SL Population Crash Continues

by Pixeleen Mistral on 11/04/11 at 2:01 am

How can player concurrency sink to 2008 levels despite 10,000+ new accounts per day?

According to Tateru Nino's SL statistics charts, the last 12 months have seen a 12% drop in concurrent online Second Life players, with concurrency levels falling to July of 2008 levels. Sadly, there is no sign of a turnaround in sight.

Even worse, it appears that despite claims of over 10,000 new account signups per day (or about 3,650,000 signups/year), the appeal of Second Life has become more selective and the Lab has been unable to recruit enough new blood to replace departing players since January of 2009.

This cannot end well.

median conc by day400
median concurrency by day in serious decline over the last year
SL concurrency peaked in Jan 2009 - then fell to July 2008 levels

Apparently SL has evolved into a niche market. Once this market stabilizes, will it be large enough to support the Lab at anywhere near it's current size?

Certainly visiting a surveillance-friendly virtual dystopia is an acquired taste, and not everyone wants to play stalk-and-ban-the-other-players, or hunt down 3rd party data miners tracking alt accounts. Of course there is always the challenge of running a virtual business for a shrinking population where in-world search is broken and frivolous DMCA claims fly, to say nothing of the charms of the babyfur and Gorean communities.

Still, if there are really over 10,000 newbies a day, why are the concurrency rates dropping like a stone?

Is the Viewer 2.0 experience to blame - or the eye-watering tier prices for virtual land? After last year's layoff of 30% of the Lab staff to balance the books, does the Lab have any room to cut land prices? While borked search, a lame viewer user interface and corrupt governance are serious issues, It seems likely that the biggest problem for Second Life is the adversarial relationship that has developed between the Lab and the players.

10,000 accounts created per day - but where do they go?

I wish Rodvik Linden the best of luck in saving Second Life, but the question remains - how much time does he have before another round of layoffs will be needed to stablize the Lab's financial situation?

As best I can tell, current customers have - understandably - minimal trust in Linden Lab based on the Lab's behaviour over the last 5 years. Although Rodvik has only been CEO since January, it is past time for the new CEO to articulate some sort of plan to reverse these trends. But what can be done?

A first step toward developing real trust between players and the Lab would be to level the playing field with an SL export function so that players do not see their content disappear in the event of SL's collapse. Is anyone foolish enough to put any serious money or effort into a platform that could disappear overnight without being able to salvage their assets?

Providing players with the option of backing up their goods outside of SL would formalize what is already happening on a low level via various copybot viewers, but this is not enough.

Allowing content creators to mark their wares to be sold as freely available for export to other platforms would go a long way to creating some incentive to bet on a turnaround in SL for those that create the content that makes up our virtual world. This idea is not new - in an unpublished interview last year,  Emerald viewer developer _Phox told me the Emeralds had planned to add a "for export" option to their SL viewer but were told by Linden Lab not to do it.

It would be a sea change for the Lab to acknowledge that the flawed digital rights management system of SL needs to be replaced, but establishing SL as the shopping center of the SL and OpenSim worlds would allow content creators to charge a premium for the right to copy across worlds - and move Linden Lab from the defensive posture it has adopted for the last few years. 

While these changes will be painful for some, the alternative is a lingering death caused by a lack of incentive for player investment of time and money in what is clearly a very deeply troubled platform. Will Rodvik Linden man up and take action - or continue to circle the drain?

67 Responses to “SL Population Crash Continues”

  1. Glenn Beck

    Apr 11th, 2011

    This calls for a drink!

  2. [...] Kudos to the Alphaville Herald, who apparently caught this, and published while I was still in the middle of writing this up. You can read more about this from another angle there. [...]

  3. Lili

    Apr 11th, 2011

    Just wait, in a few weeks someone will release a new pyramid scheme (breedable virtual animal) and thousands will join second life just to buy them.

