OpenSim passes 30,000 active users

This was another record-breaking month for OpenSim, with new highs in regions, users, and active users on the 323 active worlds.

For those who are new readers, OpenSim is a free, open source virtual world platform that’s compatible with the Oculus Rift. It allows people with no technical skills to quickly and cheaply create virtual worlds, and then teleport to other virtual worlds. Those with technical skills can run OpenSim worlds on their own servers for free, while commercial hosting starts at less than $5 a region — compared to $300 a region for the same land in Second Life. A list of hosting providers is here. Download the recommended Firestorm viewer here. And find out where to get content for your OpenSim world or region here.

The land area of OpenSim’s public worlds increased by the equivalent of 1,274 standard regions, to a new high of 57,941 standard region equivalents, or 3,797 square kilometers. Biggest gainers were OSgrid with 667 new regions, Atek Grid with 369 new regions, Lost Paradise with 230 new regions, Virtual Worlds Grid with 167 new regions, and Kitely with 133 new regions.

The Metropolis grid reported the most losses, with 378 fewer regions, possibly as a result of some users moving their regions back to the recently-recovered OSgrid. And 3rd Rock Grid lost 129 regions after growing dramatically the past five months after turning on hypergrid connectivity. The drop in regions may be the result of some management changes on the grid.

Land area on OpenSim’s public grids in standard region equivalents. (Hypergrid Business data.)

Land area on OpenSim’s public grids in standard region equivalents. (Hypergrid Business data.)

All the big land gainers were hypergrid-enabled, allowing their residents to travel freely to other grids.

In fact, 94 percent of all OpenSim regions — 57,941 — are on hypergrid-enabled grids, with just 4,079 regions on closed grids. The hypergrid gained 1,164 regions this month, while closed grids lost 14.

The number of registered users increased by 9,286 to 433,179, with InWorldz bringing in the most new registrations at 1,754, followed by Kitely with 1,409, Avination with 584 and YrGrid with 557. YrGrid, a gambling-themed grid, launched earlier this year with a Bitcoin-based in-world currency.

Three of these grids are not hypergrid enabled, showing that closed commercial grids are still doing a better job of marketing to new users, and should be lauded for helping bring people to OpenSim.

However, because the total number of hypergrid-enabled grids has been increasing dramatically, the total number of active users on the hypergrid continues to pull away from the number of users on the closed grids.

Active users on the hypergrid-enabled grids and closed grids. (Hypergrid Business data.)

Active users on the hypergrid-enabled grids and closed grids. (Hypergrid Business data.)

December of 2014 was the first time since InWorldz began reporting its active user statistics that the hypergrid had more active users than closed grids.


And speaking of active users …. 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.

OpenSim grids reported an increase of 5,184 active users this month, for a new high of 30,804 users. Almost all of the increase in active users was due to the hypergrid — 4,421 new actives, or 85 percent of the total.

Given the high registration numbers on the closed commercial grids, this could be a sign that, even as the closed grids continue to bring in new users, some of their older users are leaving for the less-expensive, less-restrictive open grids.

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

The biggest gainer was OSgrid, with 3,137 new active users. This was only to be expected, since the grid just recovered from an outage that lasted half a year.

InWorldz was the next biggest gainer, with 567 new active users, followed by Great Canadian Grid with 277, Craft with 222, Metropolis with 139, FrancoGrid with 132 new actives, YrGrid with 127, Sunlight Grid with 111 and Kitely with 106.


We have 36 new grids added to our database since this time last month, including Virtual Brasil, Cacao Grid, Cryospia, Beverkenverlt, Prommise2, VUCC, FarOutWorld, MegaGrid, Eureka World, Galactic Systems, Rez Day, Odessey, Virtual Taos, DIY, Algrid, Austeria-Grid, DMS World, Gorean Grid, New Vexillation Chauken, BearKat, Dawn, Prommise, EUITOP2, 3rd Name, V-ALERT Mainland, United Kingdom, Resonant, BioMed, MetroEMS, Smoke Grid, Virtual College of The Siskiyous, Broncoland, Arianrhod, Thirdnation, Drum Sound, and Kalasiddhi Grid.

