Le Journal du Net is a partner of the 2022 Mastercard Innovation Forum, which will take place in Paris on December 8. Co-founder of the Web3 The Sandbox metaverse platform and guest of the MIF 2022, Sébastien Borget reveals to the JDN the keys to the relationship between brands and metaverse players.
JDN. You will be speaking on December 8 at a roundtable discussion entitled “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 isn’t just a fad?
Sebastien Borget. The metaverse is a technological and social revolution that is here to stay, unlinked to economic cycles, and demonstrating that users and brands are looking for new ways to have a more engaged and different relationship than what Web2 has shown us. has gotten used to it: in 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 real value of a like, share or retweet for a brand? The metaverse creates a more personal relationship with the customer.
How does the metaverse drive user engagement?
On Sandbox, people spend an average of twenty to thirty minutes on an experience 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 no-code tools they can place it in their own country, which increases the presence of the brand and positions it as even more creative and open. By leveraging the possibilities of technology and opening up to the community, the brand is reinventing itself in the metaverse. This is especially the case with 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 test phase of the game, editor’s note). In season 3, we have a 40% retention and people are coming back almost every day, so we’re creating the behavior to teach people to re-enter the metaverse. We want these spaces to be alive and to be able to constantly encounter players. According to our latest Season 3 Alpha stats, we’re at 39,000 daily players and 201,000 monthly players. We count a total of over 1.6 million hours played and over 4.1 million messages exchanged between players. Players feel emotions through their avatar: there are moments of fun together, social intimacy and that without VR or high-resolution images.
Is the no-code one of the keys to attracting the user?
Originally the metaverse is empty, it’s a series of spaces that need to be built and to make creation accessible to everyone, it’s not by generating a metaverse under Unreal (graphics engine, editor’s note), which is already very complicated for video game developers and requires specific training, that we will succeed. We want a fun, non-elitist metaverse. I think the no code allows it. The champions of fun creations are Lego. It doesn’t get any easier than creating with Lego. There is the digital Lego: the Voxel. It’s an art form. It can take the form of blocks like in Minecraft or other more advanced ones, providing granularity to artists, that’s very good and that’s what we’re developing with Sandbox.
Last July, you told us that “people don’t come shopping in the metaverse.” How should a brand position itself in these universes?
A major brand has recently communicated its first results on its sales in Roblox, it is very discreet, especially compared to the sales it makes on any other traditional platform. The reason is very simple: before we try to encourage the user to make purchases in the metaverse, let’s already teach them to get there and the purchase behavior will come naturally. The commercial metaverse has not yet been defined, nor the business model that will dominate. There must be an audience. Sandbox plays an important role because we are one of the few UGC creative platforms (user-generated content, editor’s note) in a virtual and interoperable 3D world, UGC and creativity are good starting points for brands that want to reinvent themselves. Entering the metaverse for a brand shouldn’t just be a strategy based on KPIs and revenue. This will be 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 the president of the Blockchain Game Alliance in 2020, a non-profit organization with 300 key industry members. Prior to co-founding mobile game publisher Pixowl, he worked at Ipercast and Wixi.com. He graduated from Telecom SudParis.