  4. Shelly

    Apr 11th, 2011

    I think one of the obvious reasons for the decline is that the SL interface is not newbie friendly in any way. I have friends that have signed up and quit after an hour of trying to figure it out – that’s even with me walking them through with baby steps. I think they need to create a Newbie interface and an Advanced interface and maybe even move forward with the web version they were testing out not long ago.

  5. paul

    Apr 11th, 2011

    hmm well for sure there is no growth, but these graphs do not show a clear downward trend, especially if you factor in the removal of many of the bots. Absolute values do not tell you anything about trends, as there is no reference. Perhaps we should see an actual statistical analysis before we declare (yet again) that the sky is falling. Is the Herald following Fox New’s lead in baseless fear mongering through piss poor analyses?

    It would be good to figure out how to retain more of those noobs, though. As I said in that earlier thread, retain 20% more of those 10,000 noobs a day, and SL would be more then profitable, and could well afford the loss of a few whining & delusional malcontents.

  6. James Freud

    Apr 11th, 2011

    So many words, yet so little content. Welcome to the Alphaville Herald!

  7. bubblesort

    Apr 11th, 2011

    I logged in to Active Worlds after reading this article to see what happens to platforms like SL when they die. Apparently, they don’t shutter their doors. In fact, it’s really really hard to kill old technology off. I have friends who are currently working in government data centers that are still using reel-to-reel data tapes for backups. There are even still some people out there messing around with gopher (what kind of lunatic invented that monstrosity, anyway?).

    SecondLife won’t die, it will just continue to further resemble AW (Active Worlds).

    I would describe my shock when I logged in to AW and started noticing all the little similarities between their viewer and the LL 2.0 viewer, but if I did describe it that would spoil the surprise for you. Besides, I don’t have the time to write up all the problems and their parallels in SL. Check it out on your own, see for yourself:

    Note all the mistakes AW made. How many of those mistakes do you think LL is a hairs breath away from making? The AW viewer already has a 2.0 layout. SL is basically AW with a better camera and in SL we don’t get charged $6 a month to rez objects. If not for the camera and the price point AW would be competitive with SL.

    Obviously, it is time to find a better platform. Personally, I’m learning blender and Unity so I can work through Jibe or whatever VW engine comes up on the horizon after that (plus I’ll hopefully get some transferable skills in real game development). If you are making substantial money in SL and you don’t have your stuff backed up and are out there exploring other platforms then you are setting yourself up for failure.

    Here’s a few to get you started in your quest for a new home:

    Active Worlds (private platform)
    Open Sim (open source community)
    Open Cobalt (NSF funded)
    Jibe (Reaction Grid proprietary technology)
    World Wind (NASA’s platform)
    Sirikata (BSD open source community stuff with some interesting webGL experiments)

  8. Nelson Jenkins

    Apr 11th, 2011

    Wow, those were some pitiful graphs.

    The first – daily concurrency over the past year – might sway some fools. Wow, that graph’s pretty steadily declining, ain’t it, Jed? Well, if you look at the actual median concurrency (the numbers on the left), the origin of the graph isn’t at 0, so this only details some very slight fluctuations. Overall, for the past year, concurrency has gone down 7.5%, and most of it was during the summer months. Given the whole Emerald scandal at the end of summer and the RedZone fiasco earlier this year, concurrency should have gone down during those periods, when in reality it just sort of stayed steady. So there is nothing really important here.

    The second – concurrency since 2006 – is absurd. Second Life existed for 3 years before that, so arbitrarily choosing this 2006 value gives the impression that SL started back then and experienced instant growth. In reality, the humongous growth spurt shown during 2007 makes worrying over a 7.5% decrease seem pointless. Calm down. Maybe if we go back down to 10,000 concurrency, SL will be far better, like old times.

    The third – accounts created per day – is entirely pointless. Everyone knows that 90% of new accounts are abandoned. SL is no longer an appealing platform. People login, laugh, and leave. So?

    My final problem here is that the article suddenly switches tracks and argues for content export functionality. Why? It has nothing to do with the whole population issue. Put it in a different article, or perhaps more appropriately, a JIRA.

