Feb 14, 2023 - 0 min read
2022 Year in Review — one year in the making of the open metaverse
As we look back on 2022, we are celebrating a year of milestones for our open gaming metaverse.In many ways, 2022 has brought us closer to our vision of an open, decentralized metaverse that empowers creators through true digital ownership. More LAND got in the hands of our community, millions of people connected through our platform, and over two million people joined the metaverse, more than doubling our community. Still, in a way, it is still early. While we roll out our vision for 2023, we felt it was important to look back at what we have achieved together with our community.
As a community, we welcomed 1 million unique players over 2 gaming seasons and began partnerships with celebrities and brands that defined the metaverse as a place of pop culture. We created 35+ collections of interoperable Avatars for anyone to play as they are, and unveiled multiple iconic neighborhoods through sold-out LAND sales.
Thanks to the players, builders, and creators building the metaverse everyday, The Sandbox and its community made significant headway in 2022, taking us closer to a more inclusive and open metaverse for all. Here are a few of the milestones we hit, and a hint about what’s coming in 2023.
See here for full infographic of all our 2022 milestones.
1 million unique users played The Sandbox in 2022
The Sandbox Game Client was installed over 1.3 million times in 2022, and in 2023 it is set to receive exciting updates that should make it even more popular through socialization, fun, and new means of digital expression!
These updates will include more seasonal events from our partners and brand new gaming mechanics, along with the ability to bring your favorite NFTs to life with bridged avatar collections. The Sandbox platform continues to evolve and improve, providing endless entertainment and creative opportunities for players. Keep an eye on our socials for these exciting updates coming in 2023!
In 2022, the Game Maker made significant headway in bringing more gamification mechanics to the metaverse, with a major upgrade to v0.7 in May, unlocking, among others, the following features:
- MacOS compatibility, offering the exact same features as PC to millions of Mac users
- Avatar navigation: walking, sitting on the ground, and improvements to auto-climb
- New dance animations were added to the random section of the Emote wheel
- Loading times, UI improvements, and much, much more!
- Check out all the major updates made to the Game Maker in 2022 in this changelog.
In total, the Game Maker was downloaded close to a million times in 2022, with:
- 56k monthly active users on average throughout the year
- 62 minutes average session length
- 193k monthly active users throughout the year
- 10k experiences published in the Gallery
Now, in 2023, the launch of version 0.8 will bring even more features for anyone to express themselves in the metaverse. These include:
- New avatar navigation: swim, crouch, crawl, slide
- New multiplayer gameplay features: multiplayer behavior, 40+ user per instance
- Stunning lighting and visual effects: New VFX, post processing, new liquid shaders, ambience and mood lighting
- The ability to stream video and audio: immerse yourself further into experiences
- Other features include a new log in system, multiselect and edit, drag and drop model swap, new hotkeys and contextual menus, separate animation channels, new modeling tools, ability to search and filter scene content, and faster loading time!
We are also working on productivity and tool upgrades to make building the metaverse easier than ever. With these new features, the possibilities for creativity and player interaction are endless. More details about the latest upgrade can be found here.
VoxEdit, our 3D modeling and animating software, was installed 375K times in 2022. Over the past year, we also introduced new features, and 2023 will see even more:
- UGC Quality assurance toolset
- Collections interface
- Shared color palette system
- Localization in multiple languages, including French, Spanish, Italian, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Thai, Brazilian, Portuguese, and more
- Animation graph editor
- Game Maker gameplay toolset
With the addition of these new features, creators will have an even greater ability to unleash their imagination in 2023.
An ever-growing marketplace
In 2022, we developed our marketplace further, giving opportunities for many creators around the world:
- Total ASSETs created: 810,733
- Total ASSETs minted: 1,521,295 copies of 3,224 ASSETs
- Total ASSETs purchased: 118,496 copies of 2,379 ASSETs in 42,314 transactions
- Total volume of SAND: 1,795,614
Interacting and engaging with our community
2022 welcomed many newcomers to The Sandbox’s social platforms:
- We passed the 1M follower mark on our main Twitter account, with over 150 million impressions and 10 million engagements. We also opened The Doggies Avatars account for Snoop Dogg fans within our community.
- Discord: Over 300,000 registered members exchange with the community and stay up to date on all things LAND, events, SAND, and more.
- The Sandbox community is also growing within the game itself: we passed the 2 million registered wallets mark in early 2022, and more than doubled that to finish the year with over 4.5 million registered users
Onboarding more LAND owners than ever
By the end of 2022, The Sandbox counted more than 23,000 LAND owners! To date, 114,835 plots are in the hands of our community, including 101,000 regular and 13,000 premium. This means that 69% of the land in our metaverse is already in the hands of owners eager to build and create within our platform. In 2022, 10,484 new LANDs were minted, and more opportunities are coming soon in 2023.
Stay tuned for more LAND sales in 2023, coming soon!
More diversity and freedom of expression through Avatars
2022 was the year of the avatar! We released our first avatar collections over the last year, giving our users the opportunity to reinvent themselves, through original collection avatars or by bringing their favorite NFT collections to life through interoperability.
Here are some of the original collections we developed:
- Doggies (10,000 avatars)
- The Playboy Party People (1,969 avatars)
- Care Bears Avatars (3,060 avatars)
- Kuniversee Avatars (2,780 avatars)
- Steve Aoki Avatars (3,333 avatars)
- People of Crypto (8,430 avatars)
Collections we bridged from some of Web3’s best projects:
- Voxies, BAYC, Moonbirds, CoolCats, Gutter Clones, Gutter Cats, Gutter Dogs, Gutter Rats, Gutter Pigeons, Gods & Demi-Gods of Rock, Olivex Gym A Club, Clone X, Rumble Kong League, Rabbitars, and many more!
42 collections now populate The Sandbox. As we enter 2023, many more are to come to keep bridging with Web3 projects and making the open metaverse more interoperable!
New animations to dance and socialize in the metaverse
Animation is key to expressing yourself in The Sandbox. In 2022 more features were developed to engage our community and empower them to socialize in the metaverse:
- 60 new animations including unique emotes and dances
Brands and Collections:
- 42 Built-in animations for collections, to embody your favorite NFT and express yourself in brand new, unique ways, whether you’re a fan of Doggies, Carebears, People of Crypto, Steve Aoki, World of Women, Kun Aguero, Gucci
More templates animation templates:
- 6 new templates
- 21 templates were revamped
We unveiled many new dances and animations in 2022, but there’s a lot more coming in 2023!
With a brand new emoji wheel and on-the-fly wearables, get ready to dance to the beat of all the metaverse concerts we have in store!
Move to Polygon, staking features, and more blockchain milestones!
In a constant effort to preserve the environment, we also developed we opened new features, migrated contracts to Polygon for faster transactions and cheaper gas prices, and reinforced security with our partners. Here are several notable highlights:
2 new staking pools were launched, resulting in over 30 million SAND distributed in rewards. Additionally, we deployed LAND on L2 Polygon with 40,000 LANDs bridged and released our first LAND sale on Polygon, with over 1,000 LANDs minted directly. To enhance the user experience, we also implemented a program that offered 10 free transactions per month for every single user, resulting in over 670,000 transactions provided over the year. We also placed a strong emphasis on security, conducting 23 audits on our smart contracts and receiving over 100 reports through our bounty program.
Bringing more fun in the metaverse with events and seasons
2022 was the year where our creators and partners started sharing their experiences with the world, with 2 Alpha Seasons open to all, and many metaverse events from major brands and artists, including Gucci, Blond:ish, Playboy, CFDA, One Football, Paris Hilton, and Care Bears. Spanning over ten years from August to early November, Alpha Season 3 also quickly became the biggest showcase yet of what our partners and community are building in the metaverse.
Alpha Season 3 drew in 17 million visits in total, more than triple the number of visits in Alpha Season 2. The Alpha Lobby was the most visited experience, passing the 1-million player mark for the first time on our platform, followed by brand experiences that saw over 500,000 visits each. A total of 360,000 users around the world played and socialized in the various experiences, which drove engagement to a record 2.4 million hours played in total, with an average play time of 1 hour 20 minutes per day. A diverse range of experiences contributed to this success, with 85.7 million quests achieved across 98 different experiences. The most popular experiences included Avenged Sevenfold: Deathbats Club, The Walking Dead: A Day in Alexandria, WMG Land, and Ledger School of Block. Stay tuned for more details on Alpha Season 4, which will include exciting experiences and brand new features for players to enjoy.
Empowering creators with the Game Maker Fund
In 2022, we were proud to support over 130 independent studios through our Game Maker fund, providing over $12 million in funding to help creators push the boundaries of creativity and entertainment in The Sandbox. We will continue onboarding more studios in 2023 and empowering them to create amazing experiences in the metaverse. If you are interested in applying for the Game Maker Fund, visit this link to find out more and register!
Overall, our ecosystem now comprises over 700+ individual creators, studios and agencies, some of which have developed significantly in the last year through our partner program. This allowed over 300 amazing creators and studios to develop and grow faster all around the world, from Singapore with Smobler Studios to Europe with Nabiya and Landvault, to Hong Kong with Index Game, to the US with GrowYourBase.
Making the metaverse more social, inclusive, and collaborative
- Listening to the community: Through our in-game and real-life events, we engaged with our community more than ever before, making our ecosystem a go-to place for socializing and cooperating to build the metaverse together.
- Learning from feedback: We also took the time, throughout our seasons and other events, to listen to community feedback and improve rules on play-and-earn mechanics, fine-tune our LAND roadmap, and more.
- Fostering collaboration in creativity: The Sandbox was one of the founding companies of the Open Metaverse Alliance (OMA3), a group dedicated to creating standards for an interconnected metaverse. OMA3 aims to create a decentralized, community-led, and user ownership-oriented metaverse and is made up of Web3 companies including Animoca Brands, Dapper Labs, The Sandbox, and Unstoppable Domains. Our participation in OMA3 is a continuation of our commitment to building a more collaborative and inclusive metaverse.
We wish to thank everyone from the community for making 2022 such an amazing year in The Sandbox ecosystem. In 2023, we want to push even further, and open The Sandbox to all LAND owners, empower more creators, and bring you unforgettable experiences from all around the world! Stay tuned on our social media for updates on upcoming upgrades to the Game Maker, LAND sales, events, seasons, and more!