New record highs for OpenSim grids

OpenSim grids saw continued steady growth this month, with total region counts, user numbers, and monthly actives all reaching new record highs.

There are now the equivalent of 65,122 standard regions on OpenSim’s 317 active public grids, a new record high. There are also 478,497 registered users and 31,567 active users, an increase of 9,064 registrations and 433 actives, respectively.

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

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

DigiWorldz was the biggest gainer this month, with 517 new regions, followed by Kitely with 306 new regions, AviWorlds with 271, Virtual Highway with 153 and the Great Canadian Grid with 85 new regions.

OSgrid lost the equivalent of 374 regions, Virtual Worlds Grid lost 193, and 3rd Rock Grid lost 75 regions, or nearly a fifth its land area.

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.

Popularity

Of the top ten most visited grids this month, five gained active users and five lost them. InWorldz lost 289 actives, or about 4 percent of its active users. Island Oasis was the biggest gainer, followed by Metropolis, the Great Canadian Grid, OSgrid and the French PNA Grid, which was formerly the Sunshine Grid.

Top ten most popular grids:

Island Oasis went from sixth most popular to fourth this month after gaining 382 new active users, the most of any grid.

According to grid founder and CIO Karl Dreyer, one reason is the grid’s Facebook app, first launched last October, that residents are using to log into the grid and chat with friends, check transactions and send money — it is similar to a text-only viewer such as Radegast.

Another reason is that the grid has rolled out a streaming service that allows users to access the grid via a Chrome-based plugin called Island Stream. Now in beta testing, browser-based access is currently available only for the PC, but Island Oasis is working on Android and iOS support.

The grid has also lifted the 60-day limit it previously had in place on its free land offer

Island Oasis is a closed, commercial grid that ranked highest last year in our annual grid survey.

Its high active user counts are particularly impressive for a closed grid — many of the other grids on our top-ten list are hypergrid-enabled. That allows those grids to count not only local residents but also hypergrid visitors when they calculate their traffic.

But Island Oasis’ hypergrid situation might be changing.

“We are seriously considering turning the hypergates back on and are currently testing the newest version of hypergrid on our beta grid,” Dreyer told Hypergrid Business.

Even as OpenSim in general has been gaining users, some closed grids seem to be struggling. InWorldz has lost active users the past five months, and is now reporting more than 1,000 fewer active users than it did half a year ago. Its active user counts are now they lowest they’ve been since the spring of 2013. Avination has lost active users each of the past twelve months, and now has the lowest traffic it’s seen since December 2010.

However, closed grids do offer one advantage. Though they are as susceptible to copybot-using content thieves as any open grid, they do protect rigging and scripts. Some grids have found that they can eat their cake and have it too, by filtering content. Kitely, for example, allows merchants to specify that their content is not allowed to leave the grid via hypergrid teleports or OAR region exports.

This month, hypergrid-enabled grids gained a net of 415 active users this month, compared to 88 new actives on the closed grids. Currently, 73 percent of all public grids are on the hypergrid, accounting for 93 percent of OpenSim’s total land area.

Active users on closed and hypergrid-enabled grids.

Active users on closed and hypergrid-enabled grids.

Grid News

In other quick grid news this month, The Reef has closed. Grid owner Andrew Thompson, also known as Xay Tomsen in-world, mentioned the high number of in-world friends who passed away this year as part of the reason.

“Additionally, I have other creative projects that I’ve neglected for years due to the huge amount of time required running estates and grids,” he wrote. “Thus, I’ve decided that it’s time to permanently end my involvement in virtual worlds, at least in their current form.”

Pirate’s Atoll has moved to the DigiWorldz grid.

The Littlefield grid has a nice new website redesign.

Aviworlds has a new online marketplace and a new social platform, and has dropped the price of 15,000-prim standard regions to just $5.

Avination has made a significant code donation to the OpenSim community — I’ll be posting more on this later.

