Recent Statistics Show a Slow But Steady Increase in Sansar Users (Also: The Most Popular Worlds in Sansar)

Image by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

I do find it somewhat ironic that the two Sansar users who have posted user concurrency statistics for the platform in the past—Galen and Gindipple—have both largely moved on from Sansar to other projects.

However, I did receive a recent statistics chart generated by Gindipple, courtesy of Medhue (thanks!), which I wanted to share with you:

Gindipple’s stats show slow but steady growth in the number of concurrent users on Sansar. The monthly average concurrent Sansarians figure (bottom chart) has roughly doubled between March 2018 and October 2019.

Galen’s statistics page shows a similar growth in users, including peaks of up to 150 concurrent users at one time:

Even Wagner James Au, of the long-running blog New World Notes, who has often criticized Sansar for its low user concurrency figures in the past, posted the following “infographic” based on Steam usage figures (drawn by the talented artist Danielle Feigenbaum, creator of the regular feature Nylon Pinkney is Online comic on his blog):

Now, I do have a couple of criticisms of this image.

First, it is not an infographic; it is a cartoon. The zig-zag graph in the background is purely decorative, not informative.

Second, the small print along the bottom is almost impossible to read. It says:

Total concurrent users across all platforms potentially 2-3 times larger than Steam CCUs (concurrent users). Numbers based on Steam stats in September 2019 – Source: Steam Database Info

Even Wagner cannot deny that Sansar has had a recent jump in usage:

As of last month, in terms of peak concurrent users, VRChat remains the 800 pound Knuckle [a reference to the Ugandan Knuckles meme], with Rec Room maintaining its distant second place.  There was also a small surprise bump for Linden Lab’s Sansar… After concurrency rates that averaged in the mid two figures (yes, that low) for most of the year, Sansar peak concurrency for September jumped to 220 last Friday. Thanks, at least in part, to a VR dating show hosted by online celebrity Jesse Cox and probably more key, the launch of an official Hello Kitty experience…

The problem with relying solely on Steam statistics in the case of Sansar is that there are two different ways that people can download the Sansar client software:

  1. Via Steam (which does publish public statistics on usage);
  2. Via the Sansar website (Linden Lab does not publish user stats).

We have no way of knowing what percentage of Sansar users downloaded their client software via Steam. Therefore, we still have to guess at the total overall level of usage of Sansar, using imperfect tools such as Steam stats and Galen’s and Gindipple’s statistics.

However, all three sources do show a slow but steady increase in the number of concurrent users in Sansar, which I’m sure Linden Lab is pleased to see. Of course, they also have their own internal statistics, which they do not release to the public, which I am sure confirm this trend.


Gindipple also released a pie chart showing the most popular Sansar worlds. Unsurprisingly (since all incoming users spawn there by default now), the Nexus is the most visited world, with 70% of the total number of recent visitors (I believe that these stats cover the past seven days):

Following the Nexus, the most popular Sansar worlds (formerly called experiences) are:

  • Skyway Avenue (3.69% of total recent visitors)
  • The Point of No Return – Chapter I (2.65%)
  • Susan’s Diary (2.39%)
  • Orphanage of Angels (2.35%)
  • Fire Goat’s Free Avatar Store (1.96%)
  • Ultimate Disc (1.93%)
  • The Slewhouse (1.85%)
  • Once Upon a Midnight Dream (1.77%)
  • Scurry Waters (1.57%)
  • Monstercat Call of the Wild (1.52%)
  • Sanrio World (1.44%)
  • Camp Goonies (1.24%)
  • 114 Harvest (1.07%)

I do have rather mixed feelings about Linden Lab’s recent design decision to have users automatically spawn in the Nexus when they log into Sansar. On one hand, it does make it much easier for avatars to encounter other avatars in-world, and I often see groups of people gathered having conversations with each other, which is good.

But on the other hand, it is an absolute pain in the ass to have to keep going back to the Nexus when you simply want to explore the various Sansar worlds. If you are in desktop mode, you can still use the Atlas on the Sansar website, but if you are in VR mode, you pretty much have to keep cycling through the Nexus to find and select new experiences to visit, which quickly gets tiring.

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Sansar Pick of the Day: Sancraft

Sancraft is not the first Minecraft-themed experience in Sansar (that would be Sancrafter by JackTheRipper, which I wrote about back in August 2017). But Gindipple has created a wonderful interactive sandbox environment reminiscent of the classic cube-building game.

If you are in desktop, just press 1 to bring up a building HUD. If you are in a Oculus Rift headset, just press the X or A button on your Touch controllers to bring up the same menu. You can easily choose a cube type, then click on the ground to start placing cubes.

If you need to remove a misplaced cube, just select the shovel icon from the HUD and click on the cube you want to remove. Here are just a few examples of what people have built using Sancraft, posted to the official Sansar Discord:

Why not jump into Sancraft and flex your creative muscles? It’s great fun!

Sansar User Concurrency Statistics: Has Launching on Steam Made Any Difference?

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The short answer is “yes, but barely”. Gindipple was kind enough to share his statistics with the official Sansar Discord channel.

The first diagram is one year’s worth of statistics, showing the daily and monthly average of concurrent Sansar users. There is a noticable spike in users around the time of the Steam launch on both graphs:

Gindipple also shared the following graph, saying:

Of particular interest is this graph that shows the last 2 weeks. The spikes are the comedy event and a product meetup.

Let’s compare with the stats collected by Galen on his Metaverse Machines Live Sansar Statistics page, which displays both average and peak figures:

The news from both sets of graphs is about the same. Both show a noticeable spike in Sansar usage due to the Steam launch, but unfortunately, many of those users did not seem to stick around. However, there does seem to be a small uptick in the total number of simultaneous Sansar users overall, comparing the periods before and after the Steam launch.

Also, both Galen’s and Gindipple’s statistics show that Sansar is now hitting up to 80 concurrent users at a time, mostly due to events such as the stand-up comedy series. This is a definite improvement, although I’m quite sure that Linden Lab wants much higher numbers than that.

So, the struggle continues. And Linden Lab is far from alone in trying to figure out the magic formula that will bring users in—and make them come back. The only social VR platform which is still consistently packing the users in is VRChat (with Rec Room a distant second).

The Most Popular Sansar Experiences of the Past Week (Pie Chart)

Gindipple posted the following pie chart to the official Sansar Discord channel (click on the picture to go to Flickr and see it in a larger size):

Most Popular Sansar Experiences 8 Dec 2018

Gindipple explains that the high figures for one experience, Fnatic (the green slice in the pie chart), were due to people coming into that experience to get a prize key for another game. Which might be the very first occurrence of somebody gaming the traffic figures in Sansar (a long-standing practice in Second Life).

Top five most popular Sansar experiences in the past 7 days were:

  1. Scurry Waters, by Medhue and Bagnaria
  2. Once Upon a Midnight Dream, by Solas
  3. Fnatic Media BUNKR, by the Fnatic team
  4. 2077, by C3rb3rus (more info here)
  5. No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man, by Smithsonian American Art (more info here)

So, go explore! There has been a definite increase in the number of new people visiting Sansar since it was launched on Steam this past Wednesday. And Friday night at the TurnupVR-sponsored pub crawl was amazing! Over 32 people showed up at Solas’ bar and danced, laughed and broke bottles. It was absolute chaos at times, with everybody excitedly talking over each other, and it reminded me of the early days of VRChat. I think we can say that Sansar has definitely arrived! :rofl:

So maybe—just maybe—I was wrong about Linden Lab releasing Sansar on Steam too early. We’ll see how the numbers stack up over time. We now have lots of statistics at our disposal!