  9. Pappy Enoch

    Apr 11th, 2011

    Hoo-whee. Squat-o-rama, here I comes.

    When y’all abandons them fake mansions, don’t delete ‘em. I plans to move on in an’ git the rest o’ the famberly to move on up, like ol’ Jawge Jeffersun an’ Weezie done did that time.

  10. Senban Babii

    Apr 11th, 2011

    In six months, when SL is a barren rock, I’m going to park in orbit over it with my Hulk and Orca combo and mine it.

    The only thing that will prevent me doing so is if SL returns to a subscription basis (with say three avatars per subscription to account for alts as many other models use) and stops trying to compete in the wrong market. They also need to try some diversification into both related and unrelated areas. They also need to get rid of whatever idiot doesn’t know when to abandon a failing business model.

    Look at your SL avatar.

    Look at this link

    Look at your SL avatar.

    Look at….oh you know how it goes. That’s what SL isn’t competing with. A company that used to be cutting edge now sits dribbling gruel down its chin as it looks through the window of the care home, watching the young upstarts who now define the world and mumbles “I remember when…..”

    I really really wish this wasn’t the case. I love Second Life, drama and flaws and all but right now it’s painful watching it being killed through sheer incompetence and dumbassery.

  11. Sabine Geiger

    Apr 11th, 2011

    I am not suprised by this and LL did call this upon theirselfs.
    Each time LL made inworld changes, they never listened to the players.
    it started with voice, many people in sl had resistance against it.
    But LL pushed it thru, many roleplayers left sl because off it and to be honestwhat did it bring other then a lot more of lag? for the people who wanted to use voice nothing realy changed as they did voice thru skype allready and most of them kept on using skype as it was more relieable and better quality as the voice in sl.
    Then there came the long going talk about age verivication, another dammage to sl, everyone in sl was against it but the lab pushed it thru again and again many left sl. many landowners went bancrupt because of the way the lab pushed their renters from their land.
    Many clubs went, and you wonder why the lab thinks, that when I pay over 300 USD a month for a club they think they can decide who may and who may not come in there.
    But the lab was not finished yet with distroying sl their next move was the new third party policy, it is stil a wonder there still are players in sl, but it is a long time ago since sl was realy a roleplay platform.
    It is an crying shame

  12. paul

    Apr 11th, 2011

    Strangely enough, nelson is right. These graphs really don’t mean sh*t. In and of themselves, they provide zero evidence of a long term decline in the use of second life.

  13. hobo kelly

    Apr 11th, 2011

    in 2005 i went back to alphaworld for a few days (now active worlds) and found my builds from 1995. they were still there and hadn’t moved or aged or rotted at all. while i was there i added a bunch of new stuff in and around the same area. in 2015 i will go back and add a few more things. there is an afterlife, or a Valhalla feeling to aw where things live on forever. even really crappy things that probably should have gone to hell a long time ago. so there is a little bit of creepieness to be felt there if you open yourself up to those things. the opposite of that of course is sl where crap is here one day all over the place, and the next day.. flat pancake…

    so, a graphic showing SL dying coupled with a desire to get your junk outta there before it all kicks the bit bucket seems entirely logical.

    I like reading these kind of Herald stories. You can feel the same kind of Tizzer’s youthful wide-eyed anarchy talking points coming through that helped fuel the PN and Woodbury et al. Throw some facts up, facts that probably came from LL itself, extend them into the future to show a rapidly advancing inescapable oblivion, and then draw conclusions as to why its happening. usually correctly. sometimes. good things take time and are worth the wait so give the herald a little room to work.

    Meanwhile… abandoned land is everywhere. everywhere. except along the major waterways it seems, like the zillion sims of the Blake sea (where the bugs are). you go 1 sim in off of the sea-bordering sims, and its right back to abandoned land everywhere. but along the virtual water small chunks can go for 5 or 10 times the current land prices. thats the last land bubble to burst, coming next I think.

