As anticipated following last week’s community feedback hour / product meeting, Sanar has officially launched on Steam – although at the time of writing, there has been no official press release on the Lab’s corporate site.
As of today, December 5th, we are officially live on Steam!
We wanted to give a huge thank you to our current community who have been so supportive, and to extend a warm “Welcome” to all our new community members joining us from Steam!
You can find us on Steam as an Early Access Game, where we’re free to download. Even better, you’ll get to enjoy all the benefits of Steam as a social platform for gamers including full access to our Steam Community Hub!
– From the Sansar blog post announcing the launch
As the blog post notes, Sansar is being made available on Steam’s early access programme – a move the Lab hopes will help Steam users’ expectations regarding the platform and the fact it is still in development.
The Sansar page on Steam includes a promotional video and a series of images from Sansar. In addition, and to underline the platform’s status, there is also a Q&A element, which addresses a number of questions, including:
Why Early Access?
“Sansar is a place where you can hang out with friends, play games, explore new worlds, and share incredible creations, but we can’t do that without you! Being in Early Access is important to us to make sure we’re hearing directly from the community on what you’d like to see and do in Sansar. Come join us!”
Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?
“We plan on staying in Early Access until Sansar is the very best it can be. We’re constantly making improvements, and we’re eager for your feedback.”
How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?
“We want Sansar to be the place where people can connect with communities and celebrate what they love through immersive virtual experiences, interactive events, customizable avatars, and easy creation. That’s why we plan to develop even more features around socialization, interactivity, personalization, and creation – elements that enrich the social experiences our platform enables. Plans will change based on your feedback, and we’re always listening and learning.”
What is the current state of the Early Access version?
“Right now, Sansar lets you host and attend virtual events, play games, explore user-created experiences, and buy and sell merchandise in the Sansar Store. Meet friends for a watch party and tailgate. Buy clothing and accessories for your avatars, or objects for the virtual experiences you build.”
The launch blog post also has some important words for existing Sansar users (or those who have already created a Sansar account). these include:
- Existing users can still access Sansar directly from their downloaded version of the client, and use all the capabilities with it, including creating new accounts; they do not have to use Steam to log-in.
- Existing Sansar users with a Steam account can add Sansar to their Steam account and launch it from there it they wish
- Or if they are logged into Steam and opt to launch Sansar via Steam, they will be prompted to log-in to Sansar with the account of their choice (Sansar, Steam or Twitch).
- There will be no direct merging of Sansar and Steam accounts (“at this time”).
- User with an existing Sansar account can continue purchasing Sansar Dollars using the payment information they have on file with Linden Lab.
- However, users signing-up for Sansar via Steam must use their Steam Wallet to purchase Sansar Dollars.
The Sansar website gives full details on how to integrate Steam and Sansar accounts to get the most out of both. Once integrated, it is possible to access the Sansar Community on Steam directly through the Sansar client:
It will be interesting to see how this all goes for the Lab. Several years ago, there was an attempt to add Second Life to Steam, which didn’t go so well. However, the Lab believe they have learned some important lessons as a result of that process, and the Sansar presentation through Steam does appear to be somewhat more integrated.