Transitions

We have two new grids added to our database since this time last month, YouClouds and Side Kicks. Side Kicks is a project of the 3D Virtual Web, Inc., known for CloudServe OpenSim hosting and the Atek Grid.

The following 20 grids were suspended this month: Avares, Britannia, CableGrid, Calbertville, Divergent Realms, Dracsoom, Dream Forest, Dune, Firecracker Grid, Jnix World, KUNDGRID, MagicalSim, MegaGrid, Rainbow Grid, RandomWorld, Ravengreen, Sub Oceania, TEIS, Turkish Grid, Virtual GLC.

Grids that have been suspended for more than two months are marked as closed. If your grid isn’t on the active grids list, and not on the suspended list, and is marked closed when it shouldn’t be, please let us know.

And 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.

By “public,” we mean grids that allow hypergrid visitors, or have a website where people can register for or request accounts.

September 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 1,088 different publicly-accessible grids, 303 of which were active this month, and 220 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.

  • yippeee for the Hyperverse!!

    • Carlos Loff

      Hyperverse sounds really nice, got to get used to use this word – Measuring Pros and Cons I just can´t figure out why the few Pros of making a closed Grid can overweight all the Cons

  • Carlos Loff

    Nice to see OpenSim developing, let the million members comeeeee

  • Magnuz Binder

    Metropolis active users being 2957 in August and 3062 in September doesn’t look like a loss of users to me, but rather as one of the top gainers (+106), after Island Oasis (+382), Eureka World (+214), Astraliacraft (+142) and YrGrid (+108). Great Canadian Grid gained (+72) as well, so they and YrGrid shouldn’t be stated having lost users neither.

    • Magnuz Binder

      I just realized I was tricked by errors in the raw data as well, where it says an increase from 2957 to 3062 for Metropolis is +106 when it’s really just +105. I guess something really slipped with the statistics this month.

      • Hey! I object to that! Something slips with the statistics EVERY month!

        In this particular case, the paragraph you mention actually belongs to LAST MONTH’S article — oops.

        Now, normally I blame the fact that so many grids have weird stats pages that I have to type in a LOT of data by hand, and, well, mistakes get made.

        In this particular case, though, I can’t blame it on the grids. I have to blame… my coffee. I ran out of milk, so didn’t have any coffee yesterday. (I hate the taste of plain coffee — I need to disguise it with at least half a cup of almond milk, or cream, or something.)

        I just made the correction. thanks, Magnuz!

        • I use https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Foods_International and in particular Suisse Mocha…yummy

        • Magnuz Binder

          You still need more coffee and/or milk, I’m afraid.

          InWorldz should still be down 375 (5.3%) in both article and raw data.

          Metropolis should still be up 105 in raw data and 5th biggest gainer after Island Oasis, Eureka World, Astraliacraft and YrGrid.

          OSgrid is 8th biggest gainer and Great Canadian Grid 9th after FrancoGrid and Virtual Life Brazil.

          And you’re welcome.

          • Okay, I just got more coffee…. mmmm…. coffee…. or, to be more correct, mmm…. coffee-flavored milk….

            Okay, this was super hard to figure out, but it looks as though the errors were in last month’s full stats page… I had the correct numbers for InWorldz actives — 7013 — in last month’s story, but not, for some reason, in the full stats report. I’m not sure how that happened, since I publish both at the same time, using the same set of data, generated from the same database. There were other errors in that stats page, as well… including for the Metropolis stats.

            I just generated a new August stats page from my database. The database has the latest, most correct numbers, so this is as good as it gets.

            I don’t suppose you’d like to volunteer to be the keeper of the stats? This is two days’ worth of work each month I would DEFINITELY not mind handing off to someone else!

          • Magnuz Binder

            Thank you, that cleared out a number of other artifacts in the August raw data table as well.

            And sorry, but no. With a full time job, girlfriend, cat, and quite a few other projects taking time bot within and outside OpenSimulator, I’m not sure if my girlfriend or cat would be first in line to kill me if I committed myself to much more. So I rather stay a living nit picker than a dead pro regarding statistics.