And the following 22 grids have been marked as suspended: Agra Park in 3D, Al Grid, AquaFox World, AVA 3D, Avi-Labs, Chezeworld, DigiSoul, Dream Forest, HDD VR, Mataverse Akademi, Metaverse, North-March, R.World, RandomWorld, Superborea, ThoMaxGrid, ThunderLife, Traduverse, Western Springs, Westeros Grid, World 3D, and Yaps.

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.

March 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 1,015 different publicly-accessible grids, 323 of which were active this month, and 264 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.

34 Responses

  1.' Ilan Tochner says:

    Hi Maria,

    Kitely gained 1,409 registered users this month, making it the biggest gainer amongst the Hypergrid-enabled grids, and the second largest gainer after InWorldz. Please correct the article to reflect that.

    • biggest really?
      InWorldz: 8,212 active users
      so how are you the biggest?

      •' Ilan Tochner says:

        Nice attempt Christopher but you stopped short of full reading comprehension.

        Please read my comment again and notice I’m talking about gains in *registered users* this month (i.e. the number of new users account created over the month):

        Inworldz: 1,754 (biggest gainer overall)
        Kitely: 1,409 (biggest gainer amongst the Hypergrid-enabled grids)

        Metropolis had
        3,641 active users but they only gained 153 registered users, which means that they had a lot of inworld activity but that not a lot of new accounts where created over the month. Kitely had less inworld activity (1,109 active users this month) but it had more people signing up to create new accounts. Kitely was forth in inworld activity amongst the Hypergrid-enabled worlds (after Metropolis, OSgrid, and Craft World).


  2.' Sarge Misfit says:

    wish I could visit

    •' Talla Adam says:

      Are you still banned from OSgrid, Sarge? If so I think the mods should review all those bans they imposed. It has been, like two years since the troubles.

    •' nebadon2025 says:

      I had your account unblocked for you on OSgrid.

      •' Sarge Misfit says:

        After more than 2 years. With no explanation as to why I was banned and blocked. No response to emails asking that question. Just simply shut out and denied any ability to participate without any explanation or ability to appeal.

        And now its a “by the way, you can visit again” comment on a post? A comment I didn’t know about until it was posted in a completely different place.

        Lani, I miss visiting, but there isn’t a hope in hell I will do anything to show any support or tolerance of any kind for the administration of OSGrid.

        •' nebadon2025 says:

          ok no problem I will block your account again for you.. have a nice day.

          •' Han Held says:

            Arbitrary ban that was arbitarily lifted has been arbitrarily reinstated.
            …OSgrid in a nutshell, ladies and gents.

          •' WhiteStar Magic says:

            Being banned from the OSG Forums for politely & nicely asking to have my old posting “un-stickied” on April 7, 2013 showed what a lovely bunch exists there. Actions always trump words. OpenSim community certainly gained by doing so. The RL grid is far more interesting anyways and this is just entertainment to watch the shenanigans in the forums & blogs now.

          •' Han Held says:

            Now you’ve wiped your name off your posts -stay classy, Nebadon.

          • That is a rude and silly response..I am flabbergasted..

          • My gast has never been so flabbered..

          • It will take me ages to unflabber it unless of course you apologise and make it up !

          •' Magnuz Binder says:

            Careful there, anthony. Who now is presented as “Guest” here is Nebadon Izumi, bully extraordinaire and admin of OSgrid. If you have an account there, you may very well find it blocked now, since they have a habit of throwing out anyone not singing their praise high enough, as Sarge, Han, me and quite a few others can testify to. But if you fall to your knees, kiss his feet and worship him well enough, he may let you back in on probation in a couple of years or so…

          •' Han Held says:

            **chuckling IRL**

        •' Magnuz Binder says:

          You have my respect for your integrity, Sarge. Thank you for standing up!

