The blurry line between professional game development and user-generated content has never been fainter.
At least, that’s a conclusion from the news that the team behind Adopt Me - Roblox’s most popular game - have relaunched as a company called Uplift Games.
Launched in 2017 by two Roblox fans - NewFissy and Bethink - Adopt Me is now a 60 million MAU game within the Roblox universe.
Audience grew 100 per cent in 2020, while revenue was up over 400 per cent.
And the growth continues. The family-friendly pet collection and trading game hit 1.9 million concurrent users during its latest update in April 2021 - a Roblox record.
Given the way it formed, Uplift has to-date always been a remote operation.
Its team of 40 is split across the US and UK, although a Californian head office will open in due course.
It’s planning to make the most of the emergent nature of its culture going forward, however.
One element of this is the staff mix.
“The team is 50:50 ‘Roblox people’, who tend to be younger, and older industry veterans,” explains director of business operations Josh Ling; one of those 'youngsters'.
Organisation is maintained with a fixed meeting schedule - “3 to 4 a week” - but people have the flexibility to schedule their own work.
This is reinforced against overwork with generously enforced holiday allowance and a liberal attitude in terms of sick days.
Even prior to the formation of Uplift Games, the team worked with a HR consultant to deal with issues such as crunch.
Of course, it will be interesting to see how the formal creation of Uplift Games and a plan which expects headcount to grow into triple figures by the end of 2021 impacts this situation.
We think a lot about making games that feel fair.Josh Ling
But this isn’t growth for its own sake or at the behest of an investor. For one thing, Uplift doesn’t have any.
For, as well as building on the foundation of Adopt Me, Uplift is considering the challenge of its second game.
“We can afford to be really bold,” Ling ponders, although pointing out that while it would love to release something new in 2020, it doesn’t have a fixed timeframe.
Whatever comes will share the culture of Adopt Me, however.
“We think a lot about making games that feel fair,” Ling says, pointing out that it already runs its own customer support team for Adopt Me; something appropriate to Roblox’s pre-teen user base.
You can see what Uplift Games does next by checking out its website.
You can also see open positions via its Careers section.