This article is part of a 10-piece Digiday series that explores the value of NFTs and blockchain technology.
Some of today’s leading metaverse platforms have made millions of dollars selling virtual land — but they’re still figuring out how to get users to spend time on their digital property.
There are numerous brokers of virtual land, but a group of prominent digital real estate companies has emerged — Decentraland, The Sandbox, Somnium Space and Cryptovoxels— which Web3 observers have dubbed “the Big Four.”
Until now, virtual real estate has largely been treated as a financial asset, but recent trends in the crypto market indicate that this use case might not be sufficient: As crypto markets continue to crash, the average price of virtual land NFTs in both The Sandbox and Decentraland has dropped by thousands of dollars in recent months. To stop the bleed, both metaverse executives and virtual land investors are becoming increasingly aware of the need to add tangible utility to their digital property, either through gamification, community-building or a combination of the two.
Each prominent virtual land platform operates a digital world consisting of a set number of land parcels — for example, Decentraland has 90,000, The Sandbox has a total of 166,464 — with each parcel acting as a non-fungible token (NFT) that can be bought and sold on the open market. At the time of this article’s writing, the floor price for a parcel of Decentraland land is 2.1 ETH, or approximately $3,400; in The Sandbox, it’s 1.88 ETH, or $3,000. Parcels range in price depending on their size and location.Continue reading… “Why metaverse platforms are gamifying their virtual real estate to attract customers”