Roblox is one of the biggest games in the world due to its popularity with younger audiences. It is a free-to-play online experience for PC, mobile phones, and Xbox One where players hang out and compete in games that other players have built using a powerful toolkit. If someone spends the premium virtual currency in one of those games, the creator can share in the revenue. And the Roblox company says that it is on pace to pay more than $70 million to creators in 2018, which is double what it paid out last year.
A significant portion of that money goes to young developers. Roblox boasts that it has teenagers in high school and college who are earning money while learning to code and design mechanics. The number of people who are making experiences for Roblox has doubled since 2017 to 4 million. In 2017 alone, they released 11 million minigames and other adventures that come in the form of kart racers, first-person shooters, and more.
“Empowering the creativity of our developers is at the core of everything we do at Roblox,” said David Baszucki, CEO and cofounder of Roblox. “Our platform is brought to life by our community of incredibly creative individuals who dream up these virtual worlds.”
Roblox is on the forefront of his era of distributed content creation. Other developers have jumped into this space — most notably Minecraft has its Marketplace where partners can build skins and worlds for other people to buy. Microsoft, which owns and operates Minecraft, shares revenue with those creators, but that program is much more curated for quality. Roblox gives anyone a chance to build something for other players. The studio doesn’t even emphasize a core experience that it is responsible for like Minecraft’s vanilla adventure mode. Roblox is entirely about jumping between community-created games.
To help give its community of creators even more knowledge and power to shape Roblox, the company is holding its annual Roblox Developers Conference in San Francisco starting today and running through Sunday. It is also working with more than 500 coding camps to help teach young people coding and development lessons with the help of the Roblox Studio app.