Roblox Games is an online game platform and game creation system developed by Roblox Corporation that allows users to program games and play games created by other users. Created by David Baszucki and Erik Cassel in 2004 and released in 2006, the platform hosts user-created games of multiple genres coded in the programming language Lua.
For most of Roblox’s history, it was relatively small, both as a platform and a company. Roblox began to grow rapidly in the second half of the 2010s, and this growth has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Roblox is free to play, with in-game purchases available through a virtual currency called Robux. As of August 2020, Roblox had over 164 million monthly active users, including more than half of all American children under 16.
Roblox Games Studio
Roblox allows players to create their own games using its proprietary engine, Roblox Studio, which can then be played by other users. Games (called “experiences” by the corporation) are made with an object-oriented & open-source programming language based on Lua, known as LuaU. Users are able to create purchasable content through one-time purchases, known as “game passes”, as well as microtransactions which can be purchased more than once, known as “developer products” or “products”. The majority of games produced using Roblox Studio are developed by minors, and a total of 20 million games a year are produced using it.
Items and currency Roblox Games
Roblox Games allows players to buy, sell, and create virtual items which can be used to decorate their virtual character that serves as their avatar on the platform. Clothes can be bought by anyone, but only players with a Premium membership can sell them.
Only Roblox administrators can sell accessories, body parts, gear, and packages under the official Roblox user account; virtual hats and accessories can also be published by a select few users with past experience working with Roblox Corporation.
There are several individuals who design items as a full-time job, with the highest-earning creators making over $100,000 a year off item sales. Items with a limited edition status can only be traded between or sold by users with a Roblox Premium membership.
Robux allows players to buy various items, and are obtained by purchase with real currency, from a recurring stipend given to members with premium membership, and from other players by producing and selling virtual content in Roblox. Prior to 2016, Roblox had another currency, Tix (short for “Tickets”), that was discontinued in April of that year.
Robux acquired through the sale of user-generated content can be exchanged into real-world currency through the website’s Developer Exchange system. There are a sizable amount of scams relating to Robux, largely revolving around automated messages promoting scam websites, scam games designed to appear to give out free Robux, and invalid Robux codes.
Roblox Games occasionally hosts real-life and virtual events. They have in the past hosted events such as BloxCon, which was a convention for ordinary players on the platform. Roblox operates annual Easter egg hunts, and also hosts an annual event called the “Bloxy Awards”, an awards ceremony which also functions as a fundraiser. The 2020 edition of the Bloxy Awards, held virtually on the platform, drew 600,000 viewers.
Roblox Games Corporation annually hosts the Roblox Developers Conference, a three-day invite-only event in San Francisco where top content creators on the site learn of upcoming changes to the platform. The company has also hosted similar events in London and Amsterdam.
Roblox occasionally engages in events to promote films, such as ones held to promote Wonder Woman 1984 and Aquaman. In 2020, Roblox hosted its first virtual concert, which was compared by Rolling Stone to that of American rapper Travis Scott’s virtual concert in Fortnite, during which American rapper Lil Nas X debuted his song “Holiday” to an audience of Roblox players.
In 2021, Swedish singer Zara Larsson performed songs at a virtual party to celebrate her new album Poster Girl (Summer Edition). On September 17, 2021, a virtual concert by the American band Twenty One Pilots took place. In October 2021, Roblox partnered with Chipotle Mexican Grill to giveaway $1 million of burritos away to the first 30,000 people everyday as apart of Chipotle’s Halloween Boorito promotion.
Roblox Games has generally received positive reviews. Common Sense Media gave it 4 out of 5 stars, praising the website’s variety of games and ability to encourage creativity in children, while finding that the decentralized nature of the platform meant game quality varied, and recommended disabling chat functions for young players to prevent possibly harmful interactions. Patricia E.
Vance of the Family Online Safety Institute advised parents to monitor their child’s interactions on the platform, but praised the platform for “allow[ing] kids to play, explore, socialize, create and learn in a self-directed way”, and granted especial praise to Roblox Studio for its ability to encourage children to experience game development.
Trusted Reviews, in its overview of the platform, also praised Roblox Studio, stating that “for anyone seeking to develop their computer science skills, or create projects that will instantly receive feedback from a huge audience, the appeal is obvious”. Craig Hurda, writing in Android Guys, gave a more moderate review, praising the number of games available and finding that the game was entertaining for children, while also finding that the platform’s audio was “hit-or-miss” and declaring that it had limited appeal for adult players.