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Teenagers who use the virtual gaming world of Roblox say that they are using games such as Roblox to stay in touch with their real-life friends, according to a survey by the company. They’re also playing online games a lot more, and they’re going online with their parents’ permission.

Roblox found that 52% of teens spend the same or more time with real-life friends in Roblox, other online games, or voice/chat programs during the pandemic. San Mateo, California-based Roblox has more than 120 million monthly active users, and the company said that 69% of those surveyed are playing more on Roblox because of more time at home and parental approval for online learning. Roblox’s players generate roughly 2.5 billion hours of engagement per month.

Roblox surveyed nearly 3,000 teens in mid-May as part of the company’s Digital Civility Initiative. The majority of respondents say they like to play their favorite games (79%), try out new games (64%), and also have conversations (62%), emphasizing the importance of social interactions as part of their experience on the platform

Laura Higgins, director of community safety and digital civility at Roblox, said in an interview with GamesBeat that 40% of teens say that they have improved their online friendships during the pandemic.

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“We definitely saw an uplift in the platform,” Higgins said. “Screen time has gone up for all families. Adults have more understanding now. People are socializing online.”

During COVID-19, teens surveyed are currently hanging out more with their online Roblox friends (56%) compared to their real-life friends (44%).

Among the top advantages of online friendships, they list acceptance without regard for appearance (35%) and the ease of making friends quickly (32%). Teens also note they can lean on their online friends to discuss difficult topics such as COVID-19 (25%).

“They’re choosing spaces online where they can sit and socialize and hang out with their friends,” Higgins said. “Teens love being able to talk to people from different countries and from different cultures and sharing that and even to the point of learning languages from each other. They are going out of their way to hang out with their real-life friends in online platforms.”

Teens said they don’t worry as much about how they look anymore, and that is one less reason they might be bullied, Higgins said. Teens are also experiencing the Roblox community at large as more helpful (44%), friendly (34%), and patient (26%).

“The relationship changes were surprising,” Higgins said. “Online relationships are getting better. There is less pressure on how you should act. The young people are finding others are more patient or more helpful and it felt a bit more positive.”


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.

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Reinout te Brake

In a career spanning across 20+ years, Reinout te Brake has raised over 100+ Million Euros in Fundraising for a diversity of companies and has worked with several venture capitals firms. Helping gaming companies expand their brand reach, get the right story telling and make an impact on a global scale. Reinout te Brake has had the honor to counsel some of the major gaming companies operating on a global scale. For the last 12 years, he has devoted his major focus towards the niche of gaming consultancy to provide his insight and expertise to help gaming companies reach outstanding financial and business results.