OSGrid loses regions, other grids continue to grow

The top 40 public grids lost 20% of their reported area this past month — from 11,717 to 9,343 regions —  due to summer cleaning at OSGrid. The largest OpenSim-based grid lost more than a third of its land area, falling from 7,530 to 4,962 regions as grid administrators cleared inactive regions off the books.

The other grids in our top-40 list grew by an average 5%, however. The biggest gainers were NeXtLife with 40 new regions, SIM World with 28 new regions, and GiantGrid with 22 new regions. Several other grids in addition to OSGrid lost regions. Pirate Grid lost 23, Triton Grid lost 47, KS Grid lost 50, and Open Neuland and ReactionGrid lost 85 regions each.

Summer cleaning cuts region numbers. (Source: Hypergrid Business)

ReactionGrid isn’t only a grid, but also a hosting company. CTO Chris Hart tells Hypergrid Business that it now operates 50 private grids for clients, with an average of six regions each. (List of other OpenSim hosting companies is here.) Some of those lost regions may have migrated to private grids.

In fact, standalones — or mini-grids — continue to multiply, as easier and more secure hypergrid connectivity allows companies and individuals to set up separate grids that are still connected to the rest of the OpenSim universe by hypergrid teleports. One of the most popular free versions of OpenSim for these minigrids is the Diva Distro, which was downloaded 2,118  times since the start of April, when a new version was released. It doesn’t mean that there are 2,000 new grids running OpenSim, however — each download can be used to run several different grids, or could represent an abandoned effort. Most of those downloads occurred immediately after the release came out. The Diva Distro was downloaded 306 times since mid-May.

In addition to renting grids or regions from a hosting company, or running the Diva Distro, there is a third alternative — to download and install the default OpenSimulator distribution and configure it from scratch. Unfortunately, historic download statistics aren’t available, but the pre-packaged OpenSim installer has been downloaded 90,023 times as of today, according to OpenSimulator data.

Meanwhile, the total number of Second Life regions fell slightly this month, to 31,811 regions, down 74 regions from 31,885 regions in June, according to data from Grid Survey.

The total number of registered users on all the top-40 OpenSim grids grew 7% from 82,480 in June to 88,386 in July, but the total number of unique monthly logins stayed flat, hovering around 10,000. OSGrid gained 1,854 new registered users this past month, the most of any grid, with MyOpenGrid second with 1,186 new users, and Meta7 third with 509 new users. WorldSimTerra gained 429 new users, Avatar Hangout gained 314 users, New World Grid gained 265 users, and ReactionGrid gained 262 users.

When it comes to unique monthly logins, OSGrid continues to lead the pack with 4,899 users, down slightly from 5,098 unique users in mid June. This may be a cyclical decline as students and other users go on summer vacations. We don’t yet have annual trend numbers to run a seasonal adjustment. Your Alternate Life came in second with 1,339 unique monthly visitors, up from 1,284 in June. However, this number may not be reliable since unique logins typically average 10% of total registered users — and Your Alternate Life only has 1,857 registered users. Meta7 was next with 1,144 unique monthly logins, New World Grid had 423, ReactionGrid had 408, WorldSimTerra had 388, 3rd Rock Grid had 313, and Role Play Worlds had 225. All other grids had less than 200 visitors each month.

(Image courtesy OSGrid.)

Statistics for simultaneous users are currently only available from OSGrid, which has been tracking them for the past year. On average this month, between 60 and 120 users are only at any given time, varying by time of day and day of week. Given the fact that OSGrid has four times as many monthly logins as the nearest grid, it’s reasonable to expect that other grids would have at most couple of dozen users on at any time — except for special events — and the smaller grids may be completely empty at some periods.

(Image courtesy OSGrid.)

There are two new grids on our list this month — Virtual Worlds College, and  SimValley. We are now tracking a total of 90 different publicly-accessible grids, 79 of which were up this month. The raw data for this month’s report is here.

July Region Counts

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is a science fiction writer who covers cybersecurity, AI and extended reality as a tech journalist at her day job.
Check out her author page on Amazon or follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Her first virtual world novella, Krim Times, made the Amazon best-seller list in its category. Her second novella, The Lost King of Krim, is out now.