SECOND LIFE Financials/future
Second Life still going from
strength to strength …
and Philip Rosedale on the future
For the doomsayers who keep denigrating Second Life, the latest figures from that world – now a few weeks old – demonstrate just how successful the Lindens are with their world created by their residents.
Of course, there will always be doomsayers. Critics, however, are very useful in honing the product which the Lindens appear to be always be changing, often to the chagrin of their longtime residents, who are forced to adapt to new technology such as the latest viewer, which is a little difficult to adapt to, particularly if one is a longtime user.
There are still problems with the world but compared to yesteryear they are few and far between and most of us have learned to happily – or sometimes unhappily – live with them.
You may have read the latest figures for Second Life but despite the critics – and there are a number – they are worth repeating.
In 2009 the Second Life economy, despite the hiatus in the world economy, rose 65 percent against the previous year to $US567 million while gross resident earnings recorded 11 percent growth to $US55 million, mainly through user-created, services, merchandise, and virtual goods. The latter represented the sum of all US dollars transferred “out” of the Second Life economy by Second Life residents, and into PayPal accounts, and then to real life bank accounts and wallets, and is believed to represent profits (95 percent) above the costs of earning the Second Life dollars within Second Life, but does not include real world costs.
Other highlights for the Second Life economy in 2009, as reported by Linden Labs, were:
The total amount of virtual currency in circulation reached L$6.95 billion, growth of 23 percent over December, 2008.
- The US Dollar value of $L in circulation totaled $US26.5 million in December, 2009.
- Sales of User Generated virtual items on Xstreet SL, reached $L1.6 billion or $US6.1 million, growth of 74 percent over 2008.
- The total US dollar value of all Linden dollars traded on the LindeX™ currency exchange in 2009 reached $US115 million in value, 7 percent growth over 2008.
- The total US dollar value of all Linden dollars traded on the Xstreet SL™ currency exchange in 2009 reached $US1.5 million in value, 169 percent growth over 2008.
- Residents spent 481 million hours in Second Life in 2009, 21 percent growth over 2008.
- User hours lost to downtime as a portion of total user hours fell 66 percent to a best-ever low of 0.19 percent for the whole year.
- Monthly Repeat Logins reached an all-time high of 769,000 in December 2009, 15 percent growth over December, 2008.
- Resident-owned regions reached 23,900 in December 2009, up 6 percent over December, 2008.
- Total Resident-owned land (including Mainland) reached 1.85 billion square meters in December 2009, up 7 percent over December 2008.
Gross Resident Earnings figures:
- The Small Business segment represented 47 percent – the largest proportion – of the total dollar value of earnings.
- More than 50 accounts earned more than $US100,000 each.
- The top 25 accounts, as a group, earned about $US12 million.
- Roughly 98 percent of the Gross Resident Earnings ($US55 million) in 2009 were from accounts with recent activity, suggesting that the majority of Gross Resident Earnings in 2009 were from active, current Residents, not from the liquidation of in world assets.
And the future as seen by Philip Rosedale…