Metaverse is dead in the West, but ‘so hot' in Asia: Sandbox co-founder
The metaverse might feel like it’s “dead” for users living in the United States, but the industry is thriving throughout Asia, says The Sandbox’s co-founder and chief operating officer, Sebastien Borget.
Speaking to Cointelegraph at the Asian Blockchain Gaming Alliance’s Web3 Summit in Singapore on Sept. 12, Borget said that over the last year, roughly 50% of Sandbox’s business has come from several countries in Asia.
“If you don’t focus on Asia, you will think the metaverse is dead from the North American and the Western side,” said Borget.
“But it’s so hot in Asia. Hong Kong and Korea are the top two markets, followed by Japan.”
Meanwhile, Borget noted that he is soon to announce the launch of Lion City on stage at Token 2049 in Singapore, a new neighborhood of 512 virtual land plots in the Sandbox metaverse, that aims to showcase Singapore’s culture through a partnership with a number of global brands.
Borget detailed how The Sandbox had just closed a major virtual land sale in Turkey, where the metaverse has what he described as a “big ecosystem.”
“The Sandbox ecosystem has grown to well over 400 brands, 700 partners around the world and 200 verified agencies that are building on Sandbox,” he added.
Despite the slowing use of the metaverse in the West, Borget looked to a number of new developments in the Web3 and virtual reality sector more broadly with a sense of optimism.
The first notable development was the introduction of dynamic NFTs, which allow the creators to alter the metadata and change the appearance and features of a given asset.
“I feel like every NFT has to become truly unique, not just in appearance, but in all the metadata attributes.”
“We often do this comparison with the real world, where it’s like: if I buy a tennis racket — is it the same if I buy it, and it has been used by Pete Sampras, before or after?” Borget jested.
Additionally, Borget noted the release of Apple’s Augmented Reality Vision Pro headset as a major step forward for the metaverse industry, with the extended-reality features allowing for digital assets in physical environments to look just as real as real ones.
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“This leads to digital assets becoming even closer to you. Instead of just sitting in a wallet that you have to open in a certain browser or application page, but in your surrounding environment,” Borget explained.
“Now that you can see your content close up, you can interact with it even more.”
Ultimately, Borget concluded that there’s no right or wrong way for the metaverse sector to foster widespread Web3 adoption.
“There’s a good position of the traditional gaming industry that believes Web3 adoption will only come if you provide games that provide the same level of quality as web2 games where blockchain is a feature.”
While Borget admitted that might be a strong use case for many gaming companies in the space, he noted that metaverses like The Sandbox help create new experiences for users that differ from the world of traditional gaming.
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