In 30 seconds:
- The Roblox metaverse might be the first of its kind. But what makes it so appealing to Gen Z?
- The metaverse is making waves; with people talking about it left, right and centre, it can be hard to know what it will be like. We’ll take you through what it means and how the Roblox Metaverse is helping shape it.
- Let’s take a peek into the future, shall we? We’ve jotted down our thoughts on Roblox and the metaverse’s impact.
The Roblox Metaverse is a hot topic on the tech frontier, and we’re here to tell you all about it. Last year Roblox went public with its shares and ended its first trading session with a massive £38 billion market cap. But what about it makes it so valuable? What has it got to do with the metaverse? What even is Roblox?
We shall reveal all throughout this article, plus talk about why Gen Z are so on board with this gaming platform. This really will set the scene for the metaverse and give you more insight into how a world with it would look.
So, get ready to be thrown into the deep end of the Roblox metaverse and all it has to offer.
What is the metaverse in Roblox?
We probably need to dissect this question a bit. There’s the metaverse, and there’s Roblox. The two seem to come hand in hand as Roblox is regarded as an early metaverse. Confused yet? Let’s go through it.
So what is the metaverse? The metaverse will be the new version of the internet. It will likely consist of 3D virtual worlds where you’ll be able to explore and socialise. You’ll be able to have an avatar and customise it in your own way. Want to know more about what the metaverse is, with examples? Check out our article that tells you everything you need to know about the metaverse here.
On to Roblox. Roblox is an interactive global game where you can create experiences and play within them as an avatar of your choosing. It’s pretty much a world where you can choose to be or do anything you want. This freedom makes the Roblox game a great example of what the metaverse might look like, hence why it is regarded as the Roblox Metaverse.
How popular is Roblox?
Since 2019 Roblox has doubled its monthly active users. It now has 43.2 million daily gamers who spend time socialising, creating and having fun in various experiences across the platform. Its online world is a serious contender for the future of the metaverse and is worth looking into if you’re thinking about stocks in the industry.
Gaming has had a significant influence on the metaverse, and it is a continuously growing area. In a recent survey, 59% of industry experts said that gaming will dominate Virtual Reality investments for the next few years. Microsoft was the most recent tech giant to acquire a gaming company, Activision Blizzard, which owns gaming franchises like Candy Crush and Call of Duty. Microsoft specifically framed the acquisition as a “metaverse play.”
Unlike some games, Roblox is free, and it’s now proven that free-to-play games bring around 85% of revenue for the industry. This is one of the many reasons why Roblox is so popular. Its favourite consumer? Gen Z, of course.
Roblox: Gen Z’s metaverse
Gen Z are digital natives. It’s no wonder that a socialising, tech-first gaming app would gain so much popularity among them. In fact, just 14% of Roblox’s users are over 25 years old. The majority of Roblox players (67%) are under the age of 16, so today’s youth are leading the way in this game and, in turn, the metaverse itself.
We know the power of Gen Z for brands. If you’re looking to cater to this audience, your brand needs to start looking to the future and making plans. But what makes Gen Z tick, and why is the Roblox Metaverse such a big deal for them?
Fanbytes’ Head of Creative Strategy Tom Sweeney says “There’s so much confusion about what the metaverse really is. It’s no single game, app, or framework – instead we need to think of it as the intersection of the physical world we know and the virtual one. Roblox is pioneering in this space because it’s a test bed. It allows for endless freedom and creativity, and it’s got its own ecosystems and economies. It’s as much about the community as it is the technology – it’s a platform more than it’s a game.”
“It’s no wonder then, that Gen Z has taken to it. As a canvas for their creativity, as a tool for building experiences, and as an enabler for social connection.”
Why Roblox is winning over the digital generation
The gaming world is full of innovative experiences. Fortnite and Minecraft are known for their immersive worlds, and Roblox is becoming one of the industry leaders too. As Tom notes, it’s a platform for creativity and connection. But it also has an edge on other popular games and seems to win over Gen Z every time. We’re going to take you through some of the reasons why; and we’ll show you how this illuminates the potential power of the metaverse, and how your brand can attract Gen Z with it.
Reason 1. It’s smartphone optimised
A lot of role-playing games (RPGs) that are immersive require headsets or, at the very least, computers to access. Not Roblox. The developers made it accessible on all phones so people can immerse themselves in the game anywhere at any time.
