Somnium Space has sold 25 land parcels for its virtual world in an auction for a total of $14.000, or 110 ETH. These waterfront parcels were sold in a Dutch auction as a part of their Road to the Second Land Offering. The most expensive parcel sold for 12 ETH, while the cheapest cost 2 ETH.
The most expensive piece of land was a XL parcel on the eastern shore of the biggest island in Deep Oasis Lake. On average buyers would pay 6 ETH for an XL-sized parcel, while a medium-sized piece of land would be 3 ETH.
The Road to the Second Land Offering event takes a total of ten weeks. Every week the team will auction more land. After these ten weeks, the team will announce the date for the secondary land offering, which is likely to take place in the second half of the year.
Somnium Space in the spotlight
Besides the Dutch auction there was also another big trade on the open marketplace OpenSea. Someone bought ten XL parcels and a teleportation hub for a total of 100 ETH, approximately 13 thousand dollars.
Thanks to the auction and this major trade, Somnium Space gained momentum in terms of trading volume. According to data from OpenSea, the blockchain-powered virtual world had an 348 percent increase in trading volume, resulting in 238 ETH. As a result Somnium Space made it into third place, behind two other virtual world: Decentraland and Cryptovoxels.
Virtual land rush
At the moment there are a number of games offering investors and gamers the opportunity to buy land. In 0xUniverse players need to own planets to generate resources, allowing them to build of trade. In addition a game like Axie Infinity also allow players to own land, which – eventually – will allow to gameplay benefits. The developers haven’t implemented this yet though.
The real virtual land rush we’re seeing in games that offering a virtual world or virtual reality. At the moment there are four titles that come to mind: Somnium Space, Decentraland, Cryptovoxels and The Sandbox.
Ownership over this digital land is stored on the blockchain, and land owners can sell or trade whatever they want. The idea is that land owners are able to create anything on their land. They can build a house or something nice to look at, but they are also capable of monetizing elements of their land. For example, they could create a virtual museum with an entrance fee, or a virtual store.
Demand for digital land going up
There’s a lot of potential in developing virtual worlds on blockchain technology. But teams also need to be able to create a captivating and fun experience for those who are visiting. Is this virtual world still fun to visit if you don’t own any land? That’s the biggest question.
Nonetheless, there’s a lot of demand for virtual land. The Somnium Space auction finished within three days. Decentraland already sold is 90 thousand parcels, while Cryptovoxels is basically done with its 2795 parcels as well. Somnium Space still has a couple of thousand to go, with the secondary land offering starting in the second half of 2020.
By the end of this month The Sandbox will organize its third land auction. The game’s first auction sold out extremely fast, while the second auction took a few days. During the upcoming third auction ten percent of the total supply will be sold at a set price. This auction is on a first come, first serve basis. In general a small piece of land in The Sandbox costs 35 dollars, but bigger parcels are more expensive.
Virtual land good investment
It’s always good to be critical about potential financial gain. It’s still very early in the technology, and above everything it’s a new business model that we haven’t seen yet in modern gaming. We’ve never had to pay for virtual land in The Sims, Civilization or Second Life. There’s a danger that those who are early in these virtual world, will dominate the meta of the game for years to come.
However, this is not much different from the housing market for example. People who own buildings or apartments and lend these to others, were often just early investors willing to take a risk. From that perspective an investment into virtual land seems something legit.
The big question is, whether a big audience is willing to visit these virtual worlds. These worlds need to be able to offer something that can’t be found anywhere. Think about for example interactive education about history or economics. In addition these virtual worlds need to be able to offer an entertaining world where everybody is able to have some fun.
Everybody can play Minecraft and have a certain degree of fun with it. No matter whether you’re playing a multiplayer battle royale or building a giant mansion. Everybody needs to be able to participate and share their experiences with others. Whether Decentraland, Cryptovoxels, Somnium Space and The Sandbox are able to provide that, remains to be seen.
Also published on Medium.