The Roblox metaverse directs children to the locations of “all the best toys.”

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Last Updated on September 28, 2022 by Bitfinsider

With the launch of two new Roblox experiences, retail giant Walmart has joined the list of companies looking for new ways to market their brands via metaverse platforms.

Users will be able to participate in a fashion show and a Jurassic Park-themed egg-collecting game through Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play. In-game coins and tokens, prizes, and “verch” (“virtual merch”) will also be available to players.

Walmart has long been expected to launch a metaverse. While there are numerous unofficial Walmart-themed games on Roblox, the company itself filed several patents in December 2021 for virtual goods and currencies.

William White, Walmart US’s chief marketing officer for Roblox, stated that one of the reasons for selecting Roblox was that “customers spend a lot of time there.” When contacted, a Walmart representative was not immediately available for comment.

According to the information provided at sign-up, nearly a quarter of the 52.2 million daily active users on Roblox in Q2 2022 are under the age of 13. Walmart appears to be attempting to tap into this young user base, as its Universe of Play tells players that “making a toy wish list has never been this fun! You can find them all at Walmart.”

Sharp eyes may also notice in-game advertising. Roblox, which has historically struggled to monetize beyond selling virtual goods, announced plans earlier this year to launch ads in 2023. It stated that it would test ads with specific developers and brands by the end of the year in order to “gently” incorporate more advertising.

One of these test cases could be Walmart. Its in-game billboards, labeled as advertisements, inform players that they can “find all the best toys” in their stores.

The group filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission in April, alleging that Roblox had “completely shirked its responsibility” in complying with advertising laws. Netflix, Nike, Hasbro, and Mattel were also named in the complaint.

In August, another complaint was filed with the Advertising Standards Authority in the United Kingdom.

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