The Sandbox
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The Sandbox

The Sandbox Alpha Season 3 reached 17M visits, a threefold increase over Season 2

The Sandbox Alpha Season 3 was our largest so far with 17M visits, a threefold increase over Season 2, making it the biggest event ever to play, create, and earn in the metaverse. Thanks to our community feedback, it was also a chance to learn what we should be working on next.

Season 2 allowed our users to play, earn, and socialize through virtual worlds filled with colors and famous characters. Then began six months of iterative, around-the-clock work, between our creators and internal artists, level designers, and narrative designers, to bring to life experiences that would host even more BRAND EXCITEMENT and FUN OF ALL KINDS. When we finally raised our heads, we had a whopping 98 experiences, more than 40 hours of play, and over 20 Avatar collections from the most popular NFT PFPs around.

And then, on August 24th 2022, Alpha Season 3 went live.

TL;DR, here’s an overview of what happened:

Play:

  • Nearly 17M visits in total in the metaverse (3x > Season 2), with the Alpha Lobby surpassing the 1M player visit mark for the first time.
  • Several brand experiences in the Top 10 had over 500,000 visits.
  • Over 360,000 users around the world had fun playing and socializing in experiences.

Create:

  • A diversity of experiences drove engagement to a record 2.4M hours played in total (2x vs Season 2), a 20 minutes average session length.
  • 85.7M quests achieved across the 98 experiences.
  • The season’s most popular experiences include Avenged Sevenfold: Deathbats Club (470K visits), The Walking Dead: A Day in Alexandria (400K visits), WMG Land (330K visits), Ledger School of Block (330K visits), etc.

Own and Earn:

  • 11M SAND distributed through raffle and holder rewards.
  • KYC and new anti-cheat measures are now in place and have proven to be efficient in reducing abuse. We’ve constantly worked with the community to improve these features.

But a picture is worth a thousand words:

The metaverse comes to life for The Sandbox community

The Sandbox Alpha Season 3 wrapped on November 1, 2022 after 10 weeks of daily gaming, discovery, and adventure, concluding the biggest showcase of our metaverse yet. We wish to thank the community for your continued engagement throughout, and greatly value all the feedback you provided during the season. Let’s take a look back on some of the key landmarks and highlights of Alpha Season 3!

Check out the complete Alpha Season 3 playlist here: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_AqeWVYruhoUK4s-64AdcO9HY-2nhnpD

A chance to explore a new form of entertainment

Alpha Season 3 was the biggest showcase of what our community has been building, with 98 experiences full of content spanning a wide diversity of culture, entertainment, fashion, music, gaming, and much more.

It showcased 22 experiences developed by iconic artists and brands, building a community of 30,000 daily active users on average.

For anyone, it’s been a way to socialize through their avatar and access a great diversity of content, passing from one environment to another through portals — gaming to education, fashion to art, music to sport. It’s been great to become an explorer & be inspired contemplating the past, present and future of pop culture, meeting a Bored Ape along a corner, next to a Care Bear and then a Walker from the Walking Dead, all at once is truly unique and nowhere else to be found than in The Sandbox.

For music fans, it was a chance to immerse themselves in the world of their favorite artists. From deep diving into Steve Aoki’s mind, getting acquainted with Sueco’s split personalities, strolling around Nine Chen’s Wonderland, discovering Avenged Sevenfold Deathbats Club, to completing challenges throughout Hanjin’s Musicpalooza, music fans found new things to discover.

Gaming fans also got to fend off a Rabbids invasion, rediscover Atari’s classic Crystal Castles in full isometric 3D, and play many winning Game Jam indie experiences created by our awesome community.

The Sandbox Alpha Season 3 was the first and only time The Smurfs, Sueco, Care Bears, BAYC, Snoop Dogg, The Walking Dead, and many more brands were united in one immersive experience where fans could come together, find portals and enter their worlds.

Alpha Season 3 was also a chance to engage with The Sandbox community like never before:

  • Players shared 8 million messages through in-game chat.
  • Players also engaged with social media content showcasing our daily releases, with 1.1 million engagements on Twitter alone.
  • The community viewed nearly 600,000 minutes of live content across YouTube and Twitch through dozens of streams, all leading up to our 24-hour end-of-season celebration.

Play as you are with your Avatar

Through avatars, anyone can reinvent themselves in the Metaverse. Over 20 collections of avatars, including the most popular NFT PFPs collections have come to life for the first time in The Sandbox. With Alpha Season 3, communities and digital collectors from all around the world could play with avatars rendered directly from their favorite NFTs

Alpha Season 3 opened up the possibility to play with over 140k different avatars from the following collections and more:

This was the first time so many diverse communities cohabited in our metaverse. Players had the opportunity to stroll in the experiences while embodying the avatars they owned, which made for a lot of interesting social events across Alpha Season 3!

We’ve been constantly listening to community feedback

Alpha Season 3 was also an opportunity to reward our community for their engagement in the metaverse and reinforce our anti-cheat measures.

Thanks to your continuous feedback throughout the season, we have managed to identify aspects of our reward systems that could be improved, both in the Alpha Pass raffle system and in our leaderboard.

  • We had over 70+ ambassadors connected with their avatars (you could recognize their blue costume) at all times to accompany players throughout their journey, answering questions and guiding them into various fun activities.

We had a full scale global customer support team to address all priority questions or technical issues.

  • Our team was both on Discord, Telegram and in-game to also monitor the health status of the Alpha Season and address any urgent topics.

What did the community like the most?

We see the metaverse as both a social and immersive space. As such, we’re pleased to see hundreds of thousands of players enjoy it, most of them for the first time, and create new friendships and moments of fun and joy together with their favorite brands and celebrities.

