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Walmart Debuts Roblox Worlds as ‘Testing Ground’ for the Metaverse

Walmart Debuts Roblox Worlds as ‘Testing Ground’ for the Metaverse

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In brief

  • Walmart has released online game worlds on Roblox, the popular Web2 gaming platform.
  • The retailer previously applied for trademarks related to metaverse and cryptocurrency.

Brands are betting metaverse– the immersive, future internet – and retail giant Walmart just joined the party today launch of two worlds In Roblox, the popular massively multiplayer game.

The American retail chain created “Walmart Land” and “Walmart’s Universe of Play” on Roblox, which has seen renewed popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Roblox claims to have around 52 million daily active users, and the platform hosts millions of 3D games and worlds, mostly created by users.

To be clear, Roblox is not a Web3 game – it’s not built around NFTs, and has no cryptocurrency. It’s a traditional Web2 game built around user-generated content. Some call this type of online shared-world game a “protometaverse” because it has a closed ecosystem and is a precursor to future metaverse worlds that may be more open and interoperable.

However, this can be seen as the first step into online worlds that will eventually lead to the Web3 metaverse games built around dealer NFT and other crypto. CNBC reports that Walmart marketing director William White described the Roblox worlds as a “testing ground” (the publication’s wording) for future metaverse moves.

Could we see Walmart move to Ethereum Decentralized or Sandbox in the future? Time will tell on this front, but Roblox is the company’s first attempt to turn its brand into interactive online gaming experiences. Late last year, Walmart filed several trademark applications related to cryptocurrency and the metaverse.

“We focus on creating new and innovative experiences that inspire [customers]which we are already doing in the communities where they live and now in the virtual worlds where they play,” White said in a release.

“Walmart Land” is an online playground that hosts concerts, Netflix-themed trivia challenges, and fashion stores that offer digital clothing from real brands. Meanwhile, “Universe of Play” brings together entertainment brands such as “Jurassic World” and “Paw Patrol” through digital toys and other activities.

Numerous other brands have published their own game worlds on the Roblox and Web3 metaverse platforms, including heavyweights such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Wendy’s, Gucci and Adidas. Meta, the rebranded parent company of social media giant Facebook, is too make a major Metaverse play built in part around its Oculus VR platform.

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