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Blockchain gaming may feel like it just appeared, but it’s been around for much longer than most would think. Hundreds of projects and games flow around in numerous blockchains. To the inexperienced crypto explorer, it can be dangerous and exciting. Animoca Brands is one of the top video game companies to use the blockchain and is responsible for developing The Sandbox, one of the most renowned blockchain games.
Animoca Brands have got their fingers in other pies, creating various projects and games ranging from mobile, educational, AAA, and racing games. Luckily for you, I’ve dived into the wild west of blockchain gaming. Falling deeper and deeper into the digital space to give you all the essential information you need about Animoca Brands.
An Explorer Diving Into the Blockchain
I’m a foremost gamer, which I believe is incredibly important for reviewing and exploring how web3 impacts gaming. Before I get into the nitty-gritty, I must explore Animoca Brands’ mission and values to understand their games and projects better. After all, a blockchain game is never completed. It’s an entity that continues to grow and evolve from the governance of its community, i.e., the players and the everchanging and volatile crypto space.
That also means investing at your own risk; like any game, these blockchain projects can suddenly lose value and popularity. Hacks and scams are lurking around every corner. If you’re not careful, you could accidentally lock your funds away, so invest what you’re willing to lose. But most importantly, treat blockchain games as what they are; video games.
Building a Blockchain Community
As a gamer at heart, I appreciate the work of Mythical Games for its games-first approach to crypto gaming. It’s a value that has led Mythical Games well. Blankos Block Party is a fantastic game built on the EOSIO blockchain that allows players to enjoy a well-crafted game that features NFTs as a bonus. Animoca Brands’ values and mission are different but are from the same cut of cloth, and that’s got me stoked.
Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands, expressed his mission in several interviews to create a long-lasting blockchain community for its players. To build a community of players with a pocket in a game rather than have a few individuals holding enormous investments.
His idea is that a loyal community will spur players to invest more time into their games, leading to a deeper connection with the community. The Sandbox is a great example of this. Animoca Brands has created the framework to allow players to build whatever they want in their own space and make in-game businesses.
Bottom Line-Up Front
Haven’t got enough time to read the whole article or are too busy browsing OpenSea for NFTs, no worries, I got you. Here is everything you need to know:
- Animoca Brands is a blockchain video game company that develops and invests in blockchain projects. From crummy mobile games like Benji Bananas to highly anticipated AAA-like games like Phantom Galaxies. Animoca Brands are responsible for the ongoing development of The Sandbox, one of the biggest games to utilize the blockchain and provide a metaverse.
- The company is definitely one to follow as they are partnered with big public figures and brands. Such as Snoop Dog, Steve Aoki, Avenged Sevenfold, Rabbids (Activision), the Smurfs, and even Care Bears. It’s a unique experience walking around the Alpha Lobby and seeing all these entities in one place. It’s like an artist dipped their paintbrush into the internet and swept it across a canvas. Truly my favorite experience with Animoca Brands.
Mobile Games Creeping Onto the Blockchain
I think this is brilliant, and Animoca Brands has no shortage of prominent public figures and companies lining up to get a piece of the blockchain. However, I think Animoca Brands is not without its shortcomings; mobile games are often viewed as exploitative and generally of low quality. While a few break this mold, they are terribly outnumbered. I disdain mobile games, and I’m worried that these games may exploit players new to the crypto space. Promising ownership and value over low-quality games and assets.
Animoca Games feature mobile games in their portfolio, such as Benji Bananas and Crazy Defense Heroes. While the company’s message rings true for games such as The Sandbox. It doesn’t fit into Crazy Defense Heroes or Benji Bananas.
These are run-of-the-mill mobile games, and while you can earn Ape coins and tokens on these games, you will have to part with at least $80 for a Benji Bananas membership pass before you can start earning.
