The Sandbox, the voxel-style blockchain-based metaverse, made headlines on Tuesday when they revealed their newest acquisition, Nicola Sebastiani, as their chief content officer. With years of experience at gaming giants such as Ubisoft and PlayStation, Sebastiani’s expertise is set to drive The Sandbox’s creator economy.
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The new COO
Sebastiani, no stranger to the gaming industry, has a noteworthy background ranging from a position on Ubisoft’s mobile team to pioneering the Apple Arcade subscription service for the App Store. His most recent achievement was helming PlayStation’s mobile strategy for two consecutive years. Now, he takes a leap into the Web3 realm with The Sandbox.
Driving the creator economy
In an interview for Decrypt, Sebastiani emphasized the monumental shift in the gaming landscape. He foresees user-generated content (UGC) gaining even more traction in the gaming community. Though The Sandbox is primarily recognized for its mini-games and other gaming experiences, Sebastiani’s vision is to mold it into a versatile platform:
“We are fully entering the creator economy, (…) I really think of us as a social platform,”
His role doesn’t stop at driving the creator economy. Sebastiani is tasked with game publishing, overseeing internal game production, and spearheading the development of tools such as Game Maker and VoxEdit.
The company is taking steps to amplify creators’ voices and grant them more agency. By year’s end, players can look forward to constructing and self-publishing their unique experiences.
The Sandbox vs. Rival Metaverses
When juxtaposed with metaverse behemoths like Roblox and Minecraft, The Sandbox distinguishes itself by integrating crypto and NFTs. It allows users to link their crypto wallets, acquire in-game items via its SAND token, and purchase virtual land NFTs for both building and gaming.
In terms of finances, The Sandbox, with its 4.5 million registered crypto wallets, imposes a 5% platform fee. According to Sebastiani, this fee is redirected back into the community, supporting endeavors like the company’s Game Makers Fund. For perspective, Epic Games demands 12% of creator revenue, Roblox claims 30%, and Decentraland, another blockchain-centric metaverse, takes 2.5%.
Recent data from DappRadar indicates that The Sandbox experienced engagement from about 3,840 distinct active wallets in the previous month, raking in $2.26 million in total volume traded. In contrast, Decentraland saw engagement from only 2,770 wallets, forcing the company to liven up its metaverse with AI-based NPCs (non-playable characters).
Despite their innovative approach, blockchain-based game platforms are dwarfed by industry behemoths such as Roblox and Fortnite, each drawing over 200 million monthly active users. Nevertheless, The Sandbox and similar crypto-inclined metaverse platforms remain poised for growth in the next bull cycle.