The Sandbox, a decentralized gaming virtual world and subsidiary of Animoca Brands, has on Monday launched the Lunar New Year Event to celebrate a creative and cultural moment in the metaverse as it is entering the year of the Rabbit, symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity in Chinese culture.

Marking the most important festival in the lunar calendar, The Sandbox users will be able to enjoy a series of new experiences developed by partners and studios based in Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China.

These experiences are available free of charge and can all be accessed via the map on The Sandbox website, the firm said in a statement.

According to the statement, this year’s Lunar New Year Season will run for an extended period from January 18 to February 28 and offer an extensive reward pool of 200,000 SAND, memorabilia, in-game non fungible token (NFT) prizes, and virtual “Chinese Dragon” mystery boxes which include limited PFPs and The Sandbox’s premium LANDs.

“The Sandbox is growing as a multi-cultural metaverse platform that encourages openness and creativity in a new avatar-centric format of entertainment,” said Sebastien BORGET, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of The Sandbox.

“This is a significant festival that showcases the stunning creativity of our community of brands and creators from Greater China and proves how vibrant this virtual world can be, across Asia (where The Sandbox is well established) and beyond,” he added.

According to the statement, creators and well known brands from across the region have come together in The Sandbox to build experiences for the Lunar New Year Event around their popular IPs.

The brands include: Softstar and Alpacadabraz (Taiwan); PCCW-HKT, MTR, Sun Hung Kai & Co. and McDull (Hong Kong), and The CGame and Chili Game (Mainland China).

For example, fans of The Legend of Sword and Fairy by Softstar will be able to engage with famous heroes Li Xiaoyao, Zhao Ling’er and Lin Yueru based on the popular PC game adventures to enjoy an immersive playing experience.

Hong Kong fans will explore PCCW-HKT Futurera to try games associated with the ViuTV game show “Be ON Game”, also experience a series of 5G games, as well as visit MTR Metaverse Station, the first-ever railway station in The Sandbox.

Sun Hung Kai & Co. also brings their award-winning race team, SHK Scallywag, to the metaverse – sail on and have fun! The Sandbox has created a special page for the Lunar New Year Event with a list of game experiences and other event details.

Transferring a brand experience into The Sandbox metaverse allows a brand to reach a new generation of players and empowers its fans to create themed content with easy-to-use tools, interact with well-known characters, and truly own assets in the virtual world.

“Our goal is to foster long term engagement with a dedicated community of users across Asia and show that the metaverse will encompass not just regular players, but also creators and builders, avatar and LAND owners, and NFT collectors within a thriving self-contained economy,” said Erich Wong, Head of Growth (Hong Kong) of The Sandbox, Greater China.

The Lunar New Year event builds on The Sandbox Alpha Season 3, which became the platform’s biggest ever event where users could play, create and earn in the decentralized metaverse.

Part virtual real estate, part amusement park, The Sandbox fully embraces the idea of the metaverse as a continuous shared digital space where worlds and heroes collide to make magic.

Over 400 partners have joined The Sandbox, including Warner Music Group, Ubisoft, The Rabbids, The Walking Dead, Snoop Dogg, Adidas, Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, Richie Hawtin, The Smurfs, Care Bears, Atari, ZEPETO, and CryptoKitties, all following The Sandbox team’s vision of empowering players to create their own experiences using both original and well-known characters and worlds.

The Sandbox is one of the decentralized virtual worlds that has been fueling the recent growth of virtual real estate demand.

Building on existing The Sandbox IP that has more than 40 million global installs on mobile, The Sandbox metaverse offers players and creators a decentralized and intuitive platform to create immersive 3D worlds and game experiences and to safely store, trade, and monetize their creations.

The Sandbox opens new virtual neighborhoods themed around 14 major brand partners with three LAND sales