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Second Life Stays on Nielsen's Latest Top 10 Played PC Games & Increases Total Share, Engagement

Top PC game titles April 2012

Second Life has maintained its position on the latest Top 10 most played PC Game chart from Nielsen ratings, based on data the service gathers from application activity in 180,000+ US homes. This latest Top 10 chart is from April 2012 (at left, click to embiggenate), with a .867 audience share and 1.543% of the total minutes played (or TMP) on PC games for that month*. That's an increase from the March 2012 ratings, when SL had a .634 share and 1.263% of TMP.

However, while share has grown, average minutes played per week has dropped:

For SL, it was 499 per week in the March 2012 lists, and has sunk to 401 minutes on the April chart. (I.E. from about 8.5 hours a week, to just under 7 hours a week.) However, other top MMOs also saw a drop in average play time -- WoW, for example, went from 534 minutes average in March to 466; LOTRO, from 477 to 348. Comparing March and April, there's a general drop in play time for most games on the list, so my guess is this reflects a seasonal change, as the real world (at least in the West) gets warmer, and outdoor fun becomes a more viable alternative.

*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, as a PC-based 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.

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Ener Hax

SL is a game imo, or at least i viewed it that way - the goal being to win real money and fill your estate with happy customers

but it is many things to many people - Thanks Hamlet!

Amanda Dallin

"...so my guess is this reflects a seasonal change, as the real world (at least in the West) gets warmer, and outdoor fun becomes a more viable alternative."

I think you mean at least in the Northern Hemisphere, since East/West has nothing to do with Seasons.

Hitomi Tiponi

Why does it take Nielsen two and a half months to issue these figures - or are they issued to 'premium' subscribers earlier?

foneco zuzu

And if one may recall, the fact that now at least sim crossings seems to be really solved (I did a fly yesterday across black sea at low level, at 100 speed, with my soulmate and we didn't crash once, even after more then 50 sims crossed) it will make a lot more enjoy some of the unknown beauties of SL, to explore mainland by boat or plane or bike or whatever!
And those explorers are not a minority!

Amanda Dallin

Sim xings have been better for sometime now but I understand we might have sim xing issues for a while until all of SL is on a server version with the new version of Havoc for path finding. Going from a server with one version of Havoc to one with another version could cause problems.

Kadah Coba

"However, while share has grown, average minutes played per week has dropped:

For SL, it was 499 per week in the March 2012 lists, and has sunk to 401 minutes on the April chart. (I.E. from about 8.5 hours a week, to just under 7 hours a week.)"

My own data doesn't support this, but given how tiny Nielsen's sample set is, their numbers are understandable.
The average I'm seeing per avatar is in the low 600's minutes/wk (some viewers are much higher though), up from around 500 and something a year ago. Note that is per avatar and not per user or per "household".

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