In the Press: discussing Sansar and Second Life with TNW

Second Life: "almost as diverse as the physical world we live in" - Ebbe Altberg
Second Life: “almost as diverse as the physical world we live in” – Ebbe Altberg

Martin Bryant, Editor-at-Large at The Next Web caught up with Linden Lab’s CEO, Ebbe Altberg, in Dublin at the start of November, where they had both been attending the 2015 Web summit conference.

During a 10-minute audio interview, Mr. Bryant offers a series of questions which, while they may not reveal anything new to those engaged in Second Life or following the unfolding news about “Project Sansar”, nevertheless cover interesting ground and offer food for thought on a number of fronts.

Martin Bryant, Editor-at-large for The Next Web, discusses SL and "Project Sansar" with Ebbe Altberg
Martin Bryant, Editor-at-large for The Next Web

The recording is prefaced with a series of useful bullet points under the title Think Second Life died? It has a higher GDP than some countries, itself is an eye-catching title, which help put some perspective on just what Second Life has actually managed to achieve over 12 years, and sets the stage for the broader discussion.

The interview starts from the position that the media have tended to get Second Life wrong, noting that far from having failed or gone away, it is still operating, still engaged some 900,000 active users every month, just 200,000 a month down from when it hit a peak of around 1.1 million 7+ years ago. Not only do these figures tend to highlight Second Life’s (albeit very niche) ability to attract and hold an audience, they also put oft-repeated claims that people are somehow leaving Second Life en masse into perspective. The outward trickle of active users is there, but it’s hardly a the deluge all too often portrayed. And those who remain are still capable of powering an economy with a GDP of some US $500 million.

From here, the conversations travels by way of the kind of virtual goods on offer inside Second Life to arrive at a question about the “typical” Second Life user, which generates a well-rounded reply.

Well, it’s a huge variety … there’s no typical about it. It’s like asking, “what’s a typical person from Ireland?” There are educators, there are students, there are health professionals, there are patients, there are fashion fashionistas, there’s partiers, gamers, role-players. People just socialise around pretty much anything you can think of. It’s almost as diverse as the physical world we live in.

Further into the conversation, there is a re-emphasis that even with “Project Sansar” coming along, there are no plans on the part of the Lab to discontinue Second Life, with Ebbe again demonstrating a pragmatic view on the amount of investment users of Second Life have made in the platform.

Second Life will continue. We have no plans to shut down Second life or forcibly migrate users from one to the other. So users can ultimate choose where they want to spend their time. And there are probably so users that have spent so much time creating incredible communities around all kinds of interesting subject matter that might just fine it too much effort to do it all over again on a new platform. so they can stay in Second Life, that’s fine.

Obviously, if the vast majority of users in Second Life opt to make a full transition to “Project Sansar”, then it will call into question how long SL can remain a commercially viable platform – but is this likely to happen overnight? Probably not  (which is not to say it won’t, at some point happen) over time). The transition is liable to be gradual, simply because it is going to take “Project Sansar” to grow to a level of sophistication offered by SL: as the Lab has made clear throughout 2015, everything isn’t simply going to be in place when the open alpha commences in early 2016 – that’s why they’re calling it an “alpha”.

An image from the Project Sansar: looking to the future of VR
An image from the Project Sansar: looking to the future of VR

The more detailed discussion of  “Project Sansar” starts with a reiteration that it is being specifically – but not exclusively – developed to operate with coming plethora of VR HMDs and other devices, and that it will be “consumable” (i.e. accessed via) computers (initially PCs) and mobile devices. It is here that mention is made of something that may have been missed in broader discussions about the new platform: there will be no “one-size-fits all” client / viewer.

Instead, client functionality will be determined by client device capability. If you’re on a PC platform, you’ll have access to the full range of capabilities to both “consume” (that is, access, use and participate in) “Project Sansar” experiences and you’ll have access to the tools to enable the creation of those experiences. If you’re using a mobile device, you’ll be able to “consume” experiences, but not the tools to build them. Which makes sense.

