November is all about Black Friday. Or it’s about not touching yourself inappropriately, but we’ll stick to the retail aspect, thanks. This year, South African retailer Game will launch its Black Friday ambitions in an unusual place. No, not there. Roblox, the online sandbox, will host the company this month.
Game describes this as an entry into the metaverse, a thing that doesn’t exist and has no clear definition yet. But it’s a convenient way of describing interacting with a brand (an intangible something) in a virtual space (an intangible place). So we’ll let it go for now.
Getting stopped at the Roblox
As far as we can see, it’s not going to be possible to actually buy anything at Game’s Roblox space. It’s more about going there to potentially receive something, which you can then use to spend frivolously on Black Friday. That’s because the city block is, more or less, a game.
And visitors who complete the game in the shortest possible time stand to win prizes. The online venue, which opens on 21 November, will ask South African players to locate eight comet fragments in as quick a time as possible. Each day until 28 November will see three winners. The fastest time scores R5,000 in vouchers from Game. The second gets R3,000, and third place will scoop up R2,000 in vouchers.
Since this is a South African game, there are a few unique touches. Rooftop parties with DJs are one, but there are potholes (that you’ll want to hit — they’re portals) and exploding pigeons to contend with too. The concept sounds similar to Mzanzi Quest, a recently launched online experience promoting South Africa.
Once Black Friday is over, the Roblox venue will stick around. According to Game’s marketing VP Katherine Madley, “Rather than a once-off project, we see this platform as an ongoing, integral part of our brand going forward. We are working to ensure we push this kind of innovation forward in our business, and plan to grow this offering.”
Being Roblox, anyone can participate. In order to win vouchers, however, players need to be a) South African and b) older than thirteen years of age. For legal reasons, we assume. Vouchers can only be redeemed at Game stores.