Walmart Makes Metaverse Move With New Roblox Engagement
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Could we finally see the wheels turning on Walmart’s metaverse initiatives? Earlier this year, the company’s patent filings hinted at a looming commitment to blockchain, or NFTs — but nearly a year later, little has been seen. That may be about to change, as the retailer is using Roblox for its first phase of exploration into the metaverse. While there have been no reports of NFTs or other blockchain-related activity mentioned yet, it could certainly be the first step into the space.
Let’s take a look at what we know about today’s announcements and what the shopper may have in store.
Today, Walmart is introducing two metaversal experiences as part of its partnership with Roblox: Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play. According to Walmart chief marketing officer William White, the two new digital activations are largely considered “testing grounds.” White added that young Millennial and Generation Z consumers are at the forefront of this activation. Reports have hinted at several other features, including purchasable recipes, streaming events, and an AR feature for furniture.
Meanwhile, the new Walmart experiences are expected to include “a toy-dropping explosion, a music festival with hot artists, a variety of games and a virtual merchandise store, or ‘verch,’ similar to what customers can find in Walmart stores and on its website,” according to reports.
Roblox (RBLX) will be host to Walmart's first 'metaverse' exploration. | Source: NYSE: RBLX on TradingView.com
From the Past to Now
At the beginning of the year, Walmart received a total of seven patents related to virtual and AR operations; it appears that this week’s move is the first development of those efforts. At the time, the company said they were “testing new ideas all the time. Some ideas become products or services that bring them to customers. And some [they] test, iterate and learn from them.” Looks like this week is the next test drive for the dealership.
However, speculation has long surrounded the company regarding crypto. A handful of brick-and-mortar stores have hosted Bitcoin ATMs in the past, Walmart crypto tokens have been speculated in the past, and in recent years the company has even begun hiring crypto-focused leadership roles.
It remains to be seen if Roblox will spur larger crypto ventures like NFTs.
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