How did The Sandbox go from being sold for $5 million to today’s $3.6 billion value?

“Pioneers of the Metaverse” is a column we set up for the development of the Metaverse. It is mainly aimed at practitioners who dig deep into the Metaverse industry or conduct “gold digging” in the Metaverse. From a unique perspective, we can see those companies or individuals who lead the development of the global Metaverse. We are convinced that the curtain of the Metaverse has been opened, and the technological Internet that will lead the next 20 years has embarked on the wave of the times. The following is the content of our 5th issue, see how sacred Sandbox is, which is being paid more and more attention by the world’s top 500, and enjoy it below .

As the integration of the fashion, music and luxury industries with the Metaverse gradually strengthens, some traditional financial giants have also begun to try to enter the virtual world. On February 16, 2022, JPMorgan Chase announced the opening of a virtual lounge in Decentraland called Onyx Lounge, becoming the first Wall Street bank to enter the Metaverse.

After financial institutions first settled in the Metaverse, on March 19, HSBC, which manages more than $3 trillion in assets, purchased a piece of virtual land in The Sandbox, becoming the first global financial service institution to settle in The Sandbox.

Sebastien Borget, COO and co-founder of The Sandbox, said in a statement: ” We believe this is the beginning of a broader adoption of Web3 and the Metaverse by institutions that drive brand experiences and participation in this new ecosystem .”

.6 billion value?" src="" />How did The Sandbox go from being sold for  million to today's billion value?" src="" data-original="" />

It can be seen that in the past two years when the concept of the Metaverse has become popular, technology giants, leading Internet companies and capital are all actively entering the game, and they are also exploring a suitable track for themselves, but the fact that cannot be ignored is that Metaverse The universe needs users to create together

However, some current mainstream sandbox games limit the rights and ownership of creators. To be able to solve the problem of centralization of user-generated content, The Sandbox has extensive experience in providing creators with new tools to build the Metaverse.

So, TheSandbox doesn’t want to be just a fun game, its goal is to gain recognition from the process of empowering creators, so what exactly does The Sandbox ecosystem look like? What kind of story does it write in the Metaverse industry? And why can it become a unicorn-level enterprise after being “sold” for $5 million?

What is The Sandbox?

TheSandbox is a sandbox game built on Ethereum, similar to Minecraft produced by Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studio. The feature of this type of sandbox game is that players can freely explore and create in the game. , use the props provided in the game to build their own things, and finally experience the fun of the game by achieving certain achievements, and the game itself has no main storyline .

The difference is that in ordinary games, we can obtain or buy corresponding equipment and props, but these game items do not belong to us, but belong to the game manufacturer.

In the world of TheSandbox, all this will be different. Characters, props and equipment in the game can be “NFTized” through blockchain technology, and everything created by players will become their personal “digital assets”.

VoxEdit (creation editor), GameMarker (game creation), and Marketplace (trading market) are important components of The Sandbox ecosystem.

VoxEdit is a very powerful free 3D voxel modeling and NFT creation package, which is simple and easy to use. Once the models created by players are officially recognized, they can be traded on the official market.

After you have the model, you can use GameMaker to build game scenes and game rules without programming. However, there is a premise that you need to have LAND in TheSandbox, that is, land.

The total number of LAND in The Sandbox is 166,464, which will never increase or decrease, of which 123,840 are available for sale, 25,920 are distributed as rewards to partners, creators, and players, and the other 16,704 are used as venues for events and games.

SAND is a functional token based on the Ethereum ERC-20 protocol, and it is also the main exchange medium in The Sandbox ecosystem. It can be used for trading, governance, and asset creation, and “NFTized” roles, props, etc. can become tradable asset. When creators have their own assets, they can trade with ordinary users who want to buy LAND, assets, etc. in the Marketplace .

Since The Sandbox adopts the Play To Earn model, the goal of generating income can be achieved by trading or acquiring in-game tokens. Therefore, The Sandbox is also regarded as a sustainable game and content creation ecosystem, and players’ independent creation in the game can be converted into a certain value.

.6 billion value?" src="" />How did The Sandbox go from being sold for  million to today's billion value?" src="" data-original="" />

The history of The Sandbox?

Following the financing in October 2021, Animoca Brands, the parent company of The Sandbox, was valued at about $2.2 billion at the time, and after the $358 million financing completed in January this year, the company’s valuation soared to $5 billion. The financing was led by Liberty City Ventures, with participation from Soros Fund Management.

