Walmart’s Entry into Roblox Metaverse Guides Kids to ‘Discover the Top Toys’
US retailer Walmart has joined the ranks of corporates seeking to capitalize on the popularity of metaverse platforms like Roblox, but the strategy is being criticized for being aimed at children.
According to crypto news outlet The Block, the two Walmart divisions Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play will launch several new game-like experiences for Roblox, including some where players can join a fashion show and a Jurassic Park-themed game for collecting eggs.
In the games, players can earn certain in-game tokens, prizes and so-called “verch,” short for virtual merchandise.
Walmart has since at least early 2022 been expected to move deeper into the metaverse, after a flurry of patent filings from the company revealed a willingness to embrace crypto, NFTs and the metaverse.
While Walmart has not officially commented on its embrace of Roblox, William White, chief marketing officer at Walmart US, was quoted by the Block as saying they chose Roblex because “customers are spending loads of time there.”
Strategy aimed at children
Both Roblox and Walmart’s use of the popular metaverse platform has received some criticism, given that almost 25% of the platform’s daily active users are children under the age of 13.
Additionally, Walmart also appears to target children specifically with player messages like “making a toy wish list has never been this fun! Find them all at Walmart.”
According to The Block, a complaint was filed in April with the Federal Trade Commission by the American non-profit Truth in Advertising saying Roblox had “completely shirked its responsibility” with regards to advertising rules.