Animoca Games Projects
I’ve been somewhat harsh on Animoca Brands so far, as Mobile Games only take up a small portion of their portfolio. The truth is that Animoca Brands has a wide plethora of games and projects to appeal to a broad audience. The company not only develops games but also invests in many blockchain projects that create spaces for flourishing communities. Investing in hundreds of projects and top games such as Axie Infinity and Star Atlas. Moreover, Animoca Brands has established itself as a significant player in crypto gaming by investing in several blockchain video game companies.
If you’re at least somewhat interested in crypto, then you would have heard of The Sandbox. If not, The Sandbox is one of the biggest games built on the Ethereum blockchain on the market at this time. Harnessing blockchain technology to bring actual ownership to its players, The Sandbox is a metaverse where players can create NFTs and content for other participants to experience.
The game adheres to Animoca Brands’ mission to create a space where innovation and community can flourish. I was skeptical of The Sandbox at first, thinking that the game looked primitive in graphics and gameplay. However, a deeper look reveals a clean, simple, and blocky aesthetic similar to Minecraft or Roblox.
Web3 truly is the next step in gaming. Suppose you’re not interested or excited about The Sandbox. In that case, that’s alright because while the gameplay may seem tedious, it’s a game thats in Alpha and just beginning. Like many metaverse games such as Decentraland, the game lays the foundation and framework for players to create anything they want within their land.
This model means that The Sandbox ecosystem will only grow bigger as more players employ blockchain features to build a living space. I love The Sandbox because you don’t need to be a computer scientist to get involved. Creating a blockchain game accessible to the masses is an essential aspect that blockchain video game companies need to nail. This will bolster mass adoption of web3 and blockchain gaming and increase NFTs to an ever-growing library of assets as a byproduct. Creating a balanced ecosystem that’s not run by a few wealthy investors.
The Exciting Potential of the Metaverse
I remember playing Little Big Planet years ago and playing user-generated maps like Hotel Bombs. Where you had to descend floor levels before the hotel burned and collapsed quickly. My friend and I had endless laughs, and just when we thought this silly map was the pinnacle of Little Big Planet, we’d discover Hotel Bombs with Sharks! This innovation led to iterations of the map to improve as the Little Big Planet community tried and tested new ideas and concepts.
I was always amazed by the creations made by players within the constraints of the Little Big Planet map-building tools. Gary’s Mod is another early game that gave essential tools to players to create maps and games. To this day, people still play Gary’s Mod. The game has stayed relevant thanks to its ability to adapt and create fun games such as Trouble in Terrorist Town and Prop Hunt and help from streamers and influencers.
Web3 is like this, but on a gigantic scale; the Sandbox gives tools to players to build services, games, businesses, art, and profit off of them, earning SAND the currency of The Sandbox with their own creativity as their only limitation. The sheer scope of this sounds fantastic. However, it’s not without its pitfalls. There is room for error with user-generated content, such as poor level design where your character could get stuck within the map or uninspiring range.
Collections and Artists
The Sandbox is much like a computer motherboard; it’s the most significant computer component that links all other components together to create a functional computer or, in this case, an ecosystem. The promise of ownership and scope of potential content has attracted all public figures and companies from all kinds of backgrounds. As the Metaverse serves as a great platform to advertise and generate revenue in new forms.
Rapper and long-time gamer Snoop Dog has expressed interest in the Metaverse and NFTs and has a giant collection of assets within The Sandbox. Players can purchase collections on The Sandbox Shop to acquire multiple assets. These are mainly character models; players will additionally get access to private parties hosted by Snoop Dog in the Metaverse.
Other big names in the music industry, such as Deadmau5 and Avenged Sevenfold, have NFTs available on The Sandbox Shop. Other big companies and IPs like the Walking Dead and Binance have gotten involved with the blockchain game. In my eyes, the open platform of The Sandbox is its crowning achievement as this gives artists an additional platform to sell their art on.
