Kids fill their piggy banks with Robux, not cash
The Future. Instead of earning cash for chores, kids are increasingly asking for Robux — the in-game currency in Roblox. For many kids, Roblox has already replaced the mall as the place where they socialize, so it only makes sense that that’s where they would want to spend their money too. With a whole generation hanging out in a virtual world, kids today may be the real customers for an interconnected metaverse that Big Tech is desperately searching for.
We don’t accept cash, dad
Buying things IRL doesn’t mean much to kids these days, according to WSJ.
- For kids — roughly half of Roblox’s 60 million daily users are under 13 — buying things in Robux allows them to flex financial independence by picking out items and buying them themselves.
- With many virtual items costing the equivalent of $10 or less, the items are conveniently what a cash allowance would be anyway.
- Parents are warming up to the idea of giving allowances this way, especially since online spending can be focused on one platform, Roblox has parental controls, and virtual currency can be bought as a monthly subscription.
Roblox isn’t the only kid-oriented platform with in-game currency that kids can beg their parents to buy. Minecraft has Minecoins, Fortnite has V-Bucks, and even the AR-focused Pokémon GO has PokéCoins.
The new register
With Roblox bringing $1.9 billion in revenue last year, mostly from the sale of Robux, brands are itching to get in on some of the action and attract young customers.
- Chipotle launched the Roblox game Chipotle Burrito Builder so players could go behind the counter and make meals to earn “Burrito Bucks.” The Bucks could then be exchanged for a real Chipotle meal.
- Walmart’s Walmart Land allows users to find and earn currency that can be used to purchase “verch,” like headphones and clothes, that avatars can wear.
- Nike debuted NIKELAND, which lets players earn currency by playing sports in the world, which can then be used to cop virtual sneakers.
With kids 12-17 spending an average of $92 a month online, mostly in video games (per Forrester Research), in-game experiences may work better than traditional advertising.