Second Life economy: flat but steady

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.


  1. They shouldn’t have to … shouldn’t even *want* to in my opinion. The so-dubbed “adult” entertainment venue nich that SL® fills has a broader appeal and a steady stream of loyal users who spend a great deal of money for their pasttime. No lack of customers there.

    On the other hand, institutions that want a regulated environment, free of the chaotic nature of an open recreational grid, and don’t want to set one up themselves or host it can look into more controlled environments like SpotON3D® (

    Interesting website you provided also. Definitely good to see OpenSimulator proliferation.

  2. For educators and students Second Life is quickly dying, being replaced by free open virtual worlds provided by organizations such as the Immersive Education Initiative (a consortium of thousands of educators working in virtual worlds, virtual reality, mixed reality, etc). At you can see they make it clear that they don’t support Second Life at all, but instead give free open source alternatives. How can an “adult” entertainment world like Second Life compete with that?

  3. so, fewer people spending more then? Wonder what the split is between porno and non-verified?

Your comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Posts