Nedbank the first African bank to launch a Roblox game

Nedbank the first African bank to launch a Roblox game
Nedbank the first African bank to launch a Roblox game

Nedbank launches Chow Town game to teach tweens better money management and entrepreneurship.

Nedbank is launching a game on Roblox, making it the first African bank to venture into this popular gaming platform. Developed by Sea Monster Entertainment, the game Chow Town 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. 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,’ says Khensani Nobanda, Group Executive for Marketing and Corporate Affairs at Nedbank. ‘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.’

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.

Gaming is growing in Africa and the market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 12,65% between 2023 and 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.

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, 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.

‘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’, says Ray Naicker, Chief Digital Officer at Nedbank. ‘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.’

Nedbank partnered with Sea Monster Entertainment to design Chow Town. Before the development, the South African based gaming specialist company undertook multiple rounds of one-on-one interviews with tweens to explore their gaming interest, and the insights from these interviews informed the decision to create a tycoon style game based on food.

‘We are delighted to partner with a digitally pioneering bank to develop a game to nurture entrepreneurial skills’, says Glenn Gillis, Chief Executive Officer of Sea Monster. ‘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. Thanks to the robust online safety measures offered by the Roblox platform, parents can rest assured that their children are safe while learning and having immense fun in Chow Town.’

‘We’re constantly pioneering the innovative use of digital technologies to make a positive impact on how consumers use their money,’ says Nobanda. ‘We’re excited about the potential that Chow Town offers to engage with today’s youth to make a real difference in their lives.’

Play Chow Town