What is Roblox?
With approximately 37.1 million users worldwide, over the last few years Roblox has become one of the leading gaming platforms for kids and adults alike. The name has been everywhere, especially for parents of children under the age of 16, an overwhelming majority of which have created their own accounts and make up a huge share of those millions of worldwide users. But what is Roblox? At first glance, many people can make neither heads nor tails of Roblox, which doesn’t align with any preconceived notions of what a traditional gaming platform looks like. It is as robust as it is popular and consists of so many sophisticated elements that it’s helpful to break down the wildly beloved platform to explore all of its unique components.
What is Roblox?
According to Roblox’s website, the mission of Roblox is to bring the world together through gameplay. Simply put, it is both an online gaming platform as well as a game creation system allowing developers all over the world to create their own games that can then be played by gamers anywhere an internet connection is available. With over 20 million games released on the Roblox platform, there is sure to be something for everyone. In order to play these games, users must sign up for a free account on www.roblox.com and answer a few questions about themselves before landing on a screen directing them to create their character, known as their avatar. Players can choose from a wide variety of hairstyles, shirts, pants and other attributes to customize their avatars. They can change these attributes at any time and the possible combinations are quite literally endless, as users can also create and sell their own avatar clothing designs. Once a user finishes creating their avatar, they can get down to the important business of gameplay. Players can choose from any of the millions of games and while they can choose to play by themselves, there is also a very social aspect to Roblox, which considers itself a community as much as a gaming platform. Just like any other social networking site, users can add friends and play games on the platform simultaneously. There are options to chat within the game experiences as well as outside the game in an instant message feature. Those interested in thinking outside the confines of games created by others can utilize the tools available through Roblox Studio to craft their own unique, virtual worlds. It is perhaps this aspect of Roblox that most clearly sets it apart from any other comparable gaming platforms: games are not created by Roblox, they are all created by other users.
Though Roblox is free for players to use and is home to massive amounts of free content and gameplay, it also contains many games and features that are only available at a premium. The in-game currency is referred to as Robux and they can be acquired in several different ways. The most direct way to gain Robux is to purchase them by way of mobile, browser, and Xbox apps. Alternatively, any user with a membership will receive a Robux stipend. Additionally, accounts with a membership can sell shirts and pants directly through the Marketplace and receive a portion of the profits in the form of Robux. For Roblox users who develop and build their own games, there are a variety of ways to accrue Robux. While the company doesn’t directly pay developers to create games, they do earn money when players make virtual purchases within their games. For example, developers can create Game Passes and make them available for purchase within their game. A Game Pass is basically an item that gives the player who purchases it a unique advantage in your game, such as access to otherwise inaccessible areas, an item for their avatar, or a special skill or power. The developers have full control over setting the price of these Game Passes, so depending on the popularity of the game and the demand for these special items, the sky’s the limit for how many Robux a developer could earn. But what is a successful game developer to do with so many Robux? The answer is simple: cash them out for cold hard cash. Any Roblox user with a premium membership and a minimum of 100,000 Robux in their account is given the option to “cash out” their Robux for U.S. dollars at an exchange rate set by Roblox. While it’s certainly not easy to create a smash hit game, it can certainly be lucrative.
What sets Roblox apart from just about any other gaming platform is what powers the core of their infrastructure: Roblox Studio. It is essentially a foundational set of building tools developed by the company that allows individual developers to create any game they can possibly imagine. The types of tools available through the studio range in complexity and depth, providing a means by which everyone from a total novice to expert coders can create the worlds of their dreams. Roblox is a company focused on the connectivity and sense of community brought about by way of gameplay and by allowing gamers of any age and experience level to have the ability to create, those values are only strengthened. Giving game developers the space to push the limits of their creativity and skill at zero cost levels the playing field to some degree for creatives regardless of their financial means. Roblox Studio also allows developers to test the games they are creating in an isolated environment before it goes live to the public. Through Roblox Studio, the company has positioned itself as the YouTube of gaming: anyone with a computer and an internet connection can create and release their own games for players all over the world to enjoy for free. Furthermore, creators have the opportunity to monetize their games, turning their hard work and imagination into a potentially very profitable business, right from their laptop.
