Roblox Metaverse: Transitioning from Gaming Space to Marketplace

Embark on a journey into the dynamic evolution of Roblox, transitioning from a gaming hub to a bustling marketplace. Uncover how leading brands such as Gucci, Nike, and Walmart are harnessing the power of Roblox to captivate Generation Z, and delve into the burgeoning realm of virtual commerce. Join us as we navigate the intersection of digital experiences and real-world commerce, exploring the boundless opportunities awaiting both consumers and businesses in the ever-expanding universe of Roblox.

What is Roblox?

The Roblox metaverse is a component of the larger metaverse. Originally designed as a platform solely for gaming, allowing users to explore various games and create 3D worlds, Roblox has evolved. The platform provides developers with tools and resources to construct their own 3D objects. Additionally, players can shop within these worlds and interact with other avatars. This concept has gained traction: Roblox now boasts a large and growing user base.

By the third quarter of 2023, it had over 70 million daily active users worldwide. Roblox is accessible in virtual reality (VR) and can be played on Meta Quest VR headsets like the Quest 2 and Quest Pro, as well as other VR devices such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. However, users are not confined to VR; it can be played on a screen with a controller or keyboard/mouse like traditional games. Thus, virtual reality is not a prerequisite.

The platform is also expanding e-commerce possibilities, as Roblox has bridged the gap between playful elements and online shopping. The system makes it easy for users to sell their own games or accessories. These activities can also be monetized to earn Robux, the platform’s currency, which can then be exchanged for real currencies.

Users can create their own avatars in Roblox.

Image source: Screenshot / Roblox YouTube

  • Gucci: Gucci has created digital spaces with Gucci Garden and later Gucci Town, where users can purchase digital Gucci products.

  • Nike: With Nikeland, Nike has built a virtual world based on its physical headquarters, where users can buy Nike accessories for their avatars.

  • Walmart: Walmart offers digital experiences with Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play, focusing on fashion and entertainment.

  • Chipotle: Chipotle provides an interactive simulation where users can learn authentic Chipotle techniques under the guidance of a virtual chef.

  • Clarks: Clarks Stadium aims to impress with a variety of competitions, from BMX tricks to parkour and breakdancing.

  • Tommy Hilfiger: Tommy Hilfiger, in collaboration with community creators, has created a digital fashion collection, Tommy X Roblox Creators, as well as the Tommy Play world with mini-games.

  • Forever 21: Forever 21 allows users to operate a virtual Forever 21 store.

  • Samsung: Samsung offers users the game Samsung Space Tycoon, where players can collect and manufacture digital Samsung products.
Even sports apparel manufacturer Nike has its own store in Roblox.

Image source: Screenshot / YouTube

Fast Revenue or Long-Term Strategy?

Determining whether Roblox is primarily for branding purposes or income generation is not straightforward. Generating high revenue is currently a significant challenge. The sale of virtual goods is largely through microtransactions. Companies must sell a large volume to generate a substantial amount. Roblox takes 70% of all revenues from user-generated content (UGC) items sold through the marketplace, leaving only 30% to the creators.

Most brands use Roblox as a marketing channel. Many brands stand out for their innovative approaches to integrating their real-world products. For example, retailer Forever 21 has developed digital products available for purchase in the real world. The virtual item serves as something of an appetizer, enticing users to explore further.

In 2021, the US fast-food chain Chipotle conducted a campaign on Roblox, giving away free burritos in the real world through digital codes on Roblox. This led to record-breaking app downloads, sign-ups for a loyalty program, and high revenues. Profit is achievable; it’s a matter of approach.

Competition for the Favor of Generation Z

Many still perceive Roblox as a children’s or youth game. This is far from the truth. Generation Z – players aged 17 to 24 -is the fastest-growing demographic group on Roblox, with players aged 13 and older making up more than half of the 70 million users.

In a new survey, Roblox polled 1,500 US and UK users aged 14 to 26 on how they express themselves in the metaverse. The survey found that avatars and digital fashion are very important to Generation Z, sometimes even more so than physical fashion. Each player is represented in the game by a fully customizable digital avatar, ranging from blocky figures and bunnies to astronauts and aliens. All kinds of hair, clothing, and even purely digital accessories are available. The possibilities for expression are virtually endless.

A significant number of respondents (40%) said they find it easier to express their authentic selves in the metaverse than in the physical world. Furthermore, they said that digital self-representation helps build connections with others (29%), boosts confidence (24%), and allows them to express their true selves (21%). 36% of respondents stated that their avatar feels “more like me” than the version of themselves they post on ordinary 2D social media networks.

42% said that their avatar’s style has expanded the type of fashion they wear. 37% said it encouraged them to change their hairstyle, and 34% adopted a bolder, more colorful style because of their avatar.

And particularly interesting for businesses: Three out of four Generation Z respondents say that wearing digital fashion from a recognized brand is at least “somewhat” important to them, with 47% saying it is “very” or “extremely important.” Furthermore, brand activations on Roblox influence how users perceive the brand in the real world. The majority (84%) indicate that they are somewhat likely to consider purchasing from a brand in the real world after virtually trying on the brand’s product. Fifty percent are “very” or “extremely likely” to do so.

Real Products in the Roblox Universe Soon?

However, direct sales of products for the real world are not yet possible. According to developers, this is expected to change. In October 2022, Roblox CEO Dave Baszucki and current Chief Partnerships Officer Christina Wootton discussed the matter. Dave Baszucki said he envisions a future where a person watches a virtual concert, buys an outfit for their avatar, and also has a physical version delivered home. He did not provide a date or timeframe for when this feature will be available but stated that it is on the company’s long-term roadmap.


V-commerce has long been on the agendas of many companies. Roblox adeptly embraces this trend. Through partnerships with well-known brands and retailers, Roblox has created a world for virtual stores that not only showcase products but also strengthen customer relationships.

The presence of major brands like Gucci, Nike, Walmart, and others demonstrates the potential, especially for engaging Generation Z. These brands use Roblox to showcase innovative digital products, often available in the real world as well. Thus, the platform serves as a promising bridge between the virtual and real worlds.

Author: Lars Becker, is the flagship online platform operated by IT Verlag, a distinguished IT publishing house founded in 1991. Specializing in business-to-business communication for large and medium-sized enterprises, IT Verlag has established itself as a trusted source of information and insight for IT decision-makers worldwide.