    It doesnt make it any easier when the German Lesbians move in next to you either. because they will start to make their German Shizen machimas. They are up there high in their little skyboxes, which are not high enough. One will be tied up naked in a chair while another one puts on a latex glove and goes in to try to find Lemmiwinks. but what she pulls out and flings on the 3 others that are standing around watching sure don’t look like Lemmiwinks.

    hahaa there is your niche market…

  14. Ajax Manatiso

    Apr 11th, 2011

    When I first joined SL in 2007, there were so many places to go and do things but high tiers and bad descisions on SL’s part have led to so many places disappearing. Now there are so many stores and so few free places. Gone are places like Elysium Gardens, Ballroom in the Clouds, the original 7 Sins — LL needs to give a tier break to non-profit sims or else there will be nothing but stores, and when you search for a type of place and your results are nothing but stores — you log off.

    Shopping is nice, but there needs to be something besides shopping, and if SL doesn’t support those other places with a break on tier, there will be no other places. And if you wanted to do something besides shopping, you log off.

  15. Darien Caldwell

    Apr 11th, 2011

    “Look at your SL avatar.
    Look at this link

    yes, but, it’s just a headshot avatar. You can’t walk around Eve with it, or animate it, or do, well, anything with it.

    I understand Eve plans to make an ‘off ship’ area some day, but in that world, you’re basically stuck in your ship 24/7. No real comparison to SL.

  16. Senban Babii

    Apr 11th, 2011

    @Darien Caldwell
    “yes, but, it’s just a headshot avatar. You can’t walk around Eve with it, or animate it, or do, well, anything with it. ”

    Actually Incarna is planned to be implemented very shortly. They began by giving us the avatar creation engine as a first stage for people to get started. Captain’s Quarters is the next stage from what I understand and that will give us a “home” so to speak that we can then furnish and even access systems such as the markets from. They’re already looking at the next step to allow all those captain’s quarters to link up and for avatars to interact fully in station environments and (I expect) we’ll eventually see planets and ships as locations and certainly a broader spectrum of socialisation options. Certainly they’re also talking about real time collaborative tools.

    That picture I posted isn’t a headshot avatar, it’s actually a cropped screen shot from the avatar creation process. That’s actually the top half of the full avatar, with choice of clothes, hair, skins, tattoos, piercings and so on and so on. In fact give me a second here and……….there, just uploaded this for you to see the full body although without video you can’t see the standard animations of course. The facial animations in particular are impressive.

    I also described some of the creation details here.

    You’re right in a sense because SL is a sandbox environment and EVE is more specialised in one area but EVE is gradually growing into wider areas and broadening the range and depth of options available. They’re doing it in stages, building on what works and rethinking what doesn’t. This is why I say that perhaps SL is doomed to forever be a jack of all trades, master of none. It doesn’t even succeed as a specific building environment. They need to stop trying to be everything to everyone and get back to basics, the basics that made the world great in the first place but also learning the lessons from what is successful in today’s world.

    Please understand that I’m not suggesting that EVE is a valid replacement for SL. But I do believe that SL very quickly needs to look at what EVE is achieving and how and learn the same lessons. They listen extremely closely to the actual players, even going so far as to hold elections for players to represent the interests of players in discussions ( They release small and often, they broaden the options available whilst deepening those already available. Just think about Incarna and soon Dust 514. SL really needs to learn the same lessons and approaches if it is to survive much longer. I know I’ve posted this video before but look at this promo clip for Incarna. When was the last time you saw LL put out something like this to show what’s coming for SL? Never. CCP put these videos out regularly.

    If I come across as an EVE fangrrl it’s partly because I am one and partly because I wish CCP would buy out LL and make SL as great as it should be.

  17. IntLibber

    Apr 11th, 2011

    Well, the first thing LL could do to improve SL is to ban Prokofy.

  18. Axel Oakleaf

    Apr 11th, 2011

    @ Bubblesort:

    Dude you forgot Inworldz,and meta7

  19. Yep

    Apr 11th, 2011

    Chokes laughing…

    Go getem Tiger :P

  20. Tux

    Apr 11th, 2011

    Their signups would increase if they bought back gambling, and go back to how it was in 06.

