Walmart enters the metaverse with two new Roblox experiences
The retail giant has launched two new experiences in Roblox aimed at attracting a younger audience and generating an early buzz around holiday toy shopping.
‘Walmart Land’ is one of two new Roblox-based experiences launched today by the retail brand / Walmart
Walmart has taken note of the growing number of young people hanging out in virtual worlds, and it wants in on the action.
This morning, the international retail chain announced that it has launched two separate experiences in Roblox – the open-world, blockchain-based gaming platform that has become a major gateway for brands seeking to set up shop in the metaverse.
The brand said in a statement that its new virtual experiences – dubbed ‘Walmart Land’ and ‘Walmart’s Universe of Play’ – will “offer unique interactive content and entertainment for customers,” while delivering “the best fashion, style, beauty and entertainment items directly to the global Roblox community of over 52 million daily users.”
“We’re showing up in a big way – creating community, content, entertainment and games through the launch of Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play,” William White, chief marketing officer at Walmart US, said in a statement. “Roblox is one of the fastest-growing and largest platforms in the metaverse, and we know our customers are spending loads of time there. So we’re focusing on creating new and innovative experiences that excite them, something we’re already doing in the communities where they live, and now in the virtual worlds where they play.”
‘Walmart Land’ will feature games, a virtual merchandise (‘verch’) store – where visitors can buy new items for their avatars – and even “a physics-defying Ferris wheel.” The experience is kicking off with three events in October, which Walmart says have been designed “with the next generation of customers in mind”: ‘Electric Island,’ a virtual music festival; ‘House of Style,’ a fashion-oriented experience; and ‘Electric Fest,’ which is described as “a motion-capture concert celebration.”
The second activation, ‘Universe of Play,’ is a push to both capitalize on the huge popularity of gaming among younger audiences and to give the brand a headstart in the upcoming holiday toy-shopping rush. The experience will include five games inspired by pop culture phenomena popular among American kids such as Jurassic World, Paw Patrol and Razor Scooters. A treasure hunt for virtual toys will also be on offer, and visitors can zoom around using digital hoverboards and other ‘e-mobility’ tools.
The news of Walmart’s entrance into Roblox follows a series of patent applications filed in late December by the retailer, which indicated at the time that it had designs to begin capitalizing on the burgeoning virtual marketplace. At least one of the patents, for ‘virtual merchandise,’ is coming to fruition in the brand’s new ‘verch’ store activation. Another patent hinted at plans to begin delving into the realm of cryptocurrency; as it stands, no mention of crypto has appeared in the brand’s communications about its new Roblox experiences.
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