Walmart Joins the Metaverse Bandwagon! What to Expect?

Walmart Joins the Metaverse Bandwagon! What to Expect?

Walmart is entering the metaverse with two experiences, Walmart Land and Walmart's Universe of Play, in the gaming platform Roblox.

Retail giant Walmart (WMT) is allowing consumers to experience the metaverse through the launch of two new experiences in the gaming platform Roblox (RBLX). The move comes after Walmart filed seven trademarks at the end of December that signaled its plans to make and sell virtual goods in the metaverse. Walmart has created two experiences, one called Walmart Land and the other Walmart's Universe of Play, according to a statement on Monday. Walmart Land will include a virtual merchandise store, while Universe of Play contains various toy worlds and games.

"Roblox is one of the fastest growing and largest platforms in the metaverse, and we know our customers are spending loads of time there," William White, Walmart U.S.' chief marketing officer said in the statement. "So, we're focusing on creating new and innovative experiences that excite them, something we're already doing in the communities where they live, and now, the virtual worlds where they play," he added.

'Walmart Land' will feature a Netflix trivia experience with "Stranger Things" star Noah Schnapp, a virtual dressing room, and a music festival with popular artists. It will also sell "verch" for avatars that match real-life merchandise in Walmart's stores.

The second experience, Walmart's Universe of Play, will offer immersive games featuring characters from its most popular toy products for the holiday season, from L.O.L Surprise! To Paw Patrol.

Earlier this year Walmart filed for metaverse-related trademarks that seem to indicate the company has larger plans involving virtual currencies, digital goods, and even NFTs. White wouldn't say how or if any of these trademarks will actually be used. Walmart won't make any money directly from these new "immersive experiences" currently, but it could sell brands access to these experiences in the future. It also suggested these Roblox worlds could encourage people to leap from virtually visiting Walmart to actually 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 the best-selling toys this year—including Jurassic World and Paw Patrol characters. The idea is that kids play these games, get excited about these toys and brands and then bug their parents to buy this stuff at Walmart. A similar tactic can be found in the other Roblox world, which includes a large obstacle course featuring items from Walmart's Gen-Z-focused beauty and make-up brands. There's also a virtual dressing room featuring clothes and accessories from Free Assembly, its exclusive fashion line.

Walmart Land will feature a variety of immersive experiences, including a virtual store of merchandise, or "verch", for your avatar; a physics-defying Ferris wheel giving users a birds-eye glimpse of the world, and unlockable tokens and badges that can be earned in various games and competitions. Walmart Land debuts with three big experiences, specifically with the next generation of customers in mind:

Electric Island: Inspired by the world's greatest music festivals, Electric Island includes an interactive piano walkway, a dance challenge, a Netflix trivia experience featuring Noah Schnapp, and a DJ booth where users can learn to mix different beats.

House of Style: Featuring a virtual dressing room, a strike-a-pose challenge, an oversized cosmetics obstacle course (hobby), and a roller-skating rink, House of Style will offer products from af94, UOMA by Sharon C., ITK by Brooklyn & Bailey, Lottie London, Bubble and more.

Electric Fest: New in October, users can jump back into Electric Island for 'Electric Fest', a motion-capture concert celebration featuring performances from popular artists such as Madison Beer, Kane Brown, and YUNGBLUD.

The year's best toys will have busted loose and turned up in Walmart's Universe of Play. The Roblox community can explore different toy worlds to earn coins for cool virtual goods, or complete epic challenges to build a personal trophy case, unlock secret codes, and more. Universe of Play includes:

Immersive games: Users can dive into five new games that offer experiences featuring products and characters from L.O.L. Surprise! Jurassic World, Paw Patrol, Magic Mixies, and Razor Scooters.

Sought-after rewards: Users will get the opportunity to try and collect as many virtual toys as they can to earn coins redeemable for their avatar Verch. Toys will hang all around, and a Walmart blimp will regularly drop toys throughout the experience.

Virtual adventures: Universe of Play will also feature e-mobility items like hoverboards, which an avatar can use to travel through the universe faster. Users will encounter a Sharper Image drone that helps them discover the hottest toy world of the season.

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