By James Liu
Last month, Roblox decided to pull out a new event to replace their long standing traditional egg hunts around Easter. The Metaverse Champions event was designed to be a new type of event with a non-Christian background in the interest of appealing to a more global audience, featuring four brightly colored characters who would be competing for popularity and the community’s votes by games played and events completed. AJ Striker, Fey Yoshida, Wren Brightblade, and Sparks Kilowatt were revealed to the community with mainly confusion and disappointment. The egg hunts, while also disappointing to many in recent years, are usually one of the largest events on the platform, bringing together players of all interests to different games in a search for eggs. It makes sense that after the announcement and before being able to participate, a lot of players were upset that the egg hunts were “dead” and replaced by some weird looking popularity contest. But was it really as bad as the initial response would make it seem?
The Metaverse Champions event featured the most games of any event on the site, totalling at almost 200. But surely nobody in their right mind would play almost 200 games for a Roblox event, right? And you’re right: you don’t need to play every game, and the event even discouraged 100% completion by design. The idea of the event is that you’ll “support” the different champions by playing their games more than the others. Complete a quick task in the game, and you score a point for the team. There were four sets of games for each champion, rotating on a weekly schedule to give players more quests to complete every once in a while. The champion with the most points would be the winner, and everyone would receive a free item themed after them. Each week, players could also earn one box per champion for earning them a point that would open and reveal a free item after the event. Earning every box for one champion over the four weeks would let you dress up as that champion in other games, and one player could earn every champion outfit: no having to pick and choose which one looks coolest for later, just grab them all and put the rest of your time to earning more points for one champion. Finally, meeting Roblox admins, video stars, and developers for the event, as well as earning eight points for one of any of the champions over the course of the event would earn players four boxes that would eventually open to reveal one prize. In total, there were 18 free items to be earned for playing about a tenth of the event. A pretty good deal, in theory. Play as much as you want for your champion of choice, and earn a lot of free stuff just for participating. So how did it all turn out in practice?
Well, the competition part of the event wasn’t going to happen. By the end of week one it was apparent Sparks was going to win by a longshot. With a lead of over one million points at about 2.7 million, there was no way Sparks could possibly lose. One reason that a lot of people blame her absolutely massive victory on was fishy rumors of her grand prize being “leaked”, and by that I mean people made “what if?” recolorings of other items and some people interpreted them as leaks. It’s hard to say how much of an impact the rumor had when there was almost no hard evidence outside of a silhouette teaser image for what the grand prizes could have been, but it’s a big world out there and Roblox does have a lot of children on its platform. Whether that means they bought into an almost groundless rumor or just supported the youngest looking champion, it’s a pretty tough question to pinpoint one answer to.
Regardless of Sparks’s victory being somewhat controversial, everything seemed to turn out pretty well, for the most part. Hundreds of thousands participated, with millions of points earned across the board and tens of thousands who took home champion outfits, indicating that they participated regularly rather than jumping in week one and leaving. The community mostly seemed to warm up to the event after actually playing around with it, and by the end of the event when the weekly box prizes were actually revealed, many seemed pretty happy overall. The prizes per week were all pretty similar but based on the different champions’ colors and themes, with week one boxes revealing a crown or piece of headgear, week two revealing a weapon of sorts to carry on your back, week three revealing a pet to travel with you, and week four revealing a static aura or effect that would stay around the player. The grand prize was a set of pink and blue wings, colored after the winner Sparks Kilowatt, and the extra prize from meeting important members of the community and being a team MVP was a yellow and white Valkyrie, a recolor of an extremely popular and sought after item. For a test run of a new event style, this actually went extremely well compared to the disaster of the Ready Player One event. While it’s a shame the egg hunts are no longer a part of Roblox, I’m more than happy to welcome more events like the Metaverse Champions, with flexible participation, cool characters, and great prizes.