72% of Roblox users sessions happen on mobile devices – and guess who else happens to be on their iPhone a lot? Yup, most Gen Z smartphone users (64%) say they are constantly connected online, with 57% admitting that they feel insecure without their mobile phone. This is a crucial point to note for the future of the metaverse, as making things accessible in everyday life, and Gen Z’s current digital habits, will be key to its success.
Reason 2. It champions creativity
Roblox doesn’t just allow you to play. It will enable you to create. Whatever you can think of, you can make an experience with it, from complicated fighting games to just chilling out in your virtual living room. There’s even a fully explorable Hilton Hotels group (Bloxton Hotels in-game).
80% of Gen Z aspire to work with cutting-edge technology, so embracing metaverse tech is essential to speak to this generation. 83% of Gen Z would describe their generation as “creative”, so contributing to this growing world is essential for them.
It’s not just freedom of expression that this creativity can promote. Roblox has already got its own economy with Robux (a virtual currency), and it thrives. In 2013, Roblox allowed creators to exchange its virtual currency, Robux, for real-world currencies, meaning creators can earn from the game. Roblox now pays developers who create worlds and items in the game an average of $250 million per year.
Reason 3. It helped lockdown loneliness
There was a 41% increase in the number of young people gaming more than 5 hours a week since the start of the COVID-19 related lockdown. Games with social interactions are vital for times like this when conversations in person aren’t accessible.
To get immersive, there was a Roblox partnership with Sony music to collaborate with artists and bring about some epic virtual music events. Lil Nas X was just one of the artists that performed in the Roblox metaverse. This was an intelligent decision as not only is Lil Nas X a massive star on TikTok (Gen Z’s favourite social media platform), but his smash hits are catchy and record-breaking.
Roblox became a source for joy in a difficult time for Gen Z. Studies show that Gen Z were more affected by the pandemic than millennials, so this makes the presence of the Roblox metaverse even more meaningful to this group. McKinsey notes that many digital habits formed over the pandemic will stay. With this emotional bond formed, it’s a safe bet that the metaverse will become a regular place for concerts, events and general escapism in the future.
Reason 4. It’s fully customisable
Making sure every player can customise their avatar and the world around them is what differentiates a metaverse from just an online game.
Avatar clothing and emotes are the next big thing brands should be thinking about. Nike has already made NFTs of their best-selling footwear for brands to get on board when the metaverse launches, and soon more and more brands are doing the same. Gucci has opened up collections on Roblox in the past, with gamers spending Robux on new designer items. They even had a virtual bag that sold for $4000 (more than it’s worth in real life).
Gen Z craves stability. Where many say the traditional stock market makes them feel uneasy, however, they express a great deal more comfort in gaming and the virtual world, and the idea of gaining virtual assets.
This may be hard for older generations to get their head around, but Gen Z grew up in a world in the midst of a financial crisis. Investing in customisations for their metaverse avatar is more tangible for this group. And with cryptocurrency – and their engagement with it – turning their peers into millionaires (in fact, 94% of crypto buyers are Gen Z), virtual items are regarded as a safer bet.
The future of Roblox and the metaverse
We like to think of Roblox as a sneak peek of the metaverse. There is a long way to go before virtual reality and augmented reality will set in and ignite the metaverse, and it’s also likely not going to happen overnight. But it’s on its way.
Companies like Meta (formerly Facebook), Epic Games and Microsoft are all working towards this new phenomenon, so we will see the slow progression over several years before the metaverse is a staple in everyone’s home.
Gen Z are the gaming generation, with 78% owning an advanced gaming console. This age group has an advantage in learning the Roblox Metaverse and all it entails.
That’s why it’s time for your brand to start preparing for it. Checking out Roblox is an excellent way of seeing what the metaverse might look like. So sign up (it’s free) and get exploring. After all, this is what your Gen Z customer is doing, so it’s a great idea to get involved so you can understand them – and how they’ll interact with the metaverse.
It’s then time to think about linking the Roblox metaverse in your marketing. Educating your followers on social media is a brilliant first step, so get speaking about the future. It’s important to start thinking about how your brand will step into this new world. This is where the possibilities for creativity and innovation, customer engagement and interaction, and virtual experiences of all kinds are endless.
As Tom says, “Roblox is one piece of the metaverse puzzle, but it’s a fantastic place to start exploring.”
Looking for more Gen Z tips? We’re talking about the future of video games, big tech and marketing in a new digital world in the links below: