David Baszucki is poised to become a very wealthy man when his video-game platform, Roblox, goes public on the New York Stock Exchange for a cool $30 billion (£21.6 billion). He already has grander plans for the game, which he believes will become the epicenter of the so-called Metaverse, an online universe that includes not only gaming but also job and education. But what is the appeal of a title aimed mostly at children under the age of 12? Is it possible for it to have a future beyond games?
Roblox is already the largest user-generated game platform in the world. Players construct and share online worlds that anybody can explore using key building components. It is completely free to play, with purchases made in the form of Robux. Game creators are paid with Robux, which may be exchanged for cash. In the year 2020, more than 1,250 developers earned at least $10,000 in Robux. Over 300 people made $100,000 or more. According to Louise Shorthouse, a senior games analyst at Ampere Research, Roblox’s adaptability is a big component of its success.
“It’s not just a game,” she explains, “it’s a platform for creating games.” “It’s like a marketplace where you can choose whether you want to play an adventure game, a shooter, or a puzzle game. A lot of it is also free to play, which is great for kids.” It’s available on a range of platforms, ranging from PCs and Xbox to iPhone and Android apps, allowing users to play against each other regardless of the device they’re using. There’s also pent-up demand for PlayStation and Nintendo Switch releases, so it has plenty of room to expand. Roblox benefited greatly from Lockdown, as youngsters who were physically separated from their pals flocked to it.
Sources: BBC NEWS