Second Life Player Retention 2014-21

24:30 – Discussion resumes – quick review of conversation so far.

25:00 – Brooke would not give out any numbers on player retention. She says they track every stage of sign up and use.

26:00 – DaveR on viewer download. He points out the viewer download is way faster than all other MMOG’s. The time needed is similar to downloading a new browser or Open Office/Libre Office. So, it is not the download that many see as keeping people out of SL.

The problems start after people are in-world. The Lab tosses new people directly into the content with no training. Carl suggests having three paths similar to the Community Gateway program. He expends on his ideas.

30:40 – Carl gets into the history of Help Islands and recounts them. Carl points out that the Lindens do not seem to remember what they have experimented with. The current process tends to lead new users to deserted regions of SL. Studies have shown player-to-player successful interactions are a huge factor, if not the single most important factor, in player retention.

Brooke agrees that new employees do not know what came before. This suggests a poor documentation system. But, most companies do not record their history. Knowledge gained goes with the people and remains an individual’s resource. As the company loses employees they lose experience and knowledge. So, to some extent they repeat their mistakes.

Good managers have these types of experimental projects written up and filed where people can use the information in the future. Small companies tend to ignore such tasks and is probably part of the reason they remain small.

Proctor & Gamble accumulated marketing data for decades. Their studies of the data resulting in many of the marketing theories we know now as basic methodology for promoting any product. P&G became a huge company because they know how to market. Tech people tend to miss these types of things.

34:20 – Saffia suggests getting a person’s interests as they sign up. Carl (I think) points out that Community Gateways were just that. But, it was discontinued a couple of years ago. The ending burned too many people, so it is unlikely such a thing could come back.

Brooke spins an answer. But the Gateways were ahead of her time.

Discussion wanders through several suggestions for how to educate new users in how to use the viewer and Second Life. I wrote about player retention and an orientation island being built at the time, 2012.

Lots of personal experiences about first experiences are related.

I didn’t hear any new ideas being presented.

43:44 – Saffia starts discussion on how to retain players. She uses Cloud Party’s built in short tutorial as an example. In CP people got a stake by having a house/nest. They were something like Linden Homes are now. But, Linden Homes provide no sense of community.

Discussion continues about ideas and bringing back old ideas.

Saffia notes that many of the adult hubs are more civil than the general/PG-Mod hubs where new users find themselves.

50:30 – Brooke comments on liking the ideas on community and says they are reading ideas on blogs they find interesting. But, is otherwise non-committal.

53:50 – Final points by DaveR and Brooke.

DaveR emphasizes how important player retention is to the Lindens and how it is a subject of continual discussion among Lindens.

55:00 – closing comments

57:42 end


There isn’t any new information in the discussion, at least it isn’t new to me. At best I gained a sense of where the Lindens are, but they did not add much to the conversation. We knew they test the web site and advertising for effectiveness. So, that is not news.

There is no word on what the Lindens may be thinking about the new user experience. Nor about what the stats are telling them. We seem to be at a place where nothing was working and non-working efforts have been discarded. So, it almost seem nothing is being done.

With the large surge of new users that Oculus will bring, it would seem to be important to have a warm effect greeting in place for those users. A one line entry in the Destination Guide on the web site and a category in the in-world guide don’t seem all that warm and Oculus friendly.

5 thoughts on “Second Life Player Retention 2014-21

    • Thanks. Every so often I do something that creates a bad link. I write in Word and paste to WP. I haven’t figured out what it is I do that makes most work and some fail. Sorry. And again thanks for saying something.

  1. I think that stopping community gateways was a big mistake. People felt involved in the Second Life adventure this way. They were organizing groups to have always somebody ready to welcome new comers. The sim would have a path with boards explaining the first steps on Second Life. Designers would give some of their creations as freebies for newcomers. And last, but not least, newcomers would meet people from their country, talking their language, and available at the same time as them. I haven’t seen it mentioned in your digest of the meeting, but language is a strong barrier for newcomers. Second Life is mostly english talking and writing, so it’s very difficult for someone who don’t speak english to be at ease here.

    • There are a number of people that think as you do. But, the tracking data apparently did not show good results from the community gateways. We can’t get any ‘real’ data from the Lab so we don’t know. Without any way to track new users from outside SL, we can’t find out. So, you could be right. I doubt the Lab would have canceled a program that was working well.

  2. Pingback: Drax Files Radio #21 | Nalates' Things & Stuff

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