If Roblox’s mission is to bring the world together through play, they have done an incredible job at providing space for communication and connectivity at every turn, not only by allowing users to create their own games, but through their various chat features. Its users have not one, but two ways to have conversations with other gamers through the Roblox platform. The first is in the game itself. Players that are in the same virtual world at the same time have the option to chat to one another in any game where the developer has enabled the use of this feature. The interface resembles an instant messenger application built into the world of gameplay. Users don’t even have to necessarily know one another outside of the game world– any players that happen to be in the same game can speak to one another at any time. The second way players can chat with one another is directly through its website. This interface is similar to something along the lines of Facebook Messenger, where you’re able to send direct messages to your friends, which you add on Roblox the same way you would add them on Facebook. Users also have the option to create group chats to share messages with a group of friends at the same time. While chatting with friends, players are able to see which games their friends are currently experiencing if their privacy settings allow it. This way, users are able to join their friends in the virtual game worlds at any time.
While the number of games available on the gaming platform seems endless, and in truth, probably is, here are a few well known games that will help you become acquainted with the range of possible gameplay available to Roblox gamers.
Mega Fun Obby
Mega Fun Obby is an example of a game that is perfect for those who are brand new to this gaming platform. The term “obby” refers to any game that resembles an obstacle course. In the case of this game, created by Bloxtun, players set out to complete thousands of levels, known as stages, of a lengthy obstacle course that requires lots of jumping while managing to avoid plummeting to your death or touching deadly objects. This game is one of longest “obbies” in the Roblox catalogue and it’s great for beginners who are just starting to familiarize themselves with the controls and how to navigate the world of gameplay. As players make their way through the game, they can earn badges, the directions for which are included in the badge descriptions. Players earn a badge for every ten stages completed and several other specialty badges are available as well. With over 2,000 stages, this game alone could occupy an absurd amount of time in your day. Additionally, you can meet up with other players inside of the game to tackle the obstacle courses and explore the world together. This game is a fan favorite for very good reason.
One of the most popular games to ever come out of the world of Roblox is a game called Piggy. Piggy, created by MiniToon, IK3As, and Optikk, can only be described as a horror survival game inspired by the well known children’s show Peppa Pig mixed with the Swedish horror game called Granny. In this game, players have the option to choose from twelve different maps and various game modes, all of which encompass fighting to survive as you face off against a family of murderous hogs. Users play the game as a police officer investigating the disappearance of a swine named George Pig, but things take an ominous turn when you discover that you too are being hunted and even the police station where you work has been infiltrated. It’s up to you to stop whatever monstrous, deadly hog is afoot before you too fall victim. Since its release, Piggy has amassed hundreds of thousands of players and a special version of the game with 100 players and one Piggy was released to celebrate the game’s wild success. For gamers who are sucked in by a game with a story, Piggy might be the perfect fit.
Welcome To Bloxburg
For gamers who have ever been fans of The Sims, Welcome to Bloxburg, created by Coeptus, will be a shiny new rabbit hole within a rabbit hole. This game simulates the life and daily activities of a single player living in a house near the fictional town of Bloxburg. Despite the fact that Bloxburg is not a free game and requires payment in the form of Robux to play, it has been visited over five billion times and favorited upwards of ten million. Similar to The Sims, Bloxburg is an open-world game where the player must attend to their character’s daily moods and needs while also building them a suitable home for shelter. Players can also learn new skills, hold all different sorts of jobs, including a restaurant cashier, delivery person, and fisherman, and travel the city at large. Players can use the earnings accrued from these jobs to purchase materials and furnishing to continue to improve upon their homes. As of September 2021, Bloxburg has received over five million visits, making it one of the most heavily visited games on the Roblox platform.
The undeniably popular Blox Fruits, created by The Eclipse, is essentially a game where players train their characters in order to overcome a plethora of assorted bosses and adversaries. Players must seek out Blox Fruits, otherwise known as Devil Fruits, in order to develop and unlock new strengths and skills. In order to grow your power, you must collect various fruits and the more rare the fruit, the more powerful your character will become. Fruits can be found randomly in the wild or purchased from dealers for a price. Additionally fruits can also be acquired by producing the most damage of all players present at a Factory Raid. As you progress throughout the came and discover increasingly more potent fruit, your character’s strength will become equally potent. This game can easily eat up all of your time, with seemingly endless opportunities to fuel your character and compete against other players for the maximum display of strength.