It can be seen that The Sandbox, as a decentralized Metaverse game, is attracting the attention of the capital market, so how did The Sandbox achieve such results step by step?

In fact, TheSandbox is not a new project. In 2012, TheSandbox launched a mobile version of the game on Android and iOS.The app amassed 40 million downloads and even reached nearly 2.6 million monthly active users at its peak, while also being named Apple’s “Game of the Year” in 2012.

In 2015, through the game platform Steam, The Sandbox provided a download for PC version, users created 70 million unique worlds and environments in The Sandbox to interact with other players.

But this kind of sandbox game form of user-generated content is not enough to make The Sandbox stand out from its competitors, especially in the face of powerful competitors like Minecraft, which naturally loses the camp.

The turning point of TheSandbox’s second life came in 2018, after it was acquired by Animoca Brands for about $5 million (the actual price was $4.875 million) .

At this time, TheSandbox is developing its blockchain version, and Animoca Brands has a strong interest in the blockchain field. The two hit it off and completed the sharing of resources.

The CEO and founder of The Sandbox game development team Pixowl said “We see blockchain as a way for our players to gain real ownership, and they are creating more content,” so it’s a great opportunity for The Sandbox .

This is indeed the case. TheSandbox’s philosophy is very consistent with blockchain technology. Compared with other blockchain games, The Sandbox has a higher degree of playability and a more mature economic and governance model. Therefore, in the blockchain industry Become a leader in sandbox games .

TheSandbox solves many problems of open sandbox games through blockchain technology, such as the centralized control of some mainstream games for virtual product transactions created by players, which limits the value players should get in the free market.

The Sandbox currently refuses to disclose its valuation, but the market value of Sandbox coin, the token supported by The Sandbox, exceeds $3.6 billion (sourced from CoinMarketCap).

In addition, according to officially disclosed data, The Sandbox has raised a total of more than $95 million in 4 rounds of financing. The following are the details of The Sandbox’s financing.

.6 billion value?" src="" />How did The Sandbox go from being sold for  million to today's billion value?" src="" data-original="" />

In general, The Sandbox has been welcomed and supported by many players, whether as a traditional sandbox game or a decentralized Metaverse game, which is also due to the strong development and operation capabilities of the team behind it. In reality, the platform needs more perfect systems to safeguard the rights of users, and the blockchain version of The Sandbox is also continuing to actively explore, and has gradually gained the love of many brands.

Why is The Sandbox favored by brands?

Whether it is a decade-long development history or its unique ease of use and fun as a sandbox game, The Sandbox, one of the “Four Little Dragons of Virtual Land”, has been favored by many brands.

At present, The Sandbox has established cooperative relationships with more than 60 companies, including HSBC, Adidas Originals, and many well-known IPs such as Square Enix, ATARI, The Smurfs, and CareBears.

However, why did The Sandbox attract the favor of brands? Let’s take a brief look at The Sandbox team’s strategic planning and past The Sandbox’s strong alliances with partners.

As early as August 2018, the co-founder and COO Sebastien Borget of The Sandbox announced at the ChinaJoy exhibition that the decentralized sandbox game “The Sandbox” would be launched, based on the mobile game “The Sandbox Evolution” at that time. Evolved version.

Sebastien Borget said at the conference that The Sandbox team will release VoxEdit, a 3D editor that can combine user-generated content (UGC) with NFTs, allowing anyone to make their own NFTs, creating a game that can be played, created, collected, earned A new ecosystem of integrated creators and players to acquire, govern and hold in-game digital assets , which provides the foundation for brands to build their own The Sandbox scene.

In the next two years, The Sandbox successively launched LAND to introduce high-quality land and assets. The Game Makers Fund financed and authorized game projects and artists, and built a large community with more than 750,000 members, steadily and rhythmically promoting the ecological development of The Sandbox. building.

Sebastien Borget firmly believes that players do not come for technology, but for fun. Creating interesting, visually appealing and well-mechanized games is The Sandbox’s ultimate vision, which coincides with the brand’s IP attributes.

The most surprising thing is that Sebastien Borget first publicly stated in an interview in 2020 that The Sandbox is a sandbox Metaverse. The Sandbox team’s prediction of future technological development far exceeded most of the game companies at that time, walking in the times. the forefront.

The Sandbox’s partners can be said to cover all walks of life .

