Hong Kong’s major railway operator MTR Corporation has partnered with Animoca Brands’ subsidiary The Sandbox to build a railway-focused virtual space consisting of immersive experiences through gamification.
The company said the partnership is aimed at taking customer experiences to a new arena and engaging creators to build the new community platform together. An immersive virtual station will be built on a plot of land of The Sandbox metaverse. By mimicking and gamifying the physical railway environment, users can drive a train or even operate a railway station in the space. There may also be a railway museum to showcase the moments that MTR intersects with the communities and cultures of Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the company will explore making use of the virtual environment to facilitate STEM education.
“To pursue continuous enhancement, we challenge our status quo and keep abreast of new technology trends. This foray into the metaverse allows us to venture into the virtual space to build a fun place to interact with our community while at the same time also seizing opportunities that would add to our real-world experience beyond bounds. I look forward to seeing the creative ideas brought by the community, especially from our young generation and exploring potential opportunities in the future,” said Jacob Kam, CEO of MTR Corporation.
MTR also said the partnership with The Sandbox also demonstrates the commitment of the company to supporting the technology and innovation development in the city, benefitting and creating long-term value for the community.
“Public transport is going to play a major role in shaping the future of both the real world and the metaverse. I’m looking forward to seeing MTR Corporation play this role of onboarding people into the new opportunities offered by the Metaverse and connecting them via digital interactions and creative expression that are built and owned by the community,” said Sebastien Borget, COO and co-founder of The Sandbox.
Moving forward, MTR will work with The Sandbox and its partner Collectiv to develop a roadmap and create a virtual station in the metaverse. The experience will be built with strong creative and social elements based on the VoxEdit and GameMaker tools provided to users of The Sandbox. MTR will also be open to the public and allow unlimited creation by players. The Sandbox has been working with Hong Kong brands to create its cultural hub Mega City. In January, it launched a new LAND sale, allowing players to purchase spots near the LANDs of the new partners.
The partners were from the film, music, entertainment, acting, professional services, finance, real estate, and gaming sectors. Partners who acquired LAND NFTs to build Mega City in The Sandbox’s metaverse include Hong Kong tycoon Adrian Cheng, alternative investing leader Sun Hung Kai & Co, professional services firm PwC Hong Kong, blockchain-related investment and asset management company TIMES CAPITAL, director, producer and actor Stephen Fung and international star Shu Qi, renowned musician Dough-Boy, game IP Little Fighter, and local illustrator Dreamergo.