In the midst of a Second Life article that picks on the Linden boys for glibly announcing they’ve reached 2 million accounts (including the mysterious fact that they’ve gotten 1 million new accounts in the last 2 months, but still seem to average 14K players a night), Van Hemlock makes the following observation:
Residents Logged in in the Last 60 Days: 809,960
Accounts signed up in the last 58 Days: 1,000,000
Add two days’s worth (34,482, from above): 1,034,482 signups in 60 days
1,034,482 – 809,960 = 224,522
I might be getting confused with definitions here, but doesn’t that mean 224,522 people have made a Second Life account, but have never used it to log in even once, not even to have a look for an hour and get bored? How does that work? It gets worse if you take into account that many of the 809,960 logins are existing residents who had signed up prior to the one million mark, and are still logging in. That can’t be right – more than 12.5% of all SL Residents have NEVER logged in EVER?
Yeah, that’s about right. ALL MMOs get this – it’s one of the more mysterious things about the industry. I’ve seen one standard MMO quote that roughly 10% of the people who buy boxes for their game never log in, and another 5% create an account but never log into a game – the percentages vary from game to game, but are never insubstantial. In a pay-for subscription model, the latter group would be considered by cynics to be ‘the perfect customers’.
Linden Labs’ 12% makes sense when you consider that its a free trial. There’s no financial incentive to play. Probably a bunch of people got distracted between the time they created their account, and the time they downloaded the game. Perhaps they even got distracted by a story about how their credit card information isn’t safe.