A new Roblox game, launched by Nedbank and developed by Sea Monster Entertainment, is aiming to nurture entrepreneurial skills and offer an educational experience for tweens in a relatable environment to help them learn important life lessons. Chow Town makes Nedbank the first African bank to venture into the Roblox gaming platform.
The developers of Chow Town, Sea Monster Entertainment, undertook multiple rounds of one-on-one interviews with tweens to explore their gaming interests, and the insights from these interviews informed the decision to create a tycoon-style game based on food. “The game has been designed to appeal to the target group’s gaming interests and, most importantly, drive behaviour change, which is at the centre of our expertise and experience,” says Glenn Gillis, Chief Executive Officer of Sea Monster.
The game leverages a tycoon game model, tailored to allow players to set up and expand a start-up restaurant through incremental investment. The restaurant offers a combination of international and uniquely South African foods, such as boerewors rolls that the gamer makes and serves to guests. The restaurant then develops as the player unlocks new food tiers and expands the restaurant – all while learning how to start and grow a business.
“Our economic well-being as a country depends on our ability to develop a new generation of entrepreneurs who can grow start-ups into viable, job-creating businesses, and Chow Town has been designed to help kick-start that process,” says Ray Naicker, Chief Digital Officer at Nedbank.
Roblox is one of the leading players in gaming and is hugely popular with Gen Z, with just under 1,5 million visits a month from South Africa. The Guardian describes it as “not a single game, but rather a collection of more than 50 million games, all created by its community of players. The simplest comparison is to YouTube: a huge library of ‘user-generated content’, but in this case, content is games rather than videos.”
According to Mordor Intelligence, the gaming market in Africa is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 12,65% between 2023 and 2028. “This is aided by the rising internet connectivity, increasing adoption of smartphones, and the advent of high bandwidth network connectivity, such as 5G, which have further increased the demand of the gaming market across the region.”
According to Khensani Nobanda, Group Executive for Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Nedbank, the company is constantly pioneering the innovative use of digital technologies to make a positive impact on how consumers use their money. “We’re excited about the potential that Chow Town offers to engage with today’s youth to make a real difference in their lives.”
Find out more about Chow Town and play it here: https://chowtown.games/home/
See more creatives doing groundbreaking work in the gaming industry: https://iqoqo.org/network-library/