Turning vision into digital reality: How The Sandbox Co-Founder creates a rich metaverse of creators and gamers

When games were first introduced, they utilised a pay-to-play business model built with physical coin slots and arcades. After years of pioneering business models, games have evolved to free-to-play models for players to unlock digital items such as weapons, skins, characters and more, all tightly controlled by game developers. But the experimentation didn’t stop there.

Just recently, the play-to-earn model has begun taking the gaming industry to new innovations. This new paradigm is based on creating real value from in-game assets and other forms of digital items using non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain technologies. This development is paving the way for a new digital reality that is changing how we experience games.

In a nutshell, play-to-earn games are revolutionising the industry by building ecosystems that support developers, gamers and creators. This involves not just the creation of new gaming experiences, but also providing fair monetisation opportunities for everyone. Sebastien Borget, Co-founder and COO of The Sandbox, is at the forefront of this innovation, turning his life-long vision into new digital realities.

Redefining the gaming industry with play-to-earn

“We all play games where all of the content we earn or like are virtually earned on screen – for example, rewards, coins, characters and weapons, however, they are never truly ours,” shares Borget. This exact situation pushed him to find a way where players earn and own everything they have in the game. This is the essence of the play-to-earn business model.

Borget explains how we can look at games as an opportunity to earn while having fun. Many people spend so much time playing a game, but all of those efforts can be better utilized if you can also earn from it. Play-to-earn games are set to change this dynamic.

“I’ve been playing games, and it’s always been like that for 20 years that anything I see on the screen is virtual. So you don’t really have that feeling that you can own it and sell it,” explains Borget. This inspired him to create a game that allows users to truly own their assets.

Also Read: Play Ventures launches new US$75M fund to support metaverse entrepreneurs

Reimagining gaming ecosystems with The Sandbox

The Sandbox is a virtual metaverse where players can play, build, own and monetise their virtual experiences. Before it became a blockchain-based game, The Sandbox was a traditional game. “We started The Sandbox in 2012 as a mobile game and initially, it came from being just a simple game where users could play with physics. Basically, you could drop soil, water, sand, burn with fire, etc. It was the physics simulator we saw, and we envisioned it could be fun if people could do the same but instead of using a mouse, use it with a finger so players would feel like it’s magical to drop items with a finger and interact with them. That’s why we decided to launch a mobile version,” shares Borget.

“It became successful because the content was inside, so all of the great creations made by users anywhere around the world were contributing to bringing more users and adding value to the game itself. At the same time, we grew frustrated that somehow we had no way on existing platforms to reward users other than giving them virtual currency and digital items that they didn’t really own and were inside the game only,” adds Borget.

Inspired by this challenge, Borget and the company decided to create a new version of the game that could benefit both creators and players. “We built a new version, this time a 3D multi-platform integrating NFTs and a token to build a decentralized virtual world. Now, we are an open NFT metaverse where creators and players truly own their digital assets, are empowered, and can monetize everything they create or earn on the platform,” says Borget.

An abundance of opportunities to unlock in the metaverse

The Sandbox is just one of the many ecosystems that are truly embracing the metaverse. With this new evolution in the gaming industry, we can see more opportunities opening up for users to experience. “I really think that the media and the public, in general, are starting to realize that there is actually an opportunity here for everyone – including what I call the fourth industrial revolution which will probably be bringing more work into virtual worlds,” concludes Borget.

This article was first published by The Human & Machine.

Image Credit: The Human & Machine

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