More and more brands are entering the Roblox metaverse platform with their own custom-built game experiences. This past month saw a flurry of activity with major retailers Amazon and Walmart both launching experiences ahead of the busy holiday season. The entertainment industry was also active with a major movie release (DC's Black Adam) and a new TV season (Netflix's My Little Pony) turning to the platform for promotion.
Visits Down Across the Board
In October we released our first monthly top 10 Roblox brand rankings, and the numbers that we are sharing this month are down significantly. Sonic Speed, the top game both months, is down 43% month over month. Why is this? Well, at least part of this decrease is due to our internal data tracking methodology. Two months ago as we starting collecting data, we pulled data over a 40 day period, and this month it was over 30 days. However, that 10-day difference alone doesn't explain why the visits were down across the board.
One hypothesis as to why visits were down is because the school year and fall sports ramped up from mid-September to mid-October (this reporting period). Our guess is that school-age kids, who make up the core of Roblox's base, were were busier with homework and extra curricular activities during the week and on the weekends, which would have pulled them away from Roblox. We'll continue to track this trend and report our findings. And beginning in December, we'll be reporting from the start to the end of the calendar month in order to standardize our data tracking moving forward.
Big Brands Enter Roblox
Huge brands like Walmart, Amazon, My Little Pony and Black Adam entered the Roblox platform, and all of them broke into our top 20 monthly most-visited list.
Of the new entrants, Walmart led the way with 6.4 million visits, which was good enough for 5th place on the list. With partners including Netflix's Stranger Things, Fitbit, Lottie London, and the Jonas Brothers, the Walmart Land experience was packed with items and mini games that carried the names of familiar brand partners. When the biggest company in the world by revenue makes a move, people will take notice, and that certainly happened here. But with only a 60% user rating and 3.5-minute average session time (indicating low engagement), we are guessing that Walmart Land will not be able to sustain this level of high visits over the next several months.
In addition to being part of Walmart Land's launch, Netflix also appeared in the new My Little Pony experience. It's interesting to see how Netflix is entering the space with partners, rather than on its own. That being said, with all of the big brands entering the platform, we wouldn't be surprised if Netflix jumps in on its own or through some of its shows (Netflix previously launched a Stranger Things experience on Roblox). Netflix and Roblox are both global platforms that reach millions of people around the world, so the fit in terms of audience geography is there.
Other notable additions to the list include FIFA, which is promoting the upcoming Men's World Cup, and iHeartRadio.
Top 3 Most-Successful Industries
Entertainment (with 4 of the top 8 experiences) and Apparel were the top industries on the list with 4 entries each. Entertainment properties are a natural fit for metaverse activations because they have existing characters, costumes, and settings that translate so well into 3D virtual world environments. And apparel companies are among the earliest metaverse adopters because physical clothing can be converted into virtual clothing and sold to avatars. The next most successful industry on the list was Toys with 3 entries. This makes sense because Roblox is a great platform to reach kids interested in not only buying toys, but also having immersive experiences with toy IP.
Brands That Missed the Cut
The next 5 brands that didn't make it into the top 20 include Bakugan Battle League from Spinmaster (1 million visits), Duolingo (900K visits), Samsung (900K visits), Hyundai (800K visits) and Nike (700K visits).
Stephen Dypiangco is the CEO of Metaverse Marcom, a strategy and consulting firm helping entertainment and sports brands enter the metaverse.