Brookhaven, created by Wolfpaq and Aidanleewolf, is a role-playing, town and country style simulation game in a similar vein as the increasingly popular fan favorite, Bloxburg. In Brookhaven, players get to choose their own houses and pick their own cars, which they get to drive around, exploring the robust city environment. Just like any other realistic town, Brookhaven has standard elements like stores, churches, and the like. This game is known for having no in-game currency and any additional items or features can only be purchased with Robux, though the overwhelming majority of objects are already available to players simply by entering the game. Brookhaven tends to target a younger audience, as it is known for its simplistic gameplay, which is perhaps easier for a younger set to navigate than its contemporary counterpart, Bloxburg. As of 2021, Brookhaven has managed to rack up over ten billion visits and often finds itself ranked as the most popular game on the Roblox home page.
The term metaverse, one whose origins can be traced back to old school science fiction, breaks down into two parts: meta, meaning beyond, and verse, referring to the universe. Put the two words together and you’ve got a term that speaks to the world beyond the one we inhabit in reality, one that extends into a virtual world. As far as Roblox is concerned, their Metaverse is designed to provide immersive co-experiences where users can create, play, connect, and learn. Roblox’s vision for the Metaverse is aimed at bringing people together to form real connections and have shared experiences that go far beyond the boundaries of digital communication. In September of 2021, Roblox hosted their first concert within their Metaverse, a fully immersive experience performed by the world famous band, Twenty One Pilots. This virtual concert is a game changer in the world of shared experiences in a virtual space. The same technology used to power this concert can also be used to host staff meetings, school, and a variety of other social gatherings. The Metaverse is designed to be welcoming to people of all ages, ranging from six year-old children to adults in their thirties and beyond, all of whom can personalize their experience playing Roblox games as well as within the Roblox Metaverse. The company has placed an emphasis on the development of this technology as well as the controls necessary to moderate content in order to maintain a safe, family-friendly environment for users regardless of their age.
Roblox for Parents
Parenting in the age of Roblox can be understandably overwhelming given the breadth of experiences and games available to Roblox users as well as the access to various forms of socializing and chatting within the Roblox platform. Where other social networking sites tend to err on the side of minimal regulation, Roblox takes a different stance. Its mission aims to bring people together to have shared experiences in a safe environment and they put their weight behind continually developing technologies to maintain a welcoming space for users of all ages all over the world. Their Avatar Clothing Detection software ensures that characters are always wearing appropriate clothing both in gameplay and in thumbnails. As far as chats are concerned, users are able to report any sort of inappropriate messages in various places located across the Roblox platform to its Report Abuse system. Additionally, the company employs both human and technological filters to moderate the contents of chat messages to proactively remove unsavory content from the platform. Even more reassuring for parents monitoring their childrens’ online activity are the parental controls, which allow parents to set restrictions on chat capabilities and restrict access to games that they consider inappropriate. Roblox prides itself on being a safe space for everyone and they don’t take violations of that promise lightly. By continuing to monitor the platform from every angle, parents can feel a little bit more at ease allowing their children to participate in playing games and chatting with their peers on the platform.
Founded in 2004 by David Baszucki and Erik Cassel, Roblox Corporation first debuted its gaming platform in 2006. After over a decade in business, it was valued at over $4 billion by the beginning of 2020. By October of 2020, Roblox had the gears in motion to become a publicly traded company. The company prepared an IPO worth $1 billion, entering the New York Stock Exchange in March 2021 with the ticker symbol RBLX, by which time the company was valued at $41.9 billion, marking a nearly $38 billion dollar rise in valuation in around just one year. Roblox’s explosive popularity and seemingly unlimited room for innovation within the gaming and social industries makes it a must-buy stock for followers of the tech industry. The company has managed to blow any potential rivals out of the water, making it, at least for the moment, essentially peerless. Investors speculate that there’s a long road for the company stock prices to travel, as it seems like the sky’s the limit in the Roblox Metaverse and the company is only just getting started.
It’s not hard to see why a platform as robust as Roblox has the potential to seem overwhelming and quite possibly baffling upon first glance. However, beyond the initial bewilderment, is an uplifting, hopeful message that calls for a renaissance of the wholesome values of learning, gameplay, connectivity, community, and most importantly, creativity. Roblox empowers its users to stay connected and to push their imaginations to the limits and beyond. With the introduction of the Metaverse, Roblox is looking to the future with plans to continue to innovate what it means to stay connected and share experiences with family and friends for many years to come.