Ukrainian artist Ilya created an NFT in the form of a building that can be placed on the owner’s land representing the peace and independence of Ukraine. Both declaring their support for the country and expressing themselves. Furthermore, all revenue generated by purchases of the NFT goes straight to charities supporting victims of the war in Ukraine. This highlights yet another use of how blockchain gaming can be used.
The Game Maker: The Possibilities are Endless!
Enough of profits, NFTs, and memeable rage-quitting rappers. I’m a gamer at heart! If I decide to spend time on a blockchain project, I want to have fun. I believe this should be the backbone of all games built on the blockchain. So how does The Sandbox’s gameplay stand?
My Sandbox Experience
The Sandbox is in Alpha, so I can’t be too harsh with the movement and gameplay but walking on the bottom of bodies of water, really? Animoca Brands could have at least created a swim animation. I’m not an investor in the game, and I don’t have any NFTs, but that didn’t stop me from admiring and having fun with the many experiences made by creators.
The games start by loading you into the Alpha Lobby, a so-called hub that features a mix match of content from all kinds of artists, musicians, IPs, NFT clubs, and tv shows. It’s like someone painted the internet onto a canvas; you’re walking through Snoops Dogs lounge for one minute. Next, you’re talking to Rabbids on the way to view Bored Apes in an art gallery.
Walking around the lobby blew me away. I’d never experienced anything like it, and I hadn’t even played a game yet. The lobby reminded me of a typical MMO hub. You can see other dudes running around with their NFT characters. I had just found the Smurf area to the lobby, yes, you read correctly, the Smurf area, and John Wick ran passed probably to rescue his dog or something.
Even if you’re a tad interested in blockchain gaming, I suggest you give The Sandbox ago. It’s an experience unlike any other. Even if you don’t like the game, it will surely get you excited for the future of games built on the blockchain and Metaverse.
Soaring Through The Metaverse
The lobby had your typical quest givers lying around the area. You know, your Snoop Dogs and your Steve Aoki’s that you typically find in MMOs. I stopped by old Rick Grimes and chatted, which led me to a new world to play a Walking Dead-themed game. Many of these NPCs are dotted around that can send you to a new world. However, many levels accessed from the Alpha hub were still in development and couldn’t be played.
I explored New Alexandria, the Walking Dead-themed level, and was pretty unimpressed by what I saw. The land had limited interactivity, and quests were simple walks and talks to NPCs. Needless to say, I was pretty bored exploring this location. The next on my list was Rabbids: Unblock Plunga City with hopes that the silly and over-the-top nature of Rabbids would transfer over to the Metaverse. I loaded in, and the map was creative and fun to explore, but although it was interactive, it still felt a bit wishy-washy to me with little depth. I completed a few quests and returned to the lobby, where I quit the game feeling underwhelmed. However, what I encountered next blew me away!
User-Generated Content For Miles
I had tried a couple of levels from companies. Honestly, as a games company, I expected Ubisoft to develop something more interactive than Plunga City. However, I’ll give it some credit as they are limited to the creation tools in The Sandbox.
I headed to The Sandbox website to access the map and felt like I had the portal gun from Rick and Morty. Hundreds of pieces of land were owned by creators, companies, and artists with all kinds of content. Some people merely held land as an investment, while others rented it out for others to use. But that’s where the boredom ends; there were many interesting projects and third-party businesses to discover. Here are some that highlight what The Sandbox has to offer:
- The Sand Rush – A business that will turn projects into reality by building for you in the Metaverse. The Sand Rush will design levels for you and terraform land.
- Light Trail Adventures – This is an action RPG in The Sandbox created by B2expand, an indie company responsible for developing Light Trail Rush, a sci-fi game in early access on Steam. They are highlighting that Developers can use Sandbox to enhance their existing IPs. I realized that gamers will be able to get access to content from their favorite games and universes by developers exclusively on The Sandbox.
- Beast Quest – A series of children’s fantasy books from my childhood that I have extremely fond memories of, now has a big chunk of land in The Sandbox.
