OpenSim passes 70,000 regions

OpenSim crossed the 70,000 region milestone this month, with a new land area total of 71,034 standard region equivalents. It also crossed the 34,000 active users mark for the first time.

OSgrid, Metropolis and Kitely were the biggest gainers in land area, with 1,272, 305 and 297 regions added, respectively.

There are now the equivalent of 71,034 standard regions on OpenSim’s 314 active public grids, a gain of 2,093 regions. There are also 496,344 registered users and 34,160 active users, an increase of 8,794 registrations and 622 actives, respectively.

Total land area on OpenSim's public grids, in standard region equivalents. (Hypergrid Business data.)
Total land area on OpenSim’s public grids, in standard region equivalents. (Hypergrid Business data.)

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

The big surprise this month was the GreekLife grid, which gained 530 active users and appeared on the top-ten most popular grid for the first time ever. GreekLife is a Greek-language, hypergrid-enabled grid that we only began tracking this past April. Late this summer, the grid only had a dozen active users, and this month, it reported 922.

I couldn’t find any big events mentioned on either the grid’s website or its Facebook page to explain the sudden user growth, but am hoping to hear back from the grid owners soon and, if so, will post an update.

Top ten most popular grids:

Craft dropped from eighth to tenth place this month, with a loss of 126 active users, allowing Kitely to move up in the list.

None of the other top-ten grids by popularity posted any big growth numbers, but some smaller grids did do well.

A Life Virtual, despite its generic name, more than doubled its active users, gaining 193 for a new high of 277. We only started tracking this grid last month, which seems to be affiliated with the ShoutCastNet audio streaming service. The other notable feature about this grid is that it’s offering 15,000-prim full regions for just $10 a month, making it one of the lower-cost OpenSim grids.

Educational grid EdMondo also nearly doubled its active user base, with 159 new actives, for a new total of 335. The grid held a conference in late October, “The virtual school: first national meeting on immersive education,” where I gave a presentation about the hypergrid and virtual reality. The grid is owned by Indire, the National Institute for Documentation, Innovation and Educational Research, which is the oldest research institute of Italy’s Ministry of Education.

And the Belgian grid Logicamp gained 101 actives, for a new total of 587 — a new record for the grid. Logicamp is a French-language hypergrid-enabled grid, and one that we have been tracking since 2010. It has been reporting slow but steady growth for most of its history, but has more than doubled its traffic since the start of this year.

This month, hypergrid-enabled grids gained a net of 321 active users, while the closed grids gained 294. Currently, 73 percent of all public grids are on the hypergrid, accounting for 93 percent of OpenSim’s total land area and 65 percent of its active users.

Hypergrid actives have recently been growing faster than those on closed grids, where InWorldz accounts for the bulk of the activity.
Hypergrid actives have recently been growing faster than those on closed grids, where InWorldz accounts for the bulk of the activity.

Grid News

In quick news this week, Nara’s Nook has moved servers and lost its avatar database and friends lists in the move.

“I am my new hosting provider,” grid owner Nara Malone told Hypergrid Business. “It’s more work, yes, but to do the kind of envelope pushing projects like Immersive Edge require I need access to the server to a level that is not allowed from a hosting provider. The problem with the database is that we had converted to a file format SRAS that no one else seems to know anything about and I know least of all. No one knew how to convert it back to the standard format so I had to start fresh.”

Great Canadian Grid celebrated its second birthday on November 13, and the party was livestreamed on the GCG Cam on the grid’s new YouTube channel. Roddie Macchi also told Hypergrid Business that the grid is now fully licensed with Canada’s SOCAN so that it can legally stream copyrighted music. And he reminded folks that region prices are going up in January from $10 to $25 Canadian, but people who rent earlier will have the lower prices grandfathered in for as long as they have the region.

Transitions

We have eleven new grids added to our database since this time last month: Genesis Global Journey, Windring, Nextlife World, JJIE Virtual World, SPBs-Welt, 4Play, Habitat7, Tom World HG, 4Addiktion GridBaller Nation, and Nara Malone’s new immersive storytelling grid Next Dimension Tales.

The following 23 grids were marked as suspended this month: 3DHappiness, 3rd Name, A3D, Annuna Grid, Art-z Exposed, Creative Citizen Grid, Hosting Virtual Worlds, LabVirSD, Lost World 2, Majickal Network, Mundo Sur 3D, O2Grid, Our Own Designs, Project Blank, Psychedelia, Radiola, Rescue Grid, SPH Places, TaylorWorld, Troppo Club, vCaltech, VIBE: Delvalle, and  VIBE: Showcase.

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.

November 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 1,109 different publicly-accessible grids, 314 of which were active this month, and 231 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.