Roblox dethrones Fortnite in Omdia’s new Metaverse Games Benchmark

Roblox has risen to dethrone Fortnite in the latest edition of Omdia’s Metaverse Games Benchmark, which judges games aspiring to offer a metaverse. Under the five key metrics of the assessment – Scale, Monetization, Entertainment, Interaction, and Technology – Roblox won in both monetization and interaction, while also coming second for scale. Meta’s VR title Horizon Worlds, a new addition in the Benchmark, took the technology category en route to a fifth-place finish.

There is daylight between Roblox and the other titles assessed in terms of its monetization options, with both users and brands able to sell on the platform, and many high-profile brand activations since the last assessment – Nikeland and Gucci Town being just two examples. There has also been heavy investment into producing live experiences from the likes of David Guetta and Charli XCX.

Second-place Fortnite is the only title to feature in the top-three in all five categories, and once its Unreal Editor becomes available alongside a trailered creator economy, it may yet rise past Roblox once again. Fortnite has become the go-to location for brand partnerships and cross-media tie-ins for new product launches. Meanwhile, parent company Epic Games’ purchase of Bandcamp was an eyebrow-raising move, and any integration of the music company into Fortnite would further enrich the possibilities of a creator marketplace. 

Third-placed Minecraft has made more moves into the sort of brand partnerships that the likes of Fortnite specializes in, while fourth-placed Zepeto has played to its own strengths, with events aimed at its healthy Asian userbase. Horizon Worlds was only available on the company’s headsets in three markets at the time of writing but has plans for mobile and web versions. Early games within the title have been well-received and it is testing ways for creators to sell but has already partnered with brands including Fender and Mercedes, while its AI prototype of voice-led asset creation is intriguing.

Core has gained ground since the last iteration of the benchmark, announcing its future availability for iOS, and significantly fleshing out its entertainment offering with initiatives like a virtual music space curated by DJ Deadmau5. Dreams may very well not aspire to be a vast metaverse open to all but continues to take first place in the entertainment category, with the quality and range of experiences created by its dedicated community meriting study by all those with aspirations to create or perfect their own metaverse game offering.

Metaverse Games Benchmark 2022 final ranking

Source: Omdia

“The prospect of a single unifying metaverse is clearly many years away, but the collection of metaverses presented by these titles showcase the opportunities available right now – both for games companies, and for brands wishing to meet consumers inside game worlds. In identifying, categorizing, and ranking games against the critical factors needed to create a metaverse, we aim to help shape thinking about best practice for games companies with similar aspirations and provide a vital tool for brands to understand what current options best fit their own need to find quantifiable digital opportunities,” commented Dom TaitResearch Director of Omdia’s Games practice group.

The emphasis in this benchmark was on metaverse titles that have video games at their core, as well as multiple other entertainment options. The six titles had their performances rated against five key metrics judged integral to the creation of a successful metaverse: scale, monetization, entertainment, interaction, and technology. Each of these was broken down into a further three sub-categories, with rankings produced for each metric and a final total produced.

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