Walmart joins the metaverse via Roblox, targeting kids

An image shows toys and TV characters surrounding a smiling Roblox avatar.

Image: Roblox / Walmart

It’s 2022, which means that at least one company is announcing something new related to NFTs or metaverse in an attempt to stay relevant in our rapidly collapsing capitalist hellscape. Today’s spinners have landed on Walmart, Robloxand “The Metaverse”.

Retail giant and horrible company Walmart launches two different virtual worlds in the ultra-popular online game Roblox. According CNBC, these virtual Walmart worlds will include things that absolutely don’t exist in any real Walmart in the world, like a toy-dropping airship, music festivals featuring popular artists, and free mini-games and activities. Oh, and there’s a virtual store where people can buy virtual merchandise apparently called “Verch.” I’ve learned this word has been around for a while and I’m both horrified and sad that I had to learn it even existed.

These two new Roblox The “experiments” are called “Walmart Land” and “Walmart’s Universe of Play”. Both launched in Roblox earlier today.

Introducing Walmart Land on Roblox

William White, Marketing Director of Walmart, said that these new Roblox Worlds are something of a “proving ground” for the company as it plans to invest in the metaverse (aka: a silly concept without real definition beyond being a buzzword attached to hundreds of disconnected projects and ideas). White said the experiences were designed to appeal to the “next generation of shoppers,” particularly those 25 or younger. Now read with me these actual words and phrases that this human being said about Roblox and Wal-Mart:

“How do we stimulate relevance in the cultural conversation? How do we build community and engagement? How do we move the needle of a branded favor [standpoint] with a younger audience? said White. “That’s what we’re trying to accomplish here.”

If I ever start talking this way, please push me off a cliff. You have my full permission. You are going to do me a favor. Frankly.

Earlier this year Walmart filed for metaverse-related trademarks this seems to indicate that the company has bigger plans involving virtual currencies, digital assets, and even NFTs. White wouldn’t say how or if any of these marks will actually be used, but come on…

Walmart won’t make money directly from these new “immersive experiences” at this time, but it may sell brands access to these experiences in the future. He also suggested these Roblox worlds could encourage people to switch from visiting Walmart virtually to shopping in-store or online.

For example, in Walmart’s Universe of Play world, users can find and play various games that feature some of this year’s best-selling toys, including jurassic world and paw patrol characters. The idea is for kids to play these games, get excited about these toys and brands, and then get their parents to buy these products at Walmart. A similar tactic can be found in the other Roblox world, which includes a large obstacle course with items from Walmart’s Gen Z-focused beauty and makeup brands. There’s also a virtual dressing room with clothes and accessories from Free Assembly, its exclusive fashion line.

Yeah, for those who mostly avoided all that nonsense, the metaverse is just another way of trying to sell more shit to people and young kids online. I mean, of course it is. That’s why so many companies are looking to jump into the metaverse, before it’s even really been defined or created.