The metaverse has long been in the works, but public attention came into full focus ever since Facebook rebranded itself to ‘Meta’. Many metaversal projects with tokens trading on crypto markets saw a rapid surge in retail trading on the back of the Facebook announcement, and leading the way is The Sandbox – a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based blockchain gaming unicorn Animoca Brands.
Besides the SAND token’s performance, the project itself has secured a number of prominent partnerships with huge brands and celebrity names like Adidas and Snoop Dogg. During the Alpha Release late 2021, a selection of 200K players were granted early access to the roam the Sandbox metaverse who overwhelmingly rated the experience as highly positive playing a total of 150K hours cumulatively.
What is The Sandbox?
The Sandbox is an Ethereum-based metaverse where users can create, share, and monetize in-game assets and experiences. It is designed to disrupt the traditional gaming market in which platforms own and control user-generated content offering players absolute ownership of their in-world creations instead.
There are different ways to participate in the Sandbox when it comes to generating revenue. To start with, while the content of the world is largely still in development the map has been laid out. In total there are only 166,464 plots of land which together form the entire Sandbox metaverse. These plots are sold as LAND NFTs through auctions and further traded on NFT marketplaces like Opensea. Adjacent plots of land can be combined into estates to increase value and utility. Looking at the map as it stands now, already some big names have bought up huge estates including Atari, SCMP, Snoop Dogg, The Walking Dead, GameFi Ventures, and many more.
So what can you do with the LAND? You can either become a landlord and rent out the plot to another player, or create something yourself with the Sandbox Game Maker. This is a tool that allows you to create interactive games that take place on your plot of land using thousands of voxel models made by the community with the VoxEdit tool.
VoxEdit is another tool in the Sandbox that allows you to create, rig, and animate your own voxel-based NFTs. It is created in a way that enables anyone to design and bring in-game assets to life, without any coding knowledge required. Assets designed by players can be freely traded on the in-game marketplace using the SAND token.
Partnerships and collaborations do much of the work when it comes to keeping the hype going. In November 2021, the Sandbox raised $93 million in a funding round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2. Other investors such as Animoca Brands, Samsung Next, True Global Ventures, Polygon Studios, Liberty City Ventures also participated in the round.
Partnerships have been announced which include Atari, Adidas, Rollercoaster Tycoon, The Smurfs, Deadmau5, Care Bears, CryptoKitties, and Snoop Dogg. The Dogg in particular is a major partner to the ecosystem as he now owns virtual land in The Sandbox, where he will set up his mansion. Snoop Dogg will also launch his NFT collection including player avatars and a limited ‘Snoop Dogg Private Party Pass’ that gives users VIP access to concerts, events, Q&As, and dedicated NFT drops. Snoop Dogg will also launch a 3D avatar collection inside The Sandbox and players will be able to create games using virtual “Doggfather” items such as Snoop Dogg’s personal car collection, dogs, statues, memorabilia, and more.
Another recent partnership that was announced recently is one with Adrian Cheng, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong real estate behemoth New World Development, who said he was exploring the metaverse and his plans to invest in the blockchain gaming platform. The property tycoon also went on to reveal his intention to acquire one of its largest plots of digital land.
Lastly, besides a mysterious collaboration between the Bored Ape Yacht Club and Animoca Brands about which very little information is known, the BAYC project has also announced that some rare apes will be turned into playable avatars in the Sandbox.
The next big milestone for the Sandbox will come when Alpha Season 2 is released which is open to everyone to participate and progress through experiences, with more alpha passes available, new types of experiences, and more play-to-earn rewards. Altogether, it’s safe to say 2022 will bring in many more headlines about the Sandbox, as more metizens join one of the leading platforms in the space. Where that leaves the SAND token remains to be seen, as it is already up 20,480% from it’s all-time low – however if Axie Infinity’s token performance is anything to go by, there could still be room for additional gains as AXS currently traded at 79,260% above its all-time low.