Animoca Brands CEO Robby Yung explains the ‘open’ metaverse

Episode 29 of Season 4 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Robby Yung CEO at Animoca Brands.

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Animoca Brands, the Hong-Kong based digital entertainment startup behind the popular blockchain metaverse platform The Sandbox, raised $358.88 million in January at a valuation of over $5 billion in a funding round led by Liberty City Ventures.

In this episode of The Scoop, CEO of Animoca Brands Robby Yung discusses his company’s growth and shares his philosophy on what it means to build an ‘open’ metaverse platform.

As Yung explained during the interview:

"Our job is very much more like a government from an economics standpoint because we levy what’s akin to a tax on the ecosystem for providing the ecosystem… Our focus is on encouraging economic activity, it doesn’t have to be us selling things to customers, it can be customers selling amongst themselves."

Whereas web2 game designers rely on a "storefront model" in which users purchase content directly, web3 metaverse projects such as The Sandbox reap revenue from users’ transaction fees generated from in-game interactions.

As Yung commented:

"...In an open metaverse we’re providing a public service, but at the same time we need to be mindful that we need to make a profit for our shareholders. You need to balance those two things and not put one at the expense of the other."

The Sandbox is an "open" virtual world meaning it provides the basic infrastructure for users to build their own customized experiences. This is something that is central to Yung’s vision for how an open metaverse should operate:

"I’m actually most excited about the stuff that I can’t imagine happening with my products, because other people are going to innovate those things."

Besides The Sandbox, Animoca Brands has over 150 investments in other NFT and metaverse projects. The studio recently announced its acquisition of racing game developer Eden Games.

During this episode Chaparro and Yung also discuss:

  • Web3 friction points
  • Metaverse tokenomics
  • Play-and-earn games vs play-to-earn

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