Linden Lab is pleased to announce results for the 3rd quarter of 2008. The charts and details below indicate that Q3 was a very strong quarter in Second Life with significant growth in land, user hours and the inworld economy. The inworld economy was unusually strong in September, with users spending 10% more per hour than the year to date average. Inworld transactions in October declined to levels more consistent with the year to date averages.
October results indicate that we should expect land growth to slow in Q4 as Residents reconfigure their land holdings to accommodate the change in pricing and addition of the “Homestead” island type.
User Hours Top 100 Million During Q3. In Q3, Residents spent 102.8 million hours in Second Life, up 8% from Q2 and 45% from the same quarter last year. Peak concurrent users of 71,000 grew 7% over Q2 and approximately 31% over Q3 of last year. In October user hours climbed to a record 37 million hours up 11.4% from the prior month.
Residents Own Nearly 2 Billion Square Meters of Land. Land mass in Second Life grew 23% in Q3 to just under 2 billion square meters. This is an increase of 124% year-over-year. The surge in land growth is partially attributable to the launch of lower-priced Openspace regions earlier this year. October results indicate that we should expect land growth to slow in Q4 as Residents reconfigure their land holdings to accommodate the change in pricing and addition of the “Homestead” island type. We expect to see some Residents consolidate their holdings to adjust to the new pricing and product types.
Resident-to-Resident Transactions Top $100 Million. Total Resident-to-Resident transactions, a measure of the gross domestic product in Second Life, grew 21% from the prior quarter to $102M - or just under $1.00 per user hour. The Q3 total translates to an annualized rate of $408 million. By breaking $100M for the first time since Q2 2007, the Second Life economy has now fully recovered from the restriction placed on games of chance in Second Life in mid-2007.
In August and September, Residents spent an average of $0.91 and $0.96 per user hour compared to a year-to-date average of $0.87 per user hour. In October, however, spend per user hour was more in line with the YTD average. As a result, the economy shrunk 11% from L$9.9 billion in September to L$8.8 billion in October. The economy appears to have returned in November to the historical average rate of spend per user hour.
LindeX Grew 4.0%. Volume on the LindeX, our virtual currency exchange where users can buy and sell our inworld micro-payment currency, grew 4.0% over Q2 to $28 million. The amount of all the Linden Dollars in circulation grew 4.5% over Q2 to $5.5 billion Linden dollars or just over $20 million USD. The exchange rate remained steady against the USD at 267 Linden Dollars to one USD.