Phantom Galaxies Crypto Transformers In Disguise
Phantom Galaxies is visually the best-looking blockchain game in development next to Illuvium and Star Atlas. The game is developed by Blowfish Studios, an indie company with the backing of Animoca Brands. Phantom Galaxies is a Third-Person Action RPG set in a Sci-Fi universe. Players take flight in space by piloting mechas equipped with an arsenal of weaponry.
As a long-time fan of Battletech and Mechwarrior, a fantastic series that has somewhat fallen into obscurity. I have to say I’m excited to see how Phantom Galaxies progresses and what it could mean for the mech genre. Although I much prefer Battletech’s slow and tanky mechs over the fast and nimble mechas featured in Phantom Galaxies, I think these are more grounded and believable.
That said, players can transform between starship and mecha form to adapt to their battlefield, which sounds cool! Blowfish Studios have released several videos showcasing Phantom Galaxies gameplay, and it looks extremely fun! However, the proof will be in the pudding, so I’ll have to wait until I get hands-on with the game.
Ownership in Phantom Galaxies
Players will be able to upgrade their Starfighters, earn currency, and level up their characters, items and resources by completing missions and objectives. So whether you’re interested in Phantom Galaxies or not, it’s important for the mass adoption phase of blockchain gaming. However, I will not count all my chickens before they hatch. The game has yet to release and is being developed by Blowfish Studios. This studio has created many mobile games with experience developing a few PC games.
Although the game hasn’t been released yet, Blowfish Studios allows fans to purchase Genesis Planets for players to own their own corner of the galaxy. I think this is a brilliant idea, and even though it’s just a game, a whole planet as an NFT is very cool. I just wish I could buy a planet within the Inner Sphere!
A Bundle of Blockchain Racing Games
Animoca Brands has already established itself as one of the best video game companies to bring racing to the blockchain. As the company has brought a number of racing games to the space, such as:
- REVV Racing
- MotoGP: Ignition
- Formula E: High Voltage
- Torque Motorsport
There are many ways the blockchain can be incorporated into racing games, and it’s no surprise that Animoca Brands pursued this genre. The company hasn’t done this alone, working alongside Grease Monkey Games developers of the Torque Motorsport series and MotoGP to create MotoGP: Ignition.
Animoca Brands built the REVV ecosystem to bring all these racing titles together with the REVV token. I’m picky about racing games as I prefer customizing cars and street racing over professional racing simulators. I think that there is something for everyone with REVV Motorsports, as it caters to a broad pool of racing enthusiasts.
It all sounds super exciting. However, I have a strict gameplay-first approach to blockchain gaming. If the gameplay isn’t up to a good standard, I won’t be coming back. REVV Racing, unfortunately, doesn’t hit the bar for me. The low-quality graphics really bug me. It’s 2022, not 2002!
Furthermore, the cars in REVV Racing look more like toy cars than real cars. Maybe this is the aesthetic that Animoca Brands were going for, but Torque Drift 2 appeals more to me as there is a lot more potential regarding assets in the game.
A Racing Game I Can Get Behind the Wheel
Torque Drift 2 has me the most excited as the trailer mainly focused on customization. Capturing the street racing aesthetic that I loved from Need For Speed Underground: 2. What I love is that there is so much potential for artists to create unique NFT car parts. Grease Monkey Games have already announced that racers can earn licensed items as NFTs, which will allow you to truly make your car unique.
- Torque Drift 2 has been announced to release sometime in 2024, which may seem far away, but players can get involved with Torque Drift and Torque: Burnout on Steam and the Play Store to get a taste of things to come.
TinyTap: Bringing Education to the Blockchain
Animoca Brands has become one of the world’s largest blockchain game companies thanks to its careful strategy and understanding of what it offers. It’s no doubt that web3 puts the power in the user’s hands. Shifting users to become more than just consumers but active participants that can carve their own way in blockchain gaming through ownership and creativity.
