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Linden Lab finally published its figures for Q1 2011 today, or at least those which we get to see. There are some notable absences. Why the figures have been so delayed is a mystery, considering that there is very little text accompanying the charts this time around.

Restructuring seems to have had a positive effect on Linden Lab’s bottom line. As I surmised from its hiring patterns, the Lab is profitable, indeed the Lab is calling Q1 its most successful quarter to-date.

Now let’s take a look at what’s happening, based on what we can see.

Now, the first chart presented is a shameful cheat indeed. The chart shows a huge surge in completed user registrations (AKA signups). This surge starts on 11 April, which is the second quarter and has no place in this report. It’s right at the top, though, and serves as a distraction, colouring the interpretation of the remainder of the data.

I’m sure that it will look great in the Q2 metrics, but for Q1? Signup rates were unremarkable, and showed a slight decline through the quarter.

Here’s what the chart looks like with only Q1 figures included:

sl-dcr-q1-2011

Pretty much flat with a slight decline. Still, the results themselves aren’t entirely shabby. Even by the end of the quarter we’re still looking at a figure roughly in excess of 10,000 completed signups per day.

Average monthly repeat logins declined slightly from Q4, falling 1.25% in Q1, while user-hours fell nearly 1% (about one million user-hours for the quarter, or eleven thousand fewer user hours each day).

These declines aren’t huge in percentage terms, but are certainly reflected in the declining user-concurrency through the quarter.

World size also declined, being the second quarter that has done so, dipping by twenty square kilometres, a reduction of about 1%.

On a brighter note, the Second Life economy appears to be healthy with steady (and improving) exchange-rates coupled to an increase in money-supply and trading activity.

The exchange rate rose from 1:258.8 to 1:253.2 (an increase of 5.6 or 2.21%) – which on its own is not necessarily a great indicator. However, coupled with a 3.5% (one million US Dollars) increase in the money supply, and 3.25% increase in Lindex trading volumes (another one million US Dollars), I can only conclude that we’re seeing a reversal of the slight decline in the Second Life economy that we’ve been seeing in previous quarters.

If you wanted to see how the Second Life Marketplace was performing for Q1, you’re out of luck. Those figures have apparently been dropped from the quarterly reports. The trend prior to that looked like it was heading for a plateau, or perhaps it peaked in Q4 and declined. It’s hard to say at this time, but it is certainly tempting to draw conclusions from the cutting of that metric.

I’m particularly looking forward to the figures for Q2. I actually have a good feeling about next quarter’s figures, for the first time in a very long time.

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