Roblox's new ad policy changes: Does it postpone the metaverse experiments for marketers?

Published: March 28, 2023

min read

Roblox recently updated its rules with significant changes to its advertising policies in response to an FTC complaint. It includes the restriction on developers' ability to market to users under the age of thirteen.

According to the gaming hub's most recent revision of rules, any content created within its metaverse world with the intention of promoting a product or service is considered an advertisement.

Branded activations, which are growing in popularity with brands, will also be held to the standards. Roblox will also expand the disclosure guidelines for all advertising-related matters.

Our Advertising Standards offer a transparent experience for our community, advertisers, and ad publishers that builds on our foundation of safety and civility while still providing opportunities for our community to innovate, engage, and earn.

Roblox spokesperson

The modifications further define the restrictions on particular ad types, such as those for online dating services and cryptocurrencies, which may obstruct brands' attempts to connect with consumers on the preferred virtual platform of Generation Z.

To make sure that neither Roblox-served ads nor independent developer ads are shown to users under the age of 13, Roblox is implementing a new advertising API.

Additionally, Roblox clarified its rules for how players should recognise commercial content. To identify an ad, developers must use "simple and understandable language," such as "ad," "paid," or "sponsored." It is no longer sufficient to simply mention an advertiser by name.

What does the Roblox’s new ad policy changes mean for marketers?

Brands are chasing ways to connect with hard-to-reach younger consumers in the Gen Z and Gen Alpha set.

With a social gaming metaverse like Roblox that is popular with teens and preteens, the platform is gaining attention from global brands interested in connecting with a youthful user base.

Statistics show Roblox reported 56 million daily users for 2022, up 23% from a year earlier.

Already, the non-stop metaverse chatter has taken a back seat in the industry, and the tech giants’ focus has shifted to generative AI models.

Thus, we envision that the Roblox move will tend to widen the gap between brands and the metaverse.

Because brands and marketers are yet to crack if the metaverse is the right investment for them or how they can position themselves in this virtual ecosystem to create genuine value for audiences, and so much more.

With Roblox being fertile land for brands that are still eager to experiment in the metaverse, the tough legal situations again pose a dilemma for brands.

Particularly, we believe Roblox's decision to take action against third-party ad networks will be a setback for the in-game advertising sector, as they are already lacking premium ad inventory.

In short,

Metaverse: Undoubtedly, the metaverse has the potential and is full of possibilities for brands and marketers to reach their target audiences effectively and in an innovative way. But it is apparent that it is not getting any closer and is only going far away.

New ad policy change: Although Roblox’s decision to bring more ad transparency to the platform makes sense given the privacy-centric future, it remains to be seen how far the move satisfies the questions thrown at the platform.


Grace Wang

Grace is an advertising professional who keeps abreast of the latest and greatest in the marketing and advertising space. She is a traditionalist in lifestyle and modernist in her profession. Outside of marketing and advertising, she helps younger generation try and adapt traditional lifestyle for a healthy living.


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