Roblox Is More Than Just a Gaming Platform — It’s a Growing Economy
Our kids understand it better than we do. And it’s training them for the token economy.
The stock market, still caught up in the GameStop trading frenzy, recently put a spotlight on the gaming industry’s latest entrant: Roblox. It debuted on the New York Stock Exchange last week via direct listing and was valued at a mind-boggling $45 billion. The gaming platform of the future has proven itself to be a pandemic mainstay among youth, with daily screen-time usage nearly doubling in the past year alone.
For many parents, this marks a crucial inflection point as many witness an innocent pandemic pastime transform into a booming business. The last time emotions were riding this high was when “Baby Shark” hit the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 40 list. But Roblox is more than just an annoyingly addictive tune — it’s a moneymaking machine. Throughout the past year, even if parents haven’t participated on the platform directly as gamers, they were either observant bystanders or reluctant financial endorsers, loaning out their credit cards for in-game purchases. That’s a role Roblox is more than happy to let them play.
While Roblox is a gaming community open to all ages, it has seen its popularity surge particularly among school-age children during the pandemic, as in-person playdates were traded for virtual ones within pixelated worlds. According to the company’s SEC filing report, as of September 2020, 54% of Roblox users were under the age of 13. That is a sizable chunk, considering that Roblox boasts 31.1 million daily active users. Fortnite, considered to be one of the most popular titles ever made, has 31.3 million daily active users by comparison.
Think of Roblox as a Shopify versus Fortnite’s Amazon. Roblox is a vibrant and expanding metaverse of creator-built content, with over 18 million experiences.
Roblox has also ensured that it remains culturally relevant. In November 2020, the platform hosted its first virtual concert with Lil Nas X, “the King of the Crossover” who rose to TikTok fame in 2019 for the hit song “Old Town Road” and is considered a…