Roblox makes as much money as the GDP of some small countries, and the company behind the popular game and creation platform has announced a new option for creators to monetise - subscriptions.
Announced as part of a broader blog post on the subject of the platform’s economy, these subscriptions will be separate to existing ones which allow players to subscribe to the platform for additional in-game currency (Robux) per-month, and to run private servers. Instead these new subscriptions will function essentially as they would in other games, such as MMORPGs.
According to Roblox, “This will help them [creators] to establish a recurring economic relationship with their users and potentially increase the predictability of their earnings. It will also help ensure our users have a steady flow of content that’s relevant to them. This is just one of our steps towards offering a broad suite of ways creators can earn.”
The company further outlined just how populated the platform is and the breadth of visitation it enjoys, “Picture Roblox as a nation with people producing and selling goods and services and others buying or consuming them. Every day, 66 million visitors come to Roblox from 180 countries to enjoy immersive experiences, education, social connections, virtual goods, and more. In short, Roblox has become one of the biggest virtual economies on Earth.”
Off the chain
Roblox is perhaps one of the best arguments for, and against the idea of digital currencies, goods and indeed the metaverse as a whole. While many other platforms such as Decentraland have pursued narrow user bases of enthusiasts in the tech, Roblox has transformed from a relatively niche title into perhaps what best embodies the nebulous terms of a “metaverse”. Without utilising blockchain technology, and running on many platforms including mobile, Roblox has managed to leverage UGC to become a force to be reckoned with.
The move to subscriptions is an interesting one as it marks out an increase in the diversity of and experimentation with different forms of monetisation. By offering subscriptions, Roblox could encourage creation of games that incentivise “repeat business” in the same way one might revisit a subscribed-to MMORPG (back when that model was more common). Although we’ve yet to see how widely it will be adopted, it’s an interesting experiment and one that may present a challenge to other companies.
It’s no surprise then that Roblox made our Top 50 Game Makers of 2022 list for their efforts in mobile, as well as these achievements in general. Though whether we'll see creators look for more opportunities from Roblox in the future may change just how this major new player on mobile and beyond operates.