The Sandbox, the blockchain gaming platform that was one of the major contributors of last year’s virtual real estate boom, is launching a new season next week, as the value of virtual lands plunge amid a persisting crypto market slump. The game, owned by Hong Kong unicorn Animoca Brands, bills itself as an immersive metaverse platform that lets players own and trade their in-game assets, including virtual land sold as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) .
The Sandbox is only available to play during designated “seasons”, which until now have typically lasted about a month. The latest season is the largest yet, starting August 24 and running for 10 weeks. The platform will offer 98 different “experiences”, allowing players to earn NFTs by playing various mini games. The Sandbox’s new offerings come amid subsiding interest in metaverse real estate, as the prices of digital assets have taken a beating this year from plunging cryptocurrency prices. The average sale for a plot of land in The Sandbox has hovered around US$5,000 (S$6,934), according to data from market tracker WeMeta, just a quarter of the US$20,000 that land was commanding from Nov 2021 to Jan 2022. On Decentraland, another popular blockchain gaming platform, the trend has been the same. Virtual land sales fell below US$5,000 this month, down from US$30,000 in late November. The drastic loss of value in fiat currency is in part due to a drop in the value of ether, the cryptocurrency for the Ethereum blockchain, on which the virtual land NFTs are traded.