Hypergrid users surpass those on closed grids

The total land area of OpenSim’s public grids reached a new high this month, with the equivalent of 54,867 standard-sized regions, an increase of 744 regions compared to the same time last month. OpenSim also gained 6,492 new registered users. However, the total number of active users fell by 1,699, mostly due to the end of the OpenSimulator Community Conference.

Total number of standard region equivalents on OpenSim's public grids. (Hypergrid Business data.)

Total number of standard region equivalents on OpenSim’s public grids. (Hypergrid Business data.)

But the big news this month was that the number of active users on hypergrid-enabled grids exceeded those on closed grids for the first time since InWorldz and Avination first had their big growth spurts in early 2011.

The 15 grids that gained the most users this month were all hypergrid-enabled, lead by 3rd Rock Grid. Meanwhile, the two busiest closed grids — InWorldz and Avination — lost nearly 700 active users in total.

Number of active users on closed grids and on hypergrid-enabled grids. (Hypergrid Business data.)

Number of active users on closed grids and on hypergrid-enabled grids. (Hypergrid Business data.)

There are now 11,843 active users on the 156 public hypergrid-enabled grids, compared to 11,340 on closed grids. Of the latter, the vast majority — 7,303 — are on InWorldz.

The users on the hypergrid-enabled grids can make friends on other grids, send instant messages, join groups, and even go shopping and bring purchases back home. In addition, they have access to the Kitely Market, the largest multi-grid marketplace for virtual goods.

The hypergrid was picked as a favorite feature by 81 percent of respondents in a recent Hypergrid Business survey, while Google Plus groups such as OpenSim Virtual, Hypergrid Destinations and The Adult Metaverse have been bringing OpenSim users closer together — no matter what grid they are on.


For company and school grids, relative popularity is not an issue — the grids are set up for a specific purpose, and if they meet that purpose, then they are successful. The same is true for grids run by niche communities or that serve a special need not met elsewhere.

But when it comes to general-purpose social grids, especially closed grids, the rule of thumb is: the bigger and busier, the better. People looking to make new friends look for grids that already have the most users. Merchants looking to sell content will go to the grids with the most potential customers. Event organizers looking for the biggest audience… you get the idea.

With that in mind, here are the ten most popular grids this month:

The biggest gainers, as mentioned before, were the hypergrid-enabled grids. 3rd Rock Grid gained 210 new active users, Metropolis gained 127, FrancoGrid gained 67, and Tangle Grid and Craft gained 63 each.

Meanwhile, InWorldz lost 390 active users and Avination lost 297.

Grid News

There’s a lot of stuff happening on the grids this holiday seasons, but I’ll save it for a separate story later on this week since I’m running out of time. I’ll also write separate updates about 3rd Rock Grid and the Kitely Market, both of which have seen some dramatic transformations lately.


We have five new grids on our list this month, including SPH PlacesVIBE: DelvalleVIBE: BIOME3D TeamsAVA 3DRavengreenWesteros GridImmersive RealityYour2LiveVirtual Vanguards, and Refuge Grid.

We’re listing 14 grids as suspended this month because we haven’t been able to get to their grid info pages or websites these past few weeks, including BunnehGrid, Exnixia, Grid Empire, Hippy Grid, iSynergy3D, Karmalot, Meridian Grid, Pegasus, SecondLearning, SRPSIM, and Virtworld.

And we’re marking a few grids officially closed because they’ve been down for a while and show no signs of coming back, including , Haven, The World of Begabungs, HewittSim, Bess Research, Universidad, Brillyunt, The Itakos, and OCGrid.

If there’s a public grid we’re not tracking, please email us at [email protected]. There’s no centralized way to find OpenSim grids, so if you don’t tell us about it, and Google doesn’t alert us, we won’t know about it.

There were a total of 1,435 new downloads of the OpenSim software this month, bringing the total downloads to over 215,000. However, the counter on the official OpenSimulator.org site was down. The Diva Distro had 485 new downloads, New World Studio had 23, and Sim-on-a-Stick crossed the 40,000 download mark with 783 new downloads.

I’m not going to list the Second Life region losses this month. I just don’t have the heart for it.

December Region Counts on the Top 40 Grids

The list below is a small subset of existing OpenSim grids. We are now tracking a total of over 893 different publicly-accessible grids, 227 of which were active this month, and 187 of which published their statistics.

