Australian Open enters metaverse with Roblox partnership

The Australian Open has entered a new digital arena for AO 2023 with the launch of a unique game on the hugely popular online gaming platform Roblox.

Called AO Adventure, the immersive digital game enables users to explore the world of the Australian Open, completing activities and earning prizes. AO Adventure is hosted on Roblox, a global platform which boasts more than 200+million active monthly users.

“Launching AO Adventure on Roblox provides the Australian Open with a huge opportunity to reach new audiences and global markets, via one of most popular gaming platforms in the world” said Ridley Plummer, Senior Manager Metaverse, NFT’s, Web3 and Cryptocurrency at Tennis Australia.

“With more than 80% of users on the platform aged 25-and-under, it’s also a great platform for us to connect with younger fans, who we hope will be inspired to visit the AO in person one day after experiencing what the AO has to offer, beyond tennis.”

AO Adventure players will first arrive at Rod Laver Arena where they will be greeted by a humanoid (a type of avatar) of tennis star Nick Kyrgios, who has teamed up with the Australian Open on the project. Nick will join gamers and welcome them into the space with some subtle humour that only Nick can provide.

“I’m stoked to be a part of AO Adventure in Roblox. Roblox is such a huge platform and a great way to connect with a younger generation – some who may already be tennis fans and others who might discover it for the first time thanks to the game. I hope that gamers enjoy interacting with humanoid Nick and pick up a few tips and tricks along the way,” said Kyrgios.

Just like the real AO, there is a digitised AO Ballpark presented by Emirates. Users will be welcomed to the space by an Emirates Cabin Crew humanoid and can complete challenges to score a highly collectable Emirates Mini-A380 wearable.

There will be a number of interactive games throughout the precinct, including tennis on Rod Laver Arena, where users can compete in both singles and doubles alongside friends, family or even AI.

AO Adventure will also include the AO Shop, where players can find exclusive wearable and items for their Roblox avatars.

AO Adventure is available on Roblox today here. Users wanting to access AO Adventure can do so by creating a free Roblox account here.

In 2022, the Australian Open entered the metaverse with a bang when it minted a collection of 6776 AO ArtBall NFTs and launched AO Decentraland, a virtual platform allowing fans from anywhere in the world to explore the AO.  

This week the AO began minting a second batch of 2,454 AO 2023 ArtBalls. Each AO ArtBall is linked to live match data and corresponds to a 17 x 17cm plot on the court. If the winning shot from any match lands on an owner’s plot, the NFT metadata will be updated in real-time to highlight the match information. Owners can also benefit from perks including free tickets to the AO and other major sporting events, unique wearables and exclusive behind the scenes streams.

AO Artballs can be minted here with the public auction commencing from 7am AEDT Friday 13 January.

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