A new report warns brands against investing in sandbox gaming Roblox and other metaverse companies, suggesting that the hype surrounding the metaverse concept may be overblown.
called ” Metaverse Manifesto: A Realistic Look at the Next Digital Frontier“, the report from metrics-focused research firm Essence suggests that Roblox, with 54.1 million daily active users in the first quarter of 2022, remains disproportionately small compared to companies like Twitter, which has 229 million daily active users, and Facebook, which has 1.93 billion
It also points to a GWI 2021 Report, a consumer insight reporting tool, to support the idea that there is some consumer confusion around the idea of the metaverse. The report surveyed people in nine markets and found that only 33% of people understood the term metaverse, 37% had heard of it but weren’t sure what it meant, and 30% had never heard of it.
Roblox users tend to be relatively young, the report continues, indicating that more than half of its users are under the age of 13. However, these statistics may be out of date, which Roblox reported in Q3 2021 that 50.4% of its daily active users were over the age of 13, and recent reports mention continued growth in older players.
At least only in November 2021 30% of Roblox players were at least 17 years old, which supports the implication that the platform’s user base is relatively young. However, that seems to be changing. Roblox’s Q2 2022 earnings report noted that men and women aged 17 to 24 is the fastest growing demographic in the industry.
Ultimately, the report claims that Metaverse “is being built for Gen Z, Gen Alpha, and beyond.” But that is not necessarily a bad thing, points out Essence.
“And just like Gen X didn’t stop playing video games when they grew up, these kids won’t stop that behavior,” he says.
The report also addresses the controversy over whether metaverse will adopt web3 technologies such as blockchain, cryptocurrency and NFTs. He also notes security and moderation issues that plague platforms like Roblox and Facebook Horizons.
“Gaming platforms are already home to vulgarity and harassment. Add politics, dating and poorly protected adult content into the mix, and well, it’s a lot like the real world,” the report says.
Finally, the report examines sustainability issues, noting that the underlying technologies that support the metaverse contribute to high greenhouse gas emissions. The metaverse also contributes to e-waste that requires infrastructure such as servers and devices to function. As technology advances, people usually throw away their hardware to make way for new products.
Ultimately, the report argues that companies should err on the side of caution and consider experimenting with metaverse activations if they have the budget, noting that it will be better to experiment in the early stages than to be left behind. However, this is still a complicated issue for brands as the concept of a metaverse is still in its infancy and the potential for what is possible remains unclear.
Consumer enthusiasm for Metaverse may also wane. Roblox’s Q2 2022 earnings report showed that the company fell short of bookings expectations and experienced an overall decline in user growth. This caused Roblox stock will fall 12% August 9, and it continued its downtrend to $46.10 per share.
While the forecast isn’t as optimistic as it used to be, that hasn’t stopped brands like Gucci and Tommy Hilfiger from investing in the Roblox metaverse. Looking to reach and engage with new audiences, these companies have both created their own Roblox worlds that include mini-games and exclusive avatar gear that players can earn to achieve specific goals.
For more ways to earn free avatar gear, check out our list of Roblox promo codes for August. For the music enthusiasts among us, you can also check out our list of August Roblox Music Codes and learn how to redeem them. You’ll want to show off your new outfit and play your latest tunes, so visit our list of the best Roblox games of 2022 to learn more about our favorites.