Remember when we were kids and used to play video games? These games were always excellent for entertainment irrespective of whether we play them alone or with some friends. Rather than buying a new cycle or a bat, we were ready to sacrifice our pocket money on the new PlayStation model. But 21st-century virtual world gaming is entirely different from what we used to experience. Today, gaming is a social phenomenon. It is a part of our social life, and to some, it is their alternative reality. It reminds me of a dialogue from the movie Ready Player One: “People come to The Oasis for all the things they can do, but they stay because of all the things they can be. It’s the only place that feels like I mean anything.“ The extent of physical isolation that the world has seen since 2020 has given this phenomenon more validation and adoption. Today, these virtual worlds impact our real-world mindset, relationships, and income from just being a source of entertainment. Further, because people are willing to spend time and money on a specific virtual world, that world in itself becomes valuable real estate. It is irrelevant that these goods and spaces are digital. Willingness to pay is the ultimate factor in assessing the economic value of these platforms. Let us take Minecraft as an example which is one of the most played games in the world.
The game is a virtual world where you can create your world and experiences using your creativity and resources available in the game. It is one of the first few games which comes with no objective or rules. Players can build and explore the game at their discretion. This category of games is known as “Sandbox Games”. The nature of these games is precisely like a sandbox that allows children to create anything they want from it. Minecraft made a $142 million revenue in 2020, with 200 million copies were sold last year. This explains a lot about the untapped potential in the virtual world market.
Minecraft Revenue Stats
Minecraft Sales Stats
However, these games have a problem that is hindering the growth of this virtual ecosystem. Let us identify and discuss some prime issues.
Problems with traditional gaming Ecosystem
The problems with the traditional gaming platforms are as follows:
Centralized Control on Digital Items
The gaming company has ultimate ownership right on all the digital assets generated on the platform. There is no actual ownership of digital items for a creator or the player in a traditional game ecosystem. If you purchase a gun on Call of Duty, you have access to that gun, but you don’t own that asset in an absolute sense. If the game is shut down or you lose access to your account, those digital assets will be gone forever.
Trading Digital Items
Central control over the trading of digital items restricts creators and players from getting fair value of their virtual goods. Gaming companies take a big chunk out of the sales value for themselves. Moreover, some items can be restricted for trade by the company.
Fiat Currency Based Infrastructure
Existing game marketplaces are based on Fiat Currencies such as USD, Euro, GBP, etc., which do not support microtransactions and can hamper the in-game economies.
Cross Application Interoperability
The in-game assets are not interoperable within different applications. A sword purchased in Minecraft cannot be used in Worldcraft. So, a player would need to buy separate assets for a particular application.
Today, we have brought a project that aims to solve all these above issues. The name of this project is The Sandbox. So, let us understand what it is all about.
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What is The Sandbox?
The Sandbox – Fundamental Analysis by CoinSutra
The Sandbox – Crypto Metaverse
The Sandbox is a virtual world where players can build, own and monetize their gaming experience. The platform is built on the Ethereum Blockchain Network and has an in-house governance and utility token called SAND. We will discuss more on the SAND token later in this report. With a decentralized, community-based, and blockchain-based platform, The Sandbox aims to benefit its users by providing:
True Digital Ownership – Players will be the actual owners of their in-game digital items in case a game is shut down.
Tradability of Assets – Every in-game item will be tokenized in the form of a Non-Fungible Token, making it freely tradeable on the marketplaces.
Cross Application Interoperability – A blockchain network enables games to utilize shared assets. These in-game items would no longer be confined to a narrow ecosystem.
The Sandbox team has a pretty successful past in the gaming industry. The founding team has a previous venture established in 2011 with the name of Pixowl Inc., a mobile gaming company. In 2012, Pixowl launched its first game, The Sandbox, and a second game, The Sandbox Evolution, was launched a few years later.
TheSandbox Games and Community
There are 40 Million downloads on Pixowl games, and 70 Million virtual worlds have been created in these games. This means that the Sandbox franchise already has a vast community to back up this new blockchain project. Pixowl.Inc was acquired by Animoca Brands in 2018. The blockchain version of The Sandbox was launched in 2018 and is still in the adoption and development mode.
The whole virtual world on The Sandbox is divided into 166,464 LANDS. These LAND are the spaces created in the Metaverse, in which players can create and monetize games. LANDS can be combined to form ESTATES, and ESTATES can be combines to form DISTRICTS.
Who are the Founders of The Sandbox?
The founders of The Sandbox are as follows:
Arthur Madrid – Twitter CEO, Director, and Co-Founder of The Sandbox
Arthur Madrid was the CEO and Co-founder of Pixowl.Inc and is currently a board member of Animoca Brands. He is a long-time social gaming entrepreneur and advisor to many gaming, social media, and software startups.
Sebastien Borget – Twitter COO, Director, and Co-Founder of The Sandbox
Sebastian Borget was the COO and Co-founder of Pixowl.Inc. Sebastien holds a Computer Science Engineer Degree from Telecom SudParis, one of France’s leading graduate engineering schools in Information and Communication Technology. Currently, he manages operations of a 45 plus members international team devoted to the Sandbox project. Further, in 2020 he was the president of Blockchain Game Alliance.
Now, let us understand the components of The Sandbox ecosystem.
Components of The Sandbox
The three main components of The Sandbox are Vox Edit, Marketplace, and the game itself. Now, let us understand the components of The Sandbox.
The Sandbox VoxEdit
VoxEdit is a tool for artists where they can create in-game assets for The Sandbox ecosystem. It is a simple 3D voxel modeling package that allows artists to create and animate 3D objects such as people, animals, tools, etc. These in-game assets can then either be used by the artists in the game or placed in the market for sale.
The Sandbox VoxEdit Artists may explore and download Vox Edit here.
The Sandbox – NFT Marketplace
The next important component of The Sandbox project is the Marketplace. The marketplace allows users to sell their creations made in the VoxEdit in the form of Non-Fungible Tokens (available in ERC-721 and ERC-1155 standards). Thus, the marketplace gives a ready open market to the creators to monetize their creations. There are many renowned collections on this marketplace, such as collections from Atari, Smurfs, Binance, Gemini, Coinmarketcap, etc.
You can explore The Sandbox Marketplace here.
The Sandbox Game and Game Maker
The Sandbox Game Maker
The most important component is the product that The Sandbox platform offers and, i.e., games. As discussed above, The Sandbox virtual world is divided into several pieces of LANDS. After purchasing a LAND, a user can create a game on the land and place their in-game assets, which can either be created on VoxEdit or purchased from the marketplace. Through Game Maker, users can decorate their LAND with assets and incorporate gameplay features by assigning predefined…