Survey: 84% of OpenSim users would recommend platform

OpenSim users overwhelmingly said that they would “absolutely” recommend the platform to others.

Out of 114 people who responded to our survey this week and answered this question, 84 percent said they would “absolutely recommend” it, with only 1 percent saying they would “absolutely not recommend” the platform.

Of the rest, 3 percent said they would hesitate to recommend it, 3 percent said they don’t know, 3 percent said they would only recommend InWorldz, 3 percent said they would only recommend it to experienced users,  and 2 percent said they would recommend that people wait for the technology to improve.

“If you are aware OpenSim is alpha software, I recommend it,” wrote in one OpenSim user.

InWorldz users vocal and satisfied

By far the largest group of respondents were people who rent land on the InWorldz grid, a sign of that company’s ability to mobilize its customers base — and the level of enthusiasm of those customers.

Absolute number of respondents. (Data: Hypergrid Business survey)

In total, 65 people said they were renting land on InWorldz, 66 percent of whom said that the platform was either “pretty stable” or “very reliable.” Only 5 percent said the grid was “very unstable” and 17 percent said it was “a little unstable.” 12 percent said that InWorldz was “absolutely reliable.”

This positive response  is in line with other data, showing that InWorldz has been gaining a lot of new land owners and new users in recent months.

The grid managers promoted the survey to their customer base on Twitter and on the grid’s forum pages. It’s a risky move for a company to actively urge their customers to take a third-party survey, since there’s no way to bury the results if they don’t turn out well.

Absolute number of respondents. (Data: Hypergrid Business survey)

ReactionGrid, which runs more than 100 private grids for companies and educational institutions — including its ReactionGrid main grid and JokaydiaGrid — had 15 customers responding to our survey. Of those, 7 percent — just one respondent — said their service was “very unstable,” 20 percent — three respondents — said it was “a little unstable” and 60 percent said it was “pretty stable” or “very reliable.” 13 percent said it was “absolutely reliable.”

The response rates from other hosting providers were more positive, but the number of responses was too small to draw firm conclusions.

Of 11 people who used Dreamland Metaverse, eight said it was “very reliable” and three  said it was “absolutely reliable.” Of the five people who said they used SimHost, three said the service was “pretty stable” and two said it was “absolutely reliable.” Of the three people who said they used New Voice, two said it was “very reliable” and one  said it was “absolutely reliable.”

In addition, one respondent said that Avination was “very reliable.” One respondent said that New World Grid was “absolutely reliable.” One said that AlphaTowne was “very reliable.” And two respondents were renting land on ScienceSim — one said it was “very reliable” and one that it was “absolutely reliable.”

Happy grid owners

After InWorldz renters, the next largest group of respondents were those who owned their own grids, with 46 people saying that they were running OpenSim on their own servers, with some specifying that they were using the Diva Distro.

Absolute number of respondents. (Data: Hypergrid Business survey)

This group of OpenSim users, who were running OpenSim on their own servers, were slightly happier with their OpenSim performance than others. Only 2 percent said that their grids were “very unstable” and 15 percent said their grids were “absolutely reliable.” 17 percent said that their grids were “a little unstable” and 65 percent said their grids were either “pretty stable” or “very reliable.”

Overall, OpenSim users were very happy with the prices they were paying for their hosting.

(Data: Hypergrid Business survey)

Of the 103 respondents who answered this question, more than 55 percent said that OpenSim hosting was “a bargain.” Only 4 percent said it was overpriced, and 41 percent said that the prices were reasonable for the services provided.

For comparison purposes, we also asked our readers about their Second Life experience.

Absolute number of respondents. (Data: Hypergrid Business survey)

Out of 110 respondents who said they rented land on Second Life, 7 percent said that the platform was “very unstable,” higher than the OpenSim average. 17 percent said it was “a little unstable” and 67 percent said it was “pretty stable” or “very reliable.” 9 percent said that Second Life was “absolutely reliable.”

These numbers do not necessarily reflect Second Life users as a whole, since people and organizations who had problems with Second Life would be more likely to explore OpenSim alternatives.

Vehicles most wanted

The single most wanted OpenSim feature for Hypergrid Business readers was vehicle physics, with 48 percent of respondents saying that they missed this feature.

Absolute number of respondents. (Data: Hypergrid Business survey)

This was followed by an online marketplace, search, a wider selection of content and voice. Respondents also wanted to see  hypergrid-enabled friends, instant messaging and landmarks.

Users were also interested in shared media, mesh, more community, more stability, groups, and better support.

Some of these features — including shared media and mesh — are already available on some grids and with some viewers.

Individual respondents also wrote in wish list items, including the ability to ban people from sims, the ability to add notes to profiles, advanced scripting calls, the ability to attach notes to group notices, and user profiles.

Low prices, megaprims tie for favorite features

So what brings people to OpenSim? Low prices and megaprims tied for first place when it comes to the most selected favorite features of the platform.

Absolute number of respondents. (Data: Hypergrid Business survey)

Low prices and megaprims were selected by 65 percent of the respondents. The numbers add up to more than 100 percent because people could check multiple features.

High prim limits were close behind, with 62 percent. Region backups, having your own grid, inventory backups, the open source nature of the OpenSim software, hypergrid, megaregions, security and privacy were also attractive to our readers.

One respondent wrote in that the ability to exercise control over intellectual property and copyright was important. Mesh also received a write-in vote, as did “finally able to own my own region” and “the potential for growth and community partnerships.”

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.