If you are a child or teenager or have any in your life, you have most likely heard of Roblox before. Roblox is a virtual world with games within it. There is a common misconception that Roblox is a game, but the application itself is not a game, it is a platform for many different games. The gaming platform has been extremely successful with kids especially over the past few years, having over 115 million users worldwide. To expand Roblox’s potential, the platform has collaborated with many different brands to create themed virtual worlds within the platform that resemble the brand and its products. So far Roblox has collaborated with brands such as Nike, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Kellogg’s, Chipotle, Forever 21, and Van’s.
An Introduction to Roblox
Roblox is a platform where users can imagine, socialize, chat, play, create, interact, and relate with others in many ways.
The Roblox software was launched on September 1, 2006. It was created by David Baszucki and Erik Cassel. The software can be used on PC, Mac, Amazon devices, IOS, Android, Xbox, and Playstation. Access to Roblox is charged on a monthly basis, the three available plans range in price from $4.99 to $19.99.
How Roblox Works
Within the gaming platform that is Roblox, there are over 50 million games. These games are all completely individual from one another and they offer the player completely different experiences. Each different game is within its own world within Roblox. There are games of all genres including racing, action, role-playing, shooting games, and many others.
In addition to the gaming aspect of the software, there is also a social aspect. There is a social platform within Roblox that allows players to add friends and chat with each other.
Finally, there is the option for users to create their own games within Roblox. To do so, the free Roblox Studio Software must be downloaded. This software includes the Developer Hub, which allows users to publish the game, and very useful resources to create games. Creating games within Roblox sparks the potential for the creators to make money. Although it is hard for games that cost money to do well, creators can add advertisements and micro-transactions within their game to create a profit even from free games. In-game purchases are also a large opportunity for revenue for Roblox game creators. Some of the top game creators on Roblox make more than $2 million per year.
Monetary transactions within Roblox are done utilizing Robux. In order for players to purchase things within the platform, they must buy Robux with real money. Then, game creators exchange these Robux back to real money when they make profits. However, not just any creator is able to exchange Robux back to real money. These creators must do this through the Official Developer Exchange, which requires them to be at least 13 years old, be a member of the Outrageous Builders Club tier, and have a minimum of 100,000 earned Robux in their account. Earned Robux means they gained them through sales, instead of purchasing them. This shows that creators must become popular and successful before actually realizing any profits from their Roblox games.
Roblox collaborated with Nike to build Nikeland, a permanent world in Roblox. This is a very smart collaboration because it connects the virtual world to the sport world. Everyone knows the Nike brand and the first thought when thinking of Nike is sports. Since there is a very large child presence on Roblox, it is easy to use sports and a brand they’re likely familiar with to appeal to the audience.
Nikeland features different games such as tag, the floor is lava, and dodgeball. There is a lake where players can go swimming in and it also has an online shop, called the Showroom, where players can purchase signature Nike shoes and gear for their avatars to wear.
Over everything, Nikeland influences players to become creators by providing them with a tool-kit to create their own mini-games using interactive sports materials. Each player is given their own playground called the Yard, where they can utilize the toolkit to create games and obstacles.
Roblox and Gucci collaborated to create Gucci Garden, which was only available temporarily on Roblox. Gucci Garden was an art installation that was only available for two weeks but it was extremely popular within those two weeks. It was the same idea as the Gucci Garden museum in Florence, Italy. The virtual world had many different rooms with unique themes that altered the user’s avatar to match the room’s colors, patterns, and special effects. Some of these rooms included themes such as Tokyo Tribe, pool room, garden room, and more. Each user went through the rooms in a different order to make the experience unique and unpredictable. Since the avatars started as a blank canvas and were transformed to match the rooms, each user will look different at the end because of the different order of rooms. After going through each of the rooms, Roblox shows the users their avatars so they can take screenshots to remember the experience or share it on social media.
In addition to the themed rooms, Gucci Garden offered a virtual store for users to purchase limited-edition virtual Gucci items for their avatars to use/wear. This sale of virtual products was extremely successful, one item sold in the second-hand virtual market for more than the physical item sold for in the real world. This is extremely eye-opening and shows the true potential of financial investments in the metaverse.
Roblox and Ralph Lauren partnered to create a temporary world called The Ralph Lauren Winter Escape that was tailored towards the holiday season. The theme and landscape of the world was snowy mountains and it contained a large Christmas tree in the center. It has activities for users such as ice skating, warming up by the fire pit with an iconic Ralph Lauren hot chocolate, toasting marshmallows, and a holiday treasure hunt.
