by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – CHILDREN aged between nine and 12 have an opportunity to carve a future as entrepreneurs in the restaurant industry after a leading bank launched a game in a popular gaming platform.
Nedbank is launching a game – called Chow Town – on Roblox, making it the first African bank to venture into this platform.
Developed by Sea Monster Entertainment, the game leverages the tycoon game model tailored to allow players to set up and expand a start-up restaurant through incremental investment.
“As a brand that is at the forefront of digital and technological innovation, our aim is to disruptively transform banking by leveraging the efficacy of digital platforms to offer alternative experiences to engage, surprise and delight our clients,” said Khensani Nobanda, Group Executive for Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Nedbank.
Roblox is popular among children aged between nine and 12 years, which is seen as the right age range to start learning about entrepreneurship and making good money choices.
“We believe that Chow Town gives us the opportunity to nurture entrepreneurial skills and offer an educational experience for tweens in a relatable environment to help them learn important life lessons,” Nobanda said.
Chow Town is a tycoon style game through which players can open a virtual restaurant. The restaurant offers a combination of international and uniquely South African foods that the gamer makes and serve 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.
Gaming is growing in Africa and the market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 12,65 percent between 2023 and 2028. Roblox is one of the leading players in gaming and is hugely popular with Generation Z (seven to 22 years), with just under 1,5 million visits a month from South Africa.
The growing mobile penetration on the continent is driving the gaming revolution, with 475 million sub-Saharan Africans expected to have cellphones by 2025 and more than a quarter of them using a 4G network.
“We are delighted to partner with a digitally pioneering bank to develop a game to nurture entrepreneurial skills,” said Glenn Gillis, Chief Executive Officer of Sea Monster.
– CAJ News