Summary List Placement
The wildly popular gaming platform Roblox went public Wednesday through a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange, with its stock spiking as much as 15% to value the firm at nearly $44 billion.
Unlike “Minecraft” or “Fortnite,” Roblox isn’t exactly a game, but rather a platform where players can jump from one user-generated experience to the next. Roblox allows kids to play games created by others or try building games themselves.
Popular titles include “Adopt Me!” in which players “adopt” pets, care for them, and then share them with other players, and “Brookhaven,” a game in which players can role-play in a large city and buy homes, vehicles, and other items. While all games are free to play, most offer premium features or benefits in exchange for Robux, an in-game currency that can be purchased for real money.
Developers get a 70% commission on all the Robux spent in their game, which can help young developers reel in significant amounts of money — in some cases, enough to pay for their college educations.
The stock began trading under the ticker RBLX on Wednesday. Here are some eye-popping stats about Roblox on the day of its market debut:
- The platform has 32.6 million daily active users as of 2020, an explosive surge from the 12 million it had in 2018
- There were over 18 million games, called “experiences,” on Roblox as of September 30, 2020
- In 2017, Roblox said that it would pay out $30 million to developers — that figure jumped to $328.74 million in 2020
- Over 1,250 developers earned at least $10,000 in the digital currency Robux from the platform and over 300 earned $100,000 or more
- Roblox users spent 22.2 billion hours engaged in gameplay in the first nine months of 2020, more than double the 10 billion hours in the first nine months of 2019
- Roblox said in July that it counts over half of all Americans under the age of 16 as users
- Its valuation soared from $4 billion in early 2020 to $30 billion in early 2021 as it raised $520 million in fresh funding ahead of its listing
- The most popular games can have 500,000 concurrent players during peak times
- The pet simulation game “Adopt Me!” became the first game in the platform’s history to cross a total of 20 billion visits in November 2020, and at the time of writing, it had 391,000 concurrent players
- The role-playing game “Brookhaven” has 457,000 concurrent players at the time of writing
- 24-year old Roblox developer, Alex Hicks, made more than $1 million a year as