Ever the leader in the micro-transaction business model, online social empire Second Life has just reported its sales have pushed beyond the $1 billion mark. Linden Lab, the minds behind the project, have also reported that the virtual economy grew an impressive 94% between the 2008 and 2009 second fiscal quarters. “Now at nearly USD50 million each month in user-to-user transactions, the Second Life economy is on an annual run rate of more than a half billion US dollars, making Second Life the largest virtual economy in the industry,” said Linden Lab. User hours spent in-community also boasted a triumphant year-over-year upswing, reaching an all-time of 126 million in Q2 2009.
“These metrics give a sense of some key aspects of Second Life — the deeply engaging nature of the 3D world, the immense use of Second Life as a communications platform and the scale and strength of the economy based on the huge number of unique virtual goods users are creating,” commented Mark Kingdon, CEO, Linden Lab. “These numbers are a snapshot of the success of Second Life and its Residents today, and a validation of Linden Lab’s leadership in the virtual worlds space, but there’s much more to come. This is a year of renovation for Second Life, and we are well positioned for reinvigorating our growth in 2010 with a range of strategic initiatives that will enhance the experience for existing Residents and propel our expansion with new users.”