Gamifying education has long been established through toys; even games such as Minecraft Education Edition have been used in recent years. Animoca Brands takes this a step further by introducing the blockchain to education.
TinyTap is a service that highlights the potential of blockchain technology outside of video games. TinyTap is the largest library of educational games primarily aimed at preschool and school children. However, TinyTap has the potential to host courses and content for even college students.
Educators Earn and Students Learn
Yat Siu explained that teachers are one of the biggest content creators in the world. Therefore, it made sense to Yat Siu to create the TinyTap platform for educators and publishers to mint their educational content as NFTs on the blockchain. This allows them to sell the domain or use it to teach students.
If you’re not an educator, you can still get a piece of the pie by purchasing ownership of a subject domain to generate revenue. Furthermore, students, educational history and achievements will be stored on the blockchain. This will transform education for young children by giving them access to a myriad of educational content.
TinyTap has proven to be highly successful, with over eight million families registered and over a hundred thousand active educators on the platform. This gives supplementary income to teachers, active or retired. Moreover, Animoca Brands has partnered with many companies and educators, such as Oxford University and Sesame Street.
Supporters are a great idea as it enables people to back educators that they revere. This brings the community together and allows people to generate revenue from supporting their favorite educators.
Thousands of Games To Play
There are thousands of games to play ranging in different subjects and created by all kinds of educators. This makes the platform so unique, as students and parents can zone in on a niche topic. TinyTap has vast potential as the possibilities are endless regarding educational content. That can be played on mobile or desktop online or offline, making it highly accessible to students and parents.
A wave of Blockchain Mobile Games
Many of Animoca Brands’ projects are mobile games of varying quality. I’m not a big fan of mobile games, but I can see that Animoca Brands are leading the space into its next step of ownership and play-to-earn model. Mind you, they haven’t done this on their own.
The company has partnered with Atari bringing the Arc8 platform into fruition. A platform that features several blockchain mobile games where players can earn GMEE.
Honestly, this part of blockchain scares me. Sure, there’s value in owning assets and NFTs. However, you should ask yourself what the true value of these items is. Games can die and waver in popularity. Can you really see a game like Benji Bananas outlasting within the mobile gaming space?
Question: How Does The Sandbox Make Money?
Answer: The Sandbox makes money by trading the SAND token and NFT purchases. However, because The Sandbox is a web3 game, money can be made within the Metaverse by third-party companies that offer a service within The Sandbox, like renting or building on a user’s land.
Question: What Platforms Can you Play The Sandbox On?
Answer: The Sandbox is available on Android and IOS mobile devices. However, I recommend playing on PC or MAC to get the best performance.
Question: What Blockchain is REVV Motorsports Built On?
Answer: REVV Motorsports is built on the Ethereum blockchain. However, the REVV token is supported on various blockchains, such as Polygon and the Binance Smart Chain.
In conclusion, Animoca Brands are blockchain video game company with fingers in all kinds of digital pies. If it’s on the blockchain with the promise of the community, then the company will probably have a slice. As a result, the brand is linked to all kinds of genres of games on the blockchain.
Animoca Brands indeed are one of the leading video game companies in crypto gaming. However, that doesn’t mean it’s all good. The Sandbox is genuinely innovative, bringing ownership and value to players, whether they’re an artist, creators, land owners, or just a player experiencing these assets within the game. However, I think it’s crucial that people understand the dangers of blockchain gaming, especially mobile games.
Animoca Brands have developed and partnered with developers for numerous mobile games. Some are decent, while others, like Benji Bananas, are terrible. Before players can even start earning by playing the game, they must buy a membership pass that can cost a significant amount of money. Taking a step back, you realize that people have paid hundreds of dollars for this mobile game membership.
Overall though, there are some fantastic projects from Animoca Brands TinyTap has innovated education for students and created a new way for teachers to get income. Phantom Galaxies, The Sandbox, and Torque Drift 2 look promising.
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