This was another record-breaking month for OpenSim, with new highs in regions, users, and active users on the 323 active worlds.
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 1,274Â standard regions, to a new high of 57,941Â standard region equivalents, or 3,797Â square kilometers. Biggest gainers were OSgrid with 667 new regions, Atek Grid with 369 new regions, Lost Paradise with 230 new regions,Â Virtual Worlds Grid with 167 new regions, and Kitely with 133 new regions.
TheÂ Metropolis grid reported the most losses, withÂ 378 fewer regions, possibly as a result of some users moving their regions back to the recently-recovered OSgrid.Â AndÂ 3rd Rock GridÂ lost 129 regions after growing dramatically the past five months after turning on hypergrid connectivity. The drop in regions may be the result of some management changes on the grid.
All the big land gainers were hypergrid-enabled, allowing their residents to travel freely to other grids.
In fact, 94Â percent of all OpenSim regions â€”Â 57,941Â â€” are on hypergrid-enabled grids, with justÂ 4,079Â regions on closed grids. The hypergrid gained 1,164 regions this month, while closed grids lost 14.
The number of registered users increased by 9,286Â to 433,179, with InWorldz bringing in the most new registrations at 1,754, followed by Kitely with 1,409,Â Avination with 584 and YrGrid with 557. YrGrid, a gambling-themed grid, launched earlier this year with a Bitcoin-based in-world currency.
Three of these grids are not hypergrid enabled, showing that closed commercial grids are still doing a better job of marketing to new users, and should be lauded for helping bring people to OpenSim.
However, because the total number of hypergrid-enabled grids has been increasing dramatically, the total number of active users on the hypergrid continues to pull away from the number of users on the closed grids.
December of 2014Â was the first time since InWorldz began reporting its active user statistics that the hypergrid had more active users than closed grids.
And speaking of active users …. for company and school grids, relative popularity is not an issue â€” 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 audienceâ€¦ you get the idea.
OpenSim grids reported an increase of 5,184Â active users this month, for a new high of 30,804Â users. Almost all of the increase in active users was due to the hypergrid –Â 4,421Â new actives, or 85Â 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, someÂ of their older users are leaving for the less-expensive, less-restrictive open grids.
With that in mind, here are the tenÂ most popular grids this month:
Top ten most popular grids:
- InWorldz: 8,212 active users
- Metropolis: 3,641 active users
- OSgrid: 3,288 active users
- Avination: 1,458 active users
- Craft World: 1,231 active users
- Kitely: 1,109 active users
- Island Oasis: 870 active users
- 3rd Rock Grid: 732 active users
- FrancoGrid: 623 active users
- Lost Paradise: 442 active users
- Great Canadian Grid: 431 active users
The biggest gainer wasÂ OSgrid, with 3,137 new active users. This was only to be expected, since the grid just recovered from an outage that lasted half a year.
InWorldz was the next biggest gainer, with 567Â new active users, followed by Great Canadian Grid with 277, Craft with 222, Metropolis with 139,Â FrancoGrid with 132Â new actives, YrGrid with 127, Sunlight Grid with 111 and KitelyÂ with 106.
We have 36 new grids added to our database since this time last month, includingÂ Virtual Brasil, Cacao Grid, Cryospia, Beverkenverlt, Prommise2, VUCC, FarOutWorld, MegaGrid, Eureka World, Galactic Systems, Rez Day, Odessey, Virtual Taos, DIY, Algrid, Austeria-Grid, DMS World, Gorean Grid, New Vexillation Chauken, BearKat, Dawn, Prommise, EUITOP2, 3rd Name, V-ALERT Mainland, United Kingdom, Resonant, BioMed, MetroEMS, Smoke Grid, Virtual College of The Siskiyous, Broncoland, Arianrhod, Thirdnation, Drum Sound, andÂ Kalasiddhi Grid.
And the following 22Â grids have been marked as suspended:Â Agra Park in 3D, Al Grid, AquaFox World, AVA 3D, Avi-Labs, Chezeworld, DigiSoul, Dream Forest, HDD VR, Mataverse Akademi, Metaverse, North-March, R.World, RandomWorld, Superborea, ThoMaxGrid, ThunderLife, Traduverse, Western Springs, Westeros Grid, World 3D, andÂ Yaps.
If thereâ€™s a public grid weâ€™re not tracking, please email us atÂ [email protected]. Thereâ€™s no centralized way to find OpenSim grids, so if you donâ€™t tell us about it, and Google doesnâ€™t alert us, we wonâ€™t know about it.
MarchÂ 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 1,015Â different publicly-accessible grids, 323Â of which were active this month, and 264 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: 19,881 regions
- OSgrid: 8,920 regions
- Kitely: 6,822 regions
- Metropolis: 6,302 regions
- Lost Paradise: 2,304 regions
- InWorldz: 1,274 regions
- Atek Grid: 1,274 regions
- SimValley: 1,109 regions
- 3rd Rock Grid: 640 regions
- Avination: 631 regions
- Virtual Highway: 541 regions
- ZetaWorlds: 365 regions
- Littlefield: 336 regions
- Open Virtual Worlds: 320 regions
- Pleasure Island: 261 regions
- FrancoGrid: 243 regions
- Island Oasis: 212 regions
- SirinHGpole: 204 regions
- ZanGrid: 199 regions
- Logicamp: 191 regions
- Next Reality: 169 regions
- Grid Nirvana: 162 regions
- Sunlight Grid: 156 regions
- Craft World: 154 regions
- SimudyneGrid: 152 regions
- Anettes Welt: 151 regions
- Dorena’s World: 144 regions
- Great Canadian Grid: 143 regions
- Adreans-World: 128 regions
- OpenSim.ru: 122 regions
- EdMondo: 121 regions
- Tangle Grid: 120 regions
- DWGrid: 119 regions
- Japan Open Grid: 115 regions
- Nemesis 3D: 113 regions
- YrGrid: 109 regions
- GerGrid: 105 regions
- Infinite Grid: 105 regions
- PMGrid: 96 regions
- Encitra Home Grid: 93 regions