All OpenSim stats up despite summer doldrums

Despite the August heat — at least, here in the northern hemisphere — total region counts, user numbers, and monthly actives were all up in OpenSim.

Or perhaps it was because of the heat, as people opted to stay inside, at their computers, in the air conditioning.

There are now the equivalent of 65,122 standard regions on OpenSim’s 317 active public grids, a new record high. There are also 469,433 registered users and 31,134 active users, an increase of 5,208 registrations and 1,105 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.)

OSgrid was the biggest gainer this month, with 630 new regions, followed by Kitely with 345 new regions, AviWorlds with 322. Lost Paradise gained 261 regions and DigiWorldz gained 138.

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, six lost active users. InWorldz lost 207 actives, but also had the most to start with, so the loss was probably barely felt. Other grids that lost users this month were two of the three biggest open grids, Metropolis and Craft, as well as the commercial grids Great Canadian Grid, Avination, and YrGrid.

Top ten most popular grids:

DigiWorldz increased its ranking on the top-ten list, moving up ahead of the Great Canadian Grid for the first time. It was also the single biggest gainer, with 372 new active users over the past 30 days.

The grid only made the top-ten list for the first time last month, after the most successful debut this spring of any OpenSim grid. DigiWorldz is a hypergrid-enabled commercial grid that offers $16 varregions regions that can be configured as up to 16 standard regions in size. It recently settled an ownership dispute which seemed to temporarily threaten the grid’s growth.

Craft and Island Oasis switched places, and PNA Grid — which just changed its name from Sunlight Grid — made it to the list for the first time.

“Sunlight Grid was a nice name but Sunlight is a name that is used a lot on the web and makes it hard to search for the grid on Google,” grid founder Alexandre Abrial told Hypergrid Business.

Abrial, who is known as Paela Argus in-world, said that the new name is based on the three owners of the grid —  Paela himself, Natiala Seiling, and Archaos Dovgal.

In another big change, the grid has turned off hypergrid connectivity.

“There were a lot of problems with the permissions and it’s better for the creators on the grid,” he said.

The grid first launched last July, and now has 60 servers, and a resident population that is 90 percent French.

With PNA’s decision to leave the hypergrid, non-hypergrid-enabled grids gained a net of 417 active users this month, but the growth was still outpaced by the hypergrid, which gained 738 active users. 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.

In addition, since the hypergrid allows the movement of avatars, content, and messages between grids it is, in effect, one very large virtual community, while each closed grid is isolated from all others.

Transitions

We have one new grids added to our database since this time last month, My Damn Grid, which offers “capture the flag” role playing regions. The grid’s tagline is “Everything is free. Why? Because it’s My Damn Grid!” Follow them on Twitter at @MyDamnGrid.

The following 23 grids were suspended this month: A3D, Allegro, Ardalia, Cyber Life, DigiSoul, DIY, Firecracker Grid, FleepGrid, FNV, Hakusan, IEK, Italiani at Reading, MagicForest, Matrix, Relaxing in Moonlight, SilverSky, SimudyneGrid, Simugrid, SuziWorld, TIMV, Tyland, UniSA OpenSim, Virtual Photography Gallery

Firecracker Grid shut down this month due to some real-life commitments, grid owner Suzy Silverweb informed Hypergrid Business.

The grid had just four regions and a couple of dozen active users but no paying customers.

“It was just me and a few friends,” Silverweb said. “I didn’t have any rental regions.”

Everything is backed up in OAR files if she decides to bring the grid back up, she said.

“For now I have a four-region megaregion, hypergrid enabled, on Kitely called Suzys Shopping Mall which contains most of the grid welcome area things,” she said.

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.

August 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 1,102 different publicly-accessible grids, 317 of which were active this month, and 233 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 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.