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Is SL's Player Base Declining?

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37 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

It isn't, it's dropping too although interestingly much slower than the active users count. That can only mean that an average account is logged on for a longer time period than before. I can think of three plausible explanations but none of them can be seen as indications that SL is stable or gaining ground.

I probably should mention something about the two dubious indicators too.

The number of private regions increased in 2019 but only by 17 and it's too early to say if this is something permanent, especially since the number has dropped significantly the last two months.

The LindeX transaction volume has stayed remarkably stable for as long as LindeX has existed. The problem there is that it's too stable to be reliable. There have been several incidents over the years that should have affected it one way or another. The only plausible explanation is that the volume of speculative transactions is big enough to drown the bona fide ones and that of course means the figure doesn't say anything at all about the actual activity in SL.

All of that is well and good....if you take everything literally. It’s gone from 9999999 users to 400000 users since 2007,  that’s a decline. 
 

Yes, but at the same time, that ignores a lot of facts. There was a brief period where SL was everywhere. Magazines were writing about it (in a serious manner), there were commercials, it was featured in tv shows, news shows were doing pieces on it. Obviously, more people than usual are going to try it out because it has a huge amount of exposure.

Then it became a meme. The office (us) did a hilarious episode where Dwight...well I won’t spoil it. 
 

Users declined for....reasons. But then it leveled off and it remained relatively level. I wouldn’t say that’s a decline, it experienced a boom, then it declined, because let’s face it....those kind of numbers are difficult to maintain, then it leveled off. It’s remained at the relatively same number of users.

 

Its not accurate to say its declining. It’s had the same relative number of users, that’s what the concurrent user data shows.

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Just now, janetosilio said:

But then it leveled off and it remained relatively level.

No. It's been declining the last few years too. It's a very slow decline but still a clear trend.

image.png.05a6c65ea13a362eb8c2ef5d877c7188.png

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1 minute ago, ChinRey said:

No. It's been declining the last few years too. It's a very slow decline but still a clear trend.

image.png.05a6c65ea13a362eb8c2ef5d877c7188.png

That graph looks relatively level. It’s tiny on my phone, but it looks to be on average around somewhere between 35-50k since 2012.

I don’t know about you, but those are about the same numbers I see when I log on with firestorm. Some days it’s high, some days it’s lower.

But on average....

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27 minutes ago, janetosilio said:

That graph looks relatively level.

Relatively is relative. :P

But I think it's more interesting to look at why the number of active users is dropping faster than the concurrency. I can think of three explanations and I think it's a combination of all:

  • Older clientelle with more time to spare
  • The more people use SL in the first place, the less likely they are to give up on it
  • More 24/7 bots

---

Now, with all this said about SL's decline and with a heated argument in danger of breaking out: I do not think this is something the average user should worry about at all. As long as you enjoy your part of Second Life it's fine and what happens or doesn't happen elsewhere on the grid shouldn't bother you.

However, it is something that content, experience and service providers need to take into account. Those who do it commercially or semi-commercially have to consider how it affects their bottom line of course but even if you do it just for fun, keep in mind that there are fewer and fewer people here to appreciate your hard work.

Commercial content creators also have to consider how little recruitment of new users there is. No matter how popular your product is, sooner or later the market is saturated and with no influx of new customers worth speaking of, the sales stop.

Edited by ChinRey
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14 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

Commercial content creators also have to consider how little recruitment of new users there is. No matter how popular your product is, sooner or later the market is saturated and with no influx of new customers worth speaking of, the sales stop.

I guess they spent their marketing funds on Sansar. 🤨 it would be nice if LL showed solidarity with creators by advertising SL.

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39 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

More 24/7 bots

Hard to say about this one. When I just started I remember almost all clothing stores in-world had those afk "models" showcasing outfits, sometimes just 3-5 and sometimes like 15 of them. Now there's literally none, sometime a lonely group/greeter bot at the entrance and even that is a rarity.

