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The Sandbox Game Gets Additional $2M from SquareEnix, B Crypto, and TGV

March 30, 2020
Ross Peili


The Sandbox Game Gets Additional $2M from SquareEnix, B Crypto, and TGV

TSB Gaming, an Animoca Brands subsidiary raised $2.01M in fiat and cryptocurrency in order to build its blockchain-powered virtual realm dubbed “The Sandbox”.

This is not the first time a crypto-powered ‘kickstarter’ raises a couple million in investment. What’s interesting about this case is that among the participants in this investment round, which was something in-between an ICO and a public offering, we could spot Square Enix, the Japanese gaming giant behind titles such as Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and Life Is Strange. 

When Implementing Blockchain, Attracts Funds To The Videogame Industry

This is not the first investing round Animoca Brands puts together for the specific venture, with the total investment so far nearing $4,5M U.S. Dollars. 

According to the recent announcements that revealed the sums involved in the last investment round that took place during Q3 2019, TSB Gaming will be looking for further funding in the future, offering both equities to traditional investors and SAND tokens to crypto-investors.

From what I understand, SAND token is analogous to MANA in Decentraland, a utility token that could be used to purchase virtual land, decorations, and more in-game assets.

At the same time, SAND could be also utilized as a medium of exchange similar to any other regular crypto, as soon as it cultivates a price on major cryptocurrency exchange markets.  

Depending on your affiliation with the videogame industry you’d either start paying close attention to The Sandbox, or forget you read this article entirely. Besides Square Enix, crypto veterans might be interested in other investors including the Japanese fund B Cryptos, and True Global Ventures, a VC previously invested in Coinbase, Ripple, and Telegram.

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How’s Sandbox different from other blockchain-backed games?

So, blockchain architecture is not uncommon in the videogame sector, considering it offers item history tracking, authentication, and cross-platform/cross-game trading opportunities, but there is another reason Square Enix invested in The Sandbox instead of crypto games such as Decentraland, or CryptoKitties.

The Sandbox game has been around for almost a decade, published by Pixowl, a company absorbed back Animoca Brands back in 2018, and its current blockchain version is just a tech pimp to the game mechanics and overall game architecture itself. 

“We’re targeting a very specific audience that views this as very exciting and unique,” said Sebastien Borget, the president of Pixowl and TSB Gaming. “Very few people and few companies know about this concept of selling virtual land. But you will be able to play our games without even knowing that it has blockchain features.”

That reminds me once again of EU Parliament member Eva Kaili, who claimed that blockchain will be utilized by people paying electronically for their coffee without them realizing what blockchain even is or how it might be working. Similar to the current SWIFT system debit and credit cards utilize. We swipe these cards every day, yet most of us are not aware of how SWIFT works. 

The concept of The Sandbox is very similar to another Ethereum-powered virtual realm, more specifically that of Cryptovoxels, where people can create, publish and monetize voxel items, apparel & accessories, and decorative objects as NFTs (non-fungible-tokens or ERC-721 Ethereum tokens).

The Sandbox is expected to be officially released somewhere in Q2 2020, while at the moment a private sale of virtual land is undergoing and auctioned land is being sold in secondary markets through early adopters.

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VentureBeat reports that over 1,300 Ethereum was raised in exchange for 10,000 land parcels in-game. Virtual land that users could later utilize on their own accord re-sell for a higher value, or create digital businesses to generate profit from visitors and virtual customers. 

Furthermore, the 1,300 gathered ETH were translated into $400k worth of fiat currency before the current bear market took place, where the same amount of ETH would be subject to barter at around $175k.

Animoca Brands expects to raise about $22 million worth of virtual land and other in-game digital assets and services to be transferred to physical and digital investors.