The Sandbox Review: Web3’s Digital Playground
The Sandbox, which originally started as a smash hit mobile game, has taken over the blockchain ecosystem.
Today, the virtual world is undoubtedly one of the hottest Metaverse platforms, consistently building the Web3 gaming sector with its exciting collaborative events and technology.
In this article, we explore Web3’s digital playground, The Sandbox, and how it provides a glimpse into the future of the metaverse.
What Is The Sandbox Metaverse?
The Sandbox Metaverse is a decentralized, user-generated, open-world game where creators’ imaginations can run wild. In this digital playground, users can build, own, and monetize their experiences using non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and SAND, the platform’s utility token. It’s a subsidiary of one of the world’s leading Web3 venture capital firms, Animoca Brands. Sebastian Borget, Co-Founder and COO, and Arthur Madrid, CEO of the Sandbox, currently lead the Sandbox team and have built it into what it is today.
The metaverse was initially built on the Ethereum blockchain but later migrated to the Polygon blockchain to better cater to its growing demand.
The Sandbox is similar to popular titles Roblox and Minecraft but has its own spin on gameplay. It gives gamers total creative and financial freedom, where they can create custom games, worlds, and experiences using 3D voxels and monetize their creativity and hard work.
What Is SAND?
SAND is the official cryptocurrency for The Sandbox. It’s an ERC-20 token built on the Ethereum blockchain that powers everything in the metaverse. The utility token can be used for a plethora of things, such as a medium of exchange, trading ASSETs, staking, governance, earning rewards, hiring designers, contests, and more.
SAND has a finite supply of three billion SAND tokens and is worth $0.5 apiece. It boasts a total market cap of $940 million at press time and a circulating supply of 1.8 billion SAND tokens, according to CoinMarketCap.
Since the Sandbox is a major platform, users can acquire SAND from approved centralized crypto exchanges, such as Binance and MXC, or decentralized crypto exchanges, like UniSwap. Players can also get SAND for free by participating in contests held by the platform or its Play-to-Earn mechanisms.
What Is LAND?
The Sandbox has acres of digital plots spanning its open-world game, where each parcel of virtual terrain in its map is a unique, one-of-one, ownable digital real estate represented by an Ethereum or Polygon NFT called LAND. According to the Sandbox, there are over 166,464 LAND NFTs in The Sandbox, each with a width and length of 96 meters and a maximum height of 128 meters. Notably, each meter is equal to 32x32x32 voxels.
Each LAND has its neighborhood, which determines its price, similar to property in real life. What’s special about LAND is that once users own this digital real estate, owners can host interactive experiences by populating it with fun games and exciting Assets. Whether it’s contests, events, or concerts, the LAND is where it all happens. Interestingly, LAND owners can also rent out any digital real estate they own to other creators in the metaverse.
Users can buy LAND by participating in LAND sales or directly from secondary marketplaces like OpenSea, where the cheapest LAND costs 0.4 ETH or approximately $731.
Recently, The Sandbox commemorated its new virtual neighborhood, Voxel Madness, with a LAND sale. Gamers could gain a chance to buy LAND or ESTATEs and become virtual neighbors to popular entertainment, Web3, and video game brands such as Cut the Rope, Invincible, Dungeon Siege, and Habbo, among others.
What Is an ESTATE?
If the LAND dimensions are too small for your gaming experiences, the Sandbox also offers ESTATEs, which are combinations of multiple LANDs. They come in varying sizes: Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large. The smallest ESTATE comprises nine LANDs, whereas the largest has 576 LAND parcels.
What are ASSETS?
ASSET is a term used to refer to voxel assets in the Sandbox. They are special 3D playable objects designed to augment overall gameplay. Users can create using the platform’s proprietary voxel editing tool, VoxEdit, and then publish it on the NFT marketplace for trading.
ASSETs come in different categories, such as entities, which are non-playable characters, equipment, wearables, art, and blocks. Users can find basic ASSETs in the official Game Maker.
The Sandbox Partnerships
The Sandbox is partnered with diverse companies that bring its vision to life. Currently, there are over 700 partners around the globe, including governments, large corporations, IP partners, game studios, celebrities, athletes, and more.
Some of the most influential The Sandbox partners are the Saudi Government, iconic video game company Atari, legendary sports brand Adidas, fashion giant Gucci, adult entertainment company Playboy, and so on.
These are a few of the many collaborators working with The Sandbox, building Web3 and the metaverse.
