“In the metaverse, players participate in the digital reinvention of brands”

Le Journal du Net is a partner of the Mastercard Innovation Forum 2022, scheduled for December 8 in Paris. Co-founder of the Web3 platform The Sandbox metaverse and host of MIF 2022, Sébastien Borget reveals the keys to the relationship between brands and players of the metaverse at the JDN.

JDN. You will speak on 8 December during a round table entitled “Metaverse, fashion or a real opportunity for brands?”. I think I know your opinion as co-founder of The Sandbox. Can you explain to us why the metaverse is not just a fad?

Sébastien Borget, co-founder and CEO of The Sandbox. © Cyril Bruneau – The sandbox

Sebastian Borget. The metaverse is a technological and social revolution that is here to stay, which is not linked to economic cycles and which shows that users and brands are looking for new ways to have a more involved and different relationship from the one to which Web2 it has accustomed us: In Web2, people watch a video on Instagram or Tik Tok for two to five seconds before moving on to the next one. The engagement rate is very low. What is the real value of a like, a share or a retweet for a brand? The metaverse brings a more personalized relationship with the customer.

How does the metaverse drive user engagement?

On Sandbox, people spend an average of twenty to thirty minutes within an experience involving the completion of missions and activations. In addition, a platform such as Sandbox is open: users participate in the digital reinvention of the brand in this space, have access to the official brand tools and thanks to no-code tools they can place them in their own land, which extends the brand’s presence and positions it. as even more creative and open. Using the possibilities of technology and opening up to the community, the brand is reinventing itself in the metaverse. This is particularly the case with the operations of Adidas, Gucci, Nike with RTFKT, Warner Music with Snoop Dogg or Steve Aoki, the Smurfs, the Rabbids.

Do users stay in the metaverse?

In season 1, 60% of the people who started completed the entire Alpha season (public test phase of the game, ed). In Season 3, we’re at 40% retention with people returning almost every day, so we’re creating the behavior to educate people about getting back into the metaverse. We want these spaces to be alive and it is possible to run into players constantly. According to our latest Alpha Metrics from Season 3, we’re at 39,000 daily players and 201,000 monthly players. We count a total of over 1.6 million hours played and more than 4.1 million messages exchanged between players. Players experience emotions through their avatar – there are moments of fun together, social intimacy and more, with no need for VR or high-resolution graphics.

Is the no code one of the keys to attracting the user?

Originally the metaverse is empty, it is a set of spaces that must be built and to make creation accessible to all, it is not generating a metaverse under Unreal (graphic engine, ed), already very complicated for video game developers and requiring specific training, that we will succeed. We want a fun, non-elitist metaverse. I think the code does not allow this. The champions of fun creation are Legos. There is nothing easier than creating with Legos. There is the digital Lego: the Voxel. It is an art form. It can take the form of blocks like in Minecraft or other more advanced and thus offer granularity to artists, this is very good and is what we develop with Sandbox.

Last July you told us that “people don’t come shopping in the metaverse”. How should a brand position itself in these universes?

A large brand recently communicated its first results on its sales in Roblox, it is very discreet, especially compared to the turnover it makes on any other traditional platform. The reason is very simple: Before we try to encourage the user to shop in the metaverse, let’s already teach them to come there and the buying behaviors will come naturally. The commercial metaverse is not yet defined, nor the business model that will be predominant. There has to be an audience. Sandbox plays an important role because we are one of UGC’s only creative platforms (user-generated content, ed) in a virtual and interoperable 3D world, UGC and creativity are good clues for brands looking to reinvent themselves. Getting into the metaverse for a brand shouldn’t just be a KPI and revenue based strategy. This will be fine-tuned later when patterns are found.

Sébastien Borget is the co-founder and COO of the decentralized metaverse The Sandbox, a virtual world where players can create, play, own, govern and monetize their experiences using NFT and SAND, the platform’s main utility token. He also became president of the Blockchain Game Alliance in 2020, a non-profit organization with 300 key industry members. Prior to co-founding mobile game publisher Pixowl, he worked at Ipercast and Wixi.com. He graduated from Telecom Sud Paris.

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