The Sandbox is a virtual gaming world where players can build, own, and monetize their gaming experiences. Originally released in 2011, The Sandbox has grown through many iterations of game design, but in 2018, the team decided to bring the massive UGC (user generated content) game to the blockchain. This ingenuity enabled creators to, for the first time, own and transact their creations in-game.
In this podcast episode, we interview Sebastien Borget, the co-founder of The Sandbox, as he tells the story of early days mobile gaming, user generated content, and the revolution of blockchain technology. Sebastien’s passion and vision for the future of gaming is showcased in his desire to help creators in-game monetize the value they are bringing. This revolutionary new concept is only made possible by NFTs.
The Sandbox was first released in 2011, when Sebastien and his co-founder felt they could leverage the new technology of touch screens on mobile devices to drive user generated content. The game quickly became successful, racking up over 40 million downloads. However, what always bothered Sebastien was that there was no way for the players to capture the value that they were putting into the game.
In his own words, after talking about the success of the original game, Sebastien says, “Unfortunately, all that value, all that content that players contributed in the form of user generated content in the game, we had literally no way, even if we wanted to, to share that value back with the creators, the players.”
This was what made the discovery of blockchain so exciting for The Sandbox team. With NFT assets, The Sandbox realized that they could empower players to build and monetize content within a game ecosystem. At that point, the entire mentality shifted, as the team decided to relaunch The Sandbox as a 3D virtual world, where players could create assets, play with those assets, and then sell the assets that they created.
Sebastien believes the creator is the beating heart of every game, and The Sandbox is meant to be a platform that empowers creators. To Sebastien this is more than a fun gameplay experience, it’s an opportunity to change lives by empowering players to retain value.
He says, “I’ve always been driven by empowering the creator, inspiring people to be more creative, to find skills that maybe they felt they didn’t have, to reveal their inner talent, and I think that’s our company mission.”
The ultimate goal of The Sandbox is to allow the community to drive the gameplay. This is the vision Sebastien has for web3 gaming, that the games would be led by those that love the game the most. As he said on the podcast, “The creativity of the crowd will always beat even the best game designer in the world.”
The Sandbox revolves around two core tools: Voxel Editor, a tool that empowers creators to build 3D assets, and Game Maker, the tool used to design and monetize games in The Sandbox universe. Together, these two tools allow creators to build virtually anything imaginable in a 3D block art style.
These no-code tools were crucial to The Sandbox, and it was Sebastien’s core vision that anyone be able to create and monetize in-game. As he says in reference to their easy-to-use game maker, “The first feedback I heard from people who tried it was like, ‘You made game creation fun again!’ Because when you look at how games are made today, you have to use Unreal Engine or Unity Engine, and it’s a professional tool. It’s not a tool you can just mingle around in.”
This focus really brought The Sandbox to life, as they built their game with creators in mind first. While other NFT games lost sight of their vision, The Sandbox has been building alongside their community since day 1.
The team at The Sandbox is working hard to provide more experiences within their universe. One of the advantages of web3 is that these tools don’t have to apply to just games. Through incredible partnerships, such as Adidas or Atari, The Sandbox is aiming to bring new users into the web3 world by providing them with a host of new experiences.
Sebastien’s vision is much larger than just a game. He desires to see The Sandbox metaverse become the platform of choice for creators to design and monetize experiences in a virtual world. This is the power of what’s possible through blockchain technology.
It’s a great time to be a gamer and creator, as web3 will continue to empower more players to create value in games. Sebastien so simply conveyed the ethos of NFT gaming when he said, “Game developers want players to be influencers for their game to drive revenue, but why then shouldn’t the players earn revenue for driving their revenue?”
It was an honor to have Sebastien on the show for the season finale of season 2 of The NFT Gaming Podcast. We’ll be taking a break over the holidays as we launch the alpha of our flagship game Duo, but check back soon for announcements on season 3 of the show.
Learn more about The Sandbox: https://www.sandbox.game/en/
Follow The Sandbox on Twitter: https://twitter.com/thesandboxgame
Join their Discord: https://discord.gg/vAe4zvY
The NFT Gaming Podcast features developers building the next generation of gaming: play-to-earn NFT games. In this podcast, NFT game founders Jason and Jacob interview key contributors to the NFT gaming movement across a multitude of blockchains. Our goal is to help bring clarity to the topic of NFT gaming, build credibility for new and existing projects, and help gamers across different blockchains find new NFT games to play. Season 2 of the show is proudly sponsored by Revelar. Revelar is the NFT Game Engine, built on Cardano.