Hollywood Eyes Young Audiences With 'Elf' Roblox Launch

For the 20th anniversary of iconic holiday film “Elf,” Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema are debuting a branded experience in Roblox, showcasing Hollywood's first major investment in the metaverse gaming platform, where a younger demographic may seek new ways to explore the beloved film.

Created by virtual experience builders Fairview Portals and Supersocial, “Elf North Pole Workshop” takes users on a journey through Santa’s Workshop, where they will don elf hats and work together to fill the “Clausometer” with virtual kindness to earn presents and digital wearables.

Users will also be able to meet "Elf"-centric characters, like Mr. Narwhal and Leon the Snowman, and explore familiar locations like the Candy Cane Forest.

The game's aesthetics draw inspiration from the film's stop-motion animation style via visual effects that aim to reproduce the timeless look of Christmas classics like 1964's “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”



In addition, John Debney, the original film composer on “Elf,” has joined the production team to help infuse the experience with the authentic feel of the film.

With the launch, Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group is open about trying to engage new audiences through metaverse experiences. And Roblox is probably the best place to do so. According to a recent report, virtual gamified experiences are not only immensely popular with younger consumers, but are shaping up to be leading branding opportunities.

“With 70 million daily active users, Roblox is now the largest 3D social platform on the Internet and Hollywood needs to pay attention not only to the scale of Roblox, but also, and perhaps more importantly, to the paradigm shift in the way young people connect, communicate and express themselves online,” Supersocial founder and CEO Yonatan Raz-Fridman told MediaPost.

According to the report, in 2023, Gen Z users spent 43% more time on Roblox and Fortnite than YouTube and TikTok combined.

Roblox alone saw a 20% year-over-year increase in daily active users and 50% increase in brand activations –– from 80 branded events and worlds in 2022 to 120 in 2023, with 1.8 billion visits.

“Hollywood is going through a dramatic change driven by both technology (e.g. streaming) and user preferences,” says Raz-Fridman. “In parallel, the Internet is gradually evolving from 2D to 3D environments, and a whole new generation now engages inside virtual worlds on platforms like Roblox.”

Raz-Fridman sees Roblox in particular as a large-scale “prototype” for what a 3D internet might look like in the future -- “always-on, synchronous, multiplayer and interoperable virtual realm.”

“Brand lovers will no longer just want to buy products or see ads -- they will expect complete brand integration and immersion into what they know and love,” he says.

Supersocial and Fairview Portals plan to expand the Elf North Pole Workshop by launching new features and experiences in the coming months.

Next story loading loading..