Ready Player One began with a virtual treasure hunt inside an online video game. It’s only appropriate, then, that the sequel, Ready Player Two, kicks off the same way. Instead of reading about characters hunting, though, you can participate, as the Ready Player Two novel is kicking off with a scavenger hunt inside the game Roblox.
The Ready Player Two novel launches on November 24 in the United States and United Kingdom, and the hunt begins a week later, at 10 a.m. PST on December 1. Just like in Ready Player One, the hunt will take place across seven “experiences” inside the Roblox platform. If you win, you’ll win a collection of Ready Player Two-themed virtual goods for use inside Roblox. That’s not exactly winning a reclusive game designer’s entire fortune and game corporation, but it’ll have to do.
If you’re not familiar with Roblox, that means you’re probably not a parent (and are probably old enough to read this website). Roblox isn’t a game so much as it is a platform. The free-to-play platform, which launched in 2006, lets users create games complete with in-game purchases. The platform has over 160 million active users; over half of kids in the United States play the game according to the Roblox Corporation, helped along by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Roblox’s status as a super-popular platform with a huge number of game worlds makes it a sort of real-world analog to the virtual world of Oasis in Ernest Cline’s novels–a fact that hasn’t escaped Cline himself, who said in an official statement that “Roblox is the closest thing to the Oasis in real life, and this contest is the closest thing to the treasure hunt in my book.”
Alongside the treasure hunt, author Cline and Roblox CEO Dave Baszucki will host a Q&A event for the book streamed inside the platform during the hunt. The event itself is a sequel of sorts, too. Warner Bros. and Roblox collaborated previously on a Ready Player One event that attracted 13 million people according to Baszucki, who expects this event to be even bigger.
Ready Player Two doesn’t yet have a film adaptation on the way, but it seems like a matter of time; the Ready Player One movie made over half a billion dollars at the box office. When the movie hit in 2018, we zoomed in to offer up reasons why you should see it, what changed from the book, and why the world of Oasis, fun as it is, doesn’t really make sense. The sequel will probably give us just as much to chew on.