Roblox Metaverse hosts the Australian Open 2023

Roblox Metaverse hosts the Australian Open 2023

The Australian Open (AO) has avoided promoting a prior blockchain metaverse initiative in favour of this year’s athletic event, which is linked to a non-crypto virtual platform known as Roblox.

The online game, dubbed “AO Adventure,” allows users to explore the virtual world of the Australian Open Park, which is modelled after the real-life version in Melbourne.

Users will be met by a computer avatar dubbed “humanoid Nick” and have the opportunity to meet Australian tennis superstar Nick Kyrgios.

The snag for crypto fans is that Roblox’s platform lacks any blockchain or Web3 link. Roblox is an online platform that allows individuals to develop their own games that others may play.

Last year, the platform denied speculations that it would create its own non-fungible currency (NFT) based on blockchain technology or push for Web3 development. Developers who are not part of the Roblox partnership program are prohibited from leveraging off-platform services or products to sell on-platform items for money, according to the company’s new community standards. This would restrict consumers from participating in NFTs that were afterward sold on online marketplaces.

“To be honest, the Australian Open’s decision to build in Roblox rather than Decentraland will most certainly result in a superior user experience for their community,” MyMetaverse CEO Simon Kertonegoro told Blockworks. “It’s a shame Roblox has prohibited the use of NFTs on its site.” 

Last year, the tournament’s medium of choice was Decentraland’s platform. The portal, designed by Web3 art firm Run It Wild, had a peak of 5,000 unique visitors per day, according to Blockworks at the time.

Decentraland will continue to co-host the virtual event with the more highly touted Roblox platform, which will take place from January 16 to January 29, local time.

The drive to put Roblox ahead of other metaverses built around blockchain technology, as shown with the implementation of humanoid Nick, is a deliberate move for a “multiverse play,” according to a Run It Wild spokeswoman.

Serving up fresh artballs

Last year’s Australian Open also included 6776 collectible NFT “ArtBalls” that were linked to winning or live shots from a specific match and uploaded to the blockchain. At the time, the balls had a biweekly trading volume of approximately $3.9 million. 

According to data on the sales page of NFT marketplace OpenSea, the floor price for last year’s art balls has dropped to roughly 0.09 ETH ($127). That is significantly cheaper than the floor price, which was roughly 0.3 ETH, or $997, on January 13, 2022.

The event intends to replicate some of the enthusiasm that surrounded last year’s trading activity by releasing 2454 newly minted NFT ArtBalls.

However, in comparison to the previous year, interest in crypto, blockchain, and Web3 has declined significantly, prompting the event’s organisers to look for alternatives.

Roblox, which has 43 million daily active users, is thought to be a better fit for this year’s Open because of its capacity to attract younger fans to the sport. At the time of this writing, the AO game on Roblox has been up for approximately 9 hours, with approximately 2,500 daily unique visitors. 

“With more than 80% of platform users aged 25 and under, it’s also a terrific platform for us to connect with younger fans,” Ridley Plummer, Tennis Australia’s senior manager of Metaverse, NFTs, Web3, and crypto, said in a statement.

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