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.
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.
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.
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:
- InWorldz: 6,724 active users
- OSgrid: 3,357 active users
- Metropolis: 3,062 active users
- Island Oasis: 1,333 active users
- DigiWorldz: 1,217 active users
- Great Canadian Grid: 1,179 active users
- PNA Grid: 893 active users
- Kitely: 884 active users
- Craft World: 855 active users
- Avination: 776 active users
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.
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.
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.
Avination has made a significant code donation to the OpenSim community — I’ll be posting more on this later.
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.
- Virtual Worlds Grid: 19,675 regions
- OSgrid: 9,494 regions
- Kitely: 9,120 regions
- Metropolis: 6,851 regions
- Lost Paradise: 2,848 regions
- Atek Grid: 1,967 regions
- InWorldz: 1,609 regions
- DigiWorldz: 1,498 regions
- SimValley: 1,221 regions
- AviWorlds: 839 regions
- Virtual Highway: 704 regions
- Great Canadian Grid: 639 regions
- Avination: 553 regions
- ZetaWorlds: 452 regions
- FrancoGrid: 369 regions
- Littlefield: 361 regions
- 3rd Rock Grid: 359 regions
- PNA Grid: 345 regions
- Open Virtual Worlds: 320 regions
- Pleasure Island: 293 regions
- Island Oasis: 234 regions
- SirinHGpole: 204 regions
- Craft World: 200 regions
- DreamNation: 199 regions
- ZanGrid: 199 regions
- Logicamp: 187 regions
- Anettes Welt: 170 regions
- Japan Open Grid: 169 regions
- OpenSim.ru: 165 regions
- SkyLife: 156 regions
- Tangle Grid: 151 regions
- Adreans-World: 136 regions
- Model Center Demo: 135 regions
- Dorena’s World: 131 regions
- EdMondo: 130 regions
- YrGrid: 129 regions
- Encitra Home Grid: 115 regions
- GerGrid: 114 regions
- Nemesis 3D: 113 regions
- Virtual Life: 109 regions