All region counts on this list are, whenever available, in terms of standard region equivalents. Active user counts include hypergrid visitors whenever possible.

Many school, company or personal grids do not publish their numbers.

The raw data for this month’s report is hereA list of all active grids is here.

Related Posts


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. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

31 Responses

  1. services@farworldz.com' Talla Adam says:

    Thank you for mentioning that Google plus groups like “Opensim Virtual” is playing a huge part in helping to bring the community of Hypergrid enabled worlds together. Together with the many other G+ groups and the Kitely Market I think we will see a lot more growth in the coming year. There is a lot going on across all the grids, both open HG and none HG so it is all good news.

  2. arpholdings@gmail.com' AviWorlds says:

    Oh well. And we are back on the top ten list. Great news! Thanks! Now lets see. If my grid is open for HG I am then competing agains hundreds of grids. If my grid is closed commercial I have only a few to compete against. Hmmm…ok. I like it.

  3. trrlynn73@gmail.com' Minethere says:

    The news that hypergrid traveling is moving forward in interest by new folks [WE already know how cool it is ;-)] is inevitable.

    Cutting edge tech, full control over inventories and regions via simulator save/load commands [or via a hosting companies webtools], the ability to easily take your main avatar to thousands of other places to visit Art installations and remarkable builds spanning multiple regions or using varregions, as well as join in events in all sorts of differently created venues by people from all over the world who are not under the thumb of someone else’s vision and rules, and the vast amount of creativity enabled with prims only limited by computing power of the user [or by money when renting from hosting companies], land sizes that dwarf old tech standard regions started by SL [like 13 yrs ago?] and outdated, and so much more.

    Who could not resist at least giving it a look, making a nice vacation home and/or sharing with each other via the g+ communities and other places mentioned, or moving out completely as several notables have mentioned in g+ recently.

    Some further clarification stats I went to the extra trouble to look up [because it is to cold outside to go out much] but from only Maria’s gathered stats over time. This will give a more clear picture of the trending from this small sampling, to wit;

    Top 5 in region counts are all hypergrid enabled [but considering that OSG has been down theirs must be ghost reservation numbers…so, top 4 if’n ya wanna be picky and all that]

    Dec ’14

    Metropolis Actives 30 days– 3298 +127 [251 new users]
    3rd Rock 680 +210

    inwz Actives 30 days– 7303 -390 [Aug 8371 actives] over a 1000 person decrease
    IO Actives 30 days– 963 -38 [Aug 990 actives] pretty much break even

    Nov ’14

    Metropolis Actives 30 days– 3171 +63 [450 new users]
    3rd Rock Actives 30 days– 470 +39

    inwz Actives 30 days– 7693 -607
    IO Actives 30 days– 1001 -8

    Aug ’14
    Metropolis Actives 30 days– 1512
    OSG Actives 30 days– 3560

    I went back to August as that is when OSG went down, to clarify a point I want to try and make.

    As you can see Metropolis actives are currently @ 3298 but in August they were 1512. Then notice that in August prior to OSG going down they had 3560 30 day actives.

    So, roughly, Metropolis picked up 1500 or so from, I assume, for the most part, OSG going down.

    The rest as I know, and as others know, mostly spread out to smaller grids that fit their uses, made their own standalones [or just started using them more exclusively], or just spend more time in SL [since a large majority still use SL anyway].

    The point being that there is still a decentish [made up word] amount of people uncounted due to various reasons, which would throw your “There are now 11,843 active users on the 156 public hypergrid-enabled grids, compared to 11,340 on closed grids.” = 503 difference means it would be higher if OSG was running as it had been, approximately. Aside from the fact that the 156 is way, way low, alone.

    This is something to consider.

    I am especially pleased with 3rg gaining, and even more that they enabled hypergating [proving once and for all they are very intelligent and good-looking people, natch]…in fact some old friends of mine recently rented 2 regions there not only due to their entry region pricing of 8 bucks but mostly due to them enabling that…More news on that via my g+ feed soon-)

    • You also have to add “…. as far as Maria knows” to the end of every sentence in this story. After all, there are probably lots of grids I’m not counting at all. Specifically, I have almost no way of finding foreign grids, particularly grids in Asia. With hundreds of thousands of downloads of the OpenSim software, there are probably lots of them out there that I don’t even know about.

