Please note that my notes are rough notes only, and may contain errors. Inara Pey was present and recording the meeting, so there will be a full report from her at a later date. But for now, here is what was discussed at the well-attended meeting.
UPDATE Nov. 2nd: I have added Inara Pey’s excellent notes from this meeting. They include audio excerpts.
Ebbe, Eliot, Landon, Cara, and Nyx (among several other Linden Lab staff) attended the Product Meeting today, which (at least according to the Sansar Atlas display) seems to have set a record for the number of avatars in a single Sansar experience!
Questions I asked Landon and the other Linden Lab staff are bolded.
Why has Linden Lab decided to make Sansar available on Steam?
Landon: We think we’ll be ready to launch on Steam after the next couple of Sansar client updates. Also, people cannot find us (they expect us to be on Steam). Steam is where the highest density of people who meet our hardware requirements are found (VR users and gamers).
Will Sansar still be available outside of Steam, as it currently is for Oculus Rift users?
Landon: Yes, absolutely.
Why is Linden Lab pushing to release Sansar on Steam before the end of this year, rather than wait another six months to a year to further polish the platform and add new features?
We want to get more people in, to help refine the product and make it better. We want to start building a community on Steam.
Re: dealing with any negative feedback on Steam, Eliot will pass that along to the appropriate people to deal with and respond to.
Besides losing the SandeX, what other major changes to Sansar are going to be required before it launches on Steam?
Landon: No other major changes to the platform.
What steps are you going to take to promote Sansar once it launches on Steam?
Eliot: expect some significant ad spend, expect some original assets. Linden Lab wants to build a community on Steam.
Linden Lab is also working towards launching on the Oculus Store, but they are prioritizing Steam first. (Sansar is already available on VIVEPORT.)
Some notes on the economics (Warning: economics is not my strength, so I may have some of the finer details wrong):
The buy rate will be set to 100 Sansar dollars to 1 US dollar. The exchange rate back (the sell rate) will be set to 250 to 1. However, the sell rate will be grandfathered for current Sansar users at the “legacy” rate of 143 to 1 until at least the end of next year (2019). The fees for process credit will stay.
Steam will not be part of the process of Sansar dollars, that will be entirely internal to Sansar. Cashouts will be entirely within Linden Lab, not Steam.
Users will be able to buy Sansar dollars on Steam and Steam will make 30% on that transaction. The division is: roughly 30% Steam, 30% Linden Lab, and the rest goes to creators. Note that there will be no 30% cut to Steam if you buy Sansar dollars on your credit card (as you do now).
The plan is to remove the transaction fees on sold items, but keep the transaction fee in gifting (which is a minor part of the economy). Galen said that he thinks that giving up the 15% transaction fee will lubricate the Sansar economy.
Linden Lab told us that they will be building a hub (or hubs) for a better first-time user experience.
Ebbe: Sansar will be listed on Steam as an Early Access game.
The Steam refund policy will not/does not refer to microtransactions within Sansar.
There are currently no plans to integrate with Steamworks.
Don’t expect Linux or Mac clients at the time of Steam launch.
Eliot: We want to be an alternative to VRChat. VRChat users are telling us that they are looking for something different.
Expect an influx of Steam users into the Sansar Discord channel. We now have over 1,000 users in Discord (including LL staff).
Oh, and Landon wants more male outfits and hair in the Sansar Store! 😉
And the next client release is anticipated for next Wednesday, November 7th (no promises!).
Also, there was a complaint about a continuing problem with the mouth and teeth of the female avatar. Chic Aeon noted later on Discord:
AND —- I want to put in a pet peeve for the gals again. At the end of the meeting someone asked if the female teeth would be fixed and got brushed off with a “that’s just the smile” comment that seems to be the party line. That did NOT go over well with most of the gals I am thinking. Wondering if that would have been fixed if it was the MALE avatar that is “messed” up. (insert stronger word if you like). I was pretty insulted on many levels. Doubt I was the only one.
Note to Linden Lab: FIX. THE. TEETH. ALREADY. People have been complaining about this for weeks now. Please listen to them.
Eliot livestreamed the meeting to Twitch, if you happened to miss it, or were late.
Inara Pey has also posted her detailed notes from this meeting on her blog, along with audio excerpts. Thank you, Inara!