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Roblox continues its metaverse domination by rolling out ads

Roblox continues its metaverse domination by rolling out ads

When you think about Roblox, your mind likely conjures up images of a free-roaming computer game that allows players to exist in worlds of their own creation. But a new development from the game’s creators stands to insert something new into the game — advertisements.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Roblox is working with ad tech company PubMatic to bring virtual advertisement to the game world. The video ads will only be seen by users 13 years old and older, and realm creators who opt to show the ads in their worlds will get a cut of the ad revenue from Roblox.

According to Roblox, the end goal is to make ads seamless and easy to buy. Stephanie Latham, vice president of global partnerships, said “We are very intentionally looking for ways to bring our audience thoughtfully to all brands.”

Roblox has also taken a unique path in its new advertisement rollout by encouraging brands to build their own Roblox realms for seamless immersion. So far, brands like the NFL, Nike and Chipotle have opted in.

Why it matters: Any time there’s change within a community, questions are bound to follow. That’s especially true when you’ve got a game that is geared towards kids instituting ad space within the game. Sure, the company claims that users under 13 won’t be exposed to the new video ads, but there’s still a question over whether the influence of advertisements will affect the user experience across the board.

Additionally, ads and overt commerce can sometimes alienate the users that form the core demographic of the game. Other games, like Madden NFL, have been sharply criticized for a perceived emphasis on microtransactions that use real-life currency. In the Wall Street Journal piece, there’s also a reference to pushback against Amazon Prime bringing ads into its viewing experience (unless users pay an additional fee). Will similar resistance at Roblox follow?

Long story short, it’s understandable for companies to invest in advertising. But when you start toying with user experience to introduce advertising, be prepared for public pushback. But on the flip side, it’s also an opportunity for brands to crack a new market and meet new consumers within the Roblox game.

PR Daily

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