As we all know, Sansar® is not giving the expected results of Linden Lab®, representing, to date, an expense and indeed not a company.
Anyone who has entered Sansar® at least once knows its limitations and has guessed the reasons for this failure that should have been understood by LL before embarking on this (shipwreck) adventure.
Moreover, the “initial secrecy from CIA” and the access allowed to a few creators, now makes everything even more curious … all this confidentiality for something that currently interests very few.
The reasons for the failure of Sansar® are very well known and already analyzed and can be summarized in this short list:
- Interactivity is missing: that is, you enter Sansar®, look … all very beautiful and realistic, but … then? You can not use the objects you see or interact physically with other users. The result? A boring environment. Without interactivity, Sansar® becomes a “museum” accessible in VR and nothing more.
- All is different from Second Life®: it is presumed that Sansar® is primarily addressed to SL® inhabitants (even if not only), but they have many difficulties in learning how to use and customize the 3D environment through experiences. Hardly anyone who has already struggled to understand SL® will invest further time in learning Sansar®.
- Ok, we admit that you do not care about interactivity and you have become an excellent creator also in Sansar® … but you’re alone. Oh yes, because in Sansar® there are very few users logged in and the maximum tip was 50 souls simultaneously present in the game (see article New World Notes).
- The avatars are ugly … but really really ugly. Ok, you do not want to be a fashion blogger, but let’s face it, logging in and seeing yourself as Fantozzi’s daughter is not gratifying. I am amazed that after a long time Sansar® has not yet managed to improve the appearance of the characters.
- Infinite loading times of experiences: finally enter Sansar® after a long login, visit an experience and unfortunately decide to change experience … I had never done it! As nothing you find yourself staring at the monitor waiting for signs of life and the loading bar starts to have a hypnotizing effect. Ok, I’m going to have a coffee.
And although Sansar® has some official experience of connecting Spielberg’s success, Ready Player One, released at the end of March, hyper-realistic virtual world traffic does not improve.
The opinions of those who have tried the VR platform are so unique that I have the impression that Sansar® will never succeed in raising its fate. I do not want to be defeatist, but I really do not see any future prospects. In any case, there are good experiences that deserve to be told so I will continue to talk about it, even if interactivity is still lacking.
I’m interested in knowing your opinions on Sansar®, so feel free to comment.
Among the many comments received on Social, Blog, and in-world, I was very impressed by the Vassay that you find at the bottom of the article. Her point of view (different from mine and probably from an active user of Sansar®), deserves to be highlighted to give more in-depth information on the VR implemented by the LL.
Let’s see point by point how Vassay thinks.
At point number 1, I say, lack of interactivity, or the possibility of interacting with objects.
Vassay: There is some level of interactivity already, and it will only be more varied with time. For now, there’s two dynamic games and a lot of interactive environments.
In point number 2 I say: everything is different from SL®, so it is challenging to learn again how to customize the environment.
Vassay: Time and time again, Sansar is not SL. It is an evolution of social space, and shouldn’t be compared. You don’t compare jets to cars, or rickshaws, right?
At point number 3 I say, there is little turnout, you enter the virtual world and you do not meet almost anyone.
Vassay: Seeing as Sansar is still in “Creative Beta,” that shouldn’t be a concern. Once again, let’s compare concurrent numbers with SL’s numbers in 2003, for example. Or did you think Sansar would magically skip 15 years and have 10 million users already?
At point number 4 I say: avatars are ugly, it would be essential to improve this aspect to attract more people.
Vassay: I partially agree with you, I don’t like avatars very much. But calling them ugly? Have you looked at other social spaces default avatars lately? Even SL default avatars look like piles of polygons. Sansar’s avatars at least resemble human beings, and if you took time to actually attend any of community meetings, you would see, that the avatars feel very much alive, especially when people are talking. Sansar has a great technology that recognizes phonemes and moves the face accordingly. The result is very emotional and quite convincingly moving face.
In point number 5 I say: the loading times of the experiences are too long.
Vassay: Again, partially agree. Yes, it takes time to load an experience. But then again, there are different experiences. Some load almost instantly, some take longer to load. If you want a comparison with oh so beloved SL, just tell me honestly, how much time does it take to FULLY load some big, region, like InSilico? Sansar is deliberately loading all the resources before putting user inside so that they would have the best experience. Yes, sometimes you have to wait. But if you want to see a detailed experience, that is bigger than a room, there is no way in the world it would load quickly.
In our dialogue, I point out to her that there has not been a mass migration from SL® to Sansar® and she answers me that way.
Vassay: Concerning SL population migration, and a small number of new users – it’s two-fold.
First, most SL users run it on 10+year old machines, and they don’t have the ability/desire to upgrade just for prettier graphics. They feel great where they are now and see no point in moving somewhere else. Add the fear of innovations, fear of losing contacts, and most important (but silly, if thought through), fear of losing inventory. These are most prominent reasons that keep people in SL.
Second, my understanding is that LL envisions completely different age and interest groups for SL and Sansar. SL is mostly populated by mature people, most well over 40, some as high as 90+. Sansar, on the other hand, is a shiny VR world, targeted for a younger audience. My guess would be 20-40 for the target demographic, maybe with even younger users down the line.
What I’m trying to say, Sansar is a different product, posed for a different group of people. Adoption will be of course slower, because of a different time, market saturation, user age and hardware requirements.
I note to Vassay that LL also has its responsibilities for creating unfulfilled expectations. For example, in the beginning, Sansar® has been promoted as the future of mobile phone VR, a perspective that has proved to be challenging to implement. Furthermore, LL was not clear from the beginning about the role to be given to Sansar®, inviting the creators of Second Life® to enter to give life to projects. If we say we do not have to compare Sansar® with Second Life®, that’s fine, but that should have been clear from the beginning.
Vassay: Yes, a lot of disappointment comes from unmet expectations. Partly it is LL’s fault, partly – people’s. We will see how it will all untangle in the future, but I hope LL will be more clear about WHAT exactly Sansar is supposed to be so that people wouldn’t get disappointed once they come inside.
Thanks, Vassay, your support has been precious.