ROOIBOS ENTERS VIRTUAL GAMING REALM

For more than a century, Rooibos has solely grown in the botanically diverse Cederberg region of the Western Cape, and nowhere else in the world. That is until now…

A new action-packed survival game, called Enshrouded, has Rooibos growing in the virtual Nomad Highlands – an expanse of land located in the heart of the game that is filled with valuable resources. 

German-based gaming developer, Keen Games, recently launched Enshrouded via early access for Windows PC users on 24 January, which requires players to obtain resources, such as Rooibos to survive.

According to Keen Games, Enshrouded, has already attracted more than 1 million users with numbers growing by the day. 

In gist, players awake as the Flameborn, the last hope of an ancient civilization. Set against them is the Shroud, a creeping blight that absorbs and mutates all life it encounters. To push back the Shroud and bring back life to the kingdom, the Flameborn must master powerful weapons, spells and armour, while fighting merciless creatures. Players can use their creativity to build bases and epic homes to the most minute detail, while unlocking unique items and crafting mythic weapons. 

To survive, resources, such as wood, stone, metal, leather cloth and other rare materials are collected by either looting chests, crates and containers or harvesting trees and rare plants, such as Rooibos. 

While difficult to come by in the game, the Rooibos shrub is obtainable in the Nomad Highlands region and looks like it would in spring when it’s in full bloom covered in tiny yellow flowers. Users can craft its seed to create a plantation or make a cup of tea. Some users have claimed that using the Rooibos tea recipe gives bonuses adding to a player’s stamina and endurance, but more features are likely to be added since the game is still in development.

An illustration of what the rare Rooibos shrub looks like in Enshrouded. 

A possible rationale for Keen Games incorporating Rooibos into the game is likely due to the tisane’s growing popularity in Germany and Europe at large. 

Nowadays, Rooibos is available in almost every German supermarket, department store, health food shop, specialised tea shop and even at petrol station convenience stores. The South African brew makes up about ten percent of the tea that Germans drink. 

Adele du Toit, spokesperson for the Rooibos Council says they’re thrilled that audiences from all over the globe are meeting with Rooibos in the virtual world. 

“The inclusion of Rooibos into Enshrouded has come as a complete surprise and is sure to drive Rooibos’ visibility and reach new demographics. Gaming has gone from a niche hobby to one of the biggest markets in the entertainment industry with more than 3 billion gamers worldwide.

“By incorporating authentic products, like Rooibos, into a game often contributes to a more immersive gaming experience, particularly where real-world items are integral to the gameplay and are contextually relevant. 

“We hope that players worldwide will associate positive experiences with Rooibos in the game, which could potentially lead to increased awareness and a greater demand for our locally grown tisane,” says du Toit. 

Last year, almost 10 000 tonnes of Rooibos were exported to more than 40 overseas markets with Japan, France, Germany, the Netherlands and UK making up the top five importers of the product. 

Enshrouded is currently available on STEAM and GeForce and is set to be released in late 2024 for Windows PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S.

ENDS

Issued by Meropa Communications on behalf of the SA Rooibos Council. For further information, please contact Brigitte Taim from Meropa on 082 410 8960 or email: brigittet@meropa.co.za