‘Hey everyone,’ says a Walmart executive to the single person in the company’s new Roblox metaverse nightmare.
Walmart has colluded with Roblox to create something called Walmart Land, and it looks terrible.
Walmart as well as Roblox are cooperating to create not one, but two “immersive experiences in the metaverse.” Walmart Land(opens in new tab) and Walmart’s Universe of Play(opens in new tab) each promise “unique interactive content and entertainment,” in Walmart’s words—pure innovation from to end, no doubt—and each paints a picture of a starkly bleak consumerist future in which each has gone wrong.
“Roblox is one of the metaverse’s fastest growing and largest platforms, and we know our customers spend plenty of time there. As a consequence, we’re focusing on creating new and innovative experiences that excite them, that we’re already doing in one‘s communities and, now, in the virtual worlds where they play.”
Walmart’s two metaverse presences are evocative of Disneyland and Disney World: Even though related as well as connected, they are indeed very different. Walmart Land promises “a variety of immersive experiences,” including, of class, a virtual store of merchandise, which Walmart has chosen to call “verch” because things can always get worse. Walmart’s Universe of Play, on the other hand, has seemed to be more match: It will be launched with five games (everyone based on licensed properties including such Jurassic World and Paw Patrol) and will allow the players to collect virtual toys that can be swapped for coins redeemable for (ugh, sigh) “avatar verch.”
The change into the virtual realm is not unprecedented. A few businesses, including Adidas, American Apparel, Dell, Intel, Nissan, and Sundance, set up shop in the groundbreaking metaverse-game Second Life(opens in new tab) back in the day. But those communities were exceedingly niche: Second Life once did think to be a potential virtual world of the future, but it was ultimately delegated into an adult-oriented MMO; Walmart Land, by comparison, looks like Zuckerberg’s godawful selfie(opens in new tab) brought to horrible life by an executive committee that reads the reports but doesn’t really understand what they say.
To be fair to Walmart, the Walmart Land video embedded at the top it seems to be a pretty typical advert. But the video below, shared by Kotaku’s Zack Zwiezen, is extremely pathetic: After 15 seconds of awkward-as-hell silence (no, your speakers aren’t broken; that’s just how it is), White discusses an audience of one and introduces Walmart Land as a concept for “the next generation of customers.”
He furthermore says “verch” loud and clear.
It’s the kind of speech I’ve heard dozens of times before quarterly financial calls, full of expressions of excitement and anticipation delivered in the flattest monotone imaginable, which is fine for a viewer of analysts looking for EBITDA projections for the next two years. But as a way to persuade individuals to visit your new virtual playground, all it does is make me want to log out, set my PC on fire, and reroute to a forest somewhere far, far aw