The metaverse was first coined by sci-fi author Neal Stephenson as early as 1992. But this digital world has long broken out of science fiction to become a reality. Top companies investing in this new technology have driven its growth in recent years. In late 2021, Mark Zuckerberg himself brought the world’s attention to this immersive universe. Yet, several platforms had already ventured down the metaverse path long before Meta and Microsoft.

The Sandbox

The Sandbox is a blockchain-based virtual universe, developed by the gaming studio Pixowl. On this community-driven metaverse platform, it is up to users to generate content. They can create avatars as well as design entire gaming experiences through the Game Maker tool. Users are also able to buy patches of land with the platform’s own Ethereum-based token. Plots can then be traded for SAND tokens or kept for creators to let their imagination run loose.

The Sandbox has drawn in 2 million registered users, and up to 300,000 active players per month. This metaverse pioneer further cemented its leading position with over 160 partnerships, including top global brands, such as Adidas and Atari.

The Sandbox also gained a vocal advocate with A-list rapper Snoop Dogg. The hip-hop icon inaugurated the first-ever metaverse music video on The Sandbox in April 2022, before unveiling an NFT collection playable on the platform. And exciting projects keep on shaping up the Sandbox metaverse. Lately, the platform partnered with the TIME Media Group to recreate a virtual version of the world-famous Times Square.

Roblox

Roblox has been around for over a decade. Yet, this metaverse platform has come to prominence in recent years. The platform has seen its users swell in the course of three years, soaring from 35 million active users to over 150 million. In 2020 alone, reports showed that half of all American kids under the age of 16 had played Roblox.

This online platform stood out from the pack by allowing users to play exclusive games developed by other users. 20 million gaming entries are currently available across the platform. And top developers can contemplate earnings amounting to $1 million in a single year by monetizing their games. The Roblox corporation itself is now worth more than Ubisoft and Epic Games.

Roblox has also become a desirable playground for metaverse initiatives and innovative marketing strategies. In 2021, sportswear brand Nike launched the Nikeland virtual space on the platform. The Forever 21 all-digital Shop City followed suit the same year. Gucci joined the conversation in May 2022 with a prospective Gucci Town metaverse. 

Decentraland

Decentraland was conceived by Argentinian pioneers Ariel Meilich and Esteban Ordano in 2015. The platform was later presented to crypto investors in 2017 before opening up to mainstream users in early 2020. The first-ever decentralized metaverse is now dominating the market.

Just like The Sandbox, Decentraland allows users to create their own micro-world. Hence, the possibilities are endless. Users can trade digital assets, design artworks, or explore dynamic districts, from medieval dungeons to playable battlegrounds. Decentraland even boasts districts that mirror real-life. Sotheby’s dropped a replica of its London Galleries in 2021, while world-class designers like Dolce & Gabbana made waves on Fashion Street during an all-virtual Fashion Week.

True to its gaming roots, Decentraland also features a Vegas district dedicated to gambling. Although popular, metaverse casinos are still miles behind regular gambling platforms. Indeed, no cryptocurrency is needed to make the most of online casinos. And players can enjoy the best casino bonuses to keep the fun going. Casino bonuses range from welcome promotions to free spins, and even cashback offers. Game-specific bonuses are also ideal for avid poker, rummy, or blackjack players. So, bonuses are a perfect means to fund players’ bankrolls. And perhaps join in on the metaverse craze, eventually.

The metaverse has been on everyone’s lips ever since Facebook’s rebranding into Meta. Yet, metaverse visionaries had long paved the way for the future of the internet. Newcomers are having a say as well. Star Atlas, Solana’s flagship project, is putting forth the next-generation gaming metaverse. And metaverse platforms will definitely soar in the years to come. Indeed, the global consulting company McKinsey reported that the metaverse market could reach a $5 trillion value by 2030.

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