Hong Kong rail operator MTR Corporation announced Thursday its entry into the Web3 era and will start its metaverse journey in partnership with The Sandbox, a decentralized gaming virtual world and subsidiary of Animoca Brands, to create new and immersive experiences in the virtual world.

As the first global transport operator to join The Sandbox metaverse, the corporation will build a railway-focused virtual space to create unique, fun and immersive experiences through gamification with the aim of taking customer experiences to a new arena and engaging creators to build this new community platform together, Animoca Brands said in a statement.

Echoing MTR’s brand-new campaign “Go Smart Go Beyond” of employing advanced technological and innovative initiatives for customized experiences and a high level of service to keep cities moving, the corporation has seized the opportunity of the megatrend of Web3 and the metaverse and acquired a plot of land at the Sandbox metaverse to further interact with our customers, in particular with the young generation.

According to the statement, an immersive virtual station will be built on a plot of land of The Sandbox metaverse. By mimicking and gamifying the physical railway environment, players will be able to enjoy an MTR journey on many levels that stretch the imagination beyond taking a train ride.

There will be endless new possibilities including driving a train or even operating a railway station and unlocking exciting adventures in this constantly evolving 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 corporation will explore making use of the virtual environment to facilitate STEM education.

The strategic move with The Sandbox also demonstrates the commitment of the corporation in supporting the technology and innovation development in Hong Kong to benefit and create long-term value for the community.

The adoption of such an open innovation approach not only enables the corporation to explore more innovative ideas for its businesses and services but also shows support to local-based tech companies as well as the development of the technology innovation ecosystem by leveraging on its expertise and resources.

“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 seize 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 Dr Jacob Kam, Chief Executive Officer of MTR Corporation.

As a next step, the corporation will work with The Sandbox and its strategic 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, and will be open to the public and allow unlimited creation by players. Stay tuned for this incredible train ride!

“Public transportation 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, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of The Sandbox.

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