So you are new to all this Metaverse economy and you are having trouble understanding what's going on. You want to start investing some time and maybe even money on it, but you are not sure where to start... Well, you are in luck, this post is for you!
In the last two years, we've been involved in many Metaverse projects,
building and generating value across different platforms.
In this article we'll dig into Blockchain Metaverse projects, the ones we know and what you should consider before starting your journey. There are many different Metaverse projects out there, but today we'll compare the best known in the space on different points, so you can have enough information before digging further on them.
Before starting you must understand the Metaverse as a concept.
NONE of these projects alone are the Metaverse, even if they say so on their marketing efforts.
They are LAYERS of the Metaverse, and all of them combined are the Metaverse.
In easy terms to understand, Facebook is not the internet, but a part of it. Same applies here.
The Metaverse Projects, A Brief Description
The oldest one in the space.
It is a single Metaverse layer divided evenly into a grid. Every single coordinate is called LAND.
All the LAND is the same size and has the same limitations. Users can combine their colliding LAND into Estates. Users can create districts to coordinate themselves and this one function as separated entities/companies. There is a limited supply of LAND and there is no way to create more unless the community proposes it through the Decentraland DAO.
The world was open on 20/02/2020
Minecraft-like inspired project.
It is a single Metaverse layer divided unevenly in different plots and islands.
There is a main island called Origin City that has a limited supply of parcels.
Their team is always generating new islands and parcels as a way to fund the project.
Every plot has a different size and limitations.
The world was open on July/2018
High end devices focused project.
It is a single Metaverse layer divided unevenly in different plots along an already generated map with some islands too. Every plot has different size and limitations. The team is releasing new land once in a while.
The world was open on 20/02/2020
The project also has a new proposal for owning whole Metaverse layers, called Somnium Worlds.
But there is little information about this yet.
Evolution of a previously very successful non-blockchain project into a new paradigm.
Also with Voxel art.
It is a single Metaverse layer divided evenly into a grid. All the land is the same size and is pretty big, users can combine their plots into estates to generate bigger places. There is a limited supply of land there is still a big part of it not released to the market.
The world is still in private beta, aiming to launch in Q1 2021
How Is The Experience?
When we talk about Metaverse layers we're talking about content being deployed on the same "world" meaning that in theory you could be able to "walk" from one point to another without any loading screen, so when you join the place, you can see your parcel and everything built around it even if this content is built by another person.
This is the case of Decentraland, CryptoVoxels and Somnium Space,
they all got a seamlessly walking experience.
As opposed to the other projects, Sandbox encapsulates their land experiences into separated scenes and when you walk from one parcel to another, there will be a loading screen.
How Can I Access The World?
Desktop Website: https://decentraland.org/
Desktop, Mobile Website and VR: https://www.cryptovoxels.com/
Same experience in any device.
Full version: Desktop Client and High end device VR headset.
Reduced version: Desktop Web and Quest.
The reduced version is encapsulated in different instances, meaning that you can only visit 1 plot at a time. Web based visitors cannot see client visitors and vice versa. Avatars are also limited to the web version.
Not released yet.
Who Is behind The Wheel?
The project started with Esteban Ordano and Ari Merlich, both very experienced folks on blockchain and high end technology and did a very successful job creating and pushing the idea. Now the project is managed by the Decentraland Foundation, a new entity that is focused on listening to the community needs. Most of the team is in Argentina.
By the one and only Ben Nolan. This solo entrepreneur from New Zealand started off the project from scratch and now has a team helping him to generate his vision. They are very active listeners on their Discord and Twitter.
Funded by the serial entrepreneur Artur Sychov, the project started with a very successful indiegogo campaign back in the day. Based in the beautiful city of Prague, right in the heart of Europe.
The Sandbox project was initially started in 2012 on mobile platforms which to date have gathered more than 40 million global installs on mobile devices. Their 100-people strong team behind has over 15 years of experience making games.
Over the past 3 years, The Sandbox team has been developing a new version of the game – this time as a 3D, multiplayer platform using blockchain technology (Ethereum) to offer a virtual world where players can build, own, and monetize their gaming experiences. This is the version we are comparing today.
What Can I Do On These Platforms TODAY?
From afar all these projects look very, very similar, but they are actually not, they all have different communities with various mindsets.
This project has made a huge effort into building collaborations and partnerships with top blockchain and crypto projects around the world, there are many virtual headquarters built in there already and more to come in the following months.
Events and networking is what is driving Decentraland adoption.
You can keep up to date with their events on the website.
The platform has also a lot of cryptoart galleries and a few games to enjoy.
But be aware that most of the place is still empty.
If you want to get inspired quickly, you MUST visit CryptoVoxels.
In 2020, CryptoArtists from all around the world have taken over this platform generating mind blowing content. The world is filled with art galleries and the community is super active. This project has the best boarding experience on Crypto-Metaverse so far.
There are many art and business related events in the world, but there isn't a centralized way to find them, you must follow each micro community individually.
The main selling point of the project is its beautiful image rendering.
If you own a high end VR device, Somnium is for you.
The community is small but cozy, very active and welcoming on their Discord.
They also got an event page to keep track of all the events.
