Linden Lab have released third-quarter results for the Second Life economy. I use the term ‘released’ loosely, as it still grates on me how little information is released now compared to a couple of years back. That aside, the results show that aside from the 11% drop in overall user hours over the past year, coming mostly from those who spend more than 300 hours a month in Second Life, that things are steady. Or stagnant depending on your perspective. The only stark upside is the lift in web-based purchases for in-world goods (115% growth), although that’s skewed by the conglomeration of purchase options under the Linden Lab umbrella.
One of the most frequent questions I’m still asked when I talk virtual worlds with the uninitiated is: “hasn’t Second Life died?”. These stats again put paid to that misconception, but they also don’t provide much basis for evangelism either.