Le Journal du Net is a partner of the Mastercard Innovation Forum 2022, scheduled for December 8 in Paris. The co-founder of Web3 The Sandbox metaverse platform and guest of MIF 2022, Sébastien Borget revealed to JDN the keys to the relationship between brands and metaverse players.
JDN. You will speak on December 8 during a round table titled “Metaverse, fad or real opportunity for brands?”. I think I know your opinion as a co-founder of The Sandbox. Explain to us why the metaverse is not just a fad?
Sebastien Borget. The metaverse is a technological and social revolution that is here to stay, that is not linked to economic cycles and that shows that users and brands are looking for new ways to have a more connected and different relation from what Web2 uses to us. this: on 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 true value of a like, share or retweet for a brand? The metaverse brings a more personal relationship with the customer.
How does metaverse drive user engagement?
In the Sandbox, people spend an average of twenty to thirty minutes during an experience made by completing quests, activations. In addition, a platform like Sandbox is open: users participate in the digital reinvention of the brand in this space, they have access to official brand tools and thanks to code-free tools, they can put them in their own land, which expands the presence of the brand and makes it more creative and open. By harnessing the possibilities of technology and opening up to the community, the brand reinvents itself in the metaverse. This is especially the case of 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 people who started completed the entire Alpha season (public playtest stage, editor’s note). In Season 3, we’re at 40% retention of people coming back almost every day, so we’re creating an ethos to educate people to re-enter the metaverse. We want these spaces to be alive and possible to find players regularly. According to our latest Season 3 Alpha metrics, we are at 39,000 daily players and 201,000 monthly players. We counted a total of more than 1.6 million hours played and more than 4.1 million messages exchanged between players. Players feel emotions through their avatar: there are moments of fun together, social intimacy and that, without needing VR or high resolution graphics.
Is codeless one of the keys to user attraction?
In the beginning, the metaverse is empty, it is a set of spaces that must be built and for creation to be accessible to everyone, it is not by creating a metaverse under Unreal (graphics engine, editor’s note), that is very complicated for video game developers and that requires specific training, that we succeed. We want a fun, non-elitist metaverse. I think no code allows it. The champions of fun creation are Lego. It doesn’t get any easier than building with Legos. There’s digital Lego: the Voxel. It is an art form. It can be in the form of blocks like Minecraft or something more advanced and thus offers granularity to artists, very well and that is what we develop in Sandbox.
In July, you told us that “people don’t buy into the metaverse”. How can a brand position itself in these universes?
A major brand has just communicated its first sales results on Roblox, it is very cautious, especially compared to the turnover it has achieved on any other traditional platform. The reason is very simple: before trying to encourage the user to buy in the metaverse, we will teach him to come there and the buying behavior will come naturally. The commercial metaverse has yet to be defined, nor the business model that will become mainstream. There must be an audience. Sandbox plays an important role because we are one of the only UGC creation platforms (user generated content, editor’s note) in a virtual and interoperable 3D world, UGC and creativity are good leads for brands looking to reinvent themselves. Entering the metaverse for a brand is not just a strategy based on KPIs and revenues. This is refined 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, manage and monetize their experiences using NFTs & SAND, the main utility token of the platform. He also became Chairman of the Blockchain Game Alliance in 2020, a non-profit organization with 300 industry members. Before co-founding mobile game publisher Pixowl, he worked at Ipercast and Wixi.com. He graduated from Telecom SudParis.