- The funds will be used to expand the company’s workforce, develop new creative tools for players, add multiplayer, and expand the company’s intellectual property and brand portfolio.
- Borget claimed in an interview with GamesBeat that Web 3 and decentralization enabled by blockchain technologies such as NFTs are the next apparent trend for the future of computers and the internet.
- Although The Sandbox is SoftBank Vision Fund 2’s first investment in crypto assets, SoftBank previously invested $680 million in Sorare, a Paris-based producer of NFT fantasy soccer games with 30 employees.
In a financing round led by SoftBank, The Sandbox has raised $93 million to help expand its nonfungible token-based virtual world. This is yet another indication of how popular NFTs have become in an era when Bitcoin’s value is skyrocketing. NFT games are a stepping stone to the metaverse, another buzzword for the universe of interconnected virtual worlds, as depicted in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One and video games such as World of Warcraft.
A $30 billion fund operated by one of the world’s largest enterprises, the SoftBank Vision Fund 2, has provided the cash for the project. Participants included Animoca Brands, True Global Ventures, Liberty City Ventures, Galaxy Interactive, Kingsway Capital, Blue Pool Capital, LG Technology Ventures, Alpaca VC, Graticule Asset Management Asia, Com2uS, GoldenTree Asset Management, Nokota, Sun Hung Kai & Co, Sound Ventures, Red Beard Ventures, SCB 10X, Polygon Studios, Samsung Next, Double Down Partners, StakeFish, SterlingVC, and HodlCo.
The company will use this money to increase the number of intellectual property and brand names featured in The Sandbox, hire more people, and build a more robust infrastructure overall.
NFT is experiencing a renaissance
The non-financial sector has enjoyed a banner year. Google Trends shows that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) began to gain popularity in February and exploded when similar NFTs such as digital art and NBA Top Shot began to gain popularity. Since then, Dapper Labs has seen sales and resales of those NFTs reach more than $780 million. In March, a digital collage by the artist Beeple created with NFT technology sold at Christie’s for 69.3 million dollars. It comes across as really naive. The popularity of NFTs has also shown severe downsides, as evidenced by a slew of scams in which people steal artwork and pass it off as their own NFTs.
By May, the NFT market for Ethereum had collapsed entirely. Kotaku reported that the NFT bubble had burst. However, it began to rise again in August and September, followed by a brief fall before growing gradually. The price of Bitcoin has fluctuated as much as cryptocurrency trade, but it has consistently risen in recent months. In the first quarter, DappRadar, which measures the entire NFT industry beyond only Ethereum, claimed that NFT revenues reached $1.2 billion, $1.3 billion in the second quarter, and a startling $10.7 billion in the third quarter, thanks to the success of games such as Axie Infinity.
Additionally, many believe that NFTs will usher in the metaverse, a realm of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, similar to the one depicted in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One. In addition, because NFTs can authenticate digital ownership, you may transfer the assets and avatars you acquire in one world to another.
About The Sandbox
The investment also serves as a strong endorsement of Arthur Madrid and Sebastien Borget’s business plan for The Sandbox (Borget will be speaking at our GamesBeat Summit Next online event on November 9-10). They began in 2011 and have been going ever since. They were the subject of an article I wrote in 2013 when operating out of Paris under Pixowl. Doodle Grub was one of the games that Borget showed me. As a result of Apple’s criticism, that amusing game was pulled off the store shelves. That is when the company’s journey to The Sandbox took off.
The Sandbox could combine various pieces with building new ones and making their digital creations, much as in games like Minecraft. The Sandbox was being re-imagined as soon as they learned about NFTs. For $4.875 million in cash and shares, they sold the company to Animoca in 2018. The business now employs more than 200 people.
There have been 40 million downloads of The Sandbox worldwide. The Sandbox, Blowfish Studios, Quidd, Games, nWay, Pixowl, Bond, and Lympo are a few of Animoca Brands’ blockchain-focused companies. It is soliciting money for its division through this round of funding.
In addition to being a gallery of games, it has a few more unique features. Assuming that everyone builds their homes, it will resemble a virtual environment with a topographical pattern that you can explore with your 3D avatar. It has been sold around two-thirds of the land that has been set aside so far.
According to the corporation, if you stroll to the border of one land, you can cross over into a neighboring land. Since gaming experiences are much like real-world properties, where you live and who your neighbors become almost as essential as the level of fun you’re getting from the game itself.
Following his previous comments, Borget told GamesBeat that Web 3 and decentralization, enabled by blockchain technology such as NFTs, are the next apparent trend in computing and the internet’s future. More than 30,000 artists are selling their work on the site. SAND, the virtual currency used in the game, has seen a lot of trade. There are hundreds of players live streaming at any given time, and the number of viewers and participation on each stream is increasing.
The latest sandbox is now available
Brands flocked to The Sandbox after releasing a new version that allowed it to market its virtual real estate as NFT-based digital property. The Walking Dead, Snoop Dogg, and Atari, among others, have all purchased virtual property pieces, and The Sandbox has sold its land for more than $144 million in gross merchandise value. More than 500,000 wallets have been registered in the game, including 12,000 virtual landowners, including 165 brands. The Sandbox’s open metaverse will grow faster now that it’s known as The Sandbox, with the help of more creators and businesses, and intellectual assets involved.
Players in the Sandbox will monetize their time in the metaverse by using the play-to-earn paradigm. Through play-to-earn, materials collected by one category of players are sold and purchased by another, creating a circular economy with supply and demand that compensates the participants.
Because of the booming Sandbox economy, new employment categories including NFT creators, virtual architects, game makers, and others are springing up all the time. Its new concept extends beyond games to include fashion, architecture, virtual concerts, virtual performances, art galleries, and museums—creating a whole ecosystem and digital chances.
As a result, Guy Oseary, founder of the management agency Maverick, has joined the Sandbox as an adviser. Other clients of Maverick include the likes of Madonna, U2, and Bored Ape Yacht Club, as well as Nicholas Adler, manager and brand curator for entertainment icon Snoop Dogg.
In addition to Zed Run and Republic Realm, prominent landowners in The Sandbox include the Winklevoss twins, Binance, the Bored Ape Yacht Club, CyberKongz, and CoinMarketCap. Other notable landowners in The Sandbox have GrowYourBase, MetaKey, and the South China Morning Post. Wedbush Securities advised Sandbox financially and legally as the exclusive placement agent and advisor and by Rubicon Law.