Ebbe Altberg: talking Second Life, "Project Sansar" and virtual currency compliance with TNW's Martin Bryant
Ebbe Altberg: offering a good perspective on LL, SL and “Project Sansar” for TNW readers / listeners

In discussing the likely impact of VR, Ebbe takes the pragmatic view that things aren’t going to happen overnight, just because the first generation of high-end headsets are going to appear in a few months; it’s going to take time for the market to grow, and there is still much more to be sorted out.

This is a view I hold myself, so no argument from me. However, where I do perhaps hold a differing view on things is to just how important avatar based virtual experiences are actually going to be outside of some very niche environments.

Even if VR isn’t overhauled by AR in terms of practical ease-of-use, widespread practical applications, convenience, and appeal, I also cannot help but feel consumer-focused VR might offer such incredible opportunities for immersion, entertainment, training, etc., that it will see the use of avatar focused virtual environments remain somewhat marginalised in terms of acceptance with the greater VR community, just as Second Life has been marginalised with the greater on-line social community.

However, it’s the discussion around virtual economies and financial compliance which particularly piqued my interest. When this was first mentioned in a public forums as a area of focus for the Lab, during SL12B in June, the amount of that focus was somewhat downplayed, with Ebbe saying  in relation to it and the Lab’s other areas of concentration, “Well, I wouldn’t say they’re all equal; but it’s a focus area”.


Since then as I’ve recently reported, the Lab has established a new subsidiary called Tilia Inc, which is, to quote Peter Gray, the Lab’s Global Director of Communications, “focused on payments and the compliance work associated with operating virtual economies, and it will provide services for both Second Life and Project Sansar.” So it is interesting to note that the compliance work is being increasingly headlined by the Lab; and I again find myself wondering if the Lab have larger plans for Tilia Inc., than have so far been indicated, and what might sit behind the “Tilia” trademark filing.

But if nothing else, the emphasis on this compliance work serves as a useful reminder to the Lab’s potential competition in the virtual spaces market that they do have a considerable head start when it comes to operating a successful and trusted virtual currency and economy. One some competitors may find harder to match than they may think.

It’s also interesting in nothing the hint that perhaps Blocksworld, which recently added the ability for users to create and sell their own creations to other users, added to the Linden Dollar stable in the future.

Version 1.28.1 of Blocksworld introduced a marketplace where users could sell and buy their own creations using Coins - might the platform yet enter the L$ arena?
Version 1.28.1 of Blocksworld introduced a marketplace where users can  sell and buy their own creations using Coins – might the platform yet enter the L$ arena?

At just over 10 minutes in length, this is an excellent conversation, with Martin Bryant pitching things concisely and clearly, offering TNW readers the opportunity to get a clear-cut insight into Linden Lab, Second Life and “Project Sansar”. In turn,  Ebbe Altberg handles the questions in his usual easy-going style.

While nothing specifically “new” is added to the growing file of information about “Project Sansar”, the very breadth of the interview makes it a more than worthwhile listen. As such, I’ve taken the liberty of embedding the full TNW soundcloud audio below.

All audio elements courtesy of The Next Web.


36 thoughts on “In the Press: discussing Sansar and Second Life with TNW

  1. On another note the Second Life grid is below 25000 sims this week. Ebbe lost another 50 sims as usual. There are only 17888 private sims in Second Life now. 11000 of those sims are owned by Linden Lab friends who receive huge tier reductions.

    The Lindex dropped and is again struggling. But all is well in Linden Lab land, in three months millions will be in Sansar using 550 US$ Hydra controllers while wearing 350 US$ Oculus Rift headsets.

    I think Ebbe Altberg will be going easy out of the door soon.


    1. Region losses this week were 44. 20 of those were not public lands, but QA regions for Project Barney (therefore not tier generating). Overall, region losses have shown a 3.8% slow-down compared to 2014, which was slower than 2013 which was slower than 2012.

      See? numbers can demonstrate a lot of things without actually proving anything of significance, other than there is a downward trend, but it is slow enough to support SL for several more years unless something genuinely dramatic happens to change that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 712 private sims were lost the previous 10 months

        46 million 661 thousand 632 square meters of land was lost

        712 private sims lost that is almost one of the largest estates that vanished from the grid.

        and this is not a unique given, it is a cycle that keeps going year after year.

        Now if it were only land but NOOOO

        Let us look at the Lindex transactions per day. During the top years for Second Life residents did transact 1 million real US$ per day in the economy.

