Roblox, a social gaming platform, plans to go public on March 3rd. During the outbreak, more than 32.6 million people played every day in 180 countries, making it a de facto playground. My nine-year-old has spent a lot of time with her friends as well. They may not be able to ride roller coasters or go down water slides together in person, but they can do it online using Roblox. They dress up in costumes, act like they’re at school, and have imaginary friends. They spend a lot of time following each other around and finding new friends in different areas.
“Roblox is a kind of a replacement babysitter when some parents need a break at home,” says P.J. McNealy, CEO of Digital World Research and professor at Boston College. He feels that having a captive audience at COVID benefitted Roblox. He describes the platform’s possibilities as “Minecraft meets Nintendo.” “A lot of it is possible with mobile phones.”
According to McNealy, the company started with a younger customer and is now growing. Roblox plans to grow its digital hub empire beyond gaming as a result of its imminent IPO. “This money will either give them with a chance to generate new content for the platform or it will allow them to go to adjacent channels like music or cooperating with Spotify or a movie service,” he believes. “That’s where I see this going,” I told myself.
David Baszucki, commonly known as “Builder Man,” and Erik Cassel co-founded Roblox in 2004. Three-quarters of all nine- to 12-year-olds in the United States play Roblox on a monthly basis, according to Baszucki’s research.
“We’re on top of the world right now. And, right in the heart of COVID, the number of older players on the platform has skyrocketed.” Baszucki delivered the following comment during a Roblox developer conference last summer: “How can we connect Roblox to the rest of the world?” is the query.
His business plan included making movies with Roblox content and creating a “universal translator” that would bring people from all over the world together in a virtual environment for a shared goal. This has been a long-term dream for many of us, dating back to our days in the science fiction community.