Well-known brands such as Atari, Care Bears, Japanese game development company Square Enix (Final Fantasy game publisher), Korean game developer SHIFT UP, Shaun the Sheep, The Smurfs, and award-winning game studios based on different brands properties and tags, creating a Metaverse of its related themes in The Sandbox, faithfully restoring the scenarios required by the IP.

Blockchain partners such as Matic, MakerDao, Klaytn, OpenSea, Bitski,, Polygon, Ethernity, and DappRadar are linked with The Sandbox’s large community, promoting decentralized exchanges, and promoting the development of Web3.0 and iterate .

Decentralized game partners such as MyCryptoHeroes, ZEPETO, CryptoKitties, AxieInfinity and The Sandbox have joined forces to provide an interactive parallel 3D space to enhance user experience.

South China Morning Post, HSBC, New World Development Group, Adidas Originals, audit giant PricewaterhouseCoopers, Warner Music Group, gaming giant Ubisoft, Play Magnus Group (PMG), Ocean Park Hong Kong, luxury brand Gucci, Singapore Digital Assets Traditional industries such as management company DWM, American high-tech sports menswear brand ASRV, French top fashion magazine “L’OFFICIEL”, Thailand’s Bank of Commerce (SCB) and other traditional industries are in the Metaverse “mirror world” of The Sandbox, with brand-new interactive games and Show the experience.

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At the same time, many celebrities have deployed The Sandbox. Jay Chou held a concert in The Sandbox, American rap star Snoop Dogg created a mansion and a corresponding avatar in The Sandbox, and fans became neighbors with idols in The Sandbox, making countless people excited .

Introducing mainstream game companies and IPs to blockchain games and NFTs, and establishing good trust and experience with these key brands is the direction of The Sandbox team’s efforts. They practice and make continuous breakthroughs.

At present, The Sandbox’s partner territory is still expanding. We believe that while players are playing games, creating, owning assets and making profits, it is undoubtedly a great thing to be surrounded by game giants Atari, HSBC, Adidas Originals and other big names. cool thing.

And the frequent favor of the brand side is not accidental or whim. Based on blockchain technology, The Sandbox not only provides brands with the ownership of digital assets, but also realizes the perfect reproduction of the physical world, provides brands with the basis for creating a “mirror world” that breaks through the dimensional wall, and provides IP The restoration of fantasy scenes that are difficult to achieve in the physical world.

At the same time , The Sandbox has a huge user base, which can well bring players and brands together to enhance user engagement and brand influence .

In addition, when the Metaverse era is approaching, The Sandbox, which has laid out the Metaverse-related tracks in advance and achieved a perfect fit, undoubtedly has a strategic advantage. At a time when major brands are entering the Metaverse and trying to seize the market, The Sandbox has become the first choice for major brands.

The difference between The Sandbox and Minecraft

In the field of games, sandbox is a type of game whose core gameplay is that players can change, influence or create the world in the game, the most representative of which is Minecraft.

“Minecraft” is a sandbox game developed by Mojang Studios in 2009. This is a pixel world composed of blocks. In this world, there are animals, plants and minerals. Anything has a way to destroy it and obtain it. Some materials , such as wood, meat, grain, ores, etc., are reconstituted into new things through a series of structural formulas.

Therefore, players can transform and build this world at will in “Minecraft”, which is truly a “Minecraft” belonging to the player, as if they are in an immersive world with very similar rules to the real world.

In addition, “Minecraft” also has a creative mode. Players do not need to take risks, but only retain the construction function. These pixel materials can be used to build the world the player wants, which is often used to reproduce some classic buildings. or landscape.

“Minecraft” has gradually become popular among players due to its highly free gameplay and novel creative mode. With the help of social platforms, countless players have begun to share their buildings and ideas, which has also influenced “Minecraft”. more people.

Today, “Minecraft” has become a world-renowned game with more than 100 million monthly active users. It is an important milestone for sandbox games and makes sandbox games a favorite game type for players.

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The Sandbox’s built-in game is very similar to Minecraft. Players can first buy the land of The Sandbox, and then create a pixelated game on this land. The Sandbox also provides creators with a set of tools that allow them to use their imaginations to create their own worlds.

However, unlike “Minecraft”, The Sandbox is driven by blockchain technology, which can decentralize digital items into irreplaceable non-fungible tokens (NFTs). , which means that everything in The Sandbox is a valuable asset .

