Roblox, the free-to-play game-building title that houses more than 50 million user-created game spaces, could be expanding beyond its current home on PC and Xbox consoles.
Speaking during the Roblox Corporation’s Q1 2021 earnings call, CEO and co-founder Dave Baszucki said that “Switch, PlayStation” and “Quest” (as in, Oculus Quest) all “make perfect sense for Roblox”.
Comparing the expansion to the boom in smartphone applications once pinch-to-zoom was established, Baszucki said:
“We have the same vision for the immersive 3D multiplayer cloud stuff of the metaverse in that we believe this should be accessible on all devices, both from viewing as well as interaction. And we've really innovated around this on phone tablet, computer, and Xbox console, showing that developers can create content that when pushed to our cloud, runs on all of these devices as well as auto translates into multiple languages.”
With a new Nintendo Switch Pro console looming, and the next-gen battle having begun in earnest with the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, Roblox wants to keep moving where its audience is going, after firmly establishing its PC roots.
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The Roblox economy
There’s certainly cash in the coffers to enable Roblox to pull off a large multi-platform expansion plan. The Covid-19 pandemic has been good for Roblox’s player numbers, with the title hitting a staggering 150 million concurrent monthly users last June. Having projected revenue of $250 million for 2020, Roblox ended up bringing in $384 million instead – and that’s despite it being a free-to-play title, proving that its in-app purchase model is very lucrative.
Despite initially being viewed as something like a Minecraft knock-off, Roblox has become very much its own beast, with millions of players creating a vibrant, creative community around the game.
It’s even acting as a springboard for a new wave of development studios – the makers of Roblox game Adopt Me, for instance, have seen their game become popular enough to found their own independent studio, Uplift Games. Roblox is proving to be as much a mini-industry as it is a game, then.