Pixowl CEO Arthur Madrid explains how blockchain will help The Sandbox fulfil its potential
Creating value for everyone
Given the trajectory of both companies towards the blockchain, Animoca Brands’ acquisition of Pixowl is no surprise.
Over recent months, the Hong Kong-based publisher has been selling off many of its mobile games, also raising more cash from investors, while acquiring blockchain (and AI)-focused companies.
In that context, the $4.9 million deal to buy US/Argentine outfit Pixowl is its biggest and most ambitious move to-date.
We haven’t yet fulfilled The Sandbox’s potential.
Ironically, the companies have a shared history in mobile games, both working on titles using licenses such as Peanut and Garfield. And in the small community, the company’s founders have known each other for years.
Making a bigger Sandbox
That underlying level of trust meant the deal happened fairly quickly; a matter of months according to Pixowl CEO Arthur Madrid.
But the main reason for it is the potential of Pixowl’s latest project, the blockchain version of its most popular game series The Sandbox.
Launched back in the early days of smartphone gaming as a simple 2D pixel world creator, The Sandbox has evolved through various releases, now boasting a total of 40 million downloads, 57 million worlds created and a monthly active player base of a million.
The new version of The Sandbox is something very different however.
For one thing, it will be the first time the game goes into 3D, although its use of voxel technology means it will retain its simplicity and blocky aesthetic.
More important will be the way blockchain enables gamers and creators to create real value.
“We feel we haven’t yet fulfilled The Sandbox’s potential,” Madrid states.
“We have a strong existing user base and a big ambition, which is shared by Animoca Brands. It really understands the product and its potential.”
Building value for players and creators
In that sense, the deal means Pixowl gains a partner, which can provide the resources and publishing experience, especially in Asia, to ensure The Sandbox can move to the next level.
Animoca Brands, on the other hand, gains a proven brand and product with an opportunity to make a strong statement in the blockchain game sector.
“I think we have a chance to make one of the best blockchain games,” Madrid agrees, although adding, “We will have to help build the sector.”
Of course, the ability to promote the new game to the existing The Sandbox creators is key here. Pixowl will be encouraging this through the release of its voxel editor so players can start creating items. This will be backed by the launch of the game’s marketplace so they can start trading items.
Both of these are planned for late 2018, which should provide plenty of time to build a strong community before the game itself launches in 2019.
Before this, however, Pixowl and Animoca Brands are planning a token sale for the game’s ERC20 SAND token.
“It will be more than just fundraising,” Madrid says.
“We want to teach our community what a token is, why it’s important for the game and how it enables them to create value.
“This isn’t about altcoin speculation but I think gamers understand the value of such currencies more than other applications of blockchain.”
To find out more about how The Sandbox is developing, check out its Medium. You can also see Arthur Madrid talking about the project at Blockchain Gamer Connects San Francisco 2018 below.
Pixowl will also be speaking at the upcoming Blockchain Gamer Connects Helsinki 2018, find out more right here.