So, The Sandbox looks like a sandbox game, but it has become a more immersive digital world based on sandbox games.Here are a few directions for a clearer understanding of how The Sandbox differs from Minecraft.

First, in The Sandbox, any player can own 100% of their own creations, and can make their own creations into NFTs, upload them to the market for others to buy, or they can play their own games for others to play, and get the benefits.

On the other hand, in Minecraft, there are very few ways for players to make money, most of which are earned through live broadcast, recording, production of related videos and other means outside the game. Only a few top technical teams can rely on writing various modules. , MOD, research the latest technology and promote it, or form a professional construction team to make large buildings to make money. Most people are still using love to generate electricity, and they have no martial arts skills, but they cannot bring value to themselves.

Blockchain technology not only brings digital value to The Sandbox, but also enables content creators to usher in the spring of creation and realization .

Second, The Sandbox has a complete token economic system, which can closely integrate players with the development of The Sandbox. Players are no longer just playing games, but like aboriginals living in a digital world, they will be accompanied by The development of the city benefits from dividends.

As more and more people join The Sandbox, whether it is the token representing The Sandbox or the value of the virtual land in it, the tide will rise.

This is like when we bought a house in Beijing, and the appreciation of the house price represents the dividend of urban development, and we directly enjoy this dividend, but there is no such effect in “Minecraft”. In Minecraft, the more players there are, the more economical it is for players.

.6 billion value?" src="" />How did The Sandbox go from being sold for  million to today's billion value?" src="" data-original="" />

Third, players of The Sandbox can dispose of their digital assets at will, and I am free to do anything with my personal assets. A feature of the centralized Minecraft is that the main body behind it has absolute right to speak to the product. Even if players spend money and energy on it, they have no dominance .
This can be intuitively felt from the content of Minecraft’s End User License Agreement.


An important rule is that you may not distribute any content we create unless we expressly consent to it.”Distribute any content we create” means:

provide any other person with a copy of our game;

use any content we create for commercial purposes;

attempt to make money from any content we create; or

allow others to access any content we create in an unfair or unreasonable manner;

This is understandable for the operator of “Minecraft”, but on the other hand, it also puts a shackle on the greater possibility of the sandbox world. The autonomy given by blockchain technology to The Sandbox has given its users wings of imagination, and the difference between the two will be judged.

Therefore, although today’s “Minecraft” occupies an absolute lead in terms of total users, popularity and active numbers.Although The Sandbox has just exceeded 2 million users, its economic effect has exceeded 300 million US dollars, and the flywheel effect is obvious.

The Sandbox is gradually being recognized by more and more celebrities and companies, and they have launched cooperation with them one after another. The future development potential is unlimited .

What exactly does The Sandbox carry?

As we described above, although The Sandbox is far less entertaining and user-friendly than Minecraft, which is sought after by mainstream gamers around the world, we need to see what The Sandbox has brought us What is new, and why it suddenly became popular after so many years of silence, we will explore the meaning behind The Sandbox from three directions.

◉ The digital world has “ownership”

The digital world of the future will also be geographically divided, and The Sandbox aims to be a representation of land ownership in the digital world

First of all, we need to see that the most intuitive utility of The Sandbox is to anchor the ownership and value rights for the land in the digital world. You must know that in the current digital space or the Internet world, there is no value description for virtual land. , except for the “boundaries” in the game, most of the land is just a concept, and even the ownership is just a piece of paper.

Therefore, The Sandbox with blockchain features can naturally value land ownership, rather than a piece of land on the network or a piece of land that can be copied and pasted at will. When the uniqueness and immutability of the blockchain are superimposed in The Sandbox , the chemical reaction brought about is just like Marx wrote “Das Kapital” many years ago – the value of labor force has been affirmed.

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As described above when we compared The Sandbox with “Minecraft”, because of the concept of tokens and NFTs, we can really own a piece of land, a prop or a jpg in The Sandbox.

We believe that this kind of pioneering will bring innovation to the game and the digital world. Players are no longer a game participant, but can also become a builder or even a leader. The Sandbox brings decentralization to the game world. The changes brought about also gave birth to the Metaverse, which is why it has the reputation of the Metaverse game and has been recognized by capital .

  • Open up new ways of marketing in the digital world

Maybe people will wonder why more and more Fortune 500 companies are buying a piece of land in The Sandbox. In addition to some commercial hype behind this, it is also because the giants see some new opportunities. After all, when NFT or digital collections When it becomes a type of marketing method that young people are keen on, a big brand must necessarily seize the minds of users.

