Forbes' Sandbox Play (No, Not That Sandbox)

Forbes has announced its own “permanent land” inside The Sandbox -- a virtual metaverse world where users can build, own and monetize their gaming experiences.

By building off of its prior metaverse launches, the global business-focused media company appears to be making an effort to express its ongoing commitment in the Web3 space and in The Sandbox platform.

Forbes' metaverse land takes the form of a virtual estate that the company says will serve as a “dynamic community hub, designed to foster interaction, engagement and collaboration among the Forbes Web3 community.”

Visitors will also notice a smattering of QR codes that act as links to gamified missions and interactive experiences that offer up exclusive content and insights about the company’s history and “the evolving digital landscape.”



Forbes says it will also use the space to host workshops and events in order to “bring together minds from various sectors” so they can network and commune in an immersive environment.

“Yes, we're permanently in the Metaverse,” the company said via its Web3-specific X account. “Stop by for a dip in the pool, a drink at the bar or to visit our 2024 Under30 gallery.”

The media company has been building its metaverse and Web3 presence over the past few years. When the value of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) was skyrocketing in 2022, Forbes repurposed its iconic “Richest People in the World” list by offering 100 fictional billionaire investors in the form of digital collectibles.

In addition, last month, Forbes followed up on its move into Web3 by setting out to provide a platform for up-and-coming Web3 artists. It partnered with Rarible, an NFT marketplace, and launched a Web3 art contest, with NFT event NFT.NYC contributing a prize to the winning pool.

Forbes originally developed its now-permanent Sandbox estate back in November 2022, working with creative development studio Polygonal Mind to create a space to display its “Virtual Billionaires” NFT collection and showcase the brand for visitors in an immersive way. Upon its launch two years ago, Forbes held an event during which it sold tickets in the form of a wearable NFT.

While major brands continue to launch experiences in popular metaverse gaming worlds like Fortnite and Roblox, it’s interesting that Forbes is continuing to commit itself to The Sandbox, which has a much smaller global user base.

As of November 2023, the virtual world said it had five million users (and 24,000 land owners), with 30% of those based in Asia compared to Fortnite with 500 million users and Roblox with 216 million monthly active users.

The platform says over 400 brands have joined since its inception, including Warner Music Group, Ubisoft, Gucci Vault, The Walking Dead, Snoop Dogg, Adidas, Atari and more.

Unlike Fortnite, Roblox or Meta’s Horizon Worlds, The Sandbox is built around blockchain and NFT technology.

The platform is more concerned with digital land ownership -- a focus that has gained the attention of skeptics and critics who question its validity and importance in the overall development of a potential decentralized metaverse.

In an interview with Forbes from March 2023, The Sandbox COO Sebastien Borget said that despite a lack of funding, a never-ending crypto winter, and a small global user base, he and his colleagues are “going to showcase that The Sandbox is resilient and not dependent on tech or crypto market crash."

Borget added that the future of the platform will be partly fueled by the AI boom and that it will be built by anyone and played by everyone, with hopes that it boosts mass adoption for a continuous shared digital space.

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