    Who didn’t have fun then?

  21. Axel Oakleaf

    Apr 11th, 2011


  22. kanomi

    Apr 11th, 2011

    Didn’t CCP just have a forum fiasco worse than SL forums 2.0? Even after being warned by their players their implementation was insecure?

    They may have more detailed avatar textures, but the end result is a little 2D portrait on your character spreadsheet.

    I know they’re rolling out the “walk around the spaceship” idea and later “walk around a spaceport” – who knows, maybe in a couple years you can actually go onto a planet in a limited range of jumpsuit choices. :)

    They do space exploration and economics well, 3D avatar spaces maybe not so much.

  23. Ener Hax

    Apr 11th, 2011

    very well written and to the point

    it is sad, but they did it themselves – i have no empathy for LL

    they can go screw themselves like they screwed me

  24. Axel Oakleaf

    Apr 11th, 2011

    Anyone getting a PHP error message on here?

  25. Emperor Norton hears a who?

    Apr 11th, 2011

    @ Senban Babi “Please understand that I’m not suggesting that EVE is a valid replacement for SL. But I do believe that SL very quickly needs to look at what EVE is achieving and how and learn the same lessons”

    And what would that be gamer? Should we spend hours grinding for gear go ambush n00b who who don’t stand a chance and then brag about our “awesome PvP” skills on global chat?

  26. Axel Oakleaf

    Apr 11th, 2011

    I can’t post a Manowar video on here.

  27. Anon

    Apr 11th, 2011

    too much reliance on real money and not many ways to actually make it without buying it which i refuse to do

  28. Anon

    Apr 11th, 2011

    paying real money for fake money for fake products

  29. Persephone Bolero

    Apr 11th, 2011


    Furnished captain’s quarters? Will the beds have good BJ poses, you think?

    “If I come across as an EVE fangrrl”

    Pretty much. But you make some good points. LL does need more focus with fewer of these weird tangents. Voice morph? Wtf was that about?

  30. Axel Oakleaf

    Apr 11th, 2011

    @Persephone Bolero:


    Instead of LL spending all of our money on corporate jets and such,they should spend it on fixing SL and start making it competitive to other virtual worlds/games and get it back in the top 10 how it was back in 2006.

  31. Meursault Camus

    Apr 11th, 2011

    The problem with this data is that it measures online concurrency. It doesn’t actually measure total users. It tells you how many people were online at a single time, not how many used the platform. It might be that Linden Lab’s international customer base is gaining ground but the US market is losing users, making the ‘peak’ appear lower.

    I know math is hard, but concurrency does not equal total users. This article is a classic example of lying with statistics. For example if 10k people login every hour that’s 240k users per day, even if the maximum concurrency is only 10k. Concurrency does not tell you total number of users of a platform.

    That being said, LL should publish real customer counts like they used to, so this drivel doesn’t spread.

  32. bubblesort

    Apr 11th, 2011

    @Axel: Those are OpenSim platform worlds. I wasn’t trying to list all the different grids out there, just all the different platforms that I know about. InWorldz and meta7 are great, but they are all under the umbrella of OS worlds. OpenCobalt, Jibe and the other things I mentioned are totally different platforms.

  33. bubblesort

    Apr 11th, 2011

    For those of you who had problems reading the graph because of the deep weekly dips in it (I had this problem too), here are the graphs smoothed out by week and month. It’s much easier to see what’s going on here:

    12% per year is a drop of almost 25% every two years. In the business world this is very bad. Businesses grow or they don’t get funded.

    I’m less concerned about the drop staying the same for the next 12 months and more concerned about the concurrency drop accelerating. The payment system was recently broken (and still is broken unless you like paying more fees to get at your money), on top of everything else, plus the new easy mode viewer and a lot of other problems. These aren’t problems that only forum and blog pundits and their fans care about. They are problems that every resident will feel and will probably not bitch too much about. They’ll just quietly move on.

