While TWICE is gearing up for the release of their highly anticipated new EP Ready to Be this week, the K-pop girl group will first open their own dedicated world in Roblox.
Billboard can exclusively share that on Tuesday (March 8), TWICE is introducing an immersive virtual world, TWICE Square, on Roblox as the first-ever persistent fan hub on the global gaming platform with millions of users worldwide. Built by metaverse-focused brand agency Karta, the initiative marks the first-of-its-kind for TWICE’s different label partners of JYP Entertainment, Imperial, Republic Records, and Universal Music Group.
Decorated in TWICE’s signature colors through the years, TWICE Square allows the group’s dedicated fanbase — known affectionately as ONCE — to connect with other fans virtually and even the group itself. Visitors to the space can leave notes on display for the TWICE members, take selfies to share on social media, and age-verified users can utilize a voice chat function.
TWICE Square also launches with two mini-games: “SET ME FREE” is an escape room (named after the forthcoming lead single from Ready to Be), as well as a trivia challenge (where ONCEs will test their knowledge in a race against the clock with a twist).
Fans can also buy, collect and trade items, including plushies and 20 avatar clothing items based around the real-life looks and styles of members Nayeon, Jihyo, Momo, Jeongyeon, Sana, Dahyun, Mina, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu. Emotes inspired by TWICE’s most popular dance moves are also available.
While music activations are familiar to Roblox, an ever-evolving and constantly updating fan community world like TWICE Square is a changeup from what typically has been one-time events or concerts that create new metaverse worlds that are rarely returned to again.
“We’re already seeing that many Roblox users are creating experiences dedicated to their favorite musicians,” says Karibi Dagogo-Jack, Head of Music Partnerships at Roblox. “TWICE is a natural fit given the group’s passionate fan base and their commitment to innovation…Roblox is excited to empower this behavior in our community and enable full expression, fan connections, and immersion in TWICE Square. I’m particularly keen to see how TWICE Square unveils new ways for fans to experience the group’s creativity, communicate with the group, and build friendships with other ONCE.”
For Glenn Mendlinger, president of Imperial, building with Roblox was a straightforward way to connect to the fandom he’s seen support TWICE to three top 10 albums on the Billboard 200 and on the gaming platform itself.
“When it comes to community, Roblox has tremendous levels of fan engagement, and we knew that TWICE fans were already very active on Roblox — including a fan-made TWICE group with tens of thousands of members,” Mendlinger says. “The logical next step was to build out a first-of-its-kind experience connecting them and TWICE in an official custom-built world and environment. Leaning into the core tenant of connection and creativity on Roblox, it was all about meeting fans where they already are, then crafting the optimal experience.”
With the launch this week, Mendlinger says he and his teams will monitor fans’ reactions as Imperial hopes to create more “persistent spaces” in Roblox for their artists roster, which includes TWICE’s label mates like Stray Kids and ITZY.
“What marks a successful partnership here with TWICE and Roblox really comes down to fan reception and building a deeper community,” says Mendlinger. “At its core, we want to provide fans with a meaningful experience; a place where they can bond with other fans over their shared love for TWICE. Success is when the fans are happy, friendships are made, and we see fans continuously spending time and coming back to the experience.”
TWICE Square is said to be rolling out new features all year, along with visits from the girls themselves.
“TWICE plans to keep the experience updated with new content,” Roblox’s Dagogo-Jack adds. “The group will also be dropping into the experience. They’re hoping that their fans treat the space as a hangout and an information source for all things TWICE…we’re so enthusiastic about what TWICE has built — and plans to build — on Roblox.”
TWICE’s Ready to Be drops Friday, featuring the English single “Moonlight Sunrise,” which the group performed atBillboard’s 2023 Women in Music, and and the new single “Set Me Free” coming out in both English and Korean versions. Watch the latest music video teaser of “Set Me Free” below:
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