I don't argue with the fact there's a decline, it's obvious. But it's a natural decline that happens to all products. If compare to games, then certain mmorpgs also used to have much higher numbers, then as games got older and older, despite of new changes/content, numbers kept dropping. In some cases they did shrink to like 1 server with 2-3k concurrent users on a good day, sometimes just closed.

Difficult to say what LL could do at this point to get new people that would stay. Depends on who they see as their target userbase. It's obviously not 10m of Fortnite kids, unlike certain delusional users like to believe *coughs coughs*, it's not "gamers" in general either, as they are busy with their new shiny games and new gen consoles coming out later this year (although there are exceptions to that, including myself). Maybe people in their 40s or even50s-60s, with a bit of extra time and money to play that virtual dressing room with home building/decoration simulator... I wonder if dropping land prices by a lot would help, like to "normal server prices", which are times less than what we pay here for "land", which is essentially a 1 core of CPU+some RAM and HDD space, if a full region would cost 25-35$ a month and parcels would be pennies, it would definitely bring more people to try it. But it could as well just crash entire SL's economy with it, so not sure LL are willing to try such experiments.

Edited by steeljane42
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10 minutes ago, steeljane42 said:

But it's a natural decline that happens to all products. If compare to games, then certain mmorpgs also used to have much higher numbers, then as games got older and older, despite of new changes/content, numbers kept dropping. In some cases they did shrink to like 1 server with 2-3k concurrent users on a good day, sometimes just closed.

This is why you can’t just say “SL’s player is declining”. That hasn’t happened with SL People leave, people come back, people leave, people come back.

When you think about it, that’s actually amazing.

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1 hour ago, Pamela Galli said:

I guess they spent their marketing funds on Sansar. 🤨 it would be nice if LL showed solidarity with creators by advertising SL.

Yeah, I doubt that. They've tried EVERYTHING to market Sansar and so far, none of it has seemed to work.

The most recent Sansar pivot to be a live events platform is a last, desperate attempt to save the platform. 

If Linden Lab cannot find a way to bring more users into Sansar (and keep them coming back), then they might be the next platform to fold after High Fidelity (today is HiFi's final official day; they have already shut down their user forums and their website and you can no longer create new accounts in HiFi). If Sansar does fold I for one will be devastated. I really did believe they had something remarkable and compelling, but obviously a lot of other people didn't agree.

Edited by Vanity Fair

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41 minutes ago, Vanity Fair said:

Yeah, I doubt that. They've tried EVERYTHING to market Sansar and so far, none of it has seemed to work.

The most recent Sansar pivot to be a live events platform is a last, desperate attempt to save the platform. 

If Linden Lab cannot find a way to bring more users into Sansar (and keep them coming back), then they might be the next platform to fold after High Fidelity (today is HiFi's final official day; they have already shut down their user forums and their website and you can no longer create new accounts in HiFi). If Sansar does fold I for one will be devastated. I really did believe they had something remarkable and compelling, but obviously a lot of other people didn't agree.

I meant, they spent their SL marketing funds on other enterprises, not on SL.  
 

Oops.

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3 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

think abuse (and criticism) is normal

"Mom is screaming at me but at least she's paying attention to me so that must mean she cares about me..."

You read a 2 and dial it up to an 11. All the time.

I have my topics that I do that over too... yours is anything that tries to anaylize an issue in SL.

Critical Analysis: Noun1.critical analysis - an appraisal based on careful analytical evaluation

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking

Criticism:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism

the practice of judging the merits and faults of something.

That's a whole world different from whatever it is you've got stuck in your head...

 

It's a repeating pattern here - someone points out an issue they are having with SL, the service, the lab, or basically anything... and you post a sad emote to it... and then something like this whole 'abused children' angle..

To figure out what's going on, you need to critically analyze something. To get improvement, you need criticism. You can't improve unless you can see where you've gone wrong. Need to learn to accept it, evaluate whether or not the criticism is correct, and where it is find ways to adjust and improve.

Not offering criticism to something you claim to care for... is a sign of not feeling it's worthy of improvement and growth - you've given up on it.