      Then there are the private grids that are on the hypergrid anyway. Say me and my friends start a grid, we open it up to the hypergrid, we buy stuff on the Kitely Market, but it’s a small grid that runs under the radar so it never gets picked up anywhere. But it still contributes to the Metaverse.

      Really, all we can do is the best that we can. 🙂

      Meanwhile, I’m very much looking forward to OSgrid coming back and finding out what happens with it next!

  4. alexzed23@gmail.com' Alex Zed says:

    Please, shall we have a top 10 of “hypergrid enabled” grids? Another question, there are some numbers about “hypergrid enabled” Standalones and Smallgrids? Thank you so much Maria.

  5. arpholdings@gmail.com' AviWorlds says:

    No one says this but even when the hypergrid passing closed commercial grids in visitors amount lets put this into prospective.

    Hypergrid Travel enabled grids make no money so if you have 1 million people into them it is like having NONE. HG enabled grids will most of them end up closing one day because of lack of money.
    The ones that can survive are the ones that are HOME BASED. Trust me if the HG ENABLED grid has a huge over head cost it will not be able to handle its operational costs.

    In the meantime a closed commercial grid will have lots going on in it making it able to pay for its operational cots.

    So what I have tested and tested and tested are in the formula below.

    HGVISITORS=1millionpeople=same as zero people in terms of beneficial for the business.
    ClosedCommercialGrid=100people= 100% beneficial for the business.

    Now this is based on a business that wants to make money and be able to sustain its costs so it can be online.

    • services@farworldz.com' Talla Adam says:

      Did you mean closing as often as Aviworlds does, Alex? What you are talking about is captive audience like Second Life which you can not ever hope to compete with. With Hypergrid people do have plenty of choice and money is being made in products, hosting and contributions from donations right across to event tips. The fact is more people are happy to use HG. You only had it while you hoped to gain from it then turn nasty against the hand that fed you. Your reputation is pretty awful.

      • arpholdings@gmail.com' AviWorlds says:

        AviWorlds closed indeed many times. Yes I tried and tried and I am still trying and fighting many many evil forces and people like you that seems to like feeding on other peoples difficulties.
        AviWorlds closed probably 3 times and the other times were me trying at my homebased data center. LEARNING.
        AviWorlds is now TOP ten again and it will remain TOP TEN and I am now going after the TOP ones of the TOP ten thank you very much.
        And its not DOES. We had our problems and now we are good to go. WE DID we dont DO …there is a difference there TALLA.
        AviWorlds did not close because of the business model either. It was due to problems with the hosting companies I had employed before.
        And I am not condemning HG travel enabled grids. I am just saying that for a large scale grid that offers many services need to have a cash flow coming in so it can survive.
        HG GRID ENABLED grids dont have that well balanced and it is not a good business module for a grid that needs cash.

        • services@farworldz.com' Talla Adam says:

          Alex, I run G+ Opensim Virtual community with over 1000 members so I owe it to my membership to ask questions about shoddy practice when Grid owners and hosting business’ promote on our pages. You have been in OV and left and been accepted back and left again. So you have been given every chance to promote Aviworlds in a positive manner but, instead, you court controversy and drama shooting from the hip about things best left alone if you want to sound like a responsible grid owner. The evil people you have a problem with are many so are they all wrong?

          • arpholdings@gmail.com' AviWorlds says:

            Talla I have DOUBLE your 1000 members in my facebook account alone. People from all parts of the EARTH who are interested directly in VIRTUAL REALITY. I did want to explore what your little group has to offer but I can do better without it. Thanks anyway but I do have thousands of followers. Not only 1000 people , 20 or so that are active in your group.

          • lmpierce@alcancemas.com' lmpierce says:

            Time to tone it down.

          • lmpierce@alcancemas.com' lmpierce says:

            Time to tone it down…

        • That’s funny, tell that to Kitely. A HG enabled grid that seems to make money and even has a HG enabled market place. I guess those dumb morons at Kitely just don’t know what they are doing??? Sarcasm mine

    • There are other ways for a grid to make money than selling space to merchants for in-world stores.

