UPDATED! Linden Lab Lays Off Over 40 Staff, and Shuts Down Development on the Sansar Project—But Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg States Sansar Has NOT Shut Down, Despite the Layoffs

This is the blogpost that I hoped that I would never have to write.

I have been informed, by a very reliable source whom I shall keep confidential, that today was the day that Linden Lab shut down Sansar development. I was told that there were over 40 people laid off, and a small number of software developers were moved from Sansar to Second Life.

Having learned my lesson from past mistakes, I will not be reporting on or confirming any names of staff involved in today’s layoffs here (although I have received a list, and it is quite a long one, of people let go).

It would appear that Linden Lab will be keeping the Sansar servers running for some previously scheduled events. What happens after that is anybody’s guess.

I’m still in a state of shock since I received the news early this evening. So I think it would be best if I simply reported the news today, and left any speculation or editorializing for another day.

As many of you know, Sansar was the whole reason that I started this blog in the first place, and I am truly heartbroken.

UPDATE 10:51 p.m.: Just a few minutes ago I received a direct message via Discord from Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg, who told me that Sansar is not being shut down:

As you can see Sansar is up and running so please don’t say it’s been shut down. Thanks.

Ebbe also posted a message in the official Sansar Discord server:

So, I’m only going to say this tonight as it’s late. We can pick up the conversation in the following days. Yes, there were layoffs today. A truly wonderful group of people. But as you can see Sansar is up and running. We are still in discussion about next steps. Including with the wonderful group of people. More to come. Don’t give up yet. Go create and have fun. Not much point in speculating until we can tell you more.

So it would appear that, perhaps, this is not the end for Sansar after all. I must confess that I am confused, as this new information does not match up at all with what my well-placed source has told me. Between the October layoffs and today’s layoffs, who’s left to keep Sansar running?

UPDATE Feb. 12th: Once again, I am getting a certain amount of criticism from various quarters about how I presented this news. At least one person wants me permabanned from Sansar and Second Life for breaking this story. To which I say: don’t shoot the messenger if you don’t like the bad news. Take out your frustrations on the company, not on me.

One thing that I am guilty of is not getting a quote from Linden Lab before writing my blogpost. However, given that Linden Lab has traditionally not bothered to address any staff layoffs in the past, I decided to go ahead anyways. I will be surprised if LL makes any sort of formal announcement about what happened yesterday.

But please don’t hold me to the same standards as a professional journalist because I, very clearly, am not. I’m a hobbyist blogger who had a passion for Sansar, which is the reason I started my blog in the first place. And I am heartbroken by this recent turn of events.

I repeat here what I first said when I broke the story of the October layoffs:

This is news, I am not under a gag order from Linden Lab, and it directly impacts the Sansar community. How could I not report on something so major? Ebbe Altberg, the board of directors and upper management at Linden Lab have already made their decisions and acted on them, and the news would have eventually gotten out anyway.