SecondLife is about to set its own all-time highs for UAWs with growth of 1,729% YoY, while other metaverse projects continue their major downturn. Nevertheless, public spaces seem sparsely populated, suggesting the popularity might be a result of the live events or the creator-centric nature of the platform.
SecondLive isn’t a typo of Second Life — that’s a different game. Though I’m not sure if it’s “live” as in rhymes with “give”, or “live” as in rhymes with “hive”; I’ll go with the latter. Whatever the case, as so many metaverse projects slide gently into the murky waters of winter, SecondLive is on its own bull run that isn’t slowing down. Why? How? Let’s take a look.
The Term ‘Metaverse’ and Its Troubled Life So Far
The term “metaverse” was alien, and then it was thrown onto the FTSE 100 courtesy of Zuck via the least subtle business play ever seen. Then, as quickly as the term rose, it fell — well, sort of. For a while, everyone rallied around metaverse projects and we had “experts” on news segments to explain what the metaverse is (spoiler: they didn’t have a firm grasp on it then, and few do even today.) But, when it got cold outside in Cryptopia and generative art was no longer akin to printing money, the metaverse took a backseat. So, why hasn’t it gone completely?
The idea behind a metaverse is sound and we have decades of evidence for its popularity from a gaming perspective. In fact, the game with an eerily similar name, Second Life, is evidence of that. So too is my own tale: CyberTown: The Metaverse Game That Was 20 Years Too Early. The interest doesn’t stop there, however. There is an undeniable trend with modern life: everything is becoming digital. We sent letters, read newspapers, and we went shopping. Now, we almost exclusively send emails, read websites, and shop online. The digital world is convenient, expansive, and alluring, and so it just isn’t that farfetched to want a metaverse when it is looked at as the end goal of our digital lives becoming all-encompassing.
Blockchain technology has played a profound role in the furthering of our digital existence, offering ownership of digital items — a straightforward problem that was anything but straightforward to solve. This also acted as the green light for the metaverse and from it came a multitude of hopeful projects. Some, like Infinity Realms, aim for staggering realism through Unreal Engine 5, while others, like The Sandbox, focus on the familiar aesthetic of popular games such as Roblox and Minecraft. Some saw their digital world’s native cryptocurrencies rocket to Twitter howls of “to the moon”, while some remained under the radar and unable to conjure the meekest of blips.
As crypto and NFT prices plunged, we saw that the popular metaverse projects and the struggling ones each suffer similar fates: a painful downturn in players, trading volume, and transactions, or worse still, death. Metaverse projects such as The Sandbox had enough social clout, partnerships, and thoughtful folk behind it to survive, but there’s no doubt even they’ve been bleeding.
And yet, one metaverse game hasn’t been bleeding at all — quite the opposite, in fact. They didn’t partner with Snoop Dogg, Adidas, and The Walking Dead, they didn’t have a token that made some prophetic and/or lucky nerds tremendously wealthy, and they didn’t try to reinvent the wheel on-chain. So, how on earth do they have 140,000 Unique Active Wallets (UAWs) in the past 30 days, and how has that number increased by 1,729% since this time last year?!
What Is SecondLive?
SecondLive is a 3D, social-centric metaverse with a create-to-earn economy. The game is split into four sections:
Create Your Avatar
The avatar creation is pretty deep, with a lot of sliders to alter things like the angle of your eyes, and yet, I couldn’t seem to change my skin or eye color, and hairstyles and colors were gated behind collecting or buying them on the marketplace for $BNB.
There are a plethora of virtual spaces for you to visit, mostly for and by brands and communities, with DappRadar having the most popular space. Although it’s the most popular, it’s only had 5,500 visitors, but we’ll get back to the numbers later.
The Creator Tools are impressive, with the opportunity to create damn-near anything. The integration of Gobeti AI appears to be particularly effective. Take a look at this video tutorial, for example.
The marketplace is filled with many game items you can buy, from fashion for your avatar, complete avatars, dances, pets, and even a house. It also seems extremely active with a sale happening every couple of minutes at the time of writing this.
