Animoca’s play-to-earn game Sandbox raised $93 million in a Series B round of funding led by SoftBank’s Vision Two Fund to expand its non-fungible token (NFT) platform. Leading blockchain games fund Galaxy Interactive, Thai bank subsidiary SCB 10X, LG Technology Ventures, and Samsung Next and others also participated in the investment.
Animoca initially founded The Sandbox as a Minecraft-like game where players build their own virtual world. There is also the opportunity to interact with other players and participate in battles and challenges to earn in-game tokens. Sandbox has generated a total of $144 million in gross merchandise value (GMV) and this year alone has registered over 500,000 digital wallets.
The game has tremendous opportunities for growth. Besides the number of registered players who may not all be active users but have the potential to be, Sandbox has also partnered with over 165 brands. These include mainstream names such as Snoop Dog, The Walking Dead and The Smurfs to launch branded in-game assets for characters and accessories.
In addition, a specific feature of The Sandbox is the sale of land. Landowners can build their own personalized digital experience on the platform’s metaverse. As of now, 12,000 land owners manage digital experiences in the game including big names in the NFT industry such as Zed Run, Binance, and the Bored Ape Yacht Club.
Looking at the potential of NFTs and digital experiences in general, the game is changing gears and expanding into a digital metaverse that goes beyond gaming. Sandbox is looking to partner with more brands and other intellectual property holders to enable them to engage with fans and consumers through virtual experiences such as games and digital performances.
But the original game has not been forgotten. Sandbox is developing a platform that enables players to become creators and participate in the digital economy of the game. For that, it is creating a series of new digital jobs that include NFT creators, virtual architects, and game makers. Beyond that, Sandbox is also looking to partner with other brands and intellectual property holders.
“This investment will help fuel the growth of The Sandbox creators’ economy as we expand beyond gaming into fashion, architecture, virtual concerts and shows, art galleries, museums, and more,” said Arthur Madrid, CEO and Co-Founder of The Sandbox. “We are developing an entire ecosystem that opens new digital job opportunities for players and creators in our open NFT metaverse.”