Building on their information released at last week’s GDC Austin, Linden Lab has recently revealed some truly staggering numbers with regards to their secondary market transactions platform. The company stated that Second Life residents have transacted the real world equivalency of over $1 billion in player-to-player transactions, while spending over 1 billion hours inhabiting the virtual space.
Again, adding to their statements at the GDC focused on retaining current users, the company revealed that Second Life’s economy has grown 94 percent year-over-year from Q2 2008 to Q2 2009. “Now at nearly USD50 million each month in user-to-user transactions, the Second Life economy is on an annual run rate of more than a half billion US dollars, making Second Life the largest virtual economy in the industry,” the company stated. With an economy like that, it’s no wonder Linden Labs is focusing on keeping current players happy, and staying right where they are. Perhaps a larger challenge than originally thought, as Linden Lab received an F from the better business bureau back in February of this year.
Linden Lab was also quick to point out that the total in-world hours, approximately 1 billion, has the real world equivalent of 115,000 years. But what exactly are these users doing? “Everything from meeting and socializing with friends; to attending live concerts; to creating, selling, and shopping for virtual goods; to learning a foreign language; to attending business meetings; and much more. User hours grew 33% year-over-year to an all-time high of 126 million in Q2 2009,” stated Linden representatives. On average, Second Life residents spend approximately 100 minutes in-world per visit, which the company is proud to point out is, “significantly greater than those seen with popular social networking Web sites and reveals the uniquely high level of engagement Residents have with Second Life.”
Specifically speaking to the in-world virtual items trading and sales, Linden Lab reports that residents are creating over a quarter of a million new good each day. These items may range from clothing to vehicles to buildings to automatic language translators, and just about everything else imaginable under the sun. At the time of the statement, Linden Lab reported that more than 270 terabytes of content is available within Second Life, with a growth rate of around 100 percent each and every year. Speaking from a primary marketplace point of view, since Linden Lab is the creator and vendor of virtual land, the company is not only the worlds largest platform for user-generated virtual goods, but also an industry leader in the sales of virtual goods. Perhaps the virtual world equivalent to Donald Trump?
Other statistics from Linden Lab include:
- More than 18 billion minutes of voice chat have been used in Second Life since voice was introduced in 2007. Voice minutes grew 44% year-over-year from Q2 2008 to Q2 2009, and more than 6 billion minutes of voice have been delivered in 2009 alone, making Linden Lab a major VoIP provider.
- Approximately 1,250 text-based messages are sent every second in Second Life, and more than 600 million words are typed on an average day. Roughly 60% of active Second Life Residents are based outside of the US, representing more than 200 countries, and the Second Life Viewer is available in 10 languages.
- The total land area of Second Life is now equivalent to approximately 2 billion square meters — roughly the size of the state of Rhode Island. Land in Second Life has grown roughly 18% since Q1 2009 and approximately 75% since Q1 2008.
“These metrics give a sense of some key aspects of Second Life — the deeply engaging nature of the 3D world, the immense use of Second Life as a communications platform and the scale and strength of the economy based on the huge number of unique virtual goods users are creating,” commented Mark Kingdon, CEO, Linden Lab. “These numbers are a snapshot of the success of Second Life and its Residents today, and a validation of Linden Lab’s leadership in the virtual worlds space, but there’s much more to come. This is a year of renovation for Second Life, and we are well positioned for reinvigorating our growth in 2010 with a range of strategic initiatives that will enhance the experience for existing Residents and propel our expansion with new users.”