SecondLive: The Metaverse That Has Activated Its Second Life
SecondLive didn’t get the plaudits it perhaps deserved during the metaverse gold rush, primarily because the hype was fueled by metaverse tokens like Decentraland’s $MANA going parabolic. SecondLive is a dual-token economy and you can read about the tokenomics here, but finding the price of either token is borderline impossible, so good luck buying some! If anything though, that’s a reason for SecondLive’s popularity being more impressive, not less; it’s not merely people piling in speculatively.
Most metaverse projects — if you can see their numbers, which isn’t guaranteed — have graphs that look similar to the first half of the one below; nothing, then a spike, then a gradual descent back toward nothing.
What’s singular and interesting about SecondLive is the second half of the above graph. It shows that not only is it recovering, it’s peaking. Let’s look at a graph for the past 12 months:
The all-time high of UAWs for SecondLive was in April 2022 when it hit 60,000 in one day. Yesterday, SecondLive hit its second-highest UAWs for a single day: 59,720. By the end of this week, this metaverse will set its new record for daily UAWs. As you can see, transactions are also following the UAW upward trend almost identically, though it’s a way off of the 2022 record for transactions, admittedly. Again, as you can see from the thin blue lines, volume is also seeing a spike.
What makes this so curious is the antithetical position SecondLive is taking when contrasted with other metaverse projects, including highly successful ones. Here are the DappRadar top five metaverse projects for the last 30 days:
SecondLive has found a second life, it seems.
Is SecondLive Popular?
That seems like an easy question to answer given the above. It’s also seemingly easy to answer based on SecondLive using two similar statistics in most marketing material:
SecondLive is a hub for Metaverse inhabitants. More than 1 million users are gathering here to facilitate self-expression, unleash creativity and build a dreaming parallel universe. Leading invested by Binance Labs, SecondLive team is expertise in virtual space creation for large-scale events and Metaverse infrastructure building. With the assistance of UGC and AI-generated content, SecondLive will create a Web3 open Metaverse that serves 1 billion people.
I suspect that the “1 billion people” stat is merely the number of people who have interacted with web3 in one way or another. But, the 1 million users is interesting. Again, I suspect that is the lifetime number of accounts created, and the graphs above do indicate a substantial playerbase, but some numbers confuse me.
For example, on Android, the SecondLive app only has 10,000 downloads, and although we can’t see the Apple App Store downloads across iPhone and iPad, we can see it has one rating. Are we to take from this that SecondLive is almost exclusively browser-based and PC-based given the dominance of mobile in gaming? I’m not suggesting anything untoward, but I’m interested to know on what platform the majority of the 60,000 UAWs are engaging with the game.
Furthermore, if you’ll allow for some circumstantial evidence, I couldn’t find a single player in a space. It did appear — as you can see above — that there were perhaps several hundred in the live events section, but I needed to be whitelisted to enter. Also, I believe the number in the top right of each event is “total visits” not “current visitors”, but I couldn’t confirm as I couldn’t get in any!
Nevertheless, SecondLive has an enormous 500,000 followers on Twitter/X and nearly 250,000 members on Discord (complete with a channel where someone new says “GM” every 2 minutes — absurd). Again, the marketplace was positively buzzing too, which is indicative of an active creator economy.
So, the answer to “Is SecondLive popular?” is complicated. On the one hand, yes it is, clearly so. On the other, it’s quite difficult to find any other players, which is bizarre.
SecondLive is an enigma. It is clearly popular by many metrics and I can’t imagine why those numbers would be bots, but it also feels like a “dead mall” to borrow Folding Ideas’ words. I would guess that SecondLive has become popular as a digital event space and creator hub, though that’s difficult to tell from the outside. If I could have joined one of the popular live events, perhaps it would have all clicked.
One element of this metaverse is refreshing, at least: the developers are busy. Many web3 projects have either abandoned ship or are slowly going down with it, but SecondLive is integrating multiple AI tools, including Calzone, which allows the creation of spaces with prompts.
SecondLive is trending upward in a way we haven’t seen a web3 gaming or metaverse project do for some time. While its success might be elusive, you will want to keep your eye on this one — SecondLive is making moves.