        Today it is not 1 million US$ that gets transacted, it is 300000 US$ per day or minus 70%

        Half of it goes to Linden to pay tier the other half goes to creators and somewhat legal gambling euh gaming places.

        Helloooooooo !

        When the GDP of a country would go -70% what would this tell you?

        When ebay transactions would go -70% in volume what would that tell you?


        1. Yes, yes, yes. Land is declining. Active users are declining. No-one is disputing that.


          • The rate of decline for private land has slowed by 71.52% since 2012. (712 regions in the first 10 months of 2015 compared to a loss 2,523 region in the first 10 months of 2012). Ergo, the rate of loss in revenue to the Lab has also slowed
          • Active users are declining. However, over 7.5 years, the number has fallen by just 200,000, or 27,000 a year

          So, even accounting for the fact there is a decline, the rate of the decline – the slowing of region losses and the relatively low numbers of people leaving SL – point to the platform having a good few years (not months as you’ve elsewhere stated) of life left.

          Now. Economy. Let’s look at some actual figures.

          • In 2009, the GDP of Second Life was estimated at $567 million. In 2015, it is said to be $500 million. That’s a decline of just $67 million.
          • In 2009, users cashed out around $50 million. In 2015 than had increased very slightly to $60 million
          • Currently, the Lab’s revenue stream from land would appear to be on a par with the pre OpenSpace / Homestead bubble. The precise revenue figure from other sources is unknown, by was reported to be around 20% of the total. there is no reason to beleive this has substantially declined (if anything, the figures would suggest the amount has increased, offering a very slight compensation for tier revenue losses.

            So again, while the situation isn’t entirely all bright sunshine and growth, growth growth, as it was back in the platform’s heyday, it still isn’t as bad as you seem to want to portray, and the signed still point to SL having some years of life left in it. Which is why I actually say good for the Lab in looking to the future and taking the route they’re taking. At least it offers them (and us) the opportunity to continue into that future, rather than seeing everything dwindle away.

            Liked by 1 person

          1. ok when the GDP of Second Life is 500 million in 2015 how come the average daily user to user transactions are 300 K US$

            300 K US$ per day gives you a turnover of about 110 million. Not the 500 million you mention.

            I would like to see a real audit made on Second Life

            Why did Linden suddenly hide their economical data a couple of years back?

            I am talking about in world economy data. The transactions between residents. Linden Lab bragged how 1 million US$ got transacted between users per day. These days that number is only 300K US$ or a decline of 70%

            That is the number that is important.


            1. And previously the “important” number was concurrency, and prior to that region numbers, and prior to that the Lab’s profits, and prior to that…

              Again, for a final point of clarity. No-one is saying things are “fantastic”; no-one is saying the decline isn’t there. What people are saying is that it’s nowhere near as terminal as Belinda would for some reason like to paint. There’s still a good few years left before that happens.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds OK to me. A certain hesitance has always been present in his delivery. Could be general nervousness (we have no idea if he had just come off-stage from addressing the audience at the Web Submit for example), or it could simply be the manner in which he thinks and translates thoughts into English. Is it indicative that he’s unconvinced of anything? I wouldn’t say so.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It could be also he has no clue what he is talking about or the future of his company. Fact is he sounds nervous. When you are confident about your company and business and you know what you are doing you do not sound nervous when questions are asked.


  2. Why do I get the feeling that “Belinda” is one of those people who left SL in 2010, is bitter that it is even active today, gripes about it on the forums, and lives to promote the idea that LL is bleeding to death with every region lost. These “sky-is-falling” doomsayers are proven wrong every year, yet they seem to enjoy being the dark cloud over a very successful platform. Simply pointless…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Belinda is very active dear. Belinda wants to see actual correct numbers. Belinda only looks at numbers, numbers of sim sales, numbers of concurrent logged in users. Numbers of daily transaction volume in Linden Dollars. Belinda does not listen to what Linden Lab tries to spin in front of people their eyes.

      Belinda needs to see growth in sales, not a bunch of residents in world caming together on sex sims. The only thing Belinda bumps in are nude beaches and naturist resorts.

      Where is all the normal activity? Why does the place looks like a sex garden?

