Walmart has binned a branded space in Roblox called Universe of Play just six months after a splashy entrance on to the immersive experiences scene.
This follows claims by nonprofit consumer advocacy group Truth in Advertising and other watchdogs that the metaverse game not only blurred the distinction between advertising content and organic content, but also lacked required disclosures and manipulated kids into viewing and interacting with stealth ads.
Walmart said the Universe of Play move was “as planned.”
The US retail giant touted the offering as “the ultimate virtual toy destination,” with products and characters from kid friendly franchises Paw Patrol, Jurassic World, L.O.L. Surprise! and more.
During the launch last year, William White, Chief Marketing Officer at Walmart U.S., said: “”We’re showing up in a big way – creating community, content, entertainment and games through the launch of Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play.”
“Roblox is one of the fastest growing and largest platforms in the metaverse, and we know our customers are spending loads of time there. So, we’re focusing on creating new and innovative experiences that excite them, something we’re already doing in the communities where they live, and now, the virtual worlds where they play.”
File under ‘interesting failures’, then.
Tommy Hilfiger this week unveiled a new metaverse hub, powered by Emperia, launching simultaneously on Decentraland, Roblox, Spatial, DressX and Ready Player Me, as part of the brand’s Decentraland Metaverse Fashion Week 2023 presence.
Featuring DressX powered digital fashion, Web3 artist collaboration with Vinnie Hagar, AR features, photo booth, gamification, emotes and a community focused competition to create AI fashion, the hub is set in a monolith structure made of the ‘TH’ monogram, which will appear across all platforms.
The aim is to create a unified digital brand story, while allowing for seamless movement between the retailer’s own website and the various metaverses.
Emperia tracks in-hub user activity, allowing insight on user journey and engagement across the different metaverse experiences.
The hub also offers four exclusive selected items, led by the Tommy Hilfiger Varsity Jacket, presented in different aesthetic representations across all platforms and available for sale in two different forms: physical – connected to the brand’s e-commerce; and digital – connected to the DressX platform.
The jacket is available for sale in physical form via the Emperia hub, while the Ready Player Me platform is offering the digital version, which can be used in various games and environments.
“We are continuing to change the face of virtual retail, pushing the envelope and supporting retailers along their e-commerce transition journey.” says Olga Dogadkina, co-founder and CEO, Emperia,
“Our work with Tommy Hilfiger and the PVH group signals the industry’s movement towards collaboration, with the idea of leveraging each technology vendor’s own unique traits and capabilities, under the umbrella of Emperia’s virtual environments, connecting all solutions end-to-end, while enhancing and streamlining user experience and creating a brand new digital retail environment which decreases usage friction and encourages a deeper brand engagement and increased shopper loyalty.”