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There has long been an affinity between blockchain technology and the ever-growing, multi billion dollar gaming industry. The technology represents the potential to disrupt many current methods, especially in regards to buying game assets, but there is even a push to put entire games on the blockchain.
Now, Square Enix, the Japanese gaming giant behind world-renowned games such as Final Fantasy and Tomb Raider, has put its backing behind the potential of blockchain in the gaming sector by investing in Ethereum-based game developer TSB Gaming.
Animoca Brands, parent company of TSB Gaming, has announced a $2.01 million investment from some noteworthy parties which included Square Enix, B Cryptos, Mindfulness Capital, and True Global Ventures.
The investment came in the form of 83 percent cash and 17 percent in digital assets, namely SAND tokens and simple agreement for future equity notes.
TSB — which stands for ‘The Sand Box’ is one of the world’s largest independent user-generated content and gaming platforms, with 40 million downloads and over one million monthly active users, it has been attracting a lot of attention in the blockchain space, as well as the gaming one. The blockchain version of The Sandbox is a virtual world being built on the Ethereum blockchain to allow players to build, own and monetize their own voxel gaming experiences.
TSB represents a new type of gaming that is still very much in the experimental phase, but with the help of blockchain technology is pushing new grounds, and also piquing the interest of traditional gaming giants.
Sebastien Borget, COO of Pixowl and of TSB Gaming, explained the significance of the recent investment:
“The Sandbox is a pioneer in the space of blockchain gaming, NFTs, and true digital ownership, and we are thrilled to have Square Enix with us as a strategic investor, supporting our ambitious vision of building the Metaverse where Creators can make games on their LANDs and trade ASSETS on our marketplace in a totally decentralized manner.”
The introduction of such a game to a new market, and a game that is predicated on a nascent technology, is a special kind of challenge. For this reason, the strategic partnership that TSB has with Square Enix will go a long way to normalising this new style of gaming.
Yat Siu, co-founder and chairman of Animoca Brands, said: “Like multiple generations, we grew up playing amazing games such as Space Invaders, Final Fantasy, and Arkanoid, and so it’s a special privilege and honour that the legendary game company Square Enix has invested in The Sandbox. Together with the investment from B Cryptos, we are now closer to bringing The Sandbox to the Japanese market.”
A burgeoning interest
Gaming and blockchain have been attracting shared interest for sometime now. There have been a number of cases where major firms have decided to back the growing space of gaming, and to push the next level within through a blockchain bias.
For example, Ripple, the firm behind XRP which mostly focuses on banking and cryptocurrency, set up a $100 million fund with the intention of integrating blockchain technology into gaming. The fund is overseen by Forte, a San Francisco company founded by prominent gaming executives, and which is backed and advised by a host of big Silicon Valley names, including Andreesen Horowitz, Coinbase Ventures and Battery Ventures.