Second Life user concurrency 2012 winter update

Since my summer update on Second Life user concurrency has still remained flat during the whole of 2012 and there has been a big decline in total regions in Second Life during 2012. In my summer 2012 update I pointed out that on 19th July 2012 there were 29, 496 regions on the grid. In January 2012 the region count was 31, 078 and as of 4th of December 2012 it stands at 28, 290 regions. A slow large decline and very alarming indeed.

If rates continue then I think it will drop down to somewhere between 26, 000 to 27, 000 before 2013 year ends unless something changes soon. This is very alarming that SL regions, SL active users and SL sign ups have been lost in Second Life during 2012 more than in previous years. Seems like SL users are spending more time outside of SL and doing other things.

  • What are your views on 2012 economy and SL stats this year ?
  • What does LL need to do to kick-start the SL economy again ?
  • If you were CEO of Linden Lab what would you do ?

I hope Rodvik and the rest of Linden Lab will do something about this SL economy decline in 2013/2014 otherwise its back to the early days of Second Life before 2020 I predict.

Current region counts!

  • 28, 290 – Total Regions
  • 1854.01 – Total Area (km²)
  • 7, 090 – Linden Owned
  • 21, 200 – Private Estates

It seems to me there has been less interest in SL for some reason with more region closures etc. The trend during 2012 I think was a big switch towards the most popular 40 OpenSim grids and there has been growth in terms of regions/users this year. OpenSim grids are much cheaper, better financially, expanding (sims/users) and there is new investment being made all the time.

SL daily concurrency levels decline further in 2012

  • Since July 2012 the minimum daily concurrency seems to be balanced between 30, 000 to 35, 000 mark.
  • Since July 2012 the median peak daily concurrency seems to be stable between 45, 000 to 48, 000 mark
  • Since July 2012 the maximum daily concurrency seems to be remain around 60, 000 to 64, 000 peaking
  • Since July 2012 the daily Second Life sign ups have dropped down to around 11, 000 – 14, 000 mark

Linden Lab does no longer release statistics for Second Life and I base my findings via the SL Grid Survey, Hypergrid Business reports and other SL metric sources.

In 2013 Linden Lab needs to seriously lower tier costs and bring more to the table so that SL users don’t go else where. If Linden Lab created a SL app for all mobile/tablet platforms that would be a great news. It’s possible and change is needed for 2013!

My next update will be in the spring > published in April 2013.  

37 thoughts on “Second Life user concurrency 2012 winter update

  1. Since January, SL has lost about 2,600 private regions and concurrency continues to slip. It’s a slow decline. The biggest reason for the loss of private regions is due to the exorbitant tier costs. I think Linden Lab would see a change in this metric if they simply lowered the tier. Competing grids are getting better all the time and they are much cheaper. Inworldz has physics and mesh support now and Support is responsive and reasonable there.


    1. Thanks Wizard for the update stats on private regions. It’s again sad to see the levels are on a decline during 2012. Yeah, lets hope Rodvik will lower the tier costs in 2013 but support between the lab and SL residents needs to be improved.

      There’s been fewer office hours, LL blog posts, more axed events and worser communications between the lab and the SL community in 2012. I agree OpenSim is winning and growing at a good sensible rate.


  2. heya wizzie-)) The move to osgrid will continue to decrease sl size and in greater numbers over 2013. Full ability to do OARs and complete control as well as cheap to -0- land costs will drive this. osgrid and kitely will lead the way…watch-)) Niche grids will also offer some ppl those things that please them but in smaller numbers, of course. As os 7.5 and beyond propagate thru the metaverse and when HG 2.5 solves the content security issues, the exodus to osgrid and kitely will blossom. Kitely already offers their own proprietary security.

    As well, there is already much content available and already some of the finest creators are exploring the possibilities, which are only limited by imagination-)) I find it quite fun!!


    1. Thank you, Minethere for your comment.

      2013 I believe people will move towards opensim if not already which will make the grid communities stronger and bigger than it was in 2012. InWorldz is the top favourite opensim grid at the moment and it’s improved so much over the course of 2012. Many new exciting things to come in 2013 i’m sure.

      I find it fun relating to content available on the grid and opensim grids which i’m exploring through.


