Regions, grids hit new record highs

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.

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 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.

Popularity

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:

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.

Transitions

We have 32 new grids added to our database since this time last month, including DigiWorldz, Grid Worx, Stray Cats-The Game, Virtual Designers WorldO2Grid, 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.

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

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.

  • Thanks for the mention in the article Maria… but you forgot to include DigiWorldz in your list of hosting providers.. DigiWorldz is currently offering new users a “Pioneer” region with 15k prim capability for only $8/mo. – our normal price for this region is $16/mo.
    We also have a very nice selection of Var Regions and we do offer low prims regions as well.
    All content is backed up nightly and we work hard to make sure each user is happy.
    Thank you to all of our users who have made our grid their home!
    Come check out DigiWorldz… you may not want to leave!
    Congrats to the other grids as well – the state of OpenSim is growing stronger Daily!

    • hey butch, wil you guys be doing a mainland soon with a choochoo line?

      • markjohnwiseman

        Hi Christopher. We won’t be doing a mainland at all, as there is very little (0) interest in having one; people tend to want their own space, or will group together with friends to make their own ‘mainland’. But feel free to grab a cheap low prim var region and come and build choochoo island 🙂

    • Butch — Thanks for the reminder! I’ll get your listing up in a few minutes…

  • concerned citizen

    You need to double check your suspended status for creative citizens grid. It is up and running smoothly.

  • hack13

    Hey creative citizen grid is still up and active, I am a frequent visitor!

    • Ah ha — their login URI changed. I’ll go update everything now!

  • Hi Maria, just to let you know that my grid Creative Citizen Grid is up and running. You list it as suspended.

    • Thanks for the reminder! I updated the Active Grids List, but forgot to update the article!

      All fixed now.