As NFTs, digital collections, DAOs, Crypto, and Web3 become more and more popular, all business observers will see a new singularity, and the approach of this singularity will influence decision makers to act.

Just imagine, if The Sandbox reaches tens of millions of monthly active users in the future, players who currently enter this field will bring considerable benefits due to the appreciation of land on the one hand, and on the other hand, they will also benefit from entering this new digital world earlier. It has a good reputation, which has both investment value and brand utility value, so the superposition of the two will inevitably win some brand owners’ attempts. After all, compared with the brand marketing cost of 100 million yuan, it is necessary to lay out a piece of land in The Sandbox. It is already a drop in the bucket.

Of course, if you think of The Sandbox as a small Metaverse space, brand owners have actually become the first batch of advertisers in the Metaverse, which is like the first company that launched Internet advertisements a few years ago, daring to eat crabs will surely get more attention.

As Lindsey, global head of technology and innovation at Anheuser-Busch InBev, said, “The future of sports, media and entertainment is virtual, with almost 2.5 billion people already participating in the virtual economy, and that’s where the world is evolving, without a doubt, and As in the real world, brands need to find a foothold in the virtual parallel world.” 

  • Be the true beginning of the Metaverse

When people are talking about the Metaverse, in addition to talking about virtual reality worlds such as VR and AR, they can’t do without talking about the Metaverse layout brought by blockchain. Among them, it is inevitable to mention The Sandbox and Decentraland, who pioneered A decentralized Metaverse form, although some pictures look a little awkward, and some games are a little boring in playability, but they are standing at the beginning of a new era.

.6 billion value?" src="" />How did The Sandbox go from being sold for  million to today's billion value?" src="" data-original="" />

This beginning is like Columbus’s discovery of the American continent across the Atlantic Ocean in the 15th century. Although the New World is full of backward and ancient civilizations, the collision of humanities and the new world here is the root of development and its symbolic advantage. Of course, it is a coincidence that The Sandbox is also a virtual continent, and this gap needs to be filled by us latecomers.

Some people may say, “It is possible to build a Metaverse without a blockchain.” We can’t absolutely deny such a statement. After all, Facebook’s renaming as Meta also set off a huge wave. It can only be said that there is a Metaverse blessed by blockchain. It is the digital world in the true sense, otherwise, it is just a transformation from two-dimensional Internet to three-dimensional, and progress is made to treat the symptoms but not the root cause.

Therefore, “P2E” (Play to Earn) pioneered by The Sandbox also allows players to truly “live” in the digital world, rather than simply playing games.

The development path of The Sandbox seems to be a good verification of the transformation from the Internet to the blockchain, and now they are standing on the road called the next generation Internet. We should embrace the enthusiasm of Columbus and rebuild another on the new continent. world.

What might the final form of The Sandbox be?

Now that we’ve talked about what The Sandbox is about right now, where does The Sandbox go when we look to the future?

We believe that The Sandbox has a high probability of becoming a real estate developer and advertising service provider in the Metaverse in the future, and of course it may also have the potential to become a Metaverse game giant.

The first is the Metaverse real estate developer . This goal seems to be getting closer. After all, more and more mainstream brands have purchased land in The Sandbox, and its transaction volume has also been rising. According to the Messari report, in 2021, The land sales of The Sandbox are more than $350 million. Of course, compared with our traditional real estate, this data may be less than the land sales of a second-tier city, but it also indicates that there is still a lot of room for the future development of virtual land.

The second is about advertising service providers . If The Sandbox can make good use of its plots in the future and link the development rights of part of the land to sales, it may bring a huge impact on advertising services in the digital world.At the same time, with the increase of its games, various traffic portals will also become good advertising sales places. Of course, the final marketing choice may still be in the hands of users. After all, the Metaverse scene full of advertisements may not be pleasing.

Finally, returning to the essence , The Sandbox still defines itself as a game company, so it keeps launching alpha games, which has also become a tipping point for its user growth. Although the global 2 million registered users are still stretched, the “flywheel” turns When it starts, it will not stop.

Of course, The Sandbox’s genes determine that it will not follow a main line, which is why the team has continued to innovate since its birth. If 2021 is the “hype year” of The Sandbox virtual land, then The Sandbox in 2022 will be Need more games to wrap yourself up.

As for where The Sandbox eventually goes, perhaps the development of the Metaverse will tell us the answer.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.

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