      1. I hate to disagree but inwz is not the top favorite.I simple read of hypergridbusiness monthly stats will show you the facts on this..jus sayin’–))


  3. imo, LL needs to become cloud-based and they would save a ton on their hardware (i bet they would save 80%) and then up the prim limits per sim. the prim limits have never changed and they should be able to support 30k or more (look at Kitely doing 100k prims with 100 avatars!!!)

    reducing sim tiers would make estate peeps mad (it would if i still had my 19 sims) but would be better in the long run

    BUT . . . lowering expenses and reducing tiers is not enough (and i don;t mean compete with OpenSim but maybe $150 a month for 30k prims). LL needs to make some BIG gains in lag reduction and add more powerful scripting possibilities

    i don’t know what those new “things” would be, but they need something taht would make a media frenzy again. that is the key eh?

    if i could come up with that, then we’d all be talking about Ener Life! =D


  4. This was Rodvik Humble outlook for 2012

    Outlook for 2012
    1 New tools used to develop Linden Realms
    2 Server side performance and fixing bugs
    3 Existing land tier pricing will not go up in 2012
    4 More advanced features
    5 More value added to Premium in the form of additional features and content
    6 New pathfinding system to be launched

    Number 3 relates the most and lets hope it won’t rise in 2013/2014.


  5. Well, as Ener pointed out, a sharp reduction in tier pricing as well as a large increase in prims would go a long way to solving the exodus. It is by no means the entire problem for LL tho, but it would likely save those who really wish to stay, but who simply cannot say anymore to themselves ‘Why?” and have much of a decent answer.

    However, I doubt that will happen and it seems that there are still way tons more people coming into sl as a first vw than are even IN all other grids as active users. So why should they?

    In any case, there are enough people to go around [and more born every second:P] [hmm, reminds me of a remark attributed to P.T. Barnum-lol] and more and more are seeking new worlds while still maintaining some kind of presence in sl [some even going back to the mother grid exclusively].


  6. Hi everyone! As a big corporation used to a certain level of profit,I don’t think Linden Lab could ever lower tier rates enough to compete with even the most commercial OpenSim grids. I live on a dot org grid, I have an entire region with a prim allowance that still causes me to have serious bouts of hyperventilation and/or uncontrollable weeping, for what it would cost me to rent a 400 prim skybox in SL. I also think that even if they did somehow manage to be somewhat cost competitive, the people who are now running Linden Lab see it as a game; the cultural and community aspects seems to elude them. They have made it into another gigantic high end consumer game of sex and status.
    A serious percentage of the SL creative community has at least one foot in OpenSim, where they just GIVE content away,which means for the average Joe, like moi, there is a boatload of fantastic stuff to mess with great places to do the tourist thing,,and tons of cool little social scenes in lots of small ponds. Like SL was back in the day, and is now loooong gone! Come on everyone, at least have a look at the frontier!


    1. This is my current avatar:


      – Mesh cat furry in mesh clothing.
      When I can have that in an OS Grid, AND a social community that is thriving, AND a large continent I can explore around in, especially in a vehicle, then I might start looking at an OS Grid seriously.

      Unfortunately I didn’t make that furry, I bought it. Many folks don’t have the time or expertise to make things like that. The people who do, have not yet left SL.


      1. Nice choice in buying that avatar, Pussycat 🙂

        I’m sure those times will be happening in the next few years on opensim if rates continue as they are will the slow decline sadly.


    2. Thanks virtualchristine for your comment.

      I think they could lower the tier and perhaps then there would be more interest in land in Second Life. I’m starting to think that LL see SL as a game with the new tools being introduced.


  7. Its not just tier being high. But in past you could fund that with commercial tenants.
    At present – commercial tenants have moved to marketplace and rarely more than one main shop.

    All land has left is residential tenants. Which just doesn’t pay the bill for most of them.

    Unless they kill Marketplace, Marketplace will kill SL. Its just a matter of how long it will take.


  8. Pussycat, first I think you have to divide open sim up between the commercial grids and the hypergrid. I would bet anything you could find a good mesh avatar that would suit you on Inworldz, for example. 3rd rock had 50 regions of connected roads,and more waterways. I have a freebie bicyle that I love to ride there. I still haven’t explored it all! On the hypergid there is an astonishing amount of free content, and massive areas to explore. The big daddy of the project, OS Grid, has thousands of regions. I liked the roads in SL too, I followed and blogged about them for a long in my geography guides. But mostly you couldn’t leave the roads for ban lines, and what was open was another clothing or skin mall- and I am just not a shop till you drop kind of person! As to the question of commununities,everyone who ever spoke to me in SL was trying to hustle me into a casino or initiate sex.Being interested in neither, I developed a Lady Hermit persona. I never had a real conversation until I came to OpenSim, where now I know tons of people! I am part of a close knit community on my home grid, that, like so many, have a core group that is a direct transplant from SL.I belong to 3 other grids, where I participate in various groups. This is not uncommon on the frontier. OpenSim is different,no question, but I, personally, have never looked back!


