2023 is the year we observe more brands taking a more serious approaching with Roblox – what most of us know as just a “kids’ gaming platform”.
Roblox is more than just a kids world, and we ought to pay better attention to this platform because of its intention to work towards being a metaverse. In fact, by now, we can safely define Roblox as a metaverse.
What is a Metaverse?
A metaverse is a 3D virtual world where people can engage in a variety of experiences – they may live, work, play, learn and socialize in this world. A metaverse should also have its own currency for any kind of trading. People take on identities of their avatars and enjoy different experiences as they like, with their avatars.
Who is building the Metaverse?
The most obvious player in this industry is Meta which took the bold step of changing its name from Facebook to Meta. This shows how much Mark Zuckerberg believes in the metaverse as a future necessity.
Meta’s metaverse – Horizon World requires a VR headset to engage in the world.
Other reasonably established metaverses would be Decentraland, Sandbox, Second Life, Fortnite and possibly Minecraft.
Why build on Roblox?
As of now, Roblox is the most popular metaverse.
While Roblox is currently a kids haven, we can expect a 15 years old player to turn 20 in 5 years time – a good runway for any brand to get a decent foothold on a metaverse platform.
The question many brands may ask would be – will the children grow out of Roblox? Are adults actually going to be interested in Roblox?
We can’t tell. However, given the variety of experiences on the platform ranging from really superficial obby games to complex building experiences like Islands, we can expect to see more adults continuing to be engaged on the platform meaningful to expend their creative energy.
Brands on Roblox
Check it out on roblox: https://www.roblox.com/games/8254336243/Forever-21-Shop-City
Forever21 Shop City features a city where players can set up their own Forever 21 shops. They may purchase merchandise from the main HQ to bring to their shops to sell. Players may customize their own shopfront as they earn more to build up their stores.
Check out the experience trailer:
Check it out on Roblox: https://www.roblox.com/games/7603178367/Chipotle-Burrito-Builder
The Chipotle Burrito Builder experience allows players to work in a burrito shop.
They go through a repetitive experience of making burritos and possibly earning real life rewards from the Burrito Bucks that they earn.
Check out this video on how one can earn a real burrito in the experience:
Check it out on Roblox: https://www.roblox.com/games/7462526249/NIKELAND-SNOWBALL-FIGHT
Nikeland constantly updates its experiences on Roblox, centered around different kinds of sports. It currently features snowball fight – a Christmas event.
Check out this video about how the brand engages players with free branded avatar items:
Check it out on Roblox: https://www.roblox.com/games/7280776979/Hyundai-Mobility-Adventure
This brand engagement is interesting, and we have to remember how Roblox actually started as “a company which concentrated on educational physics and mechanical simulation software” back in 1989! Learn more here: https://roblox.fandom.com/wiki/History_of_Roblox
This makes Roblox easily the best platform to build anything mechanical, resembling real life replicas.
Other than vehicles, it also features various experiences and mini games that participants can engage in.
Check out this sponsored introduction of the experience on YouTube:
How to buy cars on the experience:
Check it out on Roblox: https://www.roblox.com/discover/?Keyword=givenchy
Givenchy is a decently easy to play experience on Roblox, with its logo very tastefully added into the experience. Basically you go around getting Givenchy branded accessories for your avatar and have your avatar look luxurious!
Check out a YouTube video created by an enthusiast going around looking for branded accessories:
6. Walmart Land
Check it out on Roblox: https://www.roblox.com/games/10895555747/Walmart-Land
Walmart Land is a huge playground with various interesting experiences.
Not sure how they like to engage players, but really it’s just a huge fancy world that they have built first, and then possibly more integrations can come in later.
Check out my experience on Walmart Land:
Check it out on Roblox: https://www.roblox.com/games/6679274937/Vans-World
Vans World makes skateboarding look so cool!
If you struggle with the skateboard in real life but still like to enjoy the feel of being cool on one, go check out Vans World experience.
At the very least, it got me liking skateboarding a little bit more than before the experience.
Now, usually we talk about directing the audience from the metaverse to redeem physical rewards. Vans is doing it the other way round! It encourages players to scan a QR code found in its retail stores in the US to get to a special event on the metaverse!
Check out this player’s experience on Vans World:
Check it out on Roblox: https://www.roblox.com/games/8523408215/Alo-Sanctuary
Alo is a yoga apparels brand.
This is really one of my favourite brand experiences, and successfully got me falling in love with this brand!
It features a super peaceful environment for meditation, and simple milestones to reach to get your virtual accessories for your avatar.
Check out the experience in this video:
Check it out on Roblox: https://www.roblox.com/games/10956766913/SHEIN-x-Klarna-Wonderland
Shein just launched on Roblox in Sep 2022.
It is a huge fancy wonderland with various experiences to take part in.
It rewards Avatar fashion wear that may be too realistic that they look quite abit awkward on the avatars.
Check out this great introduction video of Shein’s experience:
How Should Brands Show Up on Roblox
As we can tell by now, brands are currently still experimenting how they should show up on Roblox.
The ones who got there first may not have gotten it right.
There’s currently little “best practices” to follow, as everyone is really trying to figure a way to engage.
The first thing to do, however, is to just show up first!
Hire someone to start creating an experience for your brand, instead of splurging on an agency to create a fancy but meaningless world.
Getting onto Roblox ought to be a journey, a marathon and not a sprint. There’s no end to it, so do not believe that your first creation is going to be the one and only.
In fact, getting on Roblox requires one to constantly upgrade an experience to keep your audience engaged.
The question should always be – how should brands integrate metaverse with offline or eCommerce experiences for a more meaningful engagement with their audience? Do not enter the metaverse for the sake of entering, but be more intentional on the platform.