The total number of regions and public grids in OpenSim hit new record highs this month but while more than 8,600 new users registered, the total number of active users fell by 909 to just below the 30,000 mark.
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 1,571 standard regions, to a new high of 59,512 standard region equivalents, or 3,902 square kilometers. Biggest gainers were OSgrid with 527 new regions, Atek Grid with 254 new regions, Kitely with 125 new regions and FrancoGrid with 103 new regions.
3rd Rock Grid lost 63 regions for a second month in a row of losses after growing dramatically the previous five months after turning on hypergrid connectivity. The drop in regions may be the result of some management changes on the grid.
All four of the top land gainers were hypergrid-enabled, allowing their residents to travel freely to other grids.
In fact, 93 percent of all OpenSim regions are on hypergrid-enabled grids, but these grids only account for 58 percent of active users.
The number of registered users increased by 8,661 to 441,840, with InWorldz bringing in the most new registrations at 2,006, followed by Kitely with 1,503, and OSgrid, back in strength from a long hiatus, with 820.
Historically, closed commercial grids have been doing a better job of marketing to new users and helping bring people to OpenSim for the first time, but the hypergrid-enabled grids are starting to catch up.
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:
- InWorldz: 8,293 active users
- Metropolis: 3,249 active users
- OSgrid: 3,075 active users
- Avination: 1,381 active users
- Craft World: 1,052 active users
- Kitely: 961 active users
- Island Oasis: 902 active users
- Great Canadian Grid: 524 active users
- FrancoGrid: 513 active users
- YrGrid: 487 active users
- Lost Paradise: 419 active users
The biggest gainer this month was DigiWorldz, which launched last month, with 188 new active users. It more than doubled its traffic compared to mid-March, but fast growth is common for new grids. YrGrid, which was also a fast-growing grid last month, continued to show strength with 146 new active users. YrGrid launched in February, and is a gambling-focused grid with a Bitcoin-based economy.
Metropolis lost 392 active users this month, possibly as a result of some residents moving back to OSgrid. However, OSgrid also lost 213 active users, so perhaps the reason for the drop is seasonal, with folks taking spring holidays.
We have 32 new grids added to our database since this time last month, including DigiWorldz, Grid Worx, Stray Cats-The Game, Virtual Designers World, O2Grid, Hosting Virtual Worlds, Blissful Shores, Relaxing in Moonlight, Italiani at Reading, Triatrix, TEIS, Tropic Terrace V, KOC World, MagicForest, 3DHappiness, MeetIn3D, Eduland, Hakusan, PeerWorld, DogeWorld, CableGrid, greekLife, Herkimer’s Lab, Stagma World, Xntra City, NZlandia, Pacifica, GEA, Cyber Life, EMS GRID, CS4162, and METU OGEB.
And the following 37 grids have been marked as suspended: The following 37 grids were suspended this month: , 14 Virtual, Adrianopolis, Agra Park in 3D, AquaFox World, AVA 3D, Axis Grid, Chezeworld, DODs World, Dream Forest, Dream Realms 3D, Excelsior Station, Forever World, Hypergridder, ItalcityGrid, KTU Uzem, Mataverse Akademi, Misty World, Naseby Village, North-March, OGEY-PLAZA, Open Community Grid, OpenSimGallery, QuintaGrid, R5Academy, Sailing Grid, Scare Virtual Training Center, Shadowy Tales, SimB2B, Subversion, Superborea, SuziWorld, ThoMaxGrid, Vartown, Western Springs, 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.
April 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 1,057 different publicly-accessible grids, 343 of which were active this month, and 280 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.
- Virtual Worlds Grid: 19,903 regions
- OSgrid: 9,399 regions
- Kitely: 6,947 regions
- Metropolis: 6,317 regions
- Lost Paradise: 2,268 regions
- Atek Grid: 1,528 regions
- InWorldz: 1,283 regions
- SimValley: 1,120 regions
- Avination: 621 regions
- 3rd Rock Grid: 577 regions
- Virtual Highway: 543 regions
- DigiWorldz: 400 regions
- ZetaWorlds: 349 regions
- FrancoGrid: 346 regions
- Littlefield: 329 regions
- Open Virtual Worlds: 320 regions
- Pleasure Island: 279 regions
- Island Oasis: 216 regions
- SirinHGpole: 204 regions
- Logicamp: 191 regions
- ZanGrid: 190 regions
- DreamNation: 182 regions
- Craft World: 178 regions
- Next Reality: 171 regions
- SimudyneGrid: 152 regions
- Anettes Welt: 151 regions
- Dorena’s World: 144 regions
- Adreans-World: 138 regions
- Sunlight Grid: 136 regions
- EdMondo: 125 regions
- OpenSim.ru: 122 regions
- Tangle Grid: 120 regions
- DWGrid: 119 regions
- Japan Open Grid: 114 regions
- Nemesis 3D: 113 regions
- Great Canadian Grid: 109 regions
- Infinite Grid: 105 regions
- GerGrid: 101 regions
- PMGrid: 96 regions
- Encitra Home Grid: 95 regions