  34. Senban Babii

    Apr 11th, 2011

    “And what would that be gamer? Should we spend hours grinding for gear go ambush n00b who who don’t stand a chance and then brag about our “awesome PvP” skills on global chat?”

    Don’t do PvP, never ganked a n00b, never been on global chat even once, I only use fleet chat to talk to my fleet so we can coordinate. I want to pick up something else but first let me quote Anon.

    “too much reliance on real money and not many ways to actually make it without buying it which i refuse to do”

    I pay my monthly fees to CCP and then everything I need is right there inworld. If I want money to buy a new ship or piece of equipment I can raise it, maybe by mining, running missions, trading, bounty hunting, ratting, building things to sell and so on. I don’t have to pump a single penny into it. That is something that SL badly needs to attract n00bs. They shouldn’t have to spend a fortune in actual money to get a reasonable avatar and to play an active role in SL activities. That’s why I say go back to paid subscriptions (with say three avatars per subscription to allow for alts) and then give residents a valid and workable way to generate inworld funds inworld. Make those funds inworld only and prevent them from being cashed out. That would not be ideal for content creators running meatspace businesses but that’s where my ideas for business licences come in, allowing people to buy a business licence that would also allow them to cash out funds. Perhaps that’s another thing for another time though. Certainly the business licence should require adherence to certain community standards and expectations though.

    On a related note and seeing as I’m throwing out the ideas to get people thinking, one of the big problems with SL is the infinite copies problem. If I build something, I can make and sell infinite copies with no overheads. This promotes stagnation in creativity. Think about how much ancient junk is still for sale on the grid. In EVE if I want to build something I have to buy a blueprint. That blueprint allows me to make x amount of copies and then it’s gone (some low end blueprints have infinite runs). How could we introduce that to SL? Okay, I build something, say a skirt. When I finalise the build (something that would need to be introduced) a blueprint is created alongside the original. That blueprint has a limited number of runs and then it is gone forever. This will create consumer demand for quality desirable products and competition to be one of the few people wearing creator Z’s latest clothes as only a certain number of copies would even exist. It prevents content creators from simply creating something and then living from the proceeds, draining finances from SL indefinitely without actually contributing anything further to the grid. If they want to stay in business they have to create new things and keep their quality standards and brand desirability higher than their competitors.

    And hey, here’s an idea too. Just like in EVE, content creators could even sell limited run blueprints so that affiliates could sell those products in their stores.

    See? I knew that business degree would come in handy some day! Not bad for a click-mining pew-pew n00b-ganking gamer grrl eh Emperor? The computing degree seems to have some use too ;)

    “Furnished captain’s quarters? Will the beds have good BJ poses, you think?”

    This is the internet. You can’t prove it won’t happen ;)

    In all seriousness, sooner or later, someone will find ways to have pixel sex in EVE beyond chat. They’ve managed it with everything else so far. It’s my ambition to open EVE’s first ever poledancing bar 8D There are already brothels seen in some of the missions so sooner or later it will find a way to sneak in as players are given more creative control over the world.

  35. Persephone Bolero

    Apr 11th, 2011


    Business licenses would kill business in SL just like they do in RL. Every barrier you put up to establishing and operating a business will hamper the establishment and operation of a business.

    We’ve seen this happen in RL all the time. Occupational licensing is lobbied for under the guise that it is “protecting consumers.” In reality, it functions to protect established businesses from new competitors entering the market. This keeps prices high and product quality low.

    Here’s three cases to demonstrate this:

    There are many others. And we’ve already heard plenty of complaints about LL favoring one business over another. If people needed a license to operate a business in SL and LL made the determination as to what businesses could and could not operate in SL, we would see more of that.

    I agree LL needs to focus on existing features and address existing issues before creating new ones. But business licensing would kill and already languishing in-world economy.

