NFTs and gaming are two of the most popular trends in the crypto space during this end of 2020 and for sure they will become even more important in 2021: that’s why The Cryptonomist decided to interview Sebastien Borget, co-founder of The Sandbox, and Alessandro Capezza, founder of Colivingvalley.com.
The Sandbox is one of the most famous games based on blockchain which also has a system of NTFs to buy and sell digital lands. In 2020, The Sandbox conducted a big IEO on the Binance Launchpad, collecting 3 million dollars.
How was your 2020? What is your biggest satisfaction during this year?
Borget: 2020 proved there is a hunger for connected game experiences. Virtual worlds saw more interest than ever, Minecraft alone seeing 124M active users in August. But it was events like Travis Scott’s Fortnite concert being enjoyed by 12M players and Roblox having an estimated $8B stock market value that showed gaming’s potential.
We see this in The Sandbox, where creators and LAND (digital real estate) owners are generating assets and activities that have increased the world’s value by 500%, to $25M, placing The Sandbox in the top ten cryptocurrency titles even before its launch.
Our main metrics have grown significantly in 2020, while the platform is still in beta for most of its products: VoxEdit, Game Maker or Marketplace – with more than 4,325 unique LAND owners, 150,000+ $SAND holders and 100,000+ community members between Twitter, Discord and Telegram.
Our community supports our vision to build a decentralised gaming world, 100% owned by players and creators, featuring huge IPs and Brands and where everyone’s time and efforts as they play or create the platform contributes to the overall growth of the platform in equal manner between all of the actors making this platform.
We’re proudly supporting more than 18 projects via our Game Makers Foundation and one of proudest achievement is we have started changing lives of hundreds of people around the world , supporting Artists, Game Creators, rewarding $SAND prizes given to Game Jams and Contests Winners, as well as our #GameMakers Fund and Creator Fund.
Capezza: this year I gave a job to more than 10 people who were willing to work in the blockchain gaming world: community managers, writers, content producer, social ads specialist, game artists. Many of these people were left without a job and found out about The Sandbox metaverse through my website Colivingvalley! This was the first step of them being hired and producing content! In a year with a global pandemic, I believe this is great!
What are the plans for your 2021?
Borget: In 2021, we will build an unique way to play in a virtual world where you can play, create, collect, earn, govern, and own anything in the game. We’ve worked close to a decade on The Sandbox franchise with the intention of turning players into makers and now we are empowering players and creators too. In The Sandbox, all the content, tokens and currencies are owned by the users via their wallets and accounts, with everything verified and transparent on the blockchain.
Everything you create is finally yours. There is value in the content you make. From this new economic layer in virtual world games, a new world of opportunity arises.
Our goal within the next 5 years is that $SAND will be owned 100% by players, and us as the platform we will continue developing services for the community, while owning 0%.
We want to push further the limits of what has been seen in traditional virtual worlds, and enable players to take ownership of The Sandbox, not only through owning LANDS, ASSETS NFTs or $SAND. Social, Multiplayer, Mobile gameplay and Play-to-earn are some of the major milestones for The Sandbox in 2021.
We’ll soon be sharing more details about our upcoming seasons system and some of the unique mechanics we want to launch relatively to $SAND and LANDS. We have already started changing the lives of hundreds around the world. The Sandbox will be at the forefront of this revolution, supporting Artists, Game Creators, rewarding $SAND prizes in Play-to-Earn and given to Game Jams and Contests Winners, as well as our #GameMakers Fund and Creator Fund. This is just getting started and we’ll be accelerating in 2021!
Capezza: keep helping the Italian and southern European blockchain community learning more about gaming. With our Telegram groups The Sandbox Italia and NFT Marketplace we are building opportunities for the non-fungible token job market and bringing exposure to crypto-artists and crypto-game makers! If you are interested, have a game project or an art project you’d like to discuss, feel free to hop in and join our communities!
Can you tell us more about your project?
Borget: The Sandbox is a virtual world where players can build, own, and monetize their gaming experiences in the Ethereum blockchain using NFTs and $SAND, the platform’s utility token.
We are combining user-generated content (UGC) with NFTs, enabling anyone to make its own NFTs using VoxEdit (our 3D Editor). Then you can own, trade and monetize these NFTs as you want. You will be able to enter a virtual world where you can build, own and monetize games, next to gaming giants Atari, Square Enix and more!
