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Metaverses: Proprietary vs. Hosted?
By Unconfined

Metaverses: Proprietary vs. Hosted?

One of the questions we get asked most often by prospective clients is, “Should we build our own metaverse or utilize a 3rd party?”. Let’s unpack the differences to give you a better understanding when faced with the decision.

Firstly, let’s cover the basics. What are the 3rd parties? Platforms such as Sandbox and Decentraland are the bona fide veterans in the space, with over 500,000 active users to date. There are newcomers trying to gain the same momentum, such as Upland and Secondlife, but only time will tell who will be the last meta standing. Now that we’ve covered that, let’s break out the pros and cons of hosting your brand’s metaverse on a 3rd party platform:


Native Audience

These platforms have already built a loyal community of users over the years, and host a variety of brands/land. This massive in-platform audience allows your brand to automatically access a wider reach of users.

Interchangeable Tokens

Metaverses such as Sandbox and Decentraland have in-platform tokens that are transferable to other lands/games within the same ecosystem. For example, if you get tired of playing in one world, you can hop over to the next without having to exchange currencies.


Creative Limitations

Cutting out the middleman and having complete creative and monetary autonomy is a core piece of the Web3 promise. Contrary to this ethos, hosting a metaverse on a 3rd party can at times limit your creative freedom as you’re confined to the guardrails that the platform has established for its users and land owners.

Native Tokens

Since tokens are native to the platform, a user can transfer them without going between currencies on the blockchain. On the flip side of this coin (no pun intended), this limits the monetary share that your brand ultimately can make.

Now that we covered 3rd parties, let's get into proprietary metaverses. These are the metaverses that are completely owned and operated by the company itself without any 3rd party hosting. We’ve seen an uptick of these metaverses over recent years, growing from about 5,000 active users in 2020 to over 60,000 active users in 2022. Perhaps the reason for the increased traction lies within some of the points below:


Creative Autonomy

The routes are endless to ensure that your company’s creative direction is expressed and functionalities align with your audience.

Economic Economy

You can create your own brand specific tokens and have full control of the economics of your brand’s metaverse.



Building a proprietary metaverse requires a lot of time, energy and of course, money. These resources are oftentimes limited for smaller brands, so it’s a callout worth making. Luckily, there are partners such as us at Unconfined to help you navigate the design and build of your metaverse.


Depending on the brand, you can be missing out on reaching an even wider audience than you would if you were hosted on the established 3rd party platform (i.e. selling your clothes independently via your own brand or utilizing a site like Etsy which already has loyal users within their site). However, if you have loyal consumers, this can actually present an opportunity to increase users and engagement.

Here are a few examples of real brands hosting their metaverses on 3rd party platforms vs. having their own:

Example of brands currently in the Metaverse


  • Pepsi
  • Target (AR tech)
  • Zara
  • ClubRare

3rd Party

  • Adidas (Sandbox)
  • Domino’s (Decentraland)
  • Sotheby’s (Decentraland)
  • Nike (Roblox)
  • Balenciaga (Fortnite)
  • Gucci (Roblox)

Interested in building your own metaverse? Let’s chat!





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