    •' Han Held says:

      Your arbitary ban has been arbitarily lifted. …congrats? I guess? Only took two years. 🙂

  3.' Magnuz Binder says:

    You may want to double-check the stats for Littlefield as well, since neither their home page nor their splash screen have stated more than about 240 online regions for the last few months, while you have credited them with about 100 regions more since december last year.

    • They have varregions that don’t show up in the stats. I get the total land area directly from grid management.

    •' Walter Balazic says:

      Maria has already verified this with us if you don’t mind Magnuz. Why don’t you worry about your grid and worry less about other people’s grid.

      • wow chill out walter. he just questioning about your stats which im sure alot of people do when they look at ur diva wifi page. no need to be your typical hot headed self.

        •' Walter Balazic says:

          That’s funny coming from someone who was accused of threatening a grid owner in RL last year and does nothing but attack everyone on here.

        •' Walter Balazic says:

          Funny coming from someone who threatened the owner of Skylife grid last year in RL and had the cops called on them, not to mention attacks everyone on here continually. I remember that and I’m sure everyone here does too. Happy to provide a link about that if anyone wants to see it.

  4.' Lani Global says:

    Various grids may handle the count of HyperGrid visitors differently. OSGrid doesn’t seem to count HyperGrid visitors in its “Active User” number. It only counts the users who log in via their OSGrid account. But, OSGrid also provides an ongoing count of the HyperGrid visitors as a separate number.

  5.' Talla Adam says:

    It’s all “traffic” and that is meaningful. Unique logins are counted once in 30 days but a member may login 30 times or just once in that time so unless you count every login which is too easy to abuse you have to accept the current count. On the other hand Hypergrid traffic takes time and effort to move about so does actually give a better idea of active users and traffic flow. The active user count is not an absolute thing anyway and can only demonstrate a trend. But it is clear Hypergrid traffic is increasing and so too are unique logins.

  6.' Talla Adam says:

    Good news the Sci Fi Meetings are on again, Lani.

  7.' nebadon2025 says:

    Sarge Misfit I had your account unblocked.

  8.' Penny Lavie says:

    Interesting that an article in ‘Hypergrid Business’ should foster comparisons to closed grids. Someone nervous? It is with this in mind that I raise awareness to look for possible ‘conflicts of interest’ from within the Opensim development community.

  9.' Minethere says:

    An interesting observation to me is the current active user numbers relating to Metropolis and OSGrid.

    I went to the august 2014 stats Maria posted then to make the comparison between then and now, after OSG is back up. There is, of course, still a bit of moving around but to my eyes there has been a rather nice increase in actives between those two alone.

    As we can see here Metropolis gained 2129 avatars during that time. OSG is approaching their pre-down numbers.

    There is a net gain of active avatars of 1857. In other words Metropolis does not appear to be reducing back to August 2014 numbers and OSG is pretty much the same now as then.

    Of course Metropolis gets new actives regularly and may have in any case grown in some percentage of that. But it tells me that the OSG downtime has resulted in an overall active avatar increase for the hypergated Metaverse.

    The new collaborative efforts cross-grid has also increased quite a lot, all of which bodes very well for the hypergated aspects of OpenSim.

    Have others noted this?

    Metropolis March 2015 3641
    OSGrid 3288

    Metropolis August 2014 1512
    OSGrid 3560

    •' Talla Adam says:

      I noticed it. I would have expected Metro actives to drop but not so. Maybe some are using alts to rebuild in OSG while multi-tasking at Metro. Well, next month might show a difference but in any case I am seeing more new standalones and active users moving about. Traffic,,, it’s all traffic! And all good.

      •' Minethere says:

        I agree, but now I looked at Craft-world now and then. As we know Craft softened it’s entry requirements a few months back.

        In August they had 452 actives and this month Maria reports that they have 1231.

        Not big numbers of course but a rather nice percentage increase. It is hard to say of course but I doubt they would not have increased that many if OSG had not gone down for so long.

        I think the OSG downtime got a lot of people looking around, which equaled a goodly amount of activity across all hypergrid places and such as you mention, many more standalones.

        Not to mention just the new exposure developing more interest over all.