NFTStudio24 sat down with The Sandbox co-founder and COO Sebastien Borget to talk about The Sandbox game, partnerships, Alpha Season 3, the future of the Decentralized open metaverse vision, his visit to Japan, and the upcoming first virtual concert with Snoop Dogg on The Sandbox!
Explore the exciting world of the metaverse, virtual reality, and 3D immersive experience as The Sandbox introduces a decentralized gaming platform built on the Ethereum blockchain.
Primarily released as an online mobile game, The Sandbox shifted to the Web3 world seeing the high potential it held for creators and players. Now, it is one of the few platforms that are leading the metaverse industry in a new direction.
From brands, celebrities, and famous personalities to big & small creators, builders, and artists, The Sandbox is an all-in-one platform where people come together to celebrate innovation and creativity.
Sebastien Borget is the COO and co-founder of The Sandbox who has been involved with every big step the game took towards metaverse and Web3 development.
Behind The Sandbox: Backstory, Visions, and Aspirations
As an entrepreneur with 15 years of experience, Sebastien has been involved with gaming platforms and gaming studios for over a decade to design the best mobile games in the industry.
“We always had this vision to turn players into creators,” Sebastien said.
To follow this vision, Sebastien and his team began creating a mobile game leveraging the touchscreen to allow anyone to create anything with one touch of their finger. This game was in 2D but became a huge success with over 40 million installs and 70 million players.
The team continued to develop this game for 8 years where players could create things. However, one frustration that consistently bothered Sebastien was the lack of ownership. Whatever players created could not be owned by them and didn’t earn any revenue despite spending hours creating.
In 2018, Sebastien and his team came across blockchain technology and they immediately started experimenting with their games on the platform. He explained that the aspect of user-generated NFTs that could be owned by users brought a lot of interest and so they decided to launch a new version of The Sandbox Game in the metaverse.
The Sandbox is now a 3D multi-platform multiplayer where anyone can become a creator, make 3D content, or 3D game for the experience, and monetize them however they want.
“Step by step, the platform has been developing, the tools have been developing. We now have a 3D editor, GameMaker, a Map, a Marketplace, and we have the all-new Alpha Season,” Sebastien said.
The Sandbox Alpha Season 3
The Sandbox Alpha Season 3 recently went live on the virtual platform for players and creators. We asked Sebastien about the details of this season and how it could help creators in the long run to which he said, “the new season is allowing players, users to discover the possibilities and the content has been created using the Sandbox tools.”
The Sandbox has over 400 global partners from major brands, IPs, and celebrities such as Adidas, Gucci, Warner Music, Ubisoft, The Walking Dead, Steve Aoki, Snoop Dogg, Gordon Ramsey, and many more.
According to Sebastien, all the celebrities that are now partners with Alpha S3 were players and experienced the metaverse before launching their own NFT projects with Sandbox. Additionally, the new season also includes creations from creators within the community.
“As you explore, it progressively unveiled over 10 weeks, and as you play and interact with your avatar into those games, experiences, and complete quests to earn rewards, you can climb the leatherboard and get a chance to earn SAND and NFT at the end of the season,” Sebastien explained.
Snoop Dogg x The Sandbox: leading celebrities in Metaverse
For the new season, and also for the previous projects, Snoop Dogg partnered with The Sandbox to launch his own project. NFTStudio24 asked Sebastien behind the scene about this collaboration.
“Snoop Dogg has been one of the first music artists to embrace The Sandbox. He had this vision that he wanted to create a new verse to connect closely with his fans, allowing them to visit his mansion and a whole Snoop compound,” Sebastien told NFTStudio24.
The team worked together with Snoop to bring his mansion to life in the 3D metaverse, and also created separate gameplay for it. The Sandbox also dropped a 10,000 Snoop Dogg avatar collection, The Doggies, inspired by 25 years of his music career.
The Sandbox also launched a Snoop Dogg ticket with early access pass and private access pass for fans to enjoy an inclusive experience with their favorite American rapper.
Sebastien also shared that they are working on creating extra NFT wearable equipment, his car collection, and other exclusive items for the fans to own digitally.
Since Snoop Dogg had a song dedicated to the metaverse, Sebastien designed a house and the clip was recorded inside the Sandbox, and people with Doggy avatars were part of that video as well.
