The Metaverse has become a laughing stock, at least as far as Mark Zuckerberg is aware of and developing it.
This immersive virtual world, which we interact with via avatars, has been largely abandoned since last October due to difficulties with Facebook, known as the Meta Platform. (meta)
CEO Mark Zuckerberg has made the Metaverse the next big thing in his social media empire. A year later, these efforts are already cost the group $16 billion.
There have been increasing calls for meta to abandon the notion, as well as harshly critical press articles.
But for other players in the space, like Sandbox’s US CEO Matthew Nouzales, the metaverse isn’t dead.
In interviews, he claims that there are two (and sometimes multiple) versions of the metaverse. A version represented by meta and a smaller player version of which the sandbox is a part.
Now, he says, this alternative version wins out without causing much fuss. He added that Zuckerberg’s vision of the Metaverse is “doomed.”
Owned by software and venture company Animoca Brands, Sandbox is a platform built on the Ethereum blockchain. It allows users to buy, sell, trade and own digital assets in the virtual world. Its users include banking and financial services giant HSBC, sporting goods maker Adidas, luxury apparel and accessories brand Gucci, and consulting firm PWC.
Sandbox is currently worth over $1 billion. We have not ruled out the possibility of raising additional capital in the coming months.
Nozareth spoke to TheStreet about the Metaverse and its prospects.
Nuzales: The metaverse is actually a 3D space. You usually have an avatar that represents yourself, and you can go there and meet people, meet friends, make new friends, socialize, socialize, play games, and buy things. It’s like the real world has been digitized and replicated in the Metaverse.
Nuzales: We are absolutely not doomed. There are competing visions of what the problem is.When [Meta’s] The vision of the Metaverse is very similar to this vision from Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One movie a few years ago.
This metaverse vision is managed by one company. This metaverse vision can only be experienced with virtual reality goggles. they live badly, [they] Live a wonderful life in the Metaverse. This vision is destined for me.
[This] The exact opposite of the vision we follow in the sandbox. Our vision for the Metaverse is that it should be a multi-platform right. Sandbox available on Mac. You can play the sandbox on PC, mobile, and someday with virtual reality goggles.
We believe that it is not a substitute for reality. We believe the metaverse should not separate us from the real world. It kind of augments and maybe strengthens some of it.
TheStreet: Please elaborate on the differences
Nuzales: We are not going to live in this dystopian nightmare where one company controls everything. So even in the sandbox we have higher ambitions. We are probably the largest Web3 metaverse today, but we don’t want to be the only ones. We are also working hard towards interoperability so that users can move freely between metaverses.
So I agree that a certain vision of the Metaverse for me is destined – it’s the one driven by Big Tech. [The] The version we push is really [a] Much more… an agile, interoperable metaverse. That’s the multi-metaverse.
I’ll give you another example. Meta receives nearly 45% commission from the Metaverse. We only take 5%. We give back 95% of creators.
This vision of the Web3 metaverse is therefore a far more desirable future than a centralized Web2, a metaverse controlled by one company and pushing its views and business models onto the creators.
Metaverse background of Meta from TheStreet
Zuckerberg’s metaverse is known as Horizon Worlds. In April last year, the company roll out A test to allow creators to sell virtual items and effects in their world.
Meta plans to cut 47.5% of the total in digital asset sales in Horizon Worlds.
This fee consists of a 30% hardware platform fee on sales made through the Meta Quest Store, which sells apps and games for virtual reality headsets, plus a 17.5 percentage point reduction in the Horizon platform fee. I’m here.
The company told TheStreet, “In the future, as we expand Horizon Worlds to more platforms, other companies will charge their own platform fees, so that part may not be sent to Meta. There is.”
Nuzales: I wouldn’t say he’s the problem, [it’s no secret] Facebook may be reaching a plateau and he’s taking a gamble and spending all his money on the metaverse. …not the same platform, not the same vision and values, and while their departments and what they do don’t have much in common, I think he probably has an impact on the metaverse industry as a whole.
TheStreet: How do you make the difference clear to your users?
Nuzales: You need to show people and say, “Hey, you can come play in the sandbox.” And you can see it for yourself, and it’s free. I’m here.
Nuzales: It wasn’t as good as people said it was a few months ago, but it’s not as bad as people say it is today.
People often ask me, “Are you affected by the macro environment?” The answer is no. We still have many partners and big brands are opening their doors. They want to enter the metaverse and want to partner with us. We recently announced a number of deals. There are more. So we don’t see any influence from brands, partners or celebrities.
Basically, everyone faces a lot of macro headwinds. Such as the war in Ukraine and rising interest rates. inflation – So I think everyone is having a hard time. But for us, it’s business as usual. We are not laying people off. We are actually doubling down. We are looking for more people. We are very proactive in hiring.
TheStreet: Have you ever been injured in Crypto Winter?
Nuzales: It’s going well. I haven’t seen anything so far. Of course, we are a crypto company. We are the Metaverse and we are also a game company. No matter what happens, people want to play games.they want to have fun [and be] Entertained. That’s why I think we’re probably less affected than other cryptocurrency companies.
Therefore, we are recruiting all over the world. We are looking for more engineers, especially Unity developers. We are looking for Narrative Designers, Product Owners, Project Managers, Finance and Business. So, in all positions within the company, we are very proactive. From a recruiting perspective, the environment is actually pretty good for us. Access highly qualified candidates who have been fired elsewhere. [So] Good time.
TheStreet: Are you making money?
Nuzales: I would appreciate your answer. All I can say is that we have what it takes to really double down.
We raised $93 million last year. But $93 million isn’t enough. So $93 million is not enough. So I leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions.