As the value of virtual lands plummets amid a persistent bear market in cryptocurrencies, The Sandbox, the blockchain gaming platform that was one of the key drivers of last year’s virtual real estate bubble, is launching a new season next week. The game, which is owned by Hong Kong’s Animoca Brands unicorn, markets itself as an immersive metaverse platform that enables users to own and sell their in-game assets, including virtual land that is offered as NFTs.
Only certain “seasons” which, up until now, have typically lasted approximately a month during which the Sandbox are intended to be played are identified. The most recent season, which began on August 24 and lasted for 10 weeks, is the longest so far. Players can earn NFTs by participating in 98 different “experiences” on the platform, which include a variety of minigames.
The Sandbox’s new offerings coincide with waning interest in metaverse real estate, as the value of digital assets has been negatively impacted by this year’s sharp decline in the price of cryptocurrencies. Additionally, the average price for a piece of land in The Sandbox has been around US$5,000, which is much less than the US$20,000 it fetched from November 2021 to January 2022.
The similar pattern has been observed on Decentraland, another well-liked blockchain game site
A decline in the value of ether, the cryptocurrency for the Ethereum blockchain on which the virtual land NFTs are sold, has contributed to the sharp decline in the value of fiat money. The number of sales has increased as prices have decreased. The number of virtual land transactions on The Sandbox decreased from over 1,000 per week in November to an average of over 100 in August.
For Yuga Labs, the maker of the enormously popular Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT collection, virtual land values have also fallen. Prices for the company’s Otherdeed virtual lands, which are a component of the Otherside metaverse platform, have more than halved since May, when the NFT collection saw a spike in demand that caused initial sales to overwhelm the Ethereum network and drive up transaction costs.
According to the company, anyone can sign up and participate for free until the season is over. As the business works toward fully opening up The Sandbox, Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands, previously told the Post that restricting access to some time periods guarantees “the server can scale and accomplish certain things.”