Animoca Brands’ The Sandbox welcomes Hong Kong heavyweights to its gaming metaverse

Animoca Brands The Sandbox Hong Kong gaming metaverse Mega City
The Sandbox’s Mega City is described as the extension of Hong Kong culture.

The Sandbox, a decentralised gaming platform, “metaverse pioneer” and a subsidiary of Animoca Brands, has continued to fill out its growing online gaming metaverse by adding several new consumer brands in the entertainment and gaming sectors and creating a new “cultural hub” called Mega City.

Described as an expansion into the future and a place of dreams and fun, Mega City is the extension of Hong Kong culture and will feature the country’s actors, movies, music, entertainment, art, professional services, finance, real estate and gaming major figures.

New LAND owners committed to building The Sandbox metaverse include: Hong Kong tycoon Adrian Cheng; alternative investing leader Sun Hung Kai & Co; professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers Hong Kong; blockchain-related investment and asset management company Times Capital; director Stephen Fung, and international star Shu Qi; renowned musician Dough-Boy; gaming franchise Little Fighter; and local illustrator Dreamergo.

Introducing new partners extends the existing 165-strong list, built up over the past three years including a K-pop joint-venture in South Korea, after The Sandbox secured long-term deals with global brands including Adidas, Snoop Dogg, The Walking Dead, The Smurfs, Care Bears and Atari.

Involving new partners at this stage follows The Sandbox’s Alpha launch in Q4 2021, which facilitated people to participate in play-to-earn gameplay and to earn SAND – The Sandbox’s utility token.

To encourage further uptake, The Sandbox has announced an upcoming “land sale” offering participants the opportunity to secure virtual real estate through the acquisition of proprietary LAND NFTs.

According to the company, acquiring portions of the virtual world will allow owners to “build experiences” in Mega City with early adopters offered premium incentives as a means of securing long-term commitment.

Adding impetus

From the new entrants announced by The Sandbox, several names have revealed what they intend to present to their fans and new audiences globally.

Adrian Cheng has promised to deliver a “vision of the future” aimed at an emerging new generation of metaverse players and entrepreneurs. According to Animoca Brands, the Hong Kong-based entrepreneur has acquired an “XL Estate” consisting of 24 x 24 LANDs, to build Mega City’s “innovation hub”. A GBA Pavilion will be one of the first primetime landmarks – “a vibrant place of creativity and tech wonders showcasing the successes and achievements of the Greater Bay Area start-ups”.

Another new property owner and a participant in the recent $93 million capital raising, Sun Hung Kai, has vowed to build a financial hub showcasing its portfolio of companies and a virtual museum. The company also intends to use its virtual real estate to host events, exhibitions, exclusive parties, and private performances.

International accountancy giant PwC has also swooped to acquire virtual space in The Sandbox metaverse. The firm said it will “play a valuable role in the growth of the open metaverse” by helping to build an ecosystem that educates companies and brands about the benefits of Web 3.0 and the decentralised internet, as well as “get the advice they need” to explore the multifaceted opportunities offered by breakthrough technology.

Blockchain-based investment and asset management institution Times Capital said it will collaborate with local game studios and creators to develop an immersive Hong Kong film IP museum in Mega City and showcase its “game experience” based on its extensive classic film portfolio.

Other notable virtuosos also onboard include Stephen Fung, Shu Qi and Marti Wong who have all promised to create a variety of innovative initiatives that portray their talents to an online audience while paying homage to The Sandbox’s and Hong Kong’s cultural heritage.

Advancing participation

To celebrate the new partners, The Sandbox has announced an upcoming LAND sale on 13 January 2022, allowing players to purchase preferred placements near the LANDs of early adopters and high-profile celebrities.

To supplement the company’s local Hong Kong popularity aspirations, The Sandbox recently signed a strategic partnership with daily newspaper South China Morning Post and said the partnership “brings to life” Hong Kong’s history and iconic spaces, acquired over the past 118 years via journalism, cultural events and historical experiences.

The company also reiterated that its play-to-earn model gives players “true ownership” of everything they collect/obtain in the game, thereby allowing possessions to be traded between players – including those who do not actively participate in the metaverse.

To date, 70% of The Sandbox’s entire virtual real estate stock (166,464 LAND NFTs) has been acquired having been released in concurrent waves to allow for broader participation.

Existing LAND owners include household crypto-industry names such as Binance, CoinCheck, Metakovan, Pranksy, Socios and CoinMarketCap.

So far, the company’s financial results have matched the metaverse’s growth.

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