL is quite simply reliable and stable… at least it is in my own personal experience… and this is more important than many of us wish to acknowledge. Being able to work when we please and play when we please and not having to worry about doing work over because of bad data migration or data corruption or other things is always a welcome “feature”.)

    On a final note: Anonymity. I know it sounds odd, but there’s much to be said for being an unknown little person on an enormous grid. If I become friends with a person in SL only to discover they suddenly hate me because I prefer my toilet paper to roll off the top instead of the bottom (lol), then overall it sucks, but it’s over. On smaller grids where everyone knows everyone, you suddenly find that literally everyone you know is asking why you were so mean to so-and-so. The smaller the world, the more one crazy person disturbs it. I know it’s an odd thought… but a big grid full of nuts actually has something going for it! lol (PS. This can apply to grid admins as well.)

    Conclusion? SL lives on because of complex issues… some financial and some emotional and some just plain weird. I for one see it as a part of VW history, and whether it passes into that history or not… I’ll remember my virtual life there as I choose to remember my life in general… some good and some bad, but overall a ride to remember.

    Wishing you a happy virtual life! :)

    Kiko Kenichi

    14 Nov 12 at 3:37 pm

  10. @maria “We will all suffer if it goes down”

    For every door that closes another fly goes up the flagpole.

    Intel would start by committing even more devs to opensim. Google would dust off their vw.

    Breen Whitman

    14 Nov 12 at 5:55 pm

  11. @Kiko Kenichi

    I don’t know what part of Second Life you log into that you find so reliable 99.99% of the time. My experience as a long time user and owner of SL regions is somewhat different. I have real problems with white broken textures in SL since all the server updates and I don’t experience it to the same degree in Opensim. As far as textures go I find lots of free textures in Opensim worlds and can get them from plenty of download web sites. I have a good list of vendors and texture suppliers on my blog pages. I have licensed textures on my hard drive from Texture R US and others that I can download free to most OS worlds. SL charges for all downloads! In fact there is little of nothing LL don’t charge for and tier costs are the highest of all virtual worlds. You mention easy border crossings which I grant have improved in the past year where before they were no better than OS and in fact worse is many cases. But you never mentioned OS has mega regions with no border crossings that function even more reliably and they have been available in Opensim along with other features SL never had for years. Today, Opensim is more stable and reliable than ever before. Opensim worlds are many too and suffer the downside of many owners putting varying resources to their grids and standalones. It is too easy to overlook these factors when making comparisons.

    Opensim is less than 20% the cost of SL in most cases so that is one significant comparison that can be made.

    Opensim is user created from the foundation code up and clever people can make deep changes to their world that are impossible in SL.

    Opensim worlds can be associated via Hypergrid if the owner chooses and no one need be subject to a highly restrictive TOS like SL imposes.

    Opensim worlds are many (200+ at last count) and it’s easy to move on if you don’t like a particular world. You can set up your own too so becoming unpopular in a particular grid is not something that would worry most of us. It’s no different than falling out with a particular community in Second Life. In fact it is just as easy to change names and disappear even from the eyes of grid owners. Can’t hide from Linden Labs in Second Life! So, as far as Anonymity goes there’s much to be said for being an unknown little person on an enormous Metaverse of many grids on servers not owned and controlled by the same person or company.

    Personally, I still have regions and many friends in Second Life and I don’t wish it dead but, like so many others still in there, I think the management are deaf and milking the residents for every last penny that can get while imposing server changes that may or may not serve the best interests of the majority. Certainly, much of the disruption and corruption of data in SL can be put down to broken code while bugs that have been around for years never get fixed like Group chat for example and the terrible lag. I would like some of the expensive inventory I have lost too during some of those endless weekly server updates that have done so much damage at times.

    I could go on and on about SL failings and Opensim failings too but there is a crucial difference. Opensim is free and made available for you to create your own virtual spaces, creative works and businesses at a much lower price point. Second Life just costs too much and always has. It is a market for people to make money if that is your motivation but others,,, many others use it for community before profit and get hit with the high costs which they can’t easily off set. Opensim levels the playing field more than SL ever could. The profiteers behind SL, Linden Lab has always made sure of that and continue to milk it to death as it declines.


    14 Nov 12 at 10:14 pm

  12. BTW, Kiko I am not saying there is anything wrong with sticking with SL. I might call you a sucker for putting up with their inflated charges but then again, that makes me a sucker too. However, for all my fond attachment to Second Life I am not there to make money so that doesn’t motivate me or give me a reason to defend Second Life. I also can’t honestly give my blessing to all the scams and spamming that goes on in SL either or the gambling and excessive pornography. I would defend the mature, escapist aspects and role play community of Second Life for that is were my friends mostly are.

    I use both Second Life and Opensim so I have the best of both worlds and I can exclude from my experience the low life side of Second Life I find so disgusting like the graphic bloodlust and excessive ill-treatment of women, bestiality and cannibalism. At least with Opensim I can avoid such things simply by being a grid owner and keeping low-life’s and griefers out.


    14 Nov 12 at 10:44 pm

  13. *Hugs her sister, Ener*


    14 Nov 12 at 11:13 pm

  14. Gaga… I really wasn’t hoping to “defend” SL. I honestly agree with most of what you’ve mentioned. lol (I must be very fortunate in my SL experience… as I’ve never had real problems with it… certainly not a loss of the magnitude you describe… though to be fair I do not own land in SL, so I’ve no clue what might happen in that regard, especially to region owners).

    I really more or less was trying to truly examine the question as to what keeps SL going, as it does indeed become a bigger question all the time. I’ve never really understood the idea of paying the sort of tier LL asks… it’s almost as much for a region as my monthly rent in RL… lol

    (btw I totally agree that there are some truly hideous things to be found there!)

    I guess I have a soft spot for the grid simply because I’ve found some of my best friends because of it. I’m currently trying to create my own very small grid (just 4 regions)so I can perhaps invite those friends to share it; but having a lot of trouble getting up and running. I could never afford such a thing on SL grid for certain, but honestly I can’t afford it on even the cheapest grids out there due to long-term health issues.

    Anyway… It’s good to know others are at least working on alternatives. :)

    Wishing you a happy virtual life! :)

    Kiko Kenichi

    15 Nov 12 at 6:11 am

  15. “I prefer my toilet paper to roll off the top instead of the bottom (lol)”

    do you know that this topic was the most controversial one that Dear Abby ever had?

    she’d talk about such things as infidelity and even abortion, but the toilet paper thing got the most attention. btw, Dear Abby says it is supposed to come off of the bottom of the roll . . .

    Ener Hax

    15 Nov 12 at 6:17 am

  16. Omgosh you made me laugh Ener…

    ROFL about Dear Abby!

    Wishing you a happy virtual life! :)

    Kiko Kenichi

    15 Nov 12 at 6:30 am

  17. Don’t mind me Kiko. I’m like Ener, a hopeless blabber mouth *grins*

    Oh, and Ener, talking of toilet matters I bought my mother a new toilet brush and asked her a few days later what she thought of it.

    She replied, “It is fine but your father still prefers to use toilet paper”

    I know, sad joke but toilet jokes crease me up!

    Have fun Kiko and good luck with your Opensim regions.


    15 Nov 12 at 8:58 am

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