Walmart has reportedly shut down its Universe of Play Metaverse experience on Roblox just six months after its launch, according to consumer advocacy group Tina.org.
Walmart claimed the closure was planned, which suggests it was just a trial run. Walt Disney has axed the next-generation storytelling and consumer-experiences unit that mapped out the company's metaverse strategies late last month.
This came after social media giant Meta reported that its metaverse division lost $4.3 billion in the fourth quarter.
Retailers and brands have mainly used the metaverse to build brand experiences and marketing, but many have yet to report its conversion rate. In an economic environment where retailers and brands have been slashing costs, metaverses are something other than something to experiment with.
Consumers greeted metaverse plans with a loud-sounding yawn. A recent CI&T report found that 81 per cent of respondents have yet to purchase a metaverse product, and 45 per cent could not see themselves shopping with one. Meta initially set a 500,000 monthly active user target for its metaverse offering, Horizon Worlds, by the end of last year but then changed its goal to 280,000, indicating how the company underestimated people's engagement level with the platform.
The Tame Apple Press thinks that call could change with Apple dipping its toes in the waters with its new AR glasses, but if there is no support from retailers or brands, Jobs Mob could find itself very lonely with only its Facebook friends to play with.