      Belinda has very valid concerns. Linden and their fan girls keep screaming how everything is fantasic, if that is the case why are there only economical losses?

      Why do people keep dumping their land if it is all so great?


  3. Tell me this.

    When the Lindex has a daily volume between 70 and 100 million. An average of 80 million Linden Dollars which is 322000 US$ per day.

    322000 times 365 days = 117.741.935 US a year or 118 Million

    118 million isn’t anywhere near the 500 million Linden Lab is claiming.

    Where is the other 390 million Inara ?

    This could mean 390 million changes hands between avatars in world each day without being cashed out. That would be inflating the GDP in an artificial manner by a large magnitude.


  4. According to historical charts the Lindex only did $119 million dollars in 2010, which was an increase of 2.8 percent over 2009 and a number within 1% of what you calculate for the current volume. Obviously, the numbers you cited earlier also “inflated the GDP in an artificial manner by a large magnitude,” but you then compared them to numbers meaning something completely different.


    1. A reason extra to question these numbers. This would mean the economy has about the same strength today as it did in 2010.

      There is a lot less mainland in use, there are no new users actively spending. I do not see houses, people used to buy 8000 Linden houses, now people buy 999 Linden houses. Everything costs a lot less and there are less users.

      Still that transaction volume on the Lindex runs at almost exactly the same as in 2010 (and that number is nowhere near the 500 million that Altberg likes to spin).

      You had a lot of gambling (skill gaming such as Zyngo) which must have generated a lot of cash flow. That has also been reduced a lot.

      So everywhere I look it is less, less less, but even when calculating the volume I get 117 million a year which is a number I doubt if it is legit.

      According to Inara Pey that number should be 500 million.

      So if anyone here can point me where that 500 million comes from I am interested to find out.

      Also when people in world would be reselling breedable pets like mad or put money in illegal skill games to generate that 500 million real Dollars is that a GDP?

      Add all the tier fees Linden collects these days which is 42 million per year, then you have 150 million. Again where is the 500 million ?

      Until someone here can show me where this 500 million yearly GDP comes from I call this a huge BOGUS figure.

      Like I wrote earlier I would like to see a real audit on Second Life


  5. Assuming gloom and doom of the nth kind….a great wonder is the affect that Sansar and all the press, fanfare, and 3D awareness and interest will garner on Second Life? How much new interest will be generated? Will it offset the influx of SL users into Sansar? Second Life maybe going the way of Walmart. Belt-tightening seems to be the order-of-the-day for casual-run-at-loss ventures due to egos, fun, and excess expendable cash. If we have 100 stores selling hair, are we really going to suffer if we end up only have 80 or 70? Walmart is trimming its offerings. of course other factors can be argued as to they whys or trimming but regardless of the reason, i don’t need 8 size offerings of a product, 2 or 3 is plenty. SL may be too fat and a trim-down is in order. A correction may have been long over-due. Fot those remaining interests and ventures able to survive the chicken-little syndrome and weather the mis-labled “2nd coming of SL’, there will be less pie-eaters to share pie with, albeit a bit less pie but enough to carry the torch to the bank or Paypal.


  6. Inara Pey you like to back everything up with stats. Here is a stat for you:

    In the year 2014 previous year the Second Life grid lost 628 sims in 50 weeks

    This year in 43 weeks Inara Pey in 2015 the grid lost 712 sims

    Now instead of spinning numbers as you do this is in fact an INCREASE IN THE DECLINE and not as like you described a slow down.

    Now previous year Inara Pey the grid lost 12.96 sims per week

    This year the grid lost 16.55 sims per week

    This is an accelerated decline of 21.7%

    So the decline in 2015 is in fact 21.7% worse compared to the decline in 2014

    You shouldn’t spin statistics to make it look like there is nothing going on while there is an increase in region losses compared to the previous year.


    1. In the year 2012, the grid lost 2,523 regions in the first 10 months.
      In the year 2015, the grid lost 712 regions in the first 10 months.

      That’s still 71.52% less that in the grid’s worst recorded year for region losses, when the rate was such that it was hard to see SL continuing for more that about 2-3 years were that rate maintained. Right now the rate has increased. Will that continue? We don’t know. Back in 2012, people were making the case for the end of SL being “months” away based on the losses being experienced then; yet we’re still here three years on, the point at which LL may well have been facing real difficulties in terms of revenue generation through tier had the 2012 decline continued unabated.

