Speaker Spotlight – Sebastien Borget on NFT from standards to building worlds
Our Speaker Spotlight shines on out speakers proudly
We’re excited to have Blockchain Gamer Connects making its grand debut in London on January 21st & 22nd. And with it, we’re happy to have some of the brightest projects and minds attending the event. Among them, we will be hosting Sebastien Borget, COO & Co-Founder of Pixowl.
Item ownership is an interesting field for blockchain games, from obtaining them in game, storing them, to transferring and exchanging them. Among the words that can be used for this area of innovation, the major one that Borget will be talking about is interoperability.
But without further ado, we bring you Sebastien Borget!
Tell us a bit about your company
The Sandbox is a decentralized, community-driven platform where creators can monetize voxel assets and gaming experiences on the blockchain.
We are moving our user-created content HIT mobile game The Sandbox (40M installs, 70M worlds created and 1.2M monthly active players) to new realms with a 3D multiplayer version leveraging blockchain technology.
We’re aiming to disrupt the market by providing the community of makers true ownership of their creations as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and be rewarded for their participation into the ecosystem.
Our platform offers a Voxel Editor allowing anyone (kids included!) to make 3D assets, a Marketplace for trading & selling them and finally the game to use them.
What does your role entail?
I manage the operations of our international (45 people) team and supervise the production, live ops and marketing of the company’s main titles.
This includes the popular creation game The Sandbox launched in 2012 and its sequel The Sandbox Evolution (40M installs to date), the new decentralized platform on the blockchain as well as the character-drive, mobile city builder games (Snoopy Town and Goosebumps HorrorTown).
Why did you want to work in the games industry?
Apple and Android operating systems reopened a whole world of opportunity for video-gaming. Making video games was no longer something reserved to large team and studios with multi-million dollars budget, developing AAA games for PC or console.
It was accessible again to us, indies! From this moment on, I wanted to make a game that would create a community of players and involve them into creating with us. Our vision with The Sandbox has always to become a leading mobile gaming creative platform where, #Players are #Makers, sharing pixel worlds, pixel art, game levels, music & much more!
With our 3rd edition of The Sandbox, in 3D, multiplayer and using Blockchain, we think we are all the chances of competing against Minecraft and Roblox; offering a unique experience where players will truly be owning their creations and be able to monetize fully them. This is the disruption we are bringing forward to establish leaders in the Sandbox game.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?
The mobile gaming industry is extremely competitive.
Making a successful game is not just about being creative and having a nice-looking game.
It’s about excellency in execution, in data analysis, in understanding who is exactly your audience, in engaging a community of players with it, on elaborating a smart marketing strategy and creating a product that is both visually compelling but also and mostly engaging enough to retain players for several weeks.
And the cherry on top of the cake, that is performing well enough to drive the kind of revenues to keep your company running.
Luck can be part of the game, but it only works if all the above ingredients are also present.
And now there is the Blockchain gaming industry and I think we are living a very exciting moment for the blockchain gaming industry as there are no more than a hundred companies in the space thus far, out of the hundreds of thousands of gaming studios that exist globally.
This is the perfect time to enter this market, but also to think that blockchain itself is a technology and not a finality; so you need to create great games and not forget where the gaming industry is coming from and all the experience acquired just because you’re entering this new market.
What are your thoughts on the industry over the past 12 months?
It’s been a very interesting 2018 year so far and several games have been announced (including our own project The Sandbox) with the promise of both delivering high-quality graphics/visual experience but also offering something fresh to the industry: letting players truly own their items and be able to make money through their skills and efforts in games!
Some studios have announced towards the end of 2018 raising major rounds of investment to build platforms for developers (or creators in The Sandbox’s case) and this is very exciting for 2019; as it will lead to more games being made thanks to these platforms and tools.
What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?
Many game studios are currently experimenting with blockchain and what type of new gameplay could emerge naturally through the technology.
At the same time, I am confident that we will progressively see upcoming big hit games on the blockchain – comparable to the Angry Birds, Clash Royale, Candy Crush or Hearthstone into major gaming categories such as MMO, RPG, FPS, Strategy and Casino games. The trend may be more hardcore games at first then progressively more casual and mainstream titles.
After the tremendous success of CryptoKitties, the next generation of games is only starting to hit the market as of 2019 and we shall see an increasing number of games leveraging blockchain technology while creating very engaging game experiences.
This includes both games that are fully on-chain games (meaning that almost all in-game actions involve a transaction on the blockchain) or mostly off-chain games with their assets on the blockchain (offering a gaming experience that can be played without any knowledge of what blockchain is).
How has the games industry changed since you first started?
I’ve been in the mobile gaming industry since 2011 and now both in mobile/f2p and blockchain gaming. I love to see the mass-adoption of new technologies and how we are opening new markets of players.
It takes time of course but I’m very bullish that this is a very exciting time to be in into this industry!
Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to?
The Blockchain Gaming Track of course 🙂