How Roblox Got a Head Start on Potential $800B Metaverse

    • Roblox created a metaverse before the term gained buzz.
    • It has already expanded to offer non-game experiences.

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While Meta and Microsoft are working to build metaverses that leverage their existing capabilities, Roblox created one as an organic offshoot of its gaming platform.

Its success has largely come from shifting to a metaverse model — even before the term became a buzzword. When the platform introduced multiplayer gaming and launched its free developer platform Roblox Studio, the company exploded in popularity, particularly with a younger audience.

The platform has recently explored other uses for its online environments.

  • Last week, the NFL opened a virtual store in Roblox.
  • In November, Nike launched Nikeland, an area within Roblox in which users may play games, check out products, and socialize.
  • The platform has also been used to host concerts and teach lessons. A Lil Nas X show in Roblox brought in 30 million viewers. “Fortnite” has also turned its online gaming environment into a concert hall.

The expansion to non-game offerings may provide protection against splashback from the Apple vs. Epic Games trial. Epic pointed out that Apple disallows other game stores but has permitted Roblox to offer an expanding set of free games.

Roblox switched the word “experiences” for “games” in its app. The Department of Justice is exploring Apple’s treatment of other gaming apps in an antitrust investigation.

The company went public in March at a $40 billion valuation. That figure has since risen to over $67 billion.

Bloomberg analysts predict that the metaverse could balloon to an $800 billion market by 2024.