On Wednesday, Roblox, the online game platform, 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, will go public on Wednesday. It’s become a de facto playground throughout the epidemic, with more than 32.6 million individuals playing every day across 180 nations. My nine-year-old has been playing with her pals constantly, just like them. They can’t be together in person, but they can play online roller coasters and water slides together on Roblox. They dress up, pretend to go to school, and acquire pets. They mostly follow each other about in various settings, making acquaintances 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 a Boston College professor. Roblox, he claims, 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. He claims that going public would enable Roblox to expand its digital empire beyond gaming. “This money will either allow them to create additional content for the platform or to expand into adjacent platforms such as music or collaborating with Spotify or a movie service,” he adds. “That’s where it’s going to end up.”
David Baszucki, often known as “Builder Man,” co-founded Roblox with Erik Cassel in 2004. Baszucki believes that three-quarters of American youngsters aged nine to twelve play Roblox at least once a month.
“Right now, we’re smashing it. We’ve also noticed an influx of elderly users on the platform during COVID “Last summer, Baszucki spoke at a conference for Roblox developers. “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” that would allow individuals from all over the world to come together in a virtual environment. “This has been a long-held goal of many of us, dating back to the science fiction community,” he added. “We each have our own unique perspective on the metaverse.”
Roblox held numerous virtual concerts last year, as well as an online experience linked to the current Wonder Woman film. 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 features games that have been developed by the players themselves.
Alex Hicks moved from playing Roblox games to creating them when he was only 13 years old. He now owns a roughly two-million-dollar game production company with ten workers at the age of 24. “Robloxian High School” and “World Zero” were their creations. “You’d quit playing other games if you got bored,” he says. “But with Roblox, there’s never a shortage of games to play, and you can always check out what your pals are up to. You go to their house and hang out with them. It makes you understand that this is most likely the way social interaction will evolve in the future.”
According to Hicks, the key to that future is watching sports, concerts, or films together online at the same time. “And I believe that’s where Roblox shines, in terms of 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 can create a game on Roblox. “When you’re a 13-year-old creating a game in your bedroom, you don’t really have all these internalised standards and you just create whatever comes to mind,” she adds. “It’s akin to neo-avant-garde art. That, in my opinion, is fantastic.”
Megan Letter is a Roblox celebrity who is known for playing “Adopt Me” with her virtual unicorn, Honey. Her daily YouTube video “Megan Plays” has over three million followers. The 25-year-old influencer from Dallas also has a product line and other YouTube accounts. She and her husband, Zach, also operate a company, where they created the game “Overlook Bay.”
“My spouse and I am ecstatic that Roblox is going public,” she adds. “Personally, we want to invest since Roblox is only growing in popularity. We love and breathe Roblox, so the news that it will go public is huge.”
Letter, like many others, is looking forward to seeing what happens when Roblox files for a public listing of its shares.
Nina Gregory edited the tale for radio, while Mandalit del Barco and Petra Mayer adapted it for the web.