(Reuters) – Nike Inc on Thursday revealed a virtual world modeled after its headquarters on video game platform Roblox Corp, becoming one of the first big brands to enter the “metaverse”.
The digital space, called “NIKELAND”, allows players to outfit their avatar with special Nike products and is free for anyone to visit on Roblox.
Visitors can currently play “Tag”, “The Floor Is Lava” and “Dodgeball” on the platform, which also lets creators design their own mini-games from interactive sports materials.
Metaverse, a buzzword in the tech industry after Facebook renamed itself Meta, is a shared virtual world where people in the form of avatars can interact with others, enjoy concerts and digitally shop.
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The global metaverse market is expected to reach $6.16 billion in 2021 and $41.62 billion by 2026, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.
“Nike created this bespoke world with the backdrop of its world headquarters and inside Roblox’s immersive 3D space, building on its goal to turn sport and play into a lifestyle,” the sportswear maker said.
On NIKELAND, visitors can use the accelerometers in their mobile devices to transfer offline movement to online play, allowing real-life movement in the digital space.
(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)