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Linden Lab is the developer of Second Life, an online virtual world launched in 2003. Today, Second Life has a robust community with around 1 million active users. Project Sansar is the next big step forward by the company. Linden Lab has been working in secrecy on this project since 201?. Recently, it has shared two screenshots just to provide an idea about the looks and feels of the new project. The launch date of Project Sansar has not been officially announced yet but it is expected that there will be an open public beta before the end of 2016.
The core feature of Project Sansar is its user-friendliness. It will enable the users to create social VR experiences without the need for complicated coding, hosting, distribution and other challenges associated with creating and monetizing social VR experiences. According to the CEO of Linden Lab, Ebbe Altberg, the new project has objectives similar to WordPress. The CEO also refers Project Sansar to as “YouTube for virtual reality”.
Users from all levels will be able to materialize their creative visions without the need for sophisticated tools, virtual currency and regulatory compliance issues. This means that one does not need to be a software engineer or professional creator to be able to participate in the new project. Project Sansar aims, much like WordPress, to create their experiences professionally and reach a global audience. Project Sansar will not only pertain to games and entertainment but also extend to art, education, conferences, healthcare and trainings. Initial creators used Autodesk’s Maya® software to make 3D creations which were then exported to Project Sansar. By the go-live phase, the platform will be able to support multiple third-party software, giving the creators the freedom to use their preferred software.
Future Plans and Goals
Project Sansar allows its users to create their own social VR experience. In some ways, it is a natural evolution of Second Life. In the future Project Sansar plans to make the experience more discoverable by allowing players to find experiences, not just on their own platform, but also through search engines such as Google. The cost of acquiring a piece of land in Project Sansar is planned to be cheaper than in Second Life. Additionally, the company is aiming to make their experiences work on modern devices such as smartphones, tablets, PCs and various VR HMDs.
April 26, 2016: Signups for Creator Preview are open. Creator Preview launches in summer 2016.