The Sandbox Season 3 vs. Roblox: Is this The Future of Gaming?

8 Oct 2022

The metaverse as a concept is more popular than ever. Thanks to the push from huge companies such as Meta, more people are getting engrossed with the idea of living virtual lives in a virtual world.

This push has brought with it massive platforms like The Sandbox, an online collection of games and setpieces built on blockchain technology. However, The Sandbox is far from the first platform to provide these features in the first place. Many people are probably much more familiar with Roblox, known for its thousands of user-created games and hangout spaces. The many comparisons that can be made between the two must surely lead to a battle of The Sandbox vs. Roblox in the minds of metaverse enthusiasts.

Which one will serve as a prime example of the future of gaming?

Comparing The Sandbox and The Roblox

This comparison will focus solely on what is offered by each platform. Features like profitability won’t be considered due to the volatile nature of cryptocurrency, but monetization and community aspects of The Sandbox (Season 3) and Roblox will be considered.

Ease of Access

The Sandbox is a platform built around cryptocurrency and the blockchain. As a result, the process of creating an account is somewhat more involved than Roblox. To enter The Sandbox, a virtual wallet must be linked to the account during creation. This is because many features found within are built around NFTs and cryptocurrency, both of which would become unavailable to players otherwise. This ties into its monetization aspects at the cost of its ease of access. Anyone without these wallets, from children to adults unable to sign up for them, will be unable to use The Sandbox without outside help.

On the other hand, Roblox is one of the most accessible platforms out there. It’s not even necessary to make an account to start playing. While additional verification methods are required to access more features on the platform, joining an experience can be done at will. There are very few limits on any content on the platform outside of cosmetics and user-created worlds. A few of those worlds require Robux, in-game currency that can be purchased with real money. One can see Roblox as a precursor to the metaverse, and while it’s not as deeply integrated with the concept as The Sandbox is, it’s undeniably much more accessible.

Monetization and Community

A prime point of contention in The Sandbox’s favor is how involved it is with monetization. While it’s a bit more difficult to enter than Roblox is, its play-to-earn model allows pretty much anyone to start earning genuine cash simply by visiting worlds and completing quests. This is reflected in its community of crypto enthusiasts. While smaller than Roblox’s community, The Sandbox has hundreds of fans looking to create and share robust experiences with others. The barriers to entry make for a group that’s more tightly-knit, making The Sandbox a very welcoming place for those creators unhappy with Roblox’s policies.

Roblox’s greatest strengths — its ease-of-access and large community — are also its greatest weaknesses. Because it’s extremely easy for anyone to join, people from all ages are using Roblox to this day. This includes children, which means prior verifications are required for those wishing to start earning money.

It’s also much more difficult to actually earn anything on Roblox, as many prizes are only usable within the game worlds themselves. This large community has also faced controversies in the past, from the exploitation of young developers to the exposure of sexual content to kids. At worst. It’s extremely unlikely that these issues will appear in The Sandbox anytime soon, and it makes a strong case for why greater barriers to entry might be a good thing.

Overall Content

Despite ease of access, monetization, and potential controversies, most players will look to these platforms based on the simple desires of entering new worlds and playing many different games. The Sandbox is still in its Alpha phase, and unfortunately that fact is made very apparent during gameplay. Many official worlds have only simple text-based quests, and the “combat” found within is nearly nonexistent. Every world also shares the same blocky style, from buildings and structures to characters and weapons. There isn’t much variety to be found in The Sandbox even when exploring some of the more obscure worlds within. There’s the very likely possibility that it will evolve over time, as even Roblox was stuck with a certain style at first, but it still has a long way to go before that happens.

In terms of variety and content, Roblox once again takes the cake. Not only are there literally millions of different experiences on the platform, but the variety they boast is immense. Art styles, objectives, and even entire game genres are represented in hundreds of different ways. It makes sense that Roblox has such an incredible amount of content, having first released over 15 years ago, but it doesn’t change the fact that this content only continues to grow. Anyone is guaranteed to find something they’ll enjoy in Roblox whereas only a specific group of people will find themselves interested in The Sandbox.

Final Thoughts on The Sandbox vs. Roblox

Roblox is the clear winner here when purely considering gaming aspects. The Sandbox shares many features and qualities with Roblox, and in time it could very well become even more popular and beloved. But if metaverse games and experiences want to lay claim to the future of gaming, they’ll need to put heavier focus on making their experiences fun and varied rather than focusing wholly on monetization and crypto-based technology. In the end, these virtual experiences are still seen as video games, even when they try to be more. Should The Sandbox embrace that, it’s likely to surpass Roblox’s popularity within the decade.