      Again: to repeat myself a final time. No-one is denying regions are falling, active users are falling. The difference is, you seem to be tying to persistently make the case that the decline is such that the end is just months away – to quote: “I do not know how many months it will remain still but it is a very bad situation.” I don’t agree with that analysis. I look at the numbers and consider SL to have several more years life left in it.


      1. It is not the idea we keep standing around looking how the cow drowns. It is the idea to put a halt to the decline by removing the source of the decline.

        With your mentality Inara you would stand by the lake and look how the cow is drowning.

        “Ow it is ok, at this rate the cow still has about 2 days to live. It is ok cow, enjoy the two days you still have.”

        “Hi madam, your vains are stuffed with cholesterol, the postive side is that when you keep eating those 10 hamburgers each day you still have 16 months before your heart attack. Do enjoy those 16 months and your visitors to McDonalds”

        Good thing society doesn’t live in Inara Pey world isn’t it?


          1. I did not say the cow did drown. I say the cow is busy drowning right now.

            I did not and do not say Second Life is a dead duck anyway. I do say if no action is taken really soon Second Life will indeed only last for a couple of more years at most. This could be 6 months as well depending on what Linden Lab will do.


  7. So now instead of Altberg his retarded numbers backed up by skewed stats we have a GDP of 117 million in combination with a region decline that is accelerating by more than 20% compared to the previous year.

    And we should all keep calm and act like everything is super in Linden Lab land.

    Ow and CEO Altberg is God’s greatest gift to society.


  8. Be on the blake sea and you will not see any lack of “normal activities”.
    But i do agree that Ebbe does not have a clue about what Second Life can be now.
    But i do doubt any in second life is stopping to use it waiting for Sansar, in fact how many even know about it?
    The main reason of decline is the lack of support to the major communities, Brasilian, french, German and also the rl decline on many of those countries that does not alow many to be in sl as they wish anymore.
    No matter what one can say, is not Sansar that is the hope but less tiers.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ZZPearlbottom,. Oh it’s so true you see lots of “normal activities” on the Blake Sea. That is a major reason my SL husband and I sold our mainland holdings and are now residents on a sim that is connected to the Blake Sea. It’s a pleasure to not have to deal with the weirdness of the mainland. To give an analogy to physical life it is really an adult area definitely not meaning sexual but an area of mature residents who want to enjoy living their second life and not be forced to deal with the weirdness of some areas of SL.
    About Ebbe I agree he does not have a clue about what SL can be. I doubt he really wants to be bothered. Second Life is really too big, diverse, and changes too rapidly for one person, including me, to understand. Based the labs past history I think Ebbe will be gone by the end of 2017. Not because he is doing a bad job but a management change will start to happen and Sansar will almost be running on automatic so the challenge will be gone since he will not have a lot of new things to do or promote.
    I stopped using SL for a couple of months while I found out more about Sansar and other alternatives like open sim. I didn’t like what I found out and came back to SL and made changes like moving that I think will set me up for what I believe will be the long term future of SL. My biggest problem with open sims was they were not contiguous and Sansar will be the same. Yes, there will be a reduction in tier.
    Here is what I think will happen with SL and Sansar.
    • Sansar will be open alpha by the start third quarter of 2016. Probably sooner if you have experience in SL.
    • For the rest of 2016 there will be loss of half the regular SL users to Sansar. At that point and the lab will realize it has to somehow reduce tier or see SL become moribund.
    • Some of the former SL residents will realize Sansar’s non-contiguous world does not fit their needs. So they will migrate back to SL
    • By the end of 2017 a proportion of new Sansar residents will realize that a non-contiguous world doesn’t fill their needs and start moving to SL.
    • Sansar will continue to have people try it out from 2018 onward. Perhaps even in the millions of users as some predict but most of those users will not stay in Sansar. Most will try it for a few months then drift away. Those that are more mature and enjoy a virtual world will migrate to SL.


    1. Just a couple of small points, if I may :):

      “My biggest problem with open sims was they were not contiguous and Sansar will be the same.”