Art galleries and private land is the content you'll find there.
The project is unreleased yet. But I can give you a glimpse of what you'll find.
Games, games and more games.
Their team is making a great effort to build a game platform along with many creators. With their background on the industry and how they communicate, I expect SandBox will become a great gaming platform. They are using Arkane Network, which makes on boarding for blockchain newbies very easy.
What About Building Things?
Alright. So you want to have something built in your new virtual domains, these are the things you need to take into account.
This platform has 2 ways of building.
The Builder: This online tool allows users to place and allocate 3D models in the parcel and then deploy. What you can do with it is very limited.
The SDK: Tool developed for professional teams to generate interactive content in the game. Probably very complex for starters, but very good if you want to have something very unique on your parcel. We've made different games and experiences with it. Developing with DCL SDK is still a very niche thing and takes A LOT of time, so be prepared to hire a professional team.
The easiest and most friendliest of them all, just join CV and start placing things in your land while playing. You can find many artists willing to take building commissions and they'll create amazing stuff by pushing limitations to the next level. The great downside right now is that you can't create any complex behavior on CV, so no games.
There is a Somnium Builder that works very well, it is very similar to the Sims building creator tool and it allows you to make your own place out of already generated assets. There is a Unity SDK in the works for Somnium, but no release date yet.
This project has developed 2 different tools for content creators:
VoxEdit: that allows to create game items and characters.
Game Maker: This tool will take the assets generated on VoxEdit and place them in world, also adding interaction and complex behavior for them. No code required.
Since the platform is not released, it is still hard to find people to develop in your SandBox Land.
What Is Their Economy?
All the platforms, released or not, got some economy going on, based on different stuff.
They have their erc20 token called Decentraland MANA ($MANA)
Probably the strongest coin of all the platforms and listed on the most well known exchanges.
1 MANA ≃ $0.116
Their LAND economy is also pretty hot, the lowest prized LAND on OpenSea right now costs
8,000 MANA ≃ $924.3
This project also has wearables made by their team and community,
you can also buy and sell names on Decentraland.
They don't have any coin anymore.
It has a very small wearable economy, but unfortunately generating new tokens it's been closed down due Ethereum gas fees many times, making it very difficult to generate a stable revenue for creators.
Cheapest parcel on Opensea: 1 ETH ≃ $1,236.61
They have an erc20 token called Somnium Space CUBEs ($CUBE)
1 CUBE ≃ $0.3
But their team has made claims that they want it to become a stable coin.
Cheapest parcel on Opensea: 0.68 ETH ≃ $839.5
The project has also created their own virtual reality avatar market, only usable on Somnium client version. They also have released a world token. But they haven't released much info on this yet.
They have an erc20 token called SAND ($SAND)
1 SAND ≃ $ 0.05
Cheapest parcel on OpenSea: 0.1 ETH ≃ $122.7
Any item created and uploaded to SandBox will be automatically an NFT, so expect a huge boom of NFT trading from this project once is released.
How Does The Future Looks Like For These Platforms?
The following statements are made in Jan of 2021 and are based on how all these platforms have evolved along 2019-2020. This might shift as their communities become bigger and evolve.
Networking platform. Hopefully a decentralized virtual Silicon Valley of the future. Many big blockchain companies and influencers are setting their virtual business Head Quarters in there using districts as a catalyst. Unless LAND prices go down, the investment needed to buy a plot and then to develop content for it, is really high. This kind of budget makes sense for a B2B environment.
Micro house-blogging platform. Pretty much like your 3D house blog. The team sets the prices based on FIAT in order to attract more BUILDERS. Many companies and influencers have a plot in CV too, but most of the plots are built by artist showcasing their art. It is amazing to see all the islands getting built these days.
Virtual Beverly Hills neighbour for early blockchain enthusiasts and celebrities. Somnium parcel prices have skyrocketed in the last year. The community is small BUT very active and very well connected. The world looks like a green field, that can remind you of The Sims.
Blockchain based Minecraft competitor. Is very difficult to imagine how this project will evolve without seen it released yet. But based on the previous SandBox game and the team background, we can already see this project being the only one fully focused on game development.
Where To Learn More About The Projects?
All these projects got Discord communities and Twitter accounts to follow their progress.
You can learn more about them by following us too!
I just wanted to give some insight thoughts on these projects, since these are the most
"HOT Blockchain Metaverse" projects in early 2021.
All these platforms compete and work together at the same time.
If one of them fails hard, it will affect negatively to the others,
since they are all tied together with Ethereum.
As I stated in the beggining, NONE of them are the Metaverse,
they are just layers, collaborative worlds filled with used generated content.
Ultimately the users owning and building the platforms will be the ones
in charge of its success or failure, same goes for their tied coins.
I haven't included any NON-blockchain projects on the list, but to give you some real facts with perspective about how EARLY we are in the space.... VRChat has today more daily active users than all of the platforms mentioned COMBINED.
True ownership will be granted by blockchain, but only if the majority of users
understand the value of NFTs and prefer it to centralized systems.
We could keep comparing all the projects in the space in the future on different subjects,
feel free to leave us ideas on our interoperable Discord community!