South African Retailer, Game, Enters the Metaverse world –

Byline: Hannah Parker

Game is South Africa’s first retailer to join the metaverse space by launching a branded Roblox game. The retailer’s first foray into the virtual world premiered on 21 November and allowed participants to win over R70 000 in vouchers leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The game’s promise was unlike anything consumers have seen from the retailer before, featuring locally themed games with big prizes won.

Roblox is one of the world’s biggest online gaming platforms and most popular metaverse destinations, with a global audience of over 200 million monthly users — primarily tweens and teens. Game explained that the Black Friday game mixes South African culture and the fantastical in a challenge to race around a downtown city neighbourhood. Participants used potholes as portals, partied at rooftop DJ gigs, and dodged goo from exploding pigeons as they contend to get to the top of the leaderboard. Game said, “Players entering the world will be tasked with finding eight comet fragments (inspired by the retailer’s Black Friday ad campaign) around the city block – and those who can do this in the quickest time will win real-world prizes.”

Players were awarded the opportunity to win big in the completion every day. Each day, a top player won R5000, the second R3000 and the third R2000 in vouchers. The game was accessible to all ages; however, for a player to be eligible to win any vouchers, they must be at least 13 years old, and vouchers can be redeemed on any Game product. The competition ran until 28 November 2022; however, the game will remain accessible on Roblox for players to enjoy. Game’s Vice President of Marketing, Katherine Madley, said, “We are so excited about this launch as we open up our brand to a new audience.” She added, “We have seen the incredible growth of the gaming sector globally and heard the call from consumers for brands to be more innovative in their approach.”

According to Madley, Game plans to keep growing its metaverse-based offering and encourages users to keep an eye out for updates. “Rather than a one-time program, we see this programme as an ongoing, essential part of our brand going forward. We are working to ensure we push this innovation forward in our business, and we plan to grow this offering.” 

Experts at the Bitcode Method site acknowledge that Roblox has impact since it has been around, allowing users to program and play games designed by other users. According to the company, during the Covid pandemic the gaming platform advanced from 32.6 million daily operating users in 2020 to more than 52 million. Roblox has been attracting users across a more comprehensive age range, not just young children and teens. The gaming platform makes most of its money through in-app purchases. Metaverse has taken the gaming world into a new dimension where modern technologies have turned games into more than just games, allowing users to interact socially with each other and conduct transactions while playing. Metaverse gives gamers a digital experience that’s somewhat of a replica of the real world but founded on blockchain technology. Roblox has proven successful in attracting shoppers and fuelling customer engagement.

More retailers and brands have dived into the metaverse world — for instance, in September 2022, Walmart entered the metaverse space, trying to bridge the gap between physical and virtual worlds. According to Walmart’s chief marketing officer, William White, Roblox served as a testing ground for the company in order for them to consider moves in the metaverse and beyond and to also see how they can attract more customers. The marketing officer also said the experience was planned with the next generation of shoppers in mind, and the firm expects to learn from the partnership. Vans sports footwear also has a virtual skate park in Roblox.

The Metaverse game platform contains avatars that players can dress up and style, which makes them feel that they are part of the game. Game entering into the metaverse space shows that South Africa is indeed moving with the times, and for a retail store to survive and attract more customers, they need to dip their toes into crypto waters. As we celebrate Game for breaking into the metaverse, we promise to keep you informed on any new developments concerning the Game store’s involvement in the metaverse and launching the Roblox game. We strongly advise you to conduct research before making any investment decision, as we all know that cryptocurrencies and digital tokens are highly volatile. 

Photo by: Julien Tromeur

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