Guests can now experience Discovery Shores Boracay in the virtual world as the luxury family hotel steps into the Roblox metaverse.
World of Discovery’s first game episode Bogart & Friends, which features the hotel’s Bogart the Bear mascot in the digital world of Roblox, was officially launched Monday (May 23) in the sprawling beachfront family resort.
The game, a virtual scavenger hunt set within the recreated grounds of the hotel, allows users to collect items, earn coins, unlock clues, win challenges, and earn badges as they play and search for Bogart somewhere in the property.
Kids and kids-at-heart can dive right into the game anywhere they are and redeem real-life prizes during their stay at Discovery Shores Boracay from badges they earn from playing.
Josephine Concio, Vice President and Head of Strategic Initiatives at Discovery Hospitality told PhilSTAR L!fe that while the trend has been going on with retail brands, Discovery Shores Boracay is the first hospitality company in the Philippines to embrace the concept of the metaverse, a virtual platform where real and virtual worlds collide.
Discovery Shores is known for being the local luxury resort in Boracay for the family market looking for a higher level of experience.
As part of their trailblazing initiatives in the hospitality industry, the hotel decided to use the online game platform and game creation system Roblox mainly because of its massive popularity with kids. The virtual promo serves as an additional activity for kids now that there's been a huge boost in the family travel market since Boracay reopened to tourists again this summer.
While the hotel has organized various promos for kids in the past in the form of scavenger hunts and coloring activities, this is their first attempt to use an online game to promote Discovery Shores to children directly.
Roblox is an online game platform and game creation system that allows users to program games and play games created by other users. While originally released in 2006, the platform grew rapidly in the second half of the 2010s, and it boomed in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, when kids were confined to their homes.
According to web analytics site Similarweb, Roblox was the sixth most visited website in the Philippines in 2021 and the fifth most visited website by kids in 2022, at the same level as tech giants like Facebook, Twitter, Messenger, Tiktok and YouTube. The Roblox community grew from 32.6 million daily active users in 2020 to nearly 50 million across 180 countries in 2021.
According to Concio, they decided to utilize Roblox as it reimagines the way people come together thorough shared experiences in a virtual space, particularly during the pandemic era.
“For us to be able to fulfill the gaming experience, but at the same time embed a little experience of the property, there are experience challenges in the game. Basically in the game, you’re looking for Bogart, but along the way, there are items to collect and when you collect an item, you earn coins. When you win a challenge, you earn a badge, which you can present in the real life property to get a prize for the day,” Concio told PhilSTAR L!fe.
In-house guests can show the badges to get real-life treats at the hotel during their stay, which can range from free ice cream, discounts on items, activities, and other freebies.
While the “play-to-earn” game promo currently only applies to checked in-house guests, there's no age limit to those who want to play the game on Roblox and accumulate badges for their future stays in the luxury hotel. The hotel is also exploring partnerships with other local stores and brands on the island for other real-life prizes and experiences.
“The purpose is really to engage the kids. When they're here, at least they have an online option since they're always next to their phones all day. We hope eventually, for example, if there's a pizza-making challenge in the game, they can earn a badge there and actually do pizza-making with a chef at the hotel, so it becomes more immersive for them,” added Concio.
“By 2030, 70 percent of Filipinos will be 30 years old and below. We hope that initiatives like this will make them be aware of our products at an early stage in a form that they appreciate," said Concio.
The game is still on soft-launch mode and is part of Discovery Hospitality's testing phase, but the group hopes to roll out similar Metaverse concepts to other properties in the future, including in El Nido in 2023 and Siargao, targeting online platforms frequented by younger millennials and the Gen Z crowd, in the form of online games, concerts, and other virtual events.
Play Bogart & Friends on Roblox and win real life prizes redeemable at Discovery Shores Boracay by scanning the QR Code above or visiting: bit.ly/bogart-roblox.