      * Selling land for creative building, role play, education, business — all gets easier when customers have access to the hypergrid, and to a large online marketplace

      * Selling land for creators and stores to have show rooms to display some of their high-end content and promote their online stores

      * Selling land for expos, special events, fashion shows, clubs — even an event based on tips can be successful in OpenSim because it takes very little money to rent land compared to Second Life

      Plus, you get all new business opportunities. Look at the Web. Originally, everyone thought that the way you made money on the web was to sell access, AOL-style. But then, it turns out you can do all sorts of other stuff.

      You can use a grid to:

      * Sell real-world goods
      * Sell real services that can be delivered in-world, such as counseling, training, coaching, fortune telling, custom building and custom avatar creation
      * Sell real services that can be delivered traditionally, such as Web hosting and design, architecture, engineering, other types of consulting
      * Sell games. For example, you can sell breedables that can only breed on your grid, due to custom local modules. Or premium content for roleplaying games played on your grid. And you can sell that content in whatever way is convenient for your customers — as part of their premium memberships, in-world, or through online stores.
      * Sell yourself. Authors could hold book readings. Virtual TV shows can have a filming studio with a live virtual audience. A great bartender who knows how to bring in people can open his or her own bar or pub.

      And, with hypergrid connectivity, there won’t be a shortage of potential visitors — especially as the hypergrid grows. And with an online marketplace, there won’t be a shortage of basic starting content, meaning that it if you want to, say, open a bar, you can do it really cheaply and quickly, and instead of spending all your time and money on land and content, you can spend it getting the word out that you’re in business.

    • shin.ingen08@gmail.com' Shin Ingen says:

      In the real world managers of major metropolitan invest billions of dollars to open their city’s gate to people living outside their limits. New roads and freeways, rails, bus lines and airports connect their city to the outside world. They all seem to think that their economy will somehow get better if their city is accessible to everyone. They are right, the return of investment is in 3-folds according to the latest statistics.

      Hypergating follows the same model doesn’t it? A wider market for your products or services.

      Alex, you just need a better economist. Hire someone that will tell you that hypergating isn’t the reason for Aviworld’s failure. It is something else other than …

  6. Butch Arnold says:

    Our economy is thriving since we’ve gone HyperGrid. We sold many regions and have attracted 100’s of new “Local” users.
    My belief, just like a city, is if the city has something to offer it’s visitors, and things going on to keep the visitors interested, some might just decide to call the city their home.
    Others may still just decide to come and visit now and again, but several of these “Vistors only” people have contributed to our entertainers, purchased items from our vendors and have joined many social groups and generally spend time on our grid.
    My belief is that even a non paying/buying visitor adds value to the “Atmosphere” of the grid, thus providing much needed social contact with others. Simply the added social opportunities for our “Local” users makes HyperGrid valuable in my opinion.
    To each his own I guess, 3RG was a closed grid for it’s entire existence until recently and I can say that so far we have enjoyed our change to HyperGrid.
    The HyperGrid model may not work out for others, but thus far it has been working for us.

    I personally would never “Choose” to live in a real city where I wasn’t allowed to leave and no visitors were allowed to come visit and where the population only grew when a new baby was born.
    I’m sure the communists have tried this and it hasn’t worked for them.

    Look what happened to the old “Route 66” in the USA when the visitors stopped traveling through… it is mostly just a memory for most these days.

    My belief is that each of us are social beings… we need to explore, we need to have visitors, and we need freedom.

    I’m personally not afraid of HyperGrid as I am confident our users will find new ways to create exclusive 3rg only content and our events will sometimes be 3rg only events, etc… this will attract visitors and if we the grid and our users can provide the atmosphere they like, they may just decide to call us home and show their support by buying …. one of our “15,000 prim First Land” regions for only $8/mo. on our great new powerful 48 cpu core machine with 192gb ram. (Sorry.. I seen the opportunity for a shameless plug there).

    All kidding aside, I can respect your position Alex and wish you luck, but I wouldn’t want to close off 3RG ever again.

    I can say that there are many grid users who are very afraid of HyperGrid, so there is a niche market there to cater to these types of users.
    Several of our users had voiced their fears and really wanted us to stay closed.

  7. bagman1673@look.ca' guest says:

    The whole thing is similar to the concept of free trade in the real world. If everybody can go where they please and buy whatever they want from whoever makes it best or cheapest, everybody involved is further ahead without the obvious downsides that globalization entails. What’s lacking is a metaverse google.

