Top grids gain 883 new regions

The top 40 OpenSim grids now have a total of 19,381 regions, a new high — up by 883 regions from a month ago. Meanwhile, total registered users grew to a new record high of 212,452.

These numbers do not include smaller public grids, or the unknown numbers of private OpenSim grids out there.

Growth in region counts on the top 40 public OpenSim grids.

The top three gainers were the non-profit OSGrid, which gained 491 regions, the German-language Metropolis, which gained 233 regions, and the on-demand grid Kitely, which gained 113 new regions.

“This passing month was slow,” Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business. “We spent a lot of time working on improving our backend and various admin capabilities. We are now working on improving scaling and world startup times.”

Kitely offers regions on demand — they are stored away when not in use — at no cost while the service is in beta. Billing was scheduled to be implemented this month, but has been postponed until November.

“We decided to preempt our roadmap to do so because we wish to be ready for fast growth once we roll out some features that should help create a more unified user community,” Tochner said. Along with billing, Kitely has also delayed the roll-out of alternate login methods until December. Today, Kitely users need to have Facebook accounts in order to log in.

The three grids that gained the most users were InWorldz, which gained 1,924 new users this past month, Avination, which gained 1,823, and OSGrid, which gained 1,370. All other grids gained 300 users or less. These three grids were also the grids with the most active 30-day users — though I’m guessing about InWorldz, since it doesn’t release these numbers.

Avination and InWorldz both continued to lose land mass, however. Avination lost 80 regions since mid August, and InWorldz lost 19. These two grids are the top commercial grids running on the OpenSim software. While most other grids are hypergrid-enabled, allowing easy travel in and out of the grids, Avination and InWorldz both have hypergrid turned off. These two grids also restrict OAR regions exports, and take other steps to protect content. As a result, they are popular with merchants looking to expand beyond Second Life.

Total regions on InWorldz, Avination commercial grids

And yes, I’m aware that comparing grids by region counts isn’t the best way to compare them. Region counts can fluctuate dramatically due to testing, short-term events, in anticipation of major new building efforts, or other factors. And some grids do roll out large numbers of empty, water or landscaping regions.

The best current metric we have is the active 30-day user counts, since it represents the actual activity on a grid. However, this number can also be artificially inflated and, unlike region counts, there is no method to independently verify it. Another challenge is that, while almost all grid publish their region counts, many grids — including InWorldz — do not publish active 30-day user counts.

SpotOn3D did not update their numbers from last month, which is a pity, since I would have liked to see if their new Web-based viewer plugin had any effect on registrations or land rentals.

Grid shakeups

Despite an acquisition offer from a competitors, the 43-region RolePlayWorlds grid closed this month.

In addition, the 82-region Sim-World grid is currently merging with the 51-region Avatar Hangout grid, a process which will take “a few weeks to complete.” Both grids are down until then.

We have one new grid on our top-40 list this month, the 36-region Adreans World.

Elsewhere on the hypergrid

There is currently no central system for tracking OpenSim grids. The OpenSimulator.org website does not track downloads, and grid owners don’t have to register their grids with anyone — unlike websites, where owners have to apply for domain names. The OpenSimulator grid list is out of date and incomplete.

If there’s a public grid we’re not tracking, please email us at [email protected].

In addition, a single download of the server software can be used to set up several grids, or can be used to set up no grids at all.

However, there are statistics for one popular version of OpenSim, the Diva Distro, a four-region, hypergrid-enabled, pre-configured minigrid.

The Diva Distro has been downloaded 444 times over the past month. The total number of Diva Distro downloads now stands at 7,896.

Diva Distro is also part of the popular Sim-on-a-Stick, a version of OpenSim packaged to run on a USB stick. According to Sim-on-a-Stick creator Ener Hax, the USB-friendly OpenSim package has been downloaded 1,056  times over the past month, a record high, bringing the total of these downloads to more than 4,012.

Meanwhile, according to data from The Hypergates, the number of hypergrid travelers increased by 149 travelers, to 3,226, compared to the previous month. The number of total jumps made has fallen, however, by 944, to 3,791 jumps made since mid August. Some of this dropoff could be due to ongoing server problems on the network.

Not all hypergates are part of The Hypergates network — anyone can create their own hypergrid by dropping a script on any object, such as our touch or walk-through single-destination hypergate script. In addition, many people do hypergrid jumps without using any gate at all, simply by typing a hypergrid address into Map-Search. There is currently no way of tracking that traffic.

Meanwhile, Second Life continued to lose regions this month, down 2 regions to 31,140, and down 341 regions since September 2010, according to data from Grid Survey.

September Region Counts on the Top 40 Grids

We are now tracking a total of 172 different publicly-accessible grids, 89 of which reported their region counts this month.

The raw data for this month’s report is here.

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maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • woot! way to go Maria! thanks!!!

    the sim-on-a-stick site saw a ton of hits this month (total uniques of around 4,500!) and still about 13% are on apple OS!!! def need for Mac version

    with OpenSim being easier to install, like SoaS or just the real install of it, i wonder how that affects grids like InWorldz? must be a small factor

    thanks Maria!!! =)