  36. Axel Oakleaf

    Apr 11th, 2011

  37. Senban Babii

    Apr 11th, 2011


    I hear your arguments and know where you’re coming from of course. But how else do you prevent businesses simply turning into financial drains, cashing out money without putting anything back into the community so to speak? A business licence of some sort would ensure that the business put funds into the economy rather than simply take money out.

    Consider this. I build a new item, let’s go with that skirt from earlier. In real terms it has cost me nothing other than a little time. I sell it on the marketplace to keep overheads minimal and start selling. I cash out all my profits (near 100% apart from minimal overheads) and can keep doing so indefinitely. I’m not contributing to the economy in any way shape or form. I’m not buying raw materials to create my products, I’m not employing people to make my products. I’m nothing but a drain on the economy. In meatspace I’d be part of a chain of transactions that kept the money in circulation. Here I’m just a black hole, sucking finances out of the economy.

    How do we turn that round so that it’s contributing to the overall economy? At some point, businesses have to put something back. What are your thoughts on that? How do we achieve that?

  38. Emperor Norton hears a who?

    Apr 11th, 2011

    Senban Babii @” Don’t do PvP, never ganked a n00b, never been on global chat even once, I only use fleet chat to talk to my fleet so we can coordinate. I want to pick up something else but first let me quote Anon.”

    Why not quote the leader of Goon Fleet?

    “MT: Yeah. Four years ago at a Fanfest presentation they were also talking about how they were going to allow corporation decals on ships, and as you saw that was something that featured prominently this time around. You’ll notice the tepid applause for the Incarna business and in general most people sat through that presentation scratching their heads and not getting wildly excited unless they were prompted.”

    Oh look, well I guess LL isn’t the only game company that fails to follow threw on their projects.

  39. Senban Babii

    Apr 11th, 2011


    Fair point and I can’t speak for four years ago because I wasn’t playing EVE back then. I have to say that corp decals on ships would be relatively pointless because enemy vessels are often tiny dots at a huge distance. They would only be useful in the sense of customising what is (or at least was) in effect your avatar. Maybe CCP simply prioritised that feature? I don’t know. I’ll actually read up a little on that tomorrow, thanks for the point.

    I will say though that the opinion that Incarna is only engendering a tepid raction seems at odds with the sheer number of forum posts about the new avatars, the sheer number of websites that have sprung up around them, the seriously enormous uproar when people created their first avatar, finalised it and realised that they desperately wanted to do it again. Seriously you should have seen the demands for recustomisation, people really really wanted this function. And as of a couple of days ago with the latest update, recustomisation of avatars is an ever-present option whilst docked in stations and the range of clothing, accessories, scars and whatever has just been increased as part of the same update. I have to admit I’m pleasantly surprised because I thought Incarna would be a side issue but it seems to be turning into a major component of the experience.

    CCP aren’t perfect, they’re like any other company. But when stuff breaks they fix it. This latest minor update fixed a really annoying bug during log in. They introduce new features and consult with the players about them. I read something a few days ago about how they’re planning to have the UI changeable so it’s optimised for PvP, PvE and whatever. Not just moving components round but proper optional layouts so people can tailor their EVE experience.

    And what does LL give us? Features nobody wants and bugs which go unfixed for four years.

  40. Persephone Bolero

    Apr 12th, 2011

    @Senban I’d love to respond to your comment, but I get these PHP errors. They need to fix that.

  41. hobo kelly

    Apr 12th, 2011

    they need something like alcoholics-anonymous for these youngsters that are mentally trapped in these virtual worlds. just read some of that stuff above. the virtual economy is gone. the physical economy is gone. putting any effort into SL or any of the virtual worlds at this point it a waste of time unless you are there because you are hiding from reality or something. its all shutting down. revert back to real life while you can. then you will be actually #winning. not that little twerp Sheen kind of drugbrain lunacy either.

    businesses paying money back to the system instead of being a money drain sounds like some kind of dirty commie thing to say by the way. go waste your own time starting an online business instead of wanting to mooch off of others.