The Sandbox and Snoop Dogg have been working on different projects and events together for over a year now.
The Sandbox x World of Women: building an inclusive metaverse
According to Sebastien, The Sandbox aims to empower the metaverse by supporting NFT projects and brands, World of Women is one of them. He said that the gaming platform aims to bring diversity by making it inclusive for women, LGBTQA+, and other ethnicities with different cultural backgrounds to build the metaverse.
The avatars can be their digital identity to explore the metaverse and gain confidence to talk to anyone without any discrimination.
When talking about the World of Women, Sebastien himself has been a fan and collector of WoW/ WoWG. “When I discovered the artist, I wanted to bring the NFT to life as avatars into the Sandbox,” he said.
World of Women in The Sandbox has a museum with art displayed by different women creators and artists. WoW/WoWG NFTs can turn into playable avatars on The Sandbox, which they previously announced as part of the Alpha S3.
They have been partners for many months now and are continuously contributing to the development of metaverse and NFTs.
Sebastien shares details about SandboxCon NYC
The Sandbox recently held a global conference, SandboxCon in New York City, America. For Sebastien, this event was a perfect opportunity to connect with the Sandbox community in America.
SandboxCon gathered many brands, builders, creators, and artists as panelists with The Sandbox team to discuss key topics about metaverse, Web3, and NFTs in one place.
“It was a 2-day event and we had 2,000 participants in attendance of this amazing event,” he said, “It was a way for us to reward our community like if you were a landowner or an avatar owner or Snoop Dogg pass holder you could meet celebrities. It was a good way to meet the community in the real world.”
During the event, The Sandbox and TIME announced they will be building a virtual Time Square within the metaverse. Sebastien shared that Time Square on the map will feature art, NFTs from the Timepiece collection, and other NFTs related to music, fashion, entertainment, etc.
Steve Aoki x The Sandbox
SandboxCon ended with a grand performance by Steve Aoki who is also a partner of The Sandbox for various NFT and metaverse projects. In Alpha S3, The Sandbox revealed Aoki’s avatars and a special space in the metaverse platform.
“It’s no coincidence that everyone you saw talking or performing at this event in New York is present in the metaverse,” Sebastien said.
In Alpha season 3, Steve Aoki is a resident DJ in ‘XYZ,’ which is the virtual dance club where he performs. The Sandbox also designed Aoki’s mansion, a reproduction of his real-world space where players can do quests, play games, socialize with other fans, and explore different sports within the mansion.
“It’s like you are deep into his thoughts, his brain so that even things that are not possible in the real world become possible in his virtual house,” he added.
Sebastien’s visit to Japan: Shibuya 109 coming soon in The Sandbox
A few weeks ago, Sebastien visited The Sandbox Japan franchise which introduced him to a new culture and language. NFTStudio24 asked him about his experience with visiting Japan and The Sandbox’s future prospects within Japan.
He shared that The Sandbox has a great community in Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong. This community is built to promote and educate people about VoxEdit, GameMaker, and metaverse in general.
On one occasion, Sebastien had the honor to speak to 150 students at Digital Hollywood University, which is the largest video gaming school in Tokyo. He introduced students to the metaverse and different opportunities within the virtual worlds.
He also met with his team and builder studios that are working towards reaching out to local brands and helping them transition to The Sandbox. Sebastien also met his Japanese partners to discuss how they could reimagine “Shibuya 109,” a famous landmark of Japan, inside the metaverse.
“Another partnership we hope to announce later this year will be related to bringing Japanese and Nippon culture into the Sandbox,” said Sebastien.
The Sandbox also recently announced a partnership with Japan-based crypto exchange Coincheck to help Japanese users earn money in The Sandbox.
The Sandbox creators tools: VoxEdit and Game Maker
According to Sebastien, VoxEdit, GameMaker, and other creators’ tools are essential to The Sandbox’s vision. “We see ourselves as a way to empower the ideals of everyone, to allow everyone to become a creator,” he said.
The Sandbox has made these accessible to anyone on the metaverse even if they don’t have enough skills or experience with game creation or development.
One of the tools, GameMarker, is built in the simplest way where users just have to drag and drop. “It may sound simple yet it’s a very powerful tool given the rich diversity of experiences that we find in Season 3.”
