Roblox’s live event with The Chainsmokers, an electronic music duo with billions of listens on Spotify, is kicking off its concert with a permanent presence via a branded experience called Festival Tycoon. It all sounds incredibly exciting. After all, the metaverse promises to bring people together with virtual events that mimic how people behave in the real world.
However, Festival Tycoon is the digital equivalent of shelling out money for a festival ticket only to watch your favourite band put on the most mediocre performance of all time. If this is the promise of the metaverse, we’re better off trying our luck at Fyre Festival.
A PERSISTENT ARTIST EXPERIENCE OR A PERSISTENT CASH GRAB?
First, allow me to add the caveat that the concert, which launches on Friday, September 9 at 4pm PDT / 7pm EDT / midnight BST (Sept. 10) / 2am CEST (September 10), and repeats every hour through the weekend, may be outstanding. Many metaverse concerts leverage the latest digital technology to create stunning, immersive works.
However, the associated digital experience is a different thing altogether. It starts with a scavenger hunt in a virtual airport where players can collect letters, which unlock a digital reward. Numerous branded games on Roblox offer the same thing, and while it’s not inherently unfun, it’s also not innovative. But the real issue is Festival Tycoon. Festival Tycoon represents why Roblox will continue to struggle to adopt an older audience. The branded experience is nothing short of a kiddie cash grab.
On Roblox, tycoon games reward people for the amount of time they spend playing. In Festival Tycoon, players collect money from ATMs that offer payouts over time, which they can then use to unlock things like stages and DJ booths. A lot of the game involves waiting around to earn money, and it takes several hours of doing nothing to complete the core part of the experience. If players want to accelerate their earning speed, they must pay for a game pass. And the game constantly reminds players of this.
Players can earn extra money by performing the arduous task of clicking on the beat to a song about tacos. I understand “It’s Raining Tacos” is a Roblox meme song. But after hearing it at least half a dozen times in this game, I never need to hear it again.
If you get tired of the taco song, you can unlock the opportunity to earn more money by clicking to songs from The Chainsmokers. Of course, that will cost you a few Robux, too, so if you don’t feel like spending, get ready to continue subjecting yourself to taco torture.
CORPORATE GREED WILL KILL THE METAVERSE
The problem with this event is that it’s a poor representation of what the metaverse could be. As a popular music act, The Chainsmokers had a fantastic opportunity to leverage their creativity and vision to create an incredible metaverse experience. Instead, we have a goofy Festival Tycoon to go alongside the hundreds of other tycoon games that survive by bored people simply throwing money at them.
Maybe marketing teams think this is what people want – but just because a boring game pays off with a reward doesn’t make it less boring. The creators of these experiences make the metaverse a place that true creatives and visionaries want to avoid. As we’ve seen with recent games like Doors, Roblox developers are capable of great things. But right now, all I see for the future of the metaverse is an avalanche of Robux pop-up ads amidst a backdrop of annoying music.
For some alternative games that won’t squeeze players for time and money, check out our list of the Best Roblox Games in 2022. With our Roblox promo code list for September, you can also pick up some free avatar gear without sitting through a boring festival-building experience. And be sure to also visit our Roblox music codes list for September to find music better than the taco song.