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Phil Hall
Phil Hall
Jul 3, 2024
Interview

Game Changers Episode 1: Sebastien Borget, Co-Founder of The Sandbox

In the first episode of our new interview series, known as Game Changers, we talk with Sebastien Borget, co-founder and COO of The Sandbox, a metaverse of player built and run experiences.
Game Changers Episode 1: Sebastien Borget, Co-Founder of The Sandbox

We sat down recently with Sebastien Borget and talked about the history of The Sandbox, recent news from their ecosystem, the future of the platform, and more!

What is The Sandbox?

The Sandbox is a collection of virtual experiences, each one created and customized by the plot owner. The Sandbox ecosystem consists of millions of users, thousands of creators, and partnerships with well known brands and celebrities including Atari, Snoop Dogg, and Warner Music, just to name a few!

The Sandbox includes land NFTs, for building out game experiences, Asset NFTs, for using on land plots, and Avatar NFTs, equippable game characters that also sometimes open up access to special contests and rewards. Content creators can build assets to sell on the markeplace, and can also monetize their game experiences if they choose.

The Sandbox is free to play and offers regular play and earn opportunities that everyone can participate in.

curren map of the entire Sandbox
curren map of the entire Sandbox

The Sandbox Vision

The Sandbox often gets compared to Roblox, and for good reason. The basic concept is the same. Lots of smaller games on one platform which users can easily switch between and which share a common collection of wearable items.

But, The Sandbox differentiates themselves through decentralization and a focus on empowering users, both players and creators. With a strong focus on user generated content, they want to draw in first time creators who maybe didn't have access to more complex game creation software or were put off by the learning curve involved. The Sandbox looks to lower the barrier for creators with easy to use tools, tutorials, bootcamps, and game jams.

Earlier this year they also opened up the Builder's Launchpad, a program to assist experience creators by offering guidance and incentives to help developers see their creations come to life.

In addition, by building on the blockchain, The Sandbox allows users to buy, sell, and trade their NFTs and tokens outside of the official marketplace. They don't gate, limit, or control the value of their SAND token (which they don't sell themselves), or any of their associated NFT collections, most of which are created by third party partners and creators.

a couple of top rated experiences in The Sandbox
a couple of top rated experiences in The Sandbox

Current Status of The Sandbox

The Sandbox has grown slowly and steadily over the years. But, this year it has really taken off. Once they opened up the floodgates to allow users to create and publish their own experience, there is always something open and available to play. And The Sandbox seems to annouce new, major partnerships almost every week!

The Sandbox currently boasts over 5.8 million users, 1,000 live, user created experiences available at any given moment, over 300 thousand unique content creators, and a global presence that partners with a variety of brands and celebrities around the world.

A recent big milestone for The Sandbox was a fundraising round that brought in $20 million to ensure enough runway for the team to continue developing for many years to come. This fundraising round also gave The Sandbox an updated valuation to the tune of $1 billion dollars! That is quite a nice bump from their last fundraising round in 2021, which valued The Sandbox at a mere $500 million.

They also recently launched The Sandbox DAO, a separate, legal entity that allows users the opportunity to propose and vote on decisions that would affect The Sandbox ecosystem. Several proposals have already passed, mostly around setting up the DAO structure and funding. But expect to see more votes in the future.

mint Avatar NFTs to use in The Sandbox
mint Avatar NFTs to use in The Sandbox

The Future of The Sandbox

The Sandbox will continue to grow and expand with more partnerships, improved user experiences, better tools, and more.

Aditionally, Sebastien dropped a few tidbits about what else we can expect in the future. For one, he teased an upcoming partnership with a major, globally-known, Japanese IP. Sebastien didn't reveal the name of the partner, but expect to see an official announcement sometime soon!

He also mentioned that The Sandbox plans to enter their beta phase later in 2024 (yes, that's right, The Sandbox is still officially in an alpha state of development!), and plans to release some sort of mobile app next year (2025).

You can watch the full video interview below.

 

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