Sebastien also shared that whenever The Sandbox holds a video competition, they receive hundreds and thousands of submissions from all around the world. Every game is diverse and high quality with the original IPs.
The team is committed to evolving and adding new features to its tool to ensure the creators have the maximum facility to benefit from them.
When explaining VoxEdit, Sebastien said “It’s like digital legos” having an accessible format where anyone can make 3D content without following any manual.
Sebastien believes that in order to expand the metaverse in the mainstream it is important to make these tools accessible to everyone worldwide even if they aren’t professional game developers or 3D artists.
The Sandbox aims to attract non-gamers and mainstream audiences by creating an easy-to-use and accessible metaverse platform.
The Sandbox partner with Binance
Binance has been a strategic partner of The Sandbox for a long time. In fact, the SAND token, which is the native token of The Sandbox, is launched on the Binance exchange. Since then, both parties have been actively working together in different activities including The Sandbox x Binance Launchpad which won the “Launchpad Project of the Year 2022” prize.
Sebastien shared that Binance has its own LAND on The Sandbox platform, the team also launched Sandbox avatars of Binance NFTs such as the twelve Zodiac signs NFTs were turned into Zodiac characters, Binance robots, etc. The Sandbox also utilizes Binance Academy to educate people about the metaverse.
All in all, The Sandbox’s partnership with Binance has expanded to decentralization, DeFi, and crypto. Binance has also actively promoted metaverse gaming and its utility to its users.
The Sandbox’s future aspirations
Sebastien shared The Sandbox’s short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals with NFTStudio24 in the interview.
For short-term goals, Sebastien said The Sandbox aims to keep growing and evolving in terms of the adoption of players, brands, and celebrities. “We want to show that metaverse is really providing a place that is experience-focused not monetization transactions.”
The platform is currently on the stage where users can explore and as they explore, they get rewarded for their time on the platform, leading to a “play-and-earn” model, and also empowering players to become creators.
For long-term goals, The Sandbox aims to open job opportunities within the metaverse for millions of people around the world. Currently, the platform is working with around 200 studios in its ecosystem and will eventually expand more as time goes by.
Sebastien also announced that for mid-term goals, The Sandbox will be launching its first virtual concert with Snoop Dogg by the end of this year and keep updating the creators’ tool by adding new features. The platform also aims to involve as many landowners as it can, to create thousands of experiences for players.
The Sandbox is pushing towards a Decentralized Open Metaverse vision where users can use NFTs outside of Sandbox like many AR mobile games and other dApps but also make Sandbox a place compatible with any NFT project as playable avatars.
Metaverse and crypto predictions by Sebastien
NFTStudio24 had a rapid-fire question session with Sebastien to share his opinions on the metaverse, crypto, and NFTs. Here’s what he says:
Q. What are your predictions about metaverse market volume in 2023?
A. I think it will keep growing and ultimately it will outgrow real-world economies.
Q. Do you think Web3 gaming will become as common as mobile gaming?
A. I think it will but it might also blend
Q. What are your predictions for Bitcoin in 2023?
A. I don’t have any specific predictions for Bitcoin
Q. What are your predictions for the SAND coin in 2025?
A. Once Sandbox is a platform where all LAND is in the hands of users and any landowner can launch the collection, can launch our experience, can grow it, can monetize it, I believe SAND would have reached its full utility as per our roadmap.
Q. What are your top 3 coins and why?
A. 1. Ethereum, 2. Polygon (MATIC), 3. SAND
Ethereum because of its smart contracts support, Polygon because we migrated to it as our layer-2 solution, and SAND because it can become the leading metaverse coins.
Q. Do you think the metaverse adoption will rise after the crypto market picks up?
A. I think metaverse is a trend that, no matter the situation of the crypto market, has a long-term utility with all NFTs. It’s not just hype or speculation; it’s really the next technological destination. It is a concept that we are all moving towards.
Sebastien to creators and builders
Sebastien also conveyed an inspiring message to aspiring creators, builders, and those looking for career opportunities:
“I invite you all to try The Sandbox. Enter the metaverse and create an avatar. Play and make an opinion for yourself; hopefully, be inspired, and maybe who knows the metaverse could become your next job, your next career, or your next passion as an artist, creator, builder, landowner, or community manager. You will find something you will love and meet new interesting people there.”
Get to know more about The Sandbox or Sebastien: