Roblox hosts cartoon reruns as metaverse content strategies evolve

    • Spin Master is screening on-demand reruns of its “Bakugan Battle Planet” anime series on Roblox over the next five months, per a press release.
    • Starting Aug. 5, fans can revisit the show within an existing Bakugan Battle League space on the online gaming platform. Four to six episodes drop each week, with features that allow players to toggle between their usual gameplay and streaming content.  
    • Spin Master previously experimented with in-game viewing by premiering an episode of “Bakugan” on Roblox last year, and said it’s now looking to evolve its metaverse strategy. The experiment shows a convergence of streaming and gaming tactics that could resonate with the Gen Z and Gen Alpha crowd.

    Many consumers grew up watching reruns of their favorite cartoons on Saturday mornings. As linear TV viewership dips and kids are raised as digital natives, a similar idea could be ported over to other channels like gaming. At least, that seems to be what’s happening with Spin Master’s ambitious plan to screen more than 100 episodes of “Bakugan Battle Planet” within a dedicated Roblox venue in the months ahead. 

    In-game viewing occasions gained mainstream traction several years ago with the rise of multiplayer titles like Fortnite and Roblox. Those games held particular appeal with young consumer groups who largely shunned traditional media. Studios responded to the trend by dropping movie trailers and auxiliary content as in-game exclusives. Then, the pandemic hit, accelerating gaming adoption and making future-sounding concepts like virtual concerts and feature-length film screenings a draw for millions of users.

    Spin Master is now testing fans’ appetite for revisiting a long-form series in its entirety within an interactive gaming platform. A promotional image indicates what this looks like in practice, with a large in-game amphitheater equipped with speakers and a screen displaying “Bakugan” content to Roblox avatars seated on benches. Spin Master, which also produces the mega-popular “Paw Patrol,” positioned the move as “doubling down” on the metaverse following a successful single-episode Roblox premiere for Bakugan last year.   

    “Bakugan Battle Planet” first aired in North America in 2018 and is just one part of an extensive multimedia franchise that encompasses toys, trading cards and video games. In the show’s world, a group of friends collects powerful cards that help them battle nefarious entities from alternate universes. Reairing “Battle Planet” does the double duty of serving nostalgia to old fans while catching new ones up.

    Along with dusting off old episodes of the show, Spin Master is selling six Roblox co-branded digital gift cards from September to November through the game’s digital storefront. The cards unlock special Bakugan-themed items that can be worn in other spaces on Roblox, as well as access to new characters from the franchise when visiting the Bakugan Battle League experience. In the U.S., Spin Master will send two limited-edition trading card drops to the first 10,000 users who request them. 

    Roblox continues to be a leading destination for metaverse-minded activations. Consumer brands ranging from Gucci to Dick’s Sporting Goods have established spaces on the service to court its young audience. Roblox, which is publicly traded, saw revenue up 39% year-on-year to $537.1 million. Daily active users grew 28% YoY to 54.1 million. 


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