On Wednesday, the online game platform Roblox will go public. It’s become a virtual playground during the pandemic lockdown, and the business has witnessed a spike in users, with millions currently active.
Roblox, an online gaming platform, intends to go public on Wednesday. During the epidemic, it’s become a de facto playground, with more than 32.6 million individuals playing every day from 180 countries. My nine-year-old has been playing with her pals constantly, just like them. They can’t be together in person, but they can enjoy online roller coasters and water slides together on Roblox. They act out going to school, getting pets, and dressing up. They mostly follow each other around in various settings, making new pals along the way.
“When some parents need a break at home, Roblox is a kind of a replacement babysitter,” says P.J. McNealy, CEO of Digital World Research and professor at Boston College. He claims that Roblox benefited from having a captive audience at COVID. “Minecraft meets Nintendo, which meets Lego, and mobile phones allow a whole lot of stuff,” he says of the platform.
According to McNealy, the business began with a younger audience and is now expanding. Going public, he claims, would enable Roblox to create a digital empire that extends beyond games. “This money will either allow them to create additional content for the platform or to move to adjacent channels like music or collaborating with Spotify or movie services,” he adds. “That’s where we’re headed with this.”
Roblox was created in 2004 by David Baszucki, often known as “Builder Man,” and Erik Cassel. Baszucki believes that three-quarters of American youngsters aged nine to twelve play Roblox each month.
“We’re on a roll right now. And, in the middle of COVID, we’ve witnessed a surge in the number of elderly gamers on the platform “Baszucki said this last summer at a Roblox development conference. “So, how can we enable Roblox to connect with everyone on the planet?”
Baszucki outlined his vision for the business, which included producing movies using Roblox material and developing a “universal translator” to allow people from all over the world to meet in a virtual environment. “Ultimately, this has been the goal of so many of us for so many years, dating back to the science fiction community,” he added. “Each of us has our own unique perspective of the metaverse.”
Last year, Roblox launched an online experience based on the current Wonder Woman film, as well as numerous virtual concerts. Last November, for example, gamers placed their avatars in the crowd and sung and danced with Lil Nas X’s avatar.
Roblox claimed in early January that it had already collected $535 million for its “human experience platform.” It hosts games that are developed by the players themselves.
Alex Hicks was just 13 years old when he transitioned from playing Roblox games to creating them. He is now 24 years old and has a roughly two-million-dollar game development company with ten workers. They developed “Robloxian High School” and “World Zero.” “With other games, you’d grow bored and quit playing,” he says. “However, with Roblox, there is a never-ending stream of titles to play, and you can only see what your pals are up to. You should go hang out with them. It makes you understand that this is most likely the future of social interaction.”
According to Hicks, the key to that future is watching sports, concerts, or films together online at the same time. “And I believe Roblox truly understands the social element.”
Zoe Basil, a twenty-year-old woman, lives with housemates she found on Roblox. She’s a computer programmer who works on the popular “Adopt Me” game on the platform. She like the fact that anybody may create and publish a game on Roblox. “When you’re like a 13-year-old creating a game in your bedroom, you don’t really have all these internalised norms and you just sort of create anything you want and whatever comes to mind,” she adds. “It’s similar to outsider art. And I think that’s fantastic.”
Megan Letter is a Roblox celebrity known for playing “Adopt Me” with her virtual pet unicorn, Honey. Her daily YouTube video “Megan Plays” has over three million followers. The 25-year-old Dallas influencer has several YouTube channels and a clothing company. Her husband Zach and her also operate their own company, where they created the game “Overlook Bay.”
“My spouse and I are ecstatic for Roblox to go public,” she adds. “Personally, we want to invest since Roblox is only growing in popularity. We love and breathe Roblox, so hearing that it’s going public is huge.”
Letter, like many others, is curious to watch what happens next for Roblox when it files a direct listing of its shares.
Nina Gregory edited this tale for radio, then Mandalit del Barco and Petra Mayer adapted it for the web.