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Monday, April 05, 2021

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Adeon Writer

MAU and DAU aren't too important either. What you want is CCU. That's the number you can't fake.

Wagner James Au

They're all important from the Silicon Valley perspective! It's why the tech world started getting bearish on Second Life after the hype phase -- the CCU was (and is) still pretty impressive, but MAU and DAU refused to grow.

Adeon Writer

Yet decades later CCU is still fine and that’s all you need to be successful

Nodoka Hanamura

Here's the thing.. the only place I've heard about Core is via NWN. No offense to Wagner, but that's not a good thing. I haven't heard anyone in my gaming or other circles talking about it, and here they are boasting large numbers.

It just feels to me like they're full of hot air with nothing to really back up their numbers. If I'm investing into a game or virtual world (as a potential future investor) - I want to see stable, sizable user concurrency rates and a stable positive cashflow at the very least. I'm not going to invest if it's a situation like Sansar where the userbase is dwindling and cashflow is most likely in the negatives. The only exception I would make in a hypothetical situation is if I was given an offer by Waterfield to buy LL off of them that I could afford, because I have a strong passion and love for Second Life, and would gladly burn money if it meant even a chance at getting her back into the limelight let alone financially stable for the next 20 years.

It feels to me that while Core isn't as bad off as Sansar, it's stalled and I personally would hesitate to even invest my personal resources (time, money, passion) in it let alone financial resources into it if the active userbase isn't showing signs of presence outside of its' bubble. I don't have ill will against Core, but it feels like a Steam vs. Epic situation all over again, where Goliath curbstomps David into the pavement, same with Sinespace, Sansar, Neos and IMVU trying to compete with Second Life and VRChat. It's an uphill battle, and we all know how these usually end.

Unless Core can do *something* to interest people in playing on their platform other than platitudes to developers and that naturally leads to the platform growing through person-to-person promotion and other natural methods as well as conventional advertising that engenders genuine interest in the product, I don't see it lasting 5 years.

Pulsar

I have read of Core recently on The Verge, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, etc. Not much though, but it was an open alpha just a year ago (with mixed reviews). Roblox target kids mostly, Core may target different ages and they also count on Unreal Engine and the lower fees. Time will tell.
Of those mentioned by Nodoka, compared to Second Life and VRChat:
- IMVU is doing pretty well: MAU keeps growing, 7 millions the past years; CCU about 2 times SL. The mobile version helped quite a bunch. So it's not them having to try hard to compete with SL now.
- NEOS started with tiny numbers on Steam in may 2018 (2-3 people online), but their average players online increases about 4X per year and now is around 130, growing. At this rate, they could reach 2k in 2023 and 8k in 2024. But it's not going to be like that forever: maybe next year they could become stagnant, or they could reach a critical mass and bloom, instead. Competing with VRChat now it's not so easy, but they offer something a bit different than usual, so their niche probably doesn't end there. If they play their cards well and they can make it more immediate to newcomers, they have some potential.
- Sansar was DoA. Competition was the last nail in the coffin later, but when Sansar was released to the public, VRChat had an average of 20/30 players online (so they were about even) and Sansar had more media coverage, since Linden Lab and Second Life were known already. And when in December 2018 Sansar landed on Steam, NEOS had an average of 3 players online there; now on Steam, NEOS average players online is about 10X of the dead horse Sansar.

Nodoka Hanamura

@Pulsar

On the topic of IMVU, You say that IMVU is doing fine and yet.. when I visited it for a (albeit cancelled) video I was working on, the presence of public users was pitiful (even for the time I was on) and the maximum amount of users in one room was very low compared to even SL, at 10 people per room.

It doesn't help that IMVU has been bleeding users to SL - How much is unknown but I often see former IMVU users coming to SL both in world and on the /r/SecondLife subreddit.

I'm not denying that IMVU is still holding on somehow - the mobile client sure as shit helped them out, but their platform is heavily fractured between the legacy desktop client and the IMVUNext Mobile client.

I do wish Core the best of luck, on a grander note - even as someone who's played Roblox for years, I respect the fact that they're trying to bring competition to the platform, It's just as I said, it's a david vs. goliath situation, and in tech that more often than not doesn't end well for David.

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Wagner James Au
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