  9. Prices would be the first point – it is really hard to cover the monthly land costs, both for those who have their land just for fun and for the small to middle class land businesses. Especially if you want to offer some more than just regions that are rented out to the last sqm and operating around 14,990 prims.

    The whole land portfolio needs expansion, as the success of the Homesteads (even in the light of them being totally overprized) shows. New land products with different prim limits would be nice. Of course with a fair pricing model – with costs per prim being more or less on the same level in the different products.

    Prims were named already, too. Sorry, but 15k prims per region are soooo outdated. Content becomes nicer and with that often more complex and more heavy on the land impact side. I think already a small step like upping the limit to 20k would have a nice impact.

    The annoying old technical problems *have* to be fixed! It is totally inacceptable that at the end of 2012 sim crossings for example while sailing are still a game of luck – with gambling being forbidden by the TOS, lol.

    More thinking before pushing out new nice and shiny things. Actually thinking till the end! What impact will have a new thing have, does it really do all what LL thinks it will do? An example is mesh clothing. While it adds lots more reality to the look of avatars, the whole idiocy with “Can not be resized, 5 standard sizes included, get demo first, change your avatar body settings if not fitting.” is unbelievable. Something like the mesh deformer would have to be done and ready the day mesh was pushed onto the grid! LL pushing out halfbaked products is simply annoying. I think a major problem is rooted in LL becoming more and more a professional company – the employees with the ideas and developing not really spending enough time as “real” residents anymore. I can’t foresee complications when I’m not really involved in using the final product.

    Communication. Where is it? Didn’t the boss promise regular, like monthly messages and reports to the residents? Well either I’m blind, or this promise went the way of 99 percent of promisses in the business world.

    Anyways, just my 2 euro cents.


  10. Being one of the ones that choosed to return to Sl full time, after finding the joys of open sims, i have to agree that all posts above are correct and LL should really pay attention to them!
    but while newcomers on Open sims grids, usualy come from Sl, Sl still has newcomers that never saw or enjoyed a metaverse world and LL main goal, i dare to say, the only one they should be focusing in now, is to make easy to newcomers to login, learn and start enjoying|
    For that they need to improve and make LL viewer at least as usefull and easy as some tpv, to create new toturial sims where newbies would learn how to use the viewer, while gaining some Linden and where they could learn that Sl is much more then Sex or a big chat room!
    Regions where 1 could be fly, sail, drive, listen to live concerts (LL needs to make live concerts on those welcome areas, paying good artits to go there and also atracting old users that would support and help new ones)!
    Other grids aleady do this, LL needs to follow for once some of the good of Open sims experiences!.
    Finally they really need to focus on pont 2 before all the rest.
    Fix the thecnical problems before creating new ones!


    1. Thanks foneco.

      I agree they need to LISTEN to the SL community more next year and focus on a new roadmap for SL in 2013 with fixes, improvements and new experiences.

      The new resident experience is just not good enough I think and needs to be improved ten times better in 2013 than it is today. I do give credit to all the helping groups that do a excellent job at making newbies feel welcome/learning the basics on the grid.


      1. Having recently created a new acct in sl for purposes of promoting my terraforming business that is gaining success in the rest of the metaverse [i figured, shouldn’t i at least try to offer it to the mother grid-lol], I experienced the noob experience in sl again. Altho I have learned quite a few tricks to make the change/fix rather quickly [and thx to some wonderful friends] I was struck with one VERY important thing….the hair was atrocious!! I kept asking myself and anybody who would listen, ‘How come such a technological thing as sl can’t even give a noob some decent hair? especially since there is tons of free hair all over sl that is tons better than what i arrived wearing!!??’ [and i wont touch the clothing issues-lol]

        And tho in almost every other grid in the metaverse you get a very nice opensim library sl makes sure you have a ton of the most useless gestures you can imagine!! go make yourselves s a new acct and see what all i mean…i was quite amazed…

        So, yea, increasing the noob experience would be a grand idea, and start with the default avie…


  11. Interest in Second Life has pretty much decreased. That is sad. But even more sad are the silly comments of OpenSim users here in this post. The clumsy attempt to recruit people from Second Life demonstrates, that for sure antisocial people are at home in OpenSim too.


