2024 will be the year of creators and The Sandbox going mobile, says Sebastien Borget
As the year draws to an end, we’re asking some of the key members of the blockchain gaming sector what they thought about what happened in 2023, and what they expect in 2024. You can check out all our interviews in this series here.
What was the most significant news of 2023?
In 2023, The Sandbox’s most significant achievement has been the continued growth of our ecosystem of users, creators and brands: with over 5 million user wallets (20% year-on-year increase), 800 brands and partners (10% year-on-year increase) and an engagement of 62 minutes average daily playtime (20% year-on-year increase).
We are seeing no decrease in interest over the vision my co-founder and CEO Arthur Madrid and myself have had and our company’s mission for over 12 years: to empower anyone to become a creator of entertainment powered by true digital ownership.
One of the most important news has been the opening of self-publishing to all creators. This year has kicked off a new phase for The Sandbox, where UGC is now representing a greater proportion of the experiences available, with over 260 UGC experiences to explore on decentralized virtual world.
We have also launched dozens of events and new seasons such as Dr Bomkus Trials. All of this is positioning The Sandbox towards the expansion of our creator economy, with the opening of the marketplace to all creators.
We held our first global Creators Day and it was attended by over 500+ guests. The Sandbox hosted 2 keynotes, 4 deep dives, 4 panels ; 10+ speakers and announced what’s coming for the future of The Sandbox. This includes a new layer 2 marketplace by the end of 2023 and a mobile version of The Sandbox.
In 2024, we’ll be launching 50+ new collections with the new tool to help creators launch their own collection, and 8 new neighborhoods starting with Cinerama.
The Sandbox has continued to announce brands such as Gucci, Lacoste, Ubisoft, Warner Music, Avenged Sevenfold, Peaky Blinders, Black Mirror and dozens more who are all looking towards the unique combination of creativity and social immersion the open metaverse offers.
How did the focus of your business change this year?
It’s been another energetic year for us. Our focus in 2023 shifted towards improving our products/creation tools and growing our global ecosystem with Asia, now representing over 30% of our audience. This demonstrates how the metaverse can provide great diversity of content and enable UGC creators to make more fun and playable experiences, including multiplayer gaming.
In a nutshell, The Sandbox is already quite different from what it was 1 year ago, and we’ve proven it by introducing dozens of branded events, new seasons and hundreds of UG experiences made by our #nocode Game Maker tool.
We’ve opened up our platform so anyone can publish their experience on their LAND as we move toward our goal of having thousands of live experiences from creators.
What do you predict will be the most important trends in 2024?
In 2024, we anticipate a greater emphasis on UG content and the integration of AI in gaming, which will continue to revolutionize creation boundaries. The trend towards digital ownership and the decentralization of content creation will likely gain more traction, offering creators greater opportunities.
2024 will be the Year of the Creators as we announced during our first global Creators Day in Hong Kong with our new CCO Nicola Sebastiani. We will empower creators building in The Sandbox ecosystem through our
- New Game Maker Fund model, including 100 million SAND until 2028 to better support all creators based on their XPs’ engagement,
- In 2024: new gameplay mechanics which we’re already working on in the backroom. Farming, survival, tower defense, RPG…
- More options to monetize: with the new Marketplace L2 in 2023 and the Collection Lab in 2024,
- More support to accelerate creation, including a New Creators Doc from beginners to experts,
- In 2024, The Sandbox will kickstart 30+ Game Jams and
- A new Creators Analytics will see the day in 2023.
What was your favourite blockchain game of the year?
As president of the Blockchain Game Alliance, we’ve seen our association grow to over 600 members and many promising games have emerged this year from either existing AAA game companies (Ubisoft, Square Enix, Com2uS, Netmarble, Wemade, Nexon, etc) or new emerging game studios. The Blockchain Game Alliance is well positioned to signal the trends and showcase the future winners who will outgrow the current space and hopefully become the gaming industry leaders of tomorrow.
In such a context, I prefer to emphasize on the diversity of new gameplays and possibilities driven by the innovation enabled by blockchain technology, NFTs and decentralization. Some of these games worth checking out and playing are Cross the Ages, Axie Infinity Origins or Shrapnel, and The Sandbox.
What’s your New Year’s resolution and what resolution would you enforce on the industry?
Our New Year’s resolution is to continue fostering a diverse, creative community within The Sandbox, focusing on fun and innovative content. For the industry, we would advocate for a resolution to prioritize fun gameplay, creator empowerment and economic fairness, ensuring creators retain more control and profit from their work.
The Sandbox differentiates itself by being an accessible creator-centric platform where culture meets gaming. We’re not just a gaming platform; we’re also touching a wider range of thematics from music to sports, arts, fashion, media and entertainment, but also banking, finance, education and work. We’re a space for new creators to bring their visions to life with our no-code tools, and a more equitable economic model that rewards creators more fairly by giving 95% back to them.