Season Three of our #Kidtech podcast is off to an exciting start as we deep-dive into the Roblox metaverse. In our first episode of the season, SuperAwesome’s CEO, Dylan Collins, sat down with Yon Raz-Fridman, Founder and CEO of Supersocial, to discuss the next era of games.
Keep reading to learn more about their discussion, the emerging Roblox metaverse, and what this means for brands and content developers.
What is the metaverse?
Youth gaming patterns are shaping the entire digital landscape. Kids are using and reusing gaming environments in new ways beyond their original intent. The result is this concept of a metaverse — a shared, virtual experience where users can seamlessly move between environments and platforms in new and exciting ways.
When we talk about the metaverse, shares Yonatan, “We’re talking about always-on, large scale, persistent, multipurpose, virtual worlds, where there are so many different types of shared experiences happening. Games, entertainment, music, and many, many more in the future.”
How does the Roblox metaverse work?
It’s clear that Roblox is more than just an app. “What I saw was a very powerful combination of a game engine, meaning I can build a game pretty quickly and relatively affordably,” says Yonatan. “It’s also a social network that is now a place where 32 million daily active users are engaging with different experiences.”
In fact, players spent 30.6 billion hours in Roblox in 2020. In the absence of in-person activities, kids turned to Roblox to socialize with friends, play games, and even attend in-app concerts.
“I think one cannot ignore the fact that a lot of what happens in these virtual worlds is the manifestation of human behavior in the form of an avatar,” Yonatan explains. “On Roblox, I’m a whole different person…I build my appearance. I buy items, virtual goods. I want to manifest who I am as a person in the real world into the virtual world.”
What does the emerging Roblox metaverse mean for brands and developers?
There are currently several ways that developers can monetize their offering in Roblox. Today, the majority of revenue is generated by making virtual goods available for players to purchase inside a game. Additionally, developers can sell accessories for players’ avatars — either within the game itself or in the Roblox marketplace. Finally, Roblox recently introduced a premium subscription service, which provides a portion of its engagement revenue to developers.
But, according to Yonatan, the biggest untapped opportunity for developers and brands in Roblox is partnerships. “I envision a lot of brands coming in and wanting to have a piece of the pie of this emerging environment,” he says. “And that’s not just for Roblox, that’s also in the [wider gaming] ecosystem. It reminds me a lot of the early days where everyone wanted to have an app and a Facebook page.”
What might these partnerships look like?
Yonatan believes that we are just starting to understand what is possible when it comes to in-game experiences. Music is currently at the forefront of this, from Travis Scott’s performance in Fortnite to Lil Nas X’s concert in Roblox.
“I think there are also other verticals like fashion, like learning, where the virtual world [can serve] as a place of interactive engagement and human experience,” shares Yonatan. “We’re not even scratching the surface of what that means, both in the context of being part of the game world, but also in the context of building next-generation interactive worlds in those content verticals. And I believe that, over the next two years, music will become a big proof point and use case.”
If you’d like to know how SuperAwesome Gaming helped MGA and L.O.L. Surprise! build their kids engagement strategy into Roblox and the gaming ecosystem: read all about it here.
How can brands and developers build more engaging experiences in the Roblox metaverse?
In Yonatan’s opinion, making an impact a noisy space comes down to identifying a core purpose. Brands must consider how their offering fits into the gaming ecosystem and what they hope to achieve by building on Roblox.
“There are 14 million different experiences available on [Roblox]” says Yonatan. “If you don’t strike a unique chord and identity of why you are building on the platform, you’re probably going to be lost in the translation of all these games.”
Listen to the full episode below or on the following platforms: Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, and Soundcloud.