      Right now it is actually unclear as to how connected (or otherwise) “experiences” within “Sansar” might or might not be, or what form any connectivity between “experiences” might take. However, the Lab have indicated that they are looking to make it possible to move between connected experiences without necessarily relogging between sessions. One idea they’ve openly mentioned is moving through a “fog” or “tunnel” when going from one connected experience to another.

      It might also be worthwhile pointing out that “Sansar” “experiences” have the potential to be much larger contiguous spaces in and of themselves than anything remotely possible in Second Life. Spaces on the order of “kilometres” is size have been mentioned. Thus the scale of activities they could offer could be much larger than perhaps is being considered.

      Picture, for example an “experience” encompassing everything we see in Blake Sea and the surrounding estates, offering the same rich diversity of activities, all in one contiguous space – a space which might be connected to similar “leisure experiences” run by other organisations / groups on the platform. Thus, it might be possible for “Sansar” to encompass a range of connected spaces that offer something with pretty much the overall “feel” of Second Life, if that’s what people using it want to build – hence why Ebbe stated after his main address at VWBPE that he could well imagine something “like” Second life being established on “Sansar”.

      That said, it’s worth also remembering that LL are targeting a very different audience and a very different collection of use-cases with Sansar than has been the case with SL’s appeal (although some of those use-cases are apparent in SL). As such, what does happen there is largely a case as to whether those audiences a) see value in engaging in virtual spaces, and b) what they see as the kind of virtual space that best meets their need and addresses their own potential customers, and then go on to build. That’s why the Lab accept and admit “Sansar” may not appeal to a lot of SL users, and are currently committed to trying to ensure SL continues to develop and meet our needs.

      If all goes according to plan, it might be that more of us will have the opportunity to see what is happening in “Sansar” as the open alpha ramps-up in Q1 2016 (and the criteria the Lab place around accessing that alpha).


      1. Inara, a few points both big and small on your points.

        “If all goes according to plan, it might be that more of us will have the opportunity to see what is happening in “Sansar” as the open alpha ramps-up in Q1 2016 (and the criteria the Lab place around accessing that alpha).”

        Since it is now mid November 2015 and it is almost 1st quarter 2016 and I have heard nothing about the lab actually opening the alpha to other than select developers in the next four and a half months I have my doubts the lab will meet that goal.

        I may be wrong but I spent twenty-three years dealing professionally with computer projects and I don’t think that target will be reached unless the lab pushes out something that is a very shaky alpha.

        I shudder to think that might happen. I began dealing with SL over a decade ago and remember what a problem the lab had dealing with things as they were pushing beyond 1500 concurrent users. The whole grid would be brought down once a week and usually residents would have to download a new viewer. At times the new grid would go up then as users started logging in everything would come crashing down.

        I know the “sims” will be larger in Sansar but to do something like sail some significant distance you will need to cross sim borders. For example I used to spend several enjoyable hours sailing from my house on the northern continent to my friend’s house in the middle of the southern continent. About fifty or sixty sims. It is disconcerting today to suddenly find yourself going backwards or zipping along under water without a boat that is disconcerting enough. Waiting while you go though some sort of fog bank would be worse.

        I also know there is an increased emphasis on experiences in Sansar. But I don’t want to be tied to someone’s idea of what something like a sailing session should be. A strength of SL is the FREEDOM to do something unexpected. That is something I don’t want to give up.

        As you say Sansar and SL target different audiences. As I tried to point out most people will come into Sansar and dabble for a while. But a subset of those new users will find they enjoy being in a virtual world and want more which is where SL comes in because that is the more.

        To state it even more simply: Some Sansar users will become SL users.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “Since it is now mid November 2015 and it is almost 1st quarter 2016 and I have heard nothing about the lab actually opening the alpha to other than select developers in the next four and a half months I have my doubts the lab will meet that goal.”

          The Lab has stated a number of times of late that it is aiming for an open alpha for around the time the Oculus CR1 launches – which is (tentatively) set for Q1 2016. Whether both happens or not is open to debated, that’s why I say, “if all goes according to plan”, and that “it might be”. But the launch of the CR-1 is the target the Lab have in mind.

          As to the technical aspects, with respect, you’re thinking of “Sansar” in terms of Second Life. “Sansar” isn’t Second Life. It’s not based on the same code or architecture as Second Life. Right now, and subject to further confirmation, it doesn’t even appear to be based on the same physics engine as SL (which is the biggest limiting factor to region size in SL). So you’re effectively pre-judging and making a determination without actually seeing the product.

          Take user numbers within experiences for example: the Lab is planning on instancing experiences. That is, when one version of a particular experience reaches capability, another version will be spun-up, and another, etc. Granted, this opens up a slew of questions of its own – such as how these instances will be presented, whether people will be able to move between them as number in each fluctuate, etc. However, they are trying to work around potential limitations to present people with an environment Second Life simply cannot achieve.

          “A strength of SL is the FREEDOM to do something unexpected. That is something I don’t want to give up.”

          And, objectively, how do you know you will have to give anything up? Again, with respect, you’ve not even seen inside Sansar to objectively determine whether or not you’ll like it.

          Me? I have many, many doubts about Sansar achieving the goals Linden Lab are trying to achieve, although they are based more on what I think might be happening with regards to technology as a whole . But again, and with respect, in terms of judging “Sansar” in and of itself, I’d rather see it first rather than simply determine how it might / might not fair, based on a subjective interpretation.

          As to some users coming from Sansar to Second Life – that’s entirely possible, and something I’m not denying. Although there are strong caveats around that, again based on the primary targets towards which “Sansar” is being aimed, the use-cases it is intended to fulfil within those verticals and – most importantly of all – how the experiences built by customers in those markets are presented to their customers, and the freedom those customers have – which again, we simply cannot determine at this point in time.


          1. Inara, I am extremely disappointed in your response to my post about Ebbe Altberg discussers “Sansar”. But it does add credibility to the often repeated accusation that you are a cheerleader and unacknowledged employee of the lab.

            When I said, “I have my doubts the lab will meet that goal. I may be wrong but I spent twenty-three years dealing professionally with computer projects and I don’t think that target will be reached unless the lab pushes out something that is a very shaky alpha.” That is clearly my personal opinion.

            At that point an unbiased journalist would have had two options. One would have been to say you disagreed with my opinion and that the lab will meet its goal. Another option would be to ignore my opinion that the lab would not meet its stated goal.
            Either would have been acceptable but instead you chose to give the lab another reason for alpha roll out slippage by saying there is a tie between general schedule slippage of the roll out of the Oculus CR-1.


            Next you go into a long section that begins, “As to the technical aspects, with respect, you’re thinking of “Sansar” in terms of Second Life. “Sansar” isn’t Second Life.” I laughed when I saw the words “with respect” since it is really code for “You are not echoing the company line enough so I will.” I also get the impression that you are the actually one that is think thinking of Sansar as a total replacement for SL while I am not. You just don’t want to openly say it.

            Something I can’t let slide is that I’m supposedly thinking of Sansar as SL. I even said, “As you say Sansar and SL target different audiences.” I don’t think that is thinking of SL and Sansar as the same.

            I do have a suggestion. Have your name changed to Inara Pey Linden it would be more accurate.


            1. “Either would have been acceptable but instead you chose to give the lab another reason for alpha roll out slippage by saying there is a tie between general schedule slippage of the roll out of the Oculus CR-1. ”

              I’m sorry you see things that way, however, I would like the opportunity to point out that I was replying to your statement you “have heard nothing about the lab actually opening the alpha to other than select developers in the next four and a half months”, by indicating the Lab are looking at the availabilty of the CR-1 is their target for an open alpha and the fact that I had already expressed my own doubts as to them actually meeting it. Hence why I pointed back to my comment “if all goes according to plan” in my original reply to you.

              So there’s actually no attempt to provide “the lab another reason for alpha roll out slippage” – I’m actually in agreement with you that things may well slip.

              I’m sorry you took my “with respect” in the manner you did. I can assure you, that’s not how it was intended. It’s not at all what was meant, and I can only apologise for giving you that impression.

              As to my being an “unacknowledged employee” of the Lab, I can categorically state you are mistaken, and if I may, voice my own disappointment in the way you seem to be using that statement as a means of undermining my own opinions in this exchange because they are appear not to be in accord with your own.


  10. Inara Pey

    Creating a fog or tunnel between teleports is merely a trick to transport users from instance to instance. Linden Lab did state Sansar will be based on instances. The only option you have to go from one game level to another is by teleport as a transfer.

    The grid is very unique in that aspect as it does have a smart method to transfer between instances where every sim can be viewed as an instance.

    Also Inara Pey you can see that everybody is in agreement that CEO Altberg Sucks. Some already speculate about his departure.

    CEO Altberg his contract will be up by the end of 2016 an opportunity he might take to save his face before Sansar blows up. Linden Lab might remove him by june 2016 when they see Sansar fails.

    Who knows, fact is he is horrible and did horrible things as a CEO

    My next point for you is about the peak and bottom phenomenon.

    When Second Life peaks after a hype and then goes in decline for years OF COURSE THE REDUCTION WILL BE LESS COMPARED TO THE INITIAL DROP that is how the peak and bottom phenomenon does work.

    In economy one does not look at peak and bottom cycles when looking at the performance of a CEO. One looks at fiscal years that follow up in a consecutive manner.

    The decline will always reduce in volume over time Inara

    Now with CEO Altberg it is even worse because he does accelerate that decline again, which is telling about his performance. Now even when CEO Altberg would remain CEO, in time eventually even with his imcompetence the sim losses would bottom (maybe at 100 sims) and then there would be some growth again.

    CEO Altberg is an accelerator for sim losses and revenue losses to Linden Lab


    1. “Creating a fog or tunnel between teleports is merely a trick to transport users”

      Yes, inexactly the same way as teleporting between one private region and another is a trick to give the illusion they are a contiguous space in Second Life.

      “Linden Lab did state Sansar will be based on instances.”

      Wrong. The Lab has stated individual experiences will be capable of being instance multiple times, if required, to handle large volumes of attendees. That’s not the same as saying all “experiences” will be necessarily standalone from one another.


      1. Linden Lab said very clearly that Sansar will be instanced based.

        The normal region to region teleports would indeed make Second Life an instance based world.

        The actual success does come from the grid and the mainland or continent areas where you can just walk or fly directly inside of a new instance without any teleport needed.

        This is also what attracted investment in Linden Lab back in 2000. One large world and not entering instances by the use of tricks, mirrors, fog, teleporters.


    2. “CEO Altberg is an accelerator for sim losses and revenue losses to Linden Lab.”

      Actually – no. I am an estate manager for 300+ residents who moved from mainland or private regions to the United Sailing Sims. I always ask, “So, why are you here?” And when people leave their parcels, most volunteer why they are leaving. Most say that RL issues force them to leave for a while. Most admit that finances aren’t what they used to be (due to the terrible economy right now). Matter of fact, the show Designing Worlds has pointed out some renowned places that have had to leave due to financial reasons. Above all, if RL dictates you have to redirect your entertainment budget to rent, food, and utilities – then you do that.

      Note that NONE of this has to do with CEO Ebbe Altberg.

      I’ve been in SL for nearly 10 years now. I’ve seen terrible CEOs. I’ve seen terrible LL customer service. And I’ve seen LL decimate itself by a huge layoff that it is *just* beginning to recover from. Mr. Altberg has revitalized huge parts of SL since his arrival. Customer service (concierge and via inworld Lindens), in my opinion, is the best it’s been since before the mass layoff in 2010. LL brought new tools like “experiences” to the grid. The LDPW is back in action on the mainland and Michael Linden is free to do his job again. I’ve seen huge improvements to SL since Mr. Altberg stepped on-board – so I just don’t see the “incompetence” you do.

      The CEO might have a dream, but it is the Board that gives its approval and support. The Board obviously wanted to bring in the masses and needed a CEO who was willing to attempt it. Sansar is a huge project. Personally, it’s not for me and I will stay in SL, but I wish LL the best of luck with it. Mr. Altberg is doing a tough dance right now – straddling both platforms and supporting both – trying to keep current SL residents happy, trying to ensure the financial steadfastness of SL, and trying to grow the company (meaning, keeping the Board happy). I don’t envy his position and respect him greatly for his efforts.

      It is so easy for people to “armchair quarterback” this… I doubt many could do better than he given the current state of the world economy.


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