Social Networking

Second Life Overrun by European Hordes

More than half of “Second Life” users are from Europe, according to a study announced Friday that analyzed active users of Linden Lab’s virtual online world.

A full 61 percent of the 1.3 million users who ran the official “Second Life” software and logged in in March were based in Europe, compared with 19 percent from North America and 13 percent from Asia-Pacific, according to comScore.

The 1.3 million number of overall users represents a huge jump in participation at the San Francisco-based company’s successful site, with a 46 percent increase since January.

comScore’s data includes access from home or work computers, but not mobile devices or public computers.

Global Phenomenon

“The phenomenal growth of ‘Second Life’ continues, and its presence is being felt around the world,” said Bob Ivins, managing director of comScore Europe.

“With nearly 800,000 active residents in Europe, ‘Second Life’ is proving to be popular on an international scale,” he added. “It’s especially fascinating to note that the number of active German residents exceeds the number of active residents in the entire U.S. It is little wonder that bricks and mortar businesses are seeing ‘Second Life’ as a virtual-world way of accessing a global, real-world customer base.”

Indeed, “Second Life” is truly international, said Catherine Smith, director of brand development at Linden Lab. “We’re looking forward to further international expansion, with support for more languages and country-specific versions later this year,” she added.

Fastest Growth at Home

While Europe held the largest proportion of “Second Life” users, the United States in particular and North America in general accounted for the fastest growth in “Second Life,” having increased 92 percent and 104 percent, respectively, since January. Overall, European users increased by 32 percent during that time.

Worldwide, the number of male users also far outweighed the number of females participating, representing 61 percent of the game’s users, London-based comScore said.

“Generally, PC online gaming tends to be more popular in Europe and Asia, so this is not terribly surprising,” In-Stat principal analyst Brian O’Rourke told TechNewsWorld. “But the fact that Europe accounts for close to two-thirds of ‘Second Life’ users is a bit surprising.”

More Free Time?

“Online games tend to be populated more by people from outside the United States,” agreed Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Morgan.

“The average true work week in Europe is under 40 hours, whereas in the United States it’s more like 50,” Pachter told TechNewsWorld. “So it stands to reason that Europeans have about 15 more hours a week of leisure time to spend on these games.”

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