Thursday, January 19, 2012

Inworldz Reaches 50,000 Users, OpenSim Shrinking

According to a recent post by Daniel Voyager, the virtual world Inworldz recently hit the 50,000 mark in the number of it's registered users. Considering this is double what it was thirteen months ago, reaching 25,000 in Dec. 2010, this would suggest the future of the alternative virtual worlds is a bright one.

Hamlet Au's recent article on OpenSim, however, suggested this was not necessarily the case, at least with all of them. In June 2009, this original of the alternative virtual worlds based on Second Life's open source code had nearly over 33,000 total users, close to 10,000 whom had been active in the past month. Today, OpenSim has a greater number of regions and their total number of accounts has more than doubled. But, the number of those active within the past thirty days is just under 3,300. A shrinkage of active users by about 66%.

Exactly why this many have stopped using OpenSim one can only guess, although this place lacks an inworld currency, and therefore has a limited economic potential. It should be noted that OpenSim is just one of a number of worlds that fall into the list of "Open Simulator" based worlds, including Avination, which although is currently the second-largest of these grids is thought to have a stable, if not growing, population. And this world, like InWorldz, does have an in-game currency, as well as boasting combat systems, and has been attracting events. And there's that Avination's viewer has a Macintosh version. One needs a PC to get to OpenSim.

Hamlet Au thought OpenSim's decline was important to pay attention to. With people looking at ways to get around their high tiers, particularly during the persistant bad economic times, some have suggested OpenSim. But to paraphrase Hamlet, such a move would shrink one's potential market of users. While one can (and some are) making accounts in both Second Life and one of these other virtual worlds, not a great deal many are doing that.

Although InWorldz is still growing, its success is not being repeated in most other open virtual worlds. And even then, it's number on at any one time remains small compared to Second Life, which will continue to be dominate other Grids in users for the forseable future.

Source: Daniel Voyager's Blog, New World Notes

Bixyl Shuftan


  1. it's not SL open source code - LL never made the server side open. but that's a common misconception

    i still view land trends as the telling ones because it takes money and effort to have land in either OpenSim of Second Life

    there are also things like my sim-on-a-stick that saw 6.500 downloads last year. it did not exists before that

    Second Life will remain the one with the most traffic for years to come. much of OpenSim is used like we do, very targeted and not open to the general public (science teaching)

    SL will stay big but a million users doing nothing and spending nothing means nothing =)

  2. The total active users on InWorldz alone last month exceeded 4000 people.

    The problem is that the sample size is so varied and reporting and tracking the statistics from all the grids is difficult. Since the majority of opensim deployments are not centralized, there is no common authority to track every grid and what they're doing.

    Small? Yes OpenSim remains a niche for now. But I have a feeling with a few small pushes this will change. These pushes need to be timed just right so that the platform is well received. Producing a market push before the software and networks are ready would only hurt the platform in the long run.

  3. A simple push is to make blatantly clear the following:

    What you do on YOUR land is YOUR business, so long as nobody walking nearby sees it (all "offensive" things must be at 500m or higher). You want a land of freedom rather than 26 volumes of TOS? Here it is.

    Point out to folks that the original SL principle of individual freedom is alive and well still, in InWorldz. See how many new users that gains you.