VRChat Launches VRChat Plus, a New Subscription-Based Service

In a Medium post last month, VRChat announced:

VRChat is grateful to have an extremely supportive community, ready and willing to join us as we develop the leading social VR platform in the world.

Often, we’ve been asked: “Hey, how can I help you? How can I support VRChat?”, where the answer has been “Enjoy VRChat with your friends, and tell others about it!”

Today, we want to introduce a new way for you to support us—VRChat Plus.

As always, the core experience of playing VRChat remains free. The VRChat+ subscription is a way for you to show your support to VRChat, and get some cool bonuses as our way of saying thanks.

VRChat Plus is our first step towards our long-term goals for monetization. We want to allow people who create content — be it worlds, avatars, performances, games, hangouts, experiences, whatever — to be able to support themselves. VRChat is a place where creativity is unbounded. If people who like your work want to support you, we want to help them help you. We’re still working on all this, but we’ll keep you in the know as we move forward.

Well, on December 3rd, 2020, VRChat Plus was launched. Here’s a one-minute YouTube video, providing a summary of the benefits of VRChat Plus:

This move reminds me of nothing so much as Sansar’s similar attempt to get people to subscribe to their social VR platform (I just double-checked, and yes, even since Linden Lab sold Sansar to Wookey, the subscription page is still up).

I, of coursse, would be highly interested to know from Wookey just many people have actually ponied up for a subscription, but of course, they aren’t going to tell me that. I doubt it is a very high figure, although the expedited customer support options and Marvelous Designer* subscription discounts might tempt some users to open their wallets.

If you sign up for VRChat Plus now, during their Early Supporter phase, you will get a bonus:

To sign up for VRChat Plus, you can log into VRChat on Steam, open your main menu, and click the “VRC+” button at the top, and select either the monthly (US$9.99 per month) or annual (US$99.99 per year) purchase options. VRChat states:

For the moment, VRChat Plus is only available on Steam. We’re working towards supporting more platforms soon.

I wonder how much of a cut Facebook is expecting from VRChat when and if they launch VRChat Plus on the Oculus Store. (Steam usually extracts a 30% cut, as I learned when Sansar launched on Steam. So, if you purchase Sansar dollars in the version of the Sansar client you download from Steam, Steam takes a cut, but if you choose to download Sansar from their website instead, Steam does not take a percentage.)

Now for me, stuck up here in the frozen Canadian prairie hinterlands, US$99.99 works out to 127.79 Canadian dollars, which is quite a lot to ask for the limited benefits you currently receive. I’ll be interested to see what future benefits VRChat decides to offer to sweeten the deal somewhat.

However, I happily pay Linden Lab US$99.99 a year for each of three separate Premium accounts on Second Life, which gives me, among other benefits, more group slots, priority teleport access to overcrowded events, and a lovely Linden Home. In fact, a year ago, I actually upgraded one avatar from Basic to Premium just to snag one of the new Victorian Linden Homes! So, as you can see, if you offer the right mix of perks, you can sway people into a paid subscription model for your social VR platform or virtual world.

*Marvelous Designer is the software package used to create avatar clothing in Sansar. I have written about my adventures in Sansar avatar clothing design here.

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Advent Calendar Gifts for December 6th, 2020

Here’s my blogpost with links to four lists of Advent Calendars and 12 Days of Christmas Calendars, plus my “Top Ten” Calendars you should not miss in 2020!

(I’m sorry this is a bit late today; I had a bad bout of insomnia last night, and I slept in until just after noon today as a result, so I am running late!)

I think today’s Advent calendar haul is the best yet!

Today’s gift from the advent calendar at Justice is this rough-stitched, dark brown festive shirt (the Justice group is free to join):

Firelight Hair is offering up this long hairstyle, with a mini-HUD with three fantasy fae (sometimes called “unicorn”) colours! It’s not exactly to my personal taste, but it might be perfect for you! (The Firelight group is free to join.)

Next up is the Sandra Bakes on Mesh skin in the sandy skin tone, the gift from Wow Skins (the Wow group costs L$199 to join):

And the gift from 7 Deadly S[k}ins is the Hope skin in snow, one of their palest skin tones! I quite like this one, so I will be wearing this skin on the rest of my travels around the grid today. It looks lovely on the recent free Chelsea head from LOGO, and it includes an Omega lipstick applier, if you find the lips too pale! There’s also a male skin in the package. (Please note that during December, the 7 Deadly S[k]ins group costs L$1,000 to join, but you do get gifts every day of December!)

Now, let’s take a look at some more apparel and footwear gifts. Today’s Advent calendar gift from Essenz are these fun and funky, golden yellow Pompei boots (L$50 for non-members, or pay the L$350 group join fee to pick up all of the Advent Calendar gifts from Essenz, plus a fatpack of the versatile Wales pumps):

The Love Story dress in violet is the Advent calendar gift from Entice (the Entice group is free to join):

Virtue‘s present today is the Kamala Christmas outfit, consisting of two pieces: a green sweater and a high-waisted, long red skirt (the Virtue group is free to join):

Moonstar’s gift is this Noella red maxi-dress (the Moonstar Advent calendar is free; you do not need to join any group).

The Advent calendar gift from Celestina’s Weddings is this truly stunning gold-and-pink Locu ballgown (the Celestina’s group is free to join):

Here’s a closeup of the bodice of the Locu gown…such beautiful detail!

And finally, something for the men…the free gift from the Advent Calendar at the Mishmash Fusion store is this Candy Cane tuxedo, which comes in sizes to fit Belleza Jake, Signature Gianni, Slink, and Meshbody Legacy male mesh bodies (you do not need to join any group to pick up this gift). The red dress shoes are included!

Happy freebie shopping!