This world featured a virtual collection of gender-neutral clothing that users could wear. Up to eight looks could be selected from the current collections, and new collections launched every week. Items in the collections included clothing, accessories, and even surprise bonus items.
Roblox and Kellog’s collaborated to create the permanent Kellog’s Froot Loops World. The main feature of this world is that it completely ignored Roblox’s monetary aspect and created its own currency that is not tied to real money. Users in this world must scavenge the world to collect missing Froot Loops. The game starts with a user trying to pour Froot Loops for themselves but the box is empty. Then, Toucan Sam teleports the user to the Kellog’s world after telling the user he needs their help. The objective is to find the missing Froot Loops! In order to collect the missing Froot Loops the user must go through the 10 obstacle courses. These collected Froot Loops can then be traded in at the virtual shop for in game items such as clothing and power-ups. The virtual shop in the world is called Colors & Curiosities.
In addition to this interesting spin on in-game purchases and obstacles, there are some activities users can participate in. Some of these include swimming in a milk and cereal river, sliding across tree top vines, and bouncing from spoonflower to spoonflower.
Roblox and Chipotle collaborated to release a Chipotle store world within the Roblox platform. The Chipotle store allows users to work a shift at the Burrito Builder making some burritos! By working a shift, users have the chance to win a free real-life Chipotle burrito.
In addition to the permanent burrito builder in the virtual Chipotle restaurant, Chipotle launches seasonal additions. For example, for Halloween, they added a corn maze experience that included digital Halloween costume access and Roblox items access. The first 30,000 users who participated in the corn maze won free real-life burritos.
Finally, they launch new food items every once in a while. Recently, they launched the new Garlic Guajillo Steak in Roblox before they launched it in real Chipotle stores!
In order to get the users the promised free burritos, they award them with a code through the Chipotle app. This is extremely smart because on top of getting advertisements from the users visiting the world, they also download Chipotle’s app and potentially get Chipotle more sales if they take friends or family with them when claiming their free burrito.
Roblox and Forever 21 collaborated to create Shop City in Roblox. This permanent world is built completely around fashion and competition. Within Shop City, users can buy and sell Forever 21 merchandise, hire non-player characters as employees for their stores, and create their own completely customizable stores. Users can choose a location for their store, and complete very realistic tasks that real-life store owners would have to complete. These tasks include stocking inventory, working different roles, helping customers, working the cash register, hiring new employees, and decorating their storefront windows! The user-created stores are all in a large competition to be the top shop within Shop City!
In addition to the competition between users’ stores, there are four themed districts in Shop City where users can participate. The four districts are entertainment, obstacle course, food court, and yellow carpet. Users can role-play, meet up with friends, find rare items, and build their community.
Roblox and Van’s collaborated to create Van’s World, a permanent addition to Roblox. In Van’s world, users can walk around to different skate parks and engage in competitions with other users. Competing and winning these competitions give users waffle coins and unlock new Van’s gear. Additionally, Van’s releases limited edition items that are given away within the world.
Within Van’s world, users can go into shops and customize their skateboard by purchasing parts such as docs and wheels. The shop also includes Van’s merchandise for the avatars to wear. The world also allows for the activity of skating without participating in a competition. Users can practice and learn new tricks in the skate parks. Many of the skate parks within the virtual world are modeled after real-life skate parks!
The Idea Behind Brands Collaborations With Roblox
All of the brands listed above took a leap into the metaverse by collaborating with Roblox. They all created virtual worlds based on their physical stores and brands for Roblox users to enjoy. This is an extremely smart move that has a lot of potential in the long run. The Metaverse has been growing and becoming more successful as time goes on, so these brands are exposing themselves to the potential for revenue and success by experimenting in the Metaverse this early.
Roblox is a great way for companies to build a presence in the Metaverse because it is already very popular and easy to use. It also appeals to a younger demographic which will most likely be the people/generation to take the Metaverse to the next step in the future.
In addition to the Metaverse exposure, these brands are also increasing their marketing strategies by partnering with Roblox. Roblox has an extremely large consumer base that all of these brands can benefit from. Children playing these games will begin to become consumers of the brands themselves which will benefit the profits coming from the physical locations of these companies. Children will want to go to Chipotle after building their virtual burritos, they will crave Froot Loops after participating in the 10 obstacle courses, and they’ll start to want merchandise from Nike, Van’s, Ralph Lauren, Forever 21, and Gucci.