  8. geir.noklebye@dayturn.com' Geir Nklebye says:

    Very few companies manage to maintain a walled garden over time.

    Linden Lab to a very large extent has a walled garden because they were the single technology provider for sufficiently long that the ecosystem surrounding them have very few incentives to move elsewhere.

    Apple has also managed to maintain a walled garden for 30 years, and still a very successful one simply because they have an intense focus on market creation, simplification and customer satisfaction. Most of the time they are not technology leaders seen from a pure tech / engineering point of view. They were also, Like Linden Lab, able to be the sole provider of an (user interface) experience for long enough to establish an ecosystem that revolved around them.

    The only technology differentiator OpenSim has at the moment is Hypergrid, and the long term success of OpenSim will depend on to what extent an ecosystem is established around Hypergrid. My prediction is that grids that don’t participate in the establishment of this ecosystem, in the long run, will not be viable unless they cater to niche groups with a willingness to pay for participation in that niche. There may be small and even lucrative pockets of interests that people might find profitable, but the mainstream base for both developers and customers willing to pay will be in the open, accessible, navigable hypergrid.

    Hypergrid is also the facilitator of cultural scaling that cannot be provided by a single company or on a single grid, and the lack of such scaling is the primary reason why SecondLife as it is cannot grow much despite the ecosystem.

    • trrlynn73@gmail.com' Minethere says:

      I would add that varregions are a decided advantage with core OS dev.

      I agree with the sentiments expresses vis--vis cultural scaling as it is much more eloquently stated than my own simple Texas hick words. I hope you don’t mind my using that in appropriate discussions.

      My thinking on this is that non-hypergated systems in this current VR iteration will also eventually go away and leave us with a fully distributed ecosytem where we are ALL more in control of what we wish to do rather than the fiats, whims, visions and limitations imposed by some grid operator.

      Yes, some may simply “like that” but the march of tech will blow it away, regardless, and the net is full of ideas that lasted various periods of time but are now gone and not remembered.

      Hypergating allows us to see many different cultures and the imaginations of people unfettered…thus we all grow.

      • geir.noklebye@dayturn.com' Geir Nklebye says:

        Don’t mind at all 😉

        What I should probably add is hypergrid also facilitates legislative scaling as hypergrid as a whole transcends the legislative environment a single grid operator must adhere to. Linden lab is stuck in the state of California legislative environment which has forced them to jump through hoops like we saw this summer when it came to gaming as one example.

        On a whole it means hypergrid in sum can offer more diverse content, better consumer or privacy protection, or better grid operator economy by allowing them to place their grids in the legislative environment that best supports their operation, desired customer base, and consumers are free to choose which environments suits them better.

        Not sure that var regions as such is an advantage because in reality it is just a technical measure to better pool memory and machine resources to minimize the impact of what happens on region crossings. If seamless region crossings were possible, we would not be discussing var regions? Perhaps a different way of gridding the land would totally eliminate the issue.

        • trrlynn73@gmail.com' Minethere says:

          ty-) and I was simply adding to your comment about scaling, with my comment about varregions.

          I am not a techy person all that much but regardless of your stating “Not sure that var regions as such is an advantage because in reality it is just a technical measure to better pool memory and machine resources to minimize the impact of what happens on region crossings. If seamless region crossings were possible, we would not be discussing var regions? Perhaps a different way of gridding the land would totally eliminate the issue.”

          technically, it is in fact a move in the direction of whatever may happen next as you refer to region crossings [of SL imposed small 256×256 sizing].

          As I noted someone once said that removing region crossing issues allows for people to travel much further, in fact, both have an end to them, regardless of the size. Varregions simply removed some of those old technical limits…and I expect this aspect to further unfetter us as time moves on.

          So, yes, as hypergridding is my main focus now, I agree, but I simply think varregions are also very important.

          • geir.noklebye@dayturn.com' Geir Nklebye says:

            I am more thinking of an “execution bubble” that always surrounds the avatar where the avatars scripts, movements and views exist as it moves through a continous 3D space represented in (distributed) memory and where (distributed) processing resources broker for execution of the bubble. Not sure that made sense to anyone else, haha.

  9. trrlynn73@gmail.com' Minethere says:

    btw, I think you do us all a great service Maria…show of hands?!!