 

So this tangent... let's see... it was about a thought that people are seeking to point out SL is declining... that may be for some, but not for all... many look at those same stats and think about 'is this actually happening' or 'can we slow it down or turn it around' or even just 'how should we best respond to this'?
- look at the issue and offer a critical take on it, where one can.

That's what someone who has NOT given up on something does.

 

Because I don't expect you to get what I'm trying to convey here; I await your 'sad', 'confused', or 'laugh' emote over there ---------------------------------->

 

Edited by Pussycat Catnap
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38 minutes ago, Pussycat Catnap said:

... armchair psychoanalysis...

I have issues with the way LL does certain things. I have engaged many Lindens all the way up the ladder to have discussions about the things I take issue with. 

I chose to not further damage to LL’s precarious reputation by airing any grievances I have with them in a forum that anyone can see. 

You do not know me, and the fact that you felt the need to take this to such a deeply personal level is, quite frankly, grotesque and hateful.

You win. I’m out. Congratulations, I guess.

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10 hours ago, Vanity Fair said:

Second Life has, over the past decade, kept a remarkably steady level of regular monthly users (that is, people who sign in at least once a month to SL). That figure is somewhere between 500,000 and 600,000 regular monthly users. The most recent confirmation of these figures came directly from the Firestorm developers, with whom LL shared recent usage figures:

https://ryanschultz.com/2019/09/18/why-second-life-still-has-600000-regular-users-after-16-years/

And how are these 'unique' users/accounts calculated? They always seem to not include those explanations in articles or statements like these so it can make it sound impressive.

Is it calculated as individual accounts that log in i.e. that 600,000 includes alt accounts? If this is the case then if you put on average each person having 3 accounts (2 alts and a main) then that is only 200,000 true 'unique' users. That's not so impressive anymore.

If these 'unique' users don't include alt accounts then how are they determined to be 'unique'? If it is by IP address's then there is a flaw in this calculation as well. I can get a new IP every time I restart my router which I could do once a week in the month. Does that mean in a month I am counted as 4 'unique' users?

There needs to be clarification of how these figures are determined otherwise they are meaningless.

Also based on that article, the figures are terrible and would send any other business out wondering why they have such a hole in user retention. The article states that since 2013 they have had 36 million accounts created. Even if you remove alts from the equation and take that to mean actual people using their touted 600,000 user number, they have lost a total of 35.4 million accounts (users) over just 6 years. That means on average both LL and Second Life have lost 5.9 million users/accounts every year over the past 6 years. That is astonishing and shows they still have a major issue with user retention.

Edited by Drayke Newall

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I feel like it is declining when I've played it but I don't play enough now to be sure whether its just me or not.  I wonder if we'll ever see a true Second Life 2 (not Sansar).

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1 minute ago, Shaun1970 said:

I wonder if we'll ever see a true Second Life 2 (not Sansar).

I would dare say given LL disastrous effort (financially as well) in Sansar, they wont be looking at any new platform anytime soon.

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1 minute ago, Drayke Newall said:

I would dare say given LL disastrous effort (financially as well) in Sansar, they wont be looking at any new platform anytime soon.

Yeah I wanted Sansar to be something it was just never going to be.  SL 2 with a better engine.

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1 hour ago, Drayke Newall said:

Is it calculated as individual accounts that log in i.e. that 600,000 includes alt accounts?

Yes and more. I've lost count how many times I've posted about this already but here we go again:

  1. "Mayflies" - those are accounts log on once and never again. Some of them are probably throwaway alts, some are genuine new users who don't like what they see. Back in 2017 a third of the "active users" were Mayflies.
  2. "Rip van Winkles" - old-timers who have really left SL but still log in every now and then for old times' sake. Most of the premium members are probably Rip can Winkles (nothing unusual about that, it happens to all subscription services after a few years) and they also make up a considerable amount of the land barons' tenants.
  3. Bots - probably not as many as you may think. Judging by the concurrency figures there shuold be consideraby less than 50,000 but almost certainly more than 10,000 of them.
  4. Alts - only alts that are logged on fairly regularly every month counts of course but that's still a lot.

