Metaverse gaming more about content creators than land speculation, says The Sandbox cofounder

Quick Take

  • Despite the end of the metaverse land speculation boom, The Sandbox has seen increased adoption of digital spaces by major brands and users in Asia and the Middle East, with a shift towards offering new gaming experiences.

The high-flying days of metaverse land speculation might have come to an end, but according to The Sandbox SAND + co-founder Sébastien Borget, this hasn't slowed down the adoption of digital spaces by major brands and users in Asia and the Middle East.

"Things look quite different relative to a year ago,"Borgetwho launched the virtual gaming world in 2018, told The Block in an interview at the GITEX conference in Dubai.

Interest in The Sandbox, which is a blockchain-based twist on the voxel gaming craze popularized by Minecraft, has shifted away from speculation and toward offering real gaming experiences. It now hosts racing games and fighting games created by various brands and creators, with plans to launch a mobile application in the near future. Since the project enabled self-publishing on Sandbox, more than 200 experiences have been launched by creators.

"We opened up self-publishing and two hundred experiences have gone live by creators," he said. "It's not just about brands launching their own event — there's more diversity."

Meanwhile, data from The Block's data dashboard reveals that the price of digital land, which creators must possess to offer mini-games experiences, has remained stagnant. Since the start of the year, the seven-day moving average for land sale prices on Sandbox has consistently hovered between $500 and $1,000 per plot. This is a significant departure from the staggering price tags of over $15,000 per plot that were achievable in 2021.


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Borget noted that brands don't seem overly concerned about digital land prices being stuck in the doldrums, pointing to McDonald's as one example of a company that has flocked to Sandbox to offer creative marketing experiences. In July, the comapny's Hong Kong arm announced the opening of McNuggets Land to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the popular fast food item.

The summer experience provided players with the opportunity to win a year's supply of McNuggets and 100,000 SAND, Sandbox's native token. In some instances, Sandbox collaborates with these brands to offer experiences and attract players through revenue sharing.

As part of the company's commitment to support its community of content creators, Nicola Sebastian has been appointed as the new chief content officer. He joined the company from PlayStation Studios and will collaborate with content creators, gaming studios, and brand partners to publish new content and experiences, spanning from single-player to social hubs. The firm will soon explore new movie-related experiences with brands and companies out of Hollywood, Borget told The Block. 

"Nicola has proven experience in building exciting new game formats on emerging platforms and supporting both creators and players with the tools they need to have fun and be successful," Borget said in a press release. "His expertise and passion will amplify the creativity of our diverse community of creators as they push beyond gaming to launch music, fashion, sport, entertainment and cultural experiences on our open metaverse platform."

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Frank Chaparro is the Editor At Large at The Block. Chaparro started his career at Business Insider, where he specialized in the intersection of digital assets and Wall Street, market structure, and financial technology. Soon after joining Business Insider out of Fordham University, Chaparro was interviewing top finance and tech executives, including billionaire Mark Cuban, “Flash Boys” star Brad Katsuyama, Cboe Global Markets CEO Ed Tilly, and New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley. In 2018, he become a sought after reporter in the crypto world, interviewing luminaries such as Tyler Winklevoss, the cofounder of Gemini, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, and Fundstrat head Tom Lee. He runs his own podcast The Scoop and writes a biweekly eponymous newsletter. He leads special projects, including The Block's flagship podcast, The Scoop. Prior to The Block, he held roles at Business Insider, NPR, and Nasdaq. For inquiries or tips, email [email protected].