As a gamer you must be aware of gaming platforms like Steam, Epic Games, Play Store, etc. but this article focuses on a platform that has one of the largest children gaming audiences aged 9-12 with logging over 1.5 billion hours a month. Yes, we are talking about Roblox, a fun, safe, and new place for kids to hang out, socialize and play games with their friends.
Roblox is a platform that hosts a little over 19 million multiplayer games and over 115 million players. Roblox values at $4 billion after its recent funding. An interesting thing about this platform is that anyone can build a game. And most of the games are build by the community of players i.e. children. This platform is also popular among teenagers with an average of more than 40 million hours played each month.
Now, let us talk about Roblox in numbers. There are more than 115m active users on this platform every month. And there are 5000 games with one million+ plays. The top games on Roblox make $3m a year and the payouts to developers were over $110m from $30m in 2017. There are approximately 35000 developers that are making bucks on this platform. The best game on Roblox earns over $10m a year while games in the top 100 average $420,000. Moreover, Roblox games brought in $29.6 billion in views to YouTube. It is not only just about games, there’s more to it; it is reported that more than 40m toys sold on this platform.
Given the magnanimity of this platform, it is anticipated that all major kid brands will join hands with Roblox soon. The primary business model for developers is the in-game purchases in terms of items, weapons, special stages, etc. IN addition to that there are five types of items that can be sold on the platform like Cosmetic, Functional, Loot Boxes, Game Passes, and Pay for Access. Games like Adopt Me, Welcome to Bloxburg, Natural Disaster Survival and Super Striker League are worth your loved one’s time.
Here are some bulleted highlights:
- Half of all children aged 9-12 in the USA play Roblox every week, logging over 1.5 billion hours a month on the platform.
- Roblox is fast becoming the new place for kids to hang out and socialize with their friends
- Roblox is not a single game, but a platform that hosts over 19 million multiplayer games and experiences. With over 115 million monthly players, Roblox has overtaken Minecraft in popularity and has been recently valued at $4 billion, following its latest round of funding.
- Games are discovered on the Roblox Store, but unlike the iOS and Play stores, playing a Roblox game requires no password or parental permission. Consequently, games can quickly grow to over 600k concurrent players, and the most popular have over 1 billion plays. There’s no installation for each game, so as soon as a child hits play, it loads instantly within Roblox.
- Why do kids love Roblox? Players want to socialize; Players want bragging rights, Players want a challenge; Players want to fantasize; Players want to explore; Players want to create
- Why should brands care? Roblox is the YouTube of games.
- Any person – or brand, or organisation – can develop games for the open Roblox platform. But right now, very few professionally produced games exist there.
- Because Roblox is a games platform, there is no friction (e.g. download, parent, registration) around trying a new game. Once playing in Roblox, kids can
play your game immediately, invite friends in, and so on. This means faster onboarding and great viral potential.
- Given the size of the platform, we anticipate that all major kid brands will have a presence in Roblox within the next three years.
- The primary business model for developers is In App Purchases (IAP), where a player can buy small items whenever they wish. However, to purchase these items the player must have already bought Robux – the platform’s currency.
- Most games and experiences have a free tier, where users can still enjoy the game and socialize without spending at all.
- The key is to get a player to make a first purchase: 95% of all Robux are spent by repeat purchasers
- There are 5 types of item that can be sold inside of a Roblox game: Cosmetic, Functional, Game Passes, Loot boxes, Pay-for-access
- The Roblox Advertising Network is a reliable (and low cost) way to boost growth. It works similarly to other ad networks, where developers bid on space in an auction format.
- Brands can outperform other creators on Roblox because most games are made by players who don’t have marketing budgets or experience running advertising campaigns.
- Launching and promoting IP on Roblox is more cost-effective than promoting an App Store game. In Dubit’s experience, it usually costs at least $2 to get one install of a game on the App Store, and Roblox advertising can cost as little as 20 cents to generate a play.
- Influencers are key to marketing Roblox games
- In 2019, Roblox videos brought in 29.6 billion views to YouTube.
- Roblox games are built in Roblox Studio, a free game creation tool. It’s easy to get started with Roblox Studio; there are an abundance of free templates, building blocks, and plentiful tutorials that are extremely well described.
- A professional development team can succeed by creating the kinds of games that are more difficult for the hobbyists. However, take time to learn how children use the platform. Execute well and a premium game in Roblox will cost much less than the equivalent mobile app, with far greater reach.
- In conclusion, Roblox is a great way to: test a concept rapidly; launch a new brand; or build following and monetize an established brand.
Reinout is a games investor and strategic business consultant specializing in the games industry. Reinout established his credentials through his own successful investments, start-ups, consulting and (advisory) board positions that led through time to strong bonds with key stakeholders in this fast paced industry. He is known for his outstanding results in the gaming industry. He has worked with many game studios around the globe and is therefore well known in the international gaming industry.
With over 20+ years of experience, well known publishers, AAA+ game developers, serial gaming entrepreneurs and management teams of gaming corporations consult him on matters that behold financial, technical, operational, strategic and commercial.
I am observing and overseeing several boards of gaming companies. My trademark is to listen, strategize and give feedback to the stakeholders involved. I also represent management/founders towards shareholders and vice versa.