  • The amount and diversity of all the 98 experiences, which spawned from gaming to music to sports to culture to education, featured over 22 major brands and celebrities such as The Walking Dead, Sueco, Rabbids, Steve Aoki, The Smurfs, Atari and more.
  • Being together and sharing moments of fun, building new friendships and connecting in a unique way with top brands and celebrities!
  • The content — whether they were from brands or from User-Generated Content: half of the 98 experiences have received a score of 4 / 5 stars or more, meaning they were enjoyed by users.
  • Chatting together — over 8 million messages have been exchanged, that’s an average of 22 messages per player!
  • Mini-events: we have organized 40 mini-events and giveaways throughout the season, triggering extra rewards (4,000 Alpha Passes and thousands of NFTs and Avatars).
  • 70 daily challenges to earn extra raffle tickets.
  • Staking Booster — doubling your raffle rewards as the whole community staked SAND tokens.
  • Easter Eggs — many experiences had hidden corners, secret passages and other treasures to be unveiled to the most adventurous and persistent players.
  • Taking selfies with celebrities and other fun activities launched during mini-events! Our community has been creating amazing content across social media platforms throughout the season.
  • The new KYC process has allowed users to verify their identity and become eligible to claim rewards — over 181,000 of users have successfully registered.

Alpha Season 3 as played by users

We have loved your enthusiasm this season. Thank you for all the amazing tweets, videos, gifs and screenshots you shared. We loved them all. So much so that we have compiled a list of most memorable moments seen in the community and on social media.

Epic trailers and Fail compilations

The community also took some time to create their own videos of the Alpha and we have been amazed at the creativity showcased. We wish we could post them all, but there wouldn’t be room, so here are a couple of them:

A huge thank you to everyone that tweeted their playthroughs, epic fails, dance moves and social events, all throughout the season: @GamerHashCom, @DrMetaverso, @Aaroncharyo, @iamgotoamerica, @sandboxturkey, @ARTIFACTbySCMP, @bayzgg, @mwrote, @thessaenman, @BlazeGamesAU, and so many more!

A Burgeoning Creator Economy

Alpha Season 3 also introduced NFT shops for several of the 98 experiences from both brands and UGC creators and projects supported by the Game Maker Fund. These collections can be found on The Sandbox Marketplace https://www.sandbox.game/en/collections/

Creators earning their first revenue

Over 855,000 SAND have been distributed to creators who launched their NFT collections alongside their Experiences in the Alpha Season 3 — the most popular collections included Jinta Valley: Fight for the Future, Shadows of the High Seas — Plunder Pack, Warner Music’s Sueco Swag, Kowloon Walled City, The Multiversity, etc.

Some of the original creations sold out thousands of copies in total.

Who has received Rewards in Season 3?

The introduction of a guaranteed rewards system stemmed from a want to show our appreciation towards our community. The more engaged you were within The Sandbox ecosystem, the more you had a chance to win an Alpha pass and earn from your progress. Thus we identified 4 groups of users: regular players, LAND owners, Avatar owners, and NFT collectors. Any user could belong to one or more categories and hence cumulate the rewards allocated to each pool.

Our goal is to foster long term engagement and show that the metaverse will encompass not just players, but also creators/builders and owners within a circular economy.

We also brought back the community staking booster, where Alpha Season 3 raffle rewards were boosted by the total amount staked by the community during the season. If the community jointly staked more than 40,000,000, SAND, it would double the raffle rewards for all players. That goal was reached within four weeks after the launch of the season, bringing the raffle reward pool to 5,000,000 SAND in total. We have already distributed 11M SAND through the raffle system and holder rewards system alone.

What were some of the points we could improve?

The Leaderboard system

Alpha Season 3 has introduced a new Leaderboard system where players could see their ranking against others as they completed quests and earned ethos points across all the experiences. While the Leaderboard was initially thought of as an extra engagement mechanic, it also unfortunately turned into a highly competitive mechanism among some players and also a source of abuse by certain players, who actively searched for exploits. In the future Alpha Seasons, we will include more activities to not just distinguish users around their best time, but also their creativity and various actions and social activities they do in the Metaverse.

Less Bugs

Yes, as we are still in Alpha, we were bound to encounter bugs in experiences that were released, in spite of our QA’s best efforts.. Even though we moved quickly to address them, we understand they could have minimized the immersive experience. We will work harder to crush as many bugs as we can going forward.

More streamlined game client update schedule.

Fixing bugs means releasing new versions of the Game Client, which takes time. That is why we worked hard to minimize the number of updates, and will keep pushing to further reduce them in the future.

Shorter loading times.

We have optimized our builds to minimize loading time as well, and are still working on improving them to let you dive straight into your favorite experiences.

What’s coming next?

As you already know, the end of Alpha Season 3 doesn’t mean the metaverse is closing! We already have rolled out other experiences, such as:

  • Gucci Vault — 70K users could explore an artistic envisioning of Gucci Vault in The Sandbox. The experience is already in the top 3 with an average rating of 4.5/5. The exclusive Gucci NFT collection sold out in less than 24 hours.
  • Cryptoween with Paris Hilton — 65K users enjoyed a spooky Halloween party with Paris. Already in the top 3 with an average rating of 4.5/5.
  • Kun Agüero — 25K users entered the legendary footballer’s world so far.
  • HSBC — immersive rugby experiences in the metaverse in HSBC’s virtual stadium

The metaverse will remain open with all kinds of partner events leading up to our next big season! Stay tuned for more announcements of experiences featuring your favorite celebrities and brands.

Builders will also soon hear from us about what we have in store for them — new Game Maker features and also more opportunities to develop your own neighborhood in the metaverse!

A big thank you to our players, creators, and partners for their contributions in helping us build a new form of entertainment!

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