Connect with top gaming leaders in Los Angeles at GamesBeat Summit 2023 this May 22-23. Register here.
The Sandbox is launching Alpha Season 3 for its would-be open metaverse which connects various Lego-like virtual worlds.
The blockchain-based virtual universe has more than 90 different experiences with 100 hours of gameplay available for its new season, said Sebastien Borget, chief operating officer at The Sandbox, in an interview with GamesBeat.
Borget said The Sandbox now has four million users who have used its wallets, up from two million in March when the company unveiled Alpha Season 2. He also noted the virtual real estate land ownership continues to grow, and the experiences show that owners such as brands are making use of the land. About 22,000 people have paid good money for land in the virtual space.
Billionaire investor Mark Cuban recently blasted virtual real estate investments, but Borget said the company continues to show strong momentum as it makes its way toward a decentralized open metaverse with a bunch of virtual worlds. The question remains whether mainstream users are going adopt this Lego-like view of the metaverse in a big way, as The Sandbox is betting.
GamesBeat Summit 2023
Join the GamesBeat community in Los Angeles this May 22-23. You’ll hear from the brightest minds within the gaming industry to share their updates on the latest developments.
“More than 75% of our land owners are actually building,” Borget said.
While The Sandbox is still under development, the alpha launches show how owners and players are developing their properties as if they were all making rides in a theme park. The 10-week seasons are a way that The Sandbox can show players what to expect over time, Borget said. Players can create or choose their own avatars, buy skins, and take them across experiences that include music, art, architecture, gaming, fashion, and entertainment.
The company expects Season 3 to surpass its previous record of 350,000 active users. The Sandbox is one of the leading advocates for Web3, or the promise of a world where players can be owners through purchases of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The Sandbox is promoting avatar-centric experiences with brands like The Walking Dead, Steve Aoki, Rabbids, Sueco, Warner Music, Care Bear, Smurfs, Atari, Snoop Dogg and Deadmau5. A total of 22 such brands are opening experiences in Season 3 where fans can interact with the brands and create their own branded user-generated content.
Alpha Season 3 will enable 140,000 NFTs to be converted to in-game avatars. By building experience on their LAND, owners will be able to participate in virtual real estate development, adding value and utility to their LAND investment, Borget said. They can gate access to provide new utility to NFT holders and
generate revenue from their hosted experiences.
Ubisoft will make its debut with a Rabbids game, and musician Steve Aoki will let his avatar loose. Snoop will open up a mansion. Using The Sandbox’s native VoxEDit and GameMaker tools, pretty much anyone can build and create new experiences.
“It’s a long list of content for both gamers and non-gamers,” Borget said. “It’s like TV shows with seasons where they are live operations for updating the content for fans.”
He said that the company continues to see growth in wallet users as well as brands and partners.
“The Sandbox has succeeded oin establishing itself as the entry point for many brands into the metaverse,” Borget said. “We give NFTs and Web3 real utility because the NFTs the brands create let users do things in the games. They can see them in action in a game or user-generated content.”
Borget said that while other blockchain game companies have not delivered, the user-generated content of The Sandbox has helped set his company apart. But he said The Sandbox is functioning better with higher frame rates for users. Roughly 40 people can share the same experience at a time. Overall, users can participate in more than 1,000 experiences, Borget said.
“And we have a very busy roadmap,” Borget said. “There’s no other place in the world where you see Carebears alongside Snoop Dogg.”
GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Discover our Briefings.