Retail behemoth Walmart has been making silent moves about the metaverse…
When Facebook’s parent company changed its name to Meta, the idea of a more established “metaverse,” or virtual world, was fully born. For some of us, this is a completely brain-breaking concept to imagine. For others, the metaverse provides a whole new opportunity for a social world, not entirely separate from physical reality.
No matter your opinion on this new, burgeoning reality, it’s here to stay — at least for now. Especially with retail giants like Walmart now pushing their brand into the metaverse.
That’s right, as of late September, customers can access Walmart’s own virtual world on Roblox, a leading gaming platform.
Walmart announced they were taking a step into the metaverse through a partnership with Roblox, a gaming platform that’s predominantly used by Gen Z.
Starting with Walmart Land, Roblox players will enter a colorful amusement park with a Walmart-themed Ferris wheel, slides, beaches, and more. The island is shaped like the Walmart logo with a circle-shaped center and six branches with different themes and activities.
Walmart’s Universe of Play is for much younger players. It features the popular kids’ TV series “PAW Patrol” and toys like L.O.L Surprise!, Magic Mixies, “Jurassic World” dino eggs, and Razor scooters. Universe of Play will also have a blimp, just like the one in Walmart Land.
From The Beltway Report:
As if that’s not enough to convince any reasonable person to plan their family’s trip to Walmart Land today, the company promises users will also be able to enjoy “e-mobility items like hoverboards” to “travel through the universe faster.” Ah, just like the mobility carts available in Walmart’s real stores.
Still not sold? Maybe the Sharper Image drone roaming Walmart Land and barking the names of popular toys and products will change your mind.
While Walmart’s foray into the metaverse may seem modest, a company spokesman told CNBC that the megacorporation is just getting its feet wet.
“Roblox will serve as a testing ground,” the outlet reported, quoting Walmart chief marketing officer William White. The goal, White explained, is to attract the next generation of metaverse-obsessed shoppers.
“How are we driving relevance in cultural conversation? How are we developing community and engagement? How are we moving the needle from a brand favorability [standpoint] with younger audiences?” he said, per CNBC. “That’s what we’re trying to accomplish here.”
With the corporate goal of gaining good will among young consumers known, perhaps it makes sense that Walmart will not charge for anything within its Walmart Land virtual universe.
That, however, could change. Walmart could charge brands to become part of its virtual universe, or could attempt to funnel Walmart Land visits into real visits to Walmart’s e-commerce website or physical stores.
Of course, since Metaverse was born, folks online had the same prediction about Walmart Land: Most people hated it.
“YOOO I CAN FULFILL MY DREAMS OF ROBBING WALMART”
“You know whats needed in a platform largely aimed towards children and teens? Sheer freaking capitalism that leaked in from the real world.”
“Watch the game die in a few months. ?”
“Do the workers there have low self-esteem”
“This is one of the single most evil things I’ve ever seen”
“Wow, another event that is absolutely useless. Thanks Walmart for marketing towards children who don’t get a say on where there parents shop.”
WATCH the video below:
See Walmart like never before ?
Walmart Land is our new world on #ROBLOX with fun & games for all. From film to fashion — whatever you’re into, let’s have some fun with it. Come for the inspo, stay for the verch & live performances.
— Walmart (@Walmart) September 26, 2022