Teen retailer Pacsun is building its second new world in Web3, opening a map-building game called Pacsun Los Angeles Tycoon on Roblox. The announcement comes as Roblox reports better-than-expected financial results, showing it's making good on its promises to extend beyond the pre-pubescent gamers that first flocked to the platform.
The experience lets users build a map of Southern California, starting with Downtown LA, Santa Monica and Hollywood, with more real-life neighborhoods coming to the virtual world.
The teen retailer says the game is based on the tycoon format, already popular in the metaverse.
And it follows its release last year of PacWorld, an interactive experience that lets people construct their own malls. As players complete a region, they'll unlock a dedicated piece of a Pacsun store. Once the store is completed, they enter these stores and can view and buy community-created merchandise.
Those include 20 digital items inspired by the retailer's spring collections.
The game, created with the Gang, a metaverse developer, builds on plenty of SoCal ambiance. That includes a Santee Alley-based obstacle course, an autograph-seeking element in Hollywood, and the chance to cruise Santa Monica in a classic DMC Delorean.
Pacsun's announcement comes as Roblox reported its fourth-quarter results, beating expectations and defying perceptions that it's more a gaming gimmick than a serious platform.
Revenue rose 2% to $579 million from $568.8 million, while bookings jumped 17% year-over-year. The number of average daily users increased 19% from the comparable period a year ago, climbing to 58.8 million. And the number of hours engaged in the quarter reached 12.8 billion, a gain of 18%. Consolidated net losses swelled to $291.5 million, compared to a loss of $147.3 million in the year-ago period.
The results beat Wall Street forecasts, and the company released January engagement metrics, further encouraging observers.
"Engagement hours growth was strong across all geographies," writes Martin Yang, an analyst who follows the company for Oppenheimer. It also gained in all age groups, but "especially 17-24 year-olds, up 33%." This group now accounts for 23% of all hours and "demonstrates progress in its long-term goal of 'aging up,' representing a large growth opportunity for the platform."
Fashion brands have been eager to explore. Other apparel brands include Alo Yoga, which encourages players to mediate, destress and shop in its Alo Sanctuary; H&M, which recently launched H&M Loop to let people explore textile repurposing. Gucci, Burberry, Carolina Herrera, Tommy Hilfiger and Karlie Kloss are also on the platform.