    1. Thank you, Happy inSL.

      It’s sad yes that interest in Second Life has dropped this year and in previous years as the graphs show above.

      Hopes 2013 will be the year LL changes course otherwise the grid will be even more empty and smaller.


    2. Speaking for myself as I don’t know what comments you are referring to, it is human nature for ppl to ‘talk up’ that which they enjoy, and a desire to see others enjoy it also.

      I, personally , never had any issue with sl even tho my old original acct access was removed when i removed my pmt info for my premium acct knowing full well they would charge me, which they tried to do, and would not let me access it until I paid up-lol. [which i didn’t do]

      But that’s not important…*wink


  12. I have to agree about the new user comments. Many users have no idea that they can lower their draw distance or graphic settings. So they log into Second Life for the first time and everything is caching and is very laggy for them. If there is no one around to answer their questions, they may relog or simply think their computer cannot handle the program and log out again. I often spend alot of time helping newbies on fixing their graphic settings and teaching them the basics. If new users were educated properly from the beginning, like in the past, they would be more likely to stay and perhaps actually lease property and contribute financially to SL and help the economy. Of course they do not have the slightest clue that an economy exists in SL! I could go on here on how Linden Labs has failed but will save that for another time. But surely they must see that if their product has a rapidly shrinking user base, they should be doing more to retain new and existing users.


  13. The reason that Rod gave for the declining concurrency earlier this year was that (iirc) there were more people logging in, they just weren’t staying as long.

    I suppose the question is whether they’re first time users logging in and it’s all too hard so they leave (he said around that time that more people were completing the sign up process, so that’s possible) or if they are more regular users and really do just pop in for a bit, rather than spend hours inworld. It’s also hard to tell what the true underlying numbers are, as bots have always been the unknown and apparently some people are still using them without registering them (to game traffic).

    Only LL really knows and I don’t think that they’ll ever tell us the truth.


    1. Thanks Couldbe.

      The shocking thing this year is that regions and logged in users have dropped this year. Its not reached 75, 000 or any record peaks.

      The newer starter islands are not helpful as its just teleports and not giving newbies the basics. Many are giving up when they reach random packed locations I think.


      1. There’s so many issues around the user sign up/retention and existing user retention that even just listing them would be to write a major novel. Ultimately though, SL just isn’t engaging to people any more. Whether it be price, quality or ease of use, SL consistently fails to be any better than mediocre in any category. I really don’t blame anyone who has had enough and walks away. LL has always had that “build it and they will come” arrogance and nothing has changed, If you think about it, SL couldn’t cope if every one of those signups stayed. Even a 10% retention rate would have SL buckling under the strain within a month. Sometimes I think that they’ve set it up as a test so that only the most determined people with the lowest expectations will stay. Which is kind of what we are. sigh

        You might be sad that it’s in the state it is but 12 months ago I honestly thought that sl wouldn’t still be around today. It is in much better shape than I expected and LL does seem to be managing the decline. The real question is what will happen when their income declines to a point where they have to put up tier to cover costs (remember, that’s their main source of income) and I can’t even begin to guess what that figure is these days but I’d think we’re still a few years away from that.

        Ultimately though there’s very little we can do. They dumped the mentor programme, most of us do not encourage others to come in any more and providing entertainment and freebies may get people to stay but it won’t pay our inworld bills if people don’t spend. Commerce inworld is declining to such an extent that apparently most rental businesses have severely curtailed their commercial land available and I doubt much of it was converted to residential use. People could dump the marketplace and start spending their time shopping in world, which would both increase hours logged in (and therefore concurrency) and also increase the number of shops inworld but really, who wants to do that? It’s hard work!

        The other thing to remember is that it’s quite possible that people are spending less but better quality time inworld. Half an hour of hitting slm is probably the equivalent of 4hrs trying to slog around the grid and I’m sure there are other activities that have benefited in some way from LL moving things (like the destination guide) outside of sl.

        ugh, now this has become a major novel!


  14. Since July 2012 the median peak daily concurrency seems to be stable between 45, 000 to 48, 000 mark – half of which are bots.


  15. I think a big reason for the loss of sims is the transition to Marketplace. More and more people just don´t see the need for an inworld shop anymore or at least not for a big one. That doesn´t mean that they left SL.
    The reason that land is way too expensive is old, but still valid.


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