The Sandbox Events
The Sandbox’s flurry of events is one reasons why it is considered one of the top metaverse platforms today. The gaming metaverse often collaborates with mainstream giants, providing unique experiences to its users. From Forbes to Smurfs, the Sandbox consistently brings huge names and companies into the metaverse.
However, the highly sought-after Alpha Summer Season has allowed the gaming platform to immortalize itself in the Web3 sphere. The events allow players to experience never before seen gameplay, social hubs, and play-to-earn opportunities in the metaverse.
These are multi-week events where players can go on quests and potentially earn SAND token rewards and NFTs. The Sandbox Alpha Season 3, held in the summer of 2022, was filled with nonstop action and continued for months. It introduced new games, events, and spaces from mainstream collaborators such as Gucci, Pimp My Ride, and Tony Hawk.
To access the Alpha Season, gamers must have Alpha Passes, which they can obtain by registering an account and downloading the Alpha client.
The Sandbox Ecosystem
The Sandbox features three interconnected products that work together to provide a comprehensive and rewarding experience for user-generated content production. Through these products, gamers can build the metaverse and earn by contributing to the digital playground with their unique creations.
VoxEdit – Create Your Own Voxels
VoxEdit is at the core of The Sandbox creator experience. It’s a one-of-a-kind, simple-to-use but powerful free 3D voxel modeling and NFT platform that enables gamers to create and animate 3D objects with total creative freedom instantly. VoxEdit is where The Sandbox’s top and most creative users join and build to their heart’s desire. Once made, users can easily export their creations from the platform to The Sandbox marketplace as NFT game ASSETs.
The Sandbox NFT Marketplace
The Sandbox’s NFT Marketplace allows users to upload, publish, and sell their NFT Assets made with VoxEdit. Gamers upload their voxels to an IPFS network and then register them onto a blockchain to prove ownership. Once users’ creations have undergone this process, they become ASSETs that users can sell on the marketplace to potential buyers.
Users can also choose from an array of playable collectible avatars that they can equip in The Sandbox to show off. Some of the most popular collections are from hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg, fashion icon Paris Hilton, soccer player Sergio “Kun” Aguero, hit TV show The Walking Dead, and more.
The Sandbox’s Original Game Maker
The Sandbox Game Maker is one of the most advanced yet easy-to-use game engines in Web3 that boasts a myriad of features for game developers. The Game Maker essentially is where gamers can unlock their creativity and build.
What’s unique about the tool is that it allows game developers to build experiences using a straightforward drag-and-drop interface that will enable them to instantly edit terrains, characters, items, quests, buildings, and more. The Game Maker doesn’t require game designers to know how to code. Anyone can bring their imaginations to life in the gaming metaverse by following the official tutorial.
Some of the widely celebrated features of the Game Maker are its multiplayer gameplay features, lighting and visual effects, video and audio streaming capabilities, equipment and wearables support in social hubs, emotes, and more.
How Can Creators Make Money?
The Sandbox is a digital world of opportunities for creators, gamers, and artists. Users can earn in a multitude of ways, such as creating ASSETs in Voxedit and selling them on the Marketplace as NFTs, building and monetizing games and experience using the Game Maker, buying LAND, and then renting them out or populating them with content.
The Sandbox Roadmap 2023
2022 was an eventful year for the Sandbox, allowing the gaming metaverse to double its number of partners worldwide. The platform introduced various new technologies, events, and programs that helped users and companies develop their businesses in the metaverse.
For 2023, The Sandbox has shared on its social media that it looks to drive more business by launching a partners resources hub to aid agencies and studios to set their bases in web3, launch the new and more advanced Game Maker version 0.8, and hold more LAND sales.
On the Flipside
- According to DappRadar, NFT trading had significantly increased in Q1 of 2023, totaling $311 million – a 277% increase since Q4 2022. At the same time, virtual land trading set a new all-time high, recording 146,690 trades. Yuga Labs, MG Land, The Sandbox, and Decentraland were some of the major proponents behind the spike.
- Since the start of this year, investors have poured $502 million into Web3 gaming and metaverse platforms, accounting for 32.7% of total investments in crypto in 2023.
Why This Matters
The metaverse has evolved from a mere concept to a reality. While development has been slow for the majority of 2023, platforms like The Sandbox and Decentraland are miles ahead as some of the best blockchain games in the market, already hosting mega-events with mainstream giants and providing a glimpse into what the metaverse would look like in the future.
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