Building experiences in Roblox: Behind the scenes of virtual influencer Polar’s live event

Game developer Kokku discuss the tech and challenges they faced when delivering their latest Roblox experience event

Building experiences in Roblox: Behind the scenes of virtual influencer Polar’s live event

Game and experience creation within mobile and metaverse platform Roblox is an increasingly popular way for development studios to reach new audiences and find success. And this weekend the field takes its next step forward with the reveal of TheSoul Publishing's first ever immersive experience in Roblox, featuring its virtual pop star and influencer Polar.

Dubbed Happier Than Ever, Polar's week-long concert begins on December 12.

This event is being delivered via Club Blox, the immersive amusement park experience in Roblox created by developer Kokku. Within the experience, fans of Polar can hear the virtual influencer’s latest hits (exclusively to Roblox) and take part in mobile and desktop social games tailormade for the experience.

Building digital experiences

Previously Kokku has worked on digital content for Guerrilla Games' Horizon franchise, Activision's Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War, and CI Games' Sniper Ghost Warrior before finding a new audience with Roblox, creating Netflix's Stranger Things: Starcourt Mall, Warner's Wonder Woman: The Themyscira Experience, and Samsung’s Space Tycoon exclusively for Roblox and reaching over 250 million players worldwide in the process.

Patrik Wilkens, Vice President of Operations at TheSoul Publishing, says: "We are thrilled to continue pioneering this unique form of entertainment in Roblox with Polar's Happier Than Ever concert. This collaboration with Kokku and Roblox is an exciting venture, dismantling the barriers between music, immersive and interacting gaming, and high-level community engagement to create a host of truly unforgettable experiences."

To find out more about the event and the creation of experiences within Roblox we spoke to Thiago de Freitas, CEO, and Carlos Estigarribia, head of business development at Kokku.

What challenges did you face when developing the Club Box and Polar project?

Thiago de Freitas: Connecting with Generation Z and Generation Alpha poses distinctive challenges for brands. These tech-savvy, socially connected generations demand interactive, visually appealing, and dynamic experiences.

In developing Club Blox, we focused on crafting a user-friendly platform, facilitating scalability. To address this, we introduced a versatile 'backstage' feature empowering creative and marketing teams to swiftly modify the space, incorporate new content, and reimagine the overall experience.

Our challenge involved maintaining her distinctive look and feel from other media platforms such as TikTok and YouTube
Thiago de Freitas

Similarly, with Polar, our challenge involved maintaining her distinctive look and feel from other media platforms such as TikTok and YouTube. This required pushing the boundaries of the Roblox platform to ensure her avatar's visual fidelity and synchronise her dance moves seamlessly with the music.

Our products tackle this challenge head-on. By offering a simplified 'backstage' for Club Blox, we empower teams to tailor the experience with ease. This flexibility ensures that the product can evolve with the changing preferences of these dynamic generations. Additionally, in the case of Polar, we've prioritised platform compatibility and visual consistency to bridge the gap between the virtual and real-world personas, providing an authentic and immersive experience for users

What aspect of the Club Box and Polar project are you most proud of?

Carlos Estigarribia: We take immense pride in the social features integrated into Club Blox for the Polar experience.

In reality, attending a concert transcends merely standing in front of the stage; it is a profoundly social experience. We have seamlessly incorporated this essence into Polar, where players not only witness the performance but actively participate in a range of social activities. From engaging in mini-games to visiting the food court, taking snapshots at the photo booth, and beyond, we've curated an immersive environment that mirrors the holistic social experience of attending a live concert.

This facet is especially significant for Generation Z and Alpha, as it aligns with their interactive and socially-driven preferences, offering a dynamic and engaging space for shared experiences and connections.

What were the aims for the project?

Carlos Estigarribia: In the ever-evolving landscape of brand engagement, connecting with Generation Z and Alpha presents a formidable challenge. These generations, characterized by their digital fluency and demand for immersive experiences, require brands to transcend traditional marketing approaches. The struggle lies in crafting experiences that resonate authentically with these tech-savvy, socially connected audiences.

What part of the experience are you particularly proud of?

Thiago de Freitas: In addressing this challenge, the 'Meet and Greet' area emerged as a pivotal component, allowing users to interact with Polar in a personalised space. This deliberate move was driven by the understanding that today's audiences seek more than just entertainment; they crave personal connections with the brands they engage with.

By providing a virtual space for direct interaction, we aimed to bridge the gap between the digital and real worlds, fostering a stronger emotional bond.

Furthermore, the inclusion of a 'Dance' mini-game injects an element of fun and interactivity into the experience. This not only aligns with the preferences of Generation Z and Alpha but also transforms the brand interaction into an engaging, dynamic activity.

It's not just about gaming; it's about creating a digital ecosystem that mirrors the complexity and richness of real-world social interactions
Carlos Estigarribia

Carlos Estigarribia: In essence, the Club Blox and Polar project is not just about gaming; it's about creating a digital ecosystem that mirrors the complexity and richness of real-world social interactions. This approach resonates with the industry's shift towards holistic and immersive experiences, ultimately fostering brand loyalty and elevating user engagement.

What's next? Where to from here?

Thiago de Freitas: Polar's impact doesn't conclude with a single concert; our strategic vision involves her becoming a recurring presence at Club Blox. The virtual nature of her character unlocks a plethora of possibilities that transcend the limitations of real-life performers.

Carlos Estigarribia: As we look ahead, we are eager to welcome not only Polar but also new and well-known artists to perform within the dynamic Club Blox space. This approach extends beyond entertainment - it's about creating a vibrant hub where artists can connect intimately with their audience and reach out to entirely new demographics, leveraging the unique capabilities of the virtual realm.

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of virtual experiences, our journey forward includes a commitment to pushing boundaries, fostering innovative collaborations, and continually enhancing the Club Blox environment. Our aspiration is not solely to entertain but to pioneer new frontiers in virtual entertainment and redefine the possibilities of brand engagement within the Roblox metaverse.

You can enter Club Blox here and get ready to be part of the Polar experience from December 12

Editor -

Daniel Griffiths is a veteran journalist who has worked on some of the biggest entertainment media brands in the world. He's interviewed countless big names, and covered countless new releases in the fields of videogames, music, movies, tech, gadgets, home improvement, self build, interiors and garden design. Yup, he said garden design… He’s the ex-Editor of PSM2, PSM3, GamesMaster and Future Music, ex-Deputy Editor of The Official PlayStation Magazine and ex-Group Editor-in-Chief of Electronic Musician, Guitarist, Guitar World, Rhythm, Computer Music and more. He hates talking about himself.