If we assume the first three groups add up to 400,000 "active non-users", Firestorm's 600,000 figure is correct and the average actually active user have four alts they log on at least once a month, we end up with 50,000 actually active users.

Assuming 350,000 "active non-users" and three alts per actually active user, we end up with 83,333 actually active users.

I think we can be fairly sure the correct number is somewhere between those two.

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1 hour ago, Shaun1970 said:

Yeah I wanted Sansar to be something it was just never going to be.  SL 2 with a better engine.

And don’t forget the other apps LL bought. Like Blocksworld.

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1 hour ago, ChinRey said:

Yes and more. I've lost count how many times I've posted about this already but here we go again:

  1. "Mayflies" - those are accounts log on once and never again. Some of them are probably throwaway alts, some are genuine new users who don't like what they see. Back in 2017 a third of the "active users" were Mayflies.
  2. "Rip van Winkles" - old-timers who have really left SL but still log in every now and then for old times' sake. Most of the premium members are probably Rip can Winkles (nothing unusual about that, it happens to all subscription services after a few years) and they also make up a considerable amount of the land barons' tenants.
  3. Bots - probably not as many as you may think. Judging by the concurrency figures there shuold be consideraby less than 50,000 but almost certainly more than 10,000 of them.
  4. Alts - only alts that are logged on fairly regularly every month counts of course but that's still a lot.

If we assume the first three groups add up to 400,000 "active non-users", Firestorm's 600,000 figure is correct and the average actually active user have four alts they log on at least once a month, we end up with 50,000 actually active users.

Assuming 350,000 "active non-users" and three alts per actually active user, we end up with 83,333 actually active users.

I think we can be fairly sure the correct number is somewhere between those two.

Thanks and is basically as I thought it was. All those figures given by LL and others like that article are really irrelevant data and the more accurate better way of saying it is we have 50k-85k actual users that log in every month. Where almost every other company goes by unique accounts (not including alts etc) LL seem to put out huge figures to make them look better by using meaningless user data. Sad thing is, people seem to not catch onto this and take 600,000 users as being people and not accounts that include alts.

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4 minutes ago, Drayke Newall said:

Where almost every other company goes by unique accounts (not including alts etc) LL seem to put out huge figures to make them look better by using meaningless user data.

You think that is bad? Apparently Fortnite claims to have "hundreds of millions" of users! :P

There's no way for them to tell anyway. I suppose LL could eliminate the "Mayflies" and "Rip van Winkles" by only counting accounts with recurring logons over two or more months but they still can't be sure how many bots there are and they have no idea how many alts.

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4 hours ago, Shaun1970 said:

Yeah I wanted Sansar to be something it was just never going to be.  SL 2 with a better engine.

SL is a hodge podge of ideas lashed together with string, most of the stuff that makes SL unique is also stuff that in some way undermines how the platform handles.

Everything you can do in SL that you can't do in Sansar is deliberate and has very solid technical justifications based on the time spent running and developing SL.

Sansar *IS* that better engine.

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Patch Linden in the driving seat has .. hopefully .. saved good ole' SL.  He keeps an ear to the ground and listens to what the userbase has to say, and acts upon good ideas. Furthermore, imvho,  LL has stopped wasting away the profits on Sansar and started investing in the golden goose that was, and still is, the original SL. Wise move.

As for the old SL is dead meme ... it ain't dead. It's a matter of finding the right places where it's all 'happening'. I will give you a clue on that one. Bellisseria. Shhh don't tell no one ;)

Here's a piccy of how dead the game is ...

 

4.jpg.108996becab4e7144b6f40e7005ee50f.jpg

Edited by rasterscan
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Oh .. here's another dead event I attended just last night .. the clue this time is Tukso

 

83f61e1a4eb98960ec63291550c2e6e9.png

Edited by rasterscan
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