Second Life Back on Nielsen's Latest Top 10 PC Game Ratings
Second Life has returned to the latest Top 10 PC Game* chart compiled by Nielsen, based on data the venerable ratings service gathers from application activity in 180,000+ US homes. The latest ratings are from March 2012, when SL reached slot number 9 with a .634 share. While this chart only measures client-based PC games, it's interesting that 5 of the top 10 (Warcraft, LOTRO, D&DO, Aion, and SL) are online worlds.
Notably, this jump up the charts also includes an increase of average minutes played:
Back in January 2012, SL was not only number 17 on Nielsen's chart, but counted only 240 minutes (i.e. 4 hours) on average played per week. Now in March, the average has more than doubled, to 499 minutes (i.e. over 8 hours a week.) I'm curious what accounts for such a huge spike in March, but maybe the March Penny Arcade comic on airship sex in SL (yes) had something to do with it.
Also notable: Earlier this month, financial analyst Candlestick argued that Linden Lab market capitalization had decreased $102 million from 2011, in part because SL had dropped from the Nielsen Top 10. Now that Second Life's back on the charts like the fricking Terminator of virtual worlds, Candlestick, will you bump up Linden Lab's valuation?
*Pre-emptive reply to Dwight Scrhute-esque "But Second Life is NOT a game" complaint: Yes, Second Life is not a traditional game by some definitions, but then, neither is The Sims 3 (often on Nielsen's top 10 list) and as a PC client that's primarily used for 3D graphics-driven, avatar-based entertainment and game-like interactivity, from Nielsen's perspective this is the only appropriate category to put SL in.