The Sandbox metaverse invites players and creators to:
- Make NFTs with VoxEdit #Voxels
- Sell and Trade them on our #Marketplace
- Create fun games with our #GameMaker
- Play, Stake & Earn $SAND #Crypto
- Play & Create with huge IPs and Brands
Capezza: Colivingvalley.com was born in November 2019 as a blog for remote workers and future remote workers. Our mantra was: ” we will have 2 billions remote workers by 2035. Then Covid-19 happened and all of a sudden we immediately had the whole world working from home. We decided to jump onto this topic and we discovered that many people were interested not just in Bitcoin and Ethereum, but also about DeFi, Gaming and job opportunities into this world. That’s how NFT Marketplace was born as well, in order to give exposure to game artists and crypto artists, with many of those jumping into The Sandbox metaverse and participating in the Game Fund by The Sandbox foundation, a funding opportunity of a total of 2 million US dollars!
Which are the most important brands that are using LAND?
Borget: In The Sandbox virtual world, major IP brands like The Smurfs, Shaun the Sheep, Care Bears, and Rollercoaster Tycoon own virtual lands. Over 60 partners including major game publishers like Atari and Square Enix also have a virtual presence, and many more are being added each month.
Players will be able to socialize and interact into a virtual theme park-like universe where players can socialize and play voxel versions of retro classics Asteroids®, Centipede®, Pong®, and RollerCoaster Tycoon®.
For Shaun the Sheep,we will build a new version of their Mossy Bottom Farm. We will create smurfy adventures featuring the Smurfs characters and turn the Smurfs Village into a social hub.
With Care Bears, players will be able to explore a virtual Care-a-Lot setting, complete with Care Bears-themed environment.
When you were a child, you could only fantasize about jumping through the TV screen and playing with the Smurfs or riding in the batmobile with Batman. But now you can — in the virtual world!
And since working with Brands is one of the top strengths of our team, together with our 10+ years of expertise in the gaming industry, this promises great experiences for both players and social and multiplayer.
Can you tell me more about your NFTs?
Borget: it is very simple to explain yet so powerful! Until now, any in-app purchases or virtual currency bought in free-to-play games could not be withdrawn, re-used, resold, or used in other ways across games or platforms. They were perishable consumable goods.
With NFTs, anything you buy in the games is actually yours. Each asset is uniquely identifiable, can have a provable limited number of copies and can be transferred between users, without asking the permission of the developer.
Even better, it can also be transferred outside the game, put for sale on a marketplace or even used inside another game, providing extra utility or gameplay across various games. In short, Blockchain in gaming and NFTs replicate the physical world, where a unique person will buy a unique guitar that he will then be able to resell through craigslist.
And the number of potential use cases for NFT continues to grow with time, and ever more innovative examples appear regularly. NFT can really represent any class of digital asset. One of the best applications of NFTs is the Metaverse, where games, user-generated content, art, finance, avatars, multiplayer and social are concepts that come across and are multiplying each other.
In open metaverses, gamers can monetize this value. All gaming content is user generated. You not only own your gaming assets and the experiences you create, but you’re also a part owner of the gaming platform. In The Sandbox, for example, you are an owner as a holder of $SAND and LAND tokens. As the platform earns more revenue, you can earn more revenue.
When you buy land in a virtual world, you own a piece of a metaverse (LAND). By the coordinates on the map, players can teleport to your game, explore the map and play user-created experiences.
Like a property in the real world, the tokenized land, games and gaming assets have real value. This creates a greater investment, so you would not simply abandon them and move to another land or a different metaverse.
So, NFTs transfer power and value to players and this value accrues as players contribute to the growth and development of the platform.
Capezza: in our Telegram group NFT Marketplace it is possible to buy, sell and find information regarding any sort of non-fungible token on the market. Our goal is to help people learn more on the topic before they spend money on a topic they do not understand. Our main partner is The Sandbox Metaverse which has already proved as one of the most prominent virtual worlds out there and The Crypto Gateway, one of the top YouTube channels in Europe!
What’s your vision for the future of blockchain gaming?
Borget: We’re lucky to have been true pioneers in the space of NFTs and blockchain gaming with The Sandbox and also observe and take an active part of the acceleration of blockchain gaming in 2020.
Just 2 examples among all the exciting projects launched this year — Yield Guild Games introducing scholarships to train communities to actively participate into play-to-earn games and collect the benefits from trading their resources. Or Metaverse Property which is launching the first property agency for virtual real-estates across open metaverses.
Traction is really taking on and games like Axie Infinity are surpassing the 10,000 weekly active users, ushering for the next records in revenue and engagement. We’ll see more and more experimentation that combines DeFi, Staking, Governance with community-driven DAOs, virtual worlds. I’m super hyped for 2021!
Capezza: after years where users have been overlooked by software houses, gamers are back where they belong! With blockchain gaming we have the opportunity for people to not just be part of the game, but literally build up the gaming experience itself and gain revenues out of it. The future is bright for gaming and even brighter for blockchain gaming!