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Nedbank builds Roblox game

‘Chow Town’ is aimed at teaching tweens better money management and entrepreneurship.

Nedbank has launched a game on Roblox called Chow Town, making it the first African bank to venture into this popular gaming platform. 

The game leverages the tycoon game model, tailored to allow players to set up and expand a start-up restaurant through incremental investment. Developed by Sea Monster Entertainment, Chow Town is aimed at teaching tweens better money management and entrepreneurship.

Roblox is one of the leading players in gaming and is hugely popular with the 7-22-year-old age group, with just under 1,5 million visits a month from South Africa. Gaming in Africa  is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 12,65% from 2023 to 2028. 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.

“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.” says Khensani Nobanda, group executive for marketing and corporate affairs at Nedbank. 

“Roblox is incredibly popular among children aged between 9 and 12 years, which is exactly the right age 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.”

Chow Town offers a combination of international and uniquely South African foods, such as boerewors rolls, 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.

Ray Naicker, Nedbank chief digital officer, says: “Nedbank believes that gaming can play a crucial role in nurturing a new generation of entrepreneurs with a good understanding of how to manage their financial affairs, which underscores our venture into Roblox. 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.”

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