  42. Roblem Hogarth

    Apr 12th, 2011

    Ya WAY to FoxNews this story in. First, concurrency? As a measure of population? Sorry but no. Without having to look at Tateru Nino’s fine graphs, anyone that hits logs in periodicaly knows that the 60 day average logins has been around 1.3-1.4 Million for the last few years, so no growth but no fall off either.

    I could go on and on with the issues in this article but I have learned to take on one brick wall at a time. As for the AW guy, you have a long way to catch up with SL, it’s not the other way around.

  43. Senban Babii

    Apr 12th, 2011

    @hobo kelly
    “businesses paying money back to the system instead of being a money drain sounds like some kind of dirty commie thing to say by the way. go waste your own time starting an online business instead of wanting to mooch off of others.”

    No one is demanding a free ride off of the back of hard working business owners (least of all me, especially as I no longer even log into SL, I’m speaking as an observer). I’m going to assume you’re a content creator for a moment (which you may be, I don’t know). You create content and sell it. What you bring to the grid is a variety of content. While that variety of content makes the grid interesting, in economic terms “interesting” doesn’t add anything. If we’re going to think in terms of an economy, then content creators add intangibles to the world but in a very real sense take tangibles out i.e. actual cash.

    Now okay, content creators do have overheads. They have rent for stores or tier or whatever. Let’s assume that as a content creator you run a store for your goods. Apart from acting as a storefront, it brings nothing to the grid that can be described as tangible. You don’t hire people to work in your store who will then take their wages and spend it on other products and services, keeping the money in circulation. You don’t pay to create your goods with raw materials. In effect you get money for nothing. In terms of the economy, content creators are a drain. In terms of SL culture and content they are vital, no one is questioning that naturally.

    If we want the SL economy to stabilise and thrive again then we need to find ways to stop content creators being an economic drain. One suggestion I put forward so far is a business licence. Another would be some form of business tax. These are simply rough suggestions.

    If we want a valid economy then we have to realise that we need a model that keeps money in circulation, not a model as we have it now that simply acts as a tube with the money flowing in one direction only.

    No one is demanding that the residents seize control of the means of production or that residents deserve a free ride off of the back of the factory owners or serfs in the fields. But if you want an economy then you have to realise that an economy has certain requirements. Right now, SL doesn’t *have* an economy, it has a funnel.

  44. bubblesort

    Apr 12th, 2011

    You guys are being so mean to poor Rod. It’s hard to be Humble, you know:

  45. Zyngolover

    Apr 12th, 2011

    Another explanation or possible effect is the fact Linden Lab banned games like Zyngo and Deal around january. Zyngo/Deal players and owners of Zyngo/Deal gaming places all moved to an OpenSim grid called AVINATION where Zyngo/Deal but also all other kinds of casino-games are allowed. Linden Lab gave away a big dollar business this way, cutting in their own skin *again*. The only thing Linden Lab does lately is banning people and groups of people. They are digging their own grave and frankly they deserve it !

  46. MarkByrn

    Apr 12th, 2011

    Hard to take this article seriously considering the Alphaville Herald has regularly and joyfully opined for the end of SL. It’s more likely that Alphaville will go out of business before SL as it’s loyal readers never bought into Alphaville’s other failed ventures.

  47. Emperor Norton hears a who?

    Apr 12th, 2011

    @ MarkByrn

    What, are you saying there is something silly about people devoting this much effort over something they reportedly hate? Since I am only here for the Hillbilly porn I am sure the people who write these articles year after year have some deeper and purer motive I couldn’t possibly understand.

  48. Reader

    Apr 12th, 2011

    “I am sure the people who write these articles year after year have some deeper and purer motive I couldn’t possibly understand”


    No self esteem
    No friends outside the basement
    No aspirations
    No family to set them straight
    No hope
    No-body to confide in
    No sex

    No life


  49. Paul

    Apr 12th, 2011

    @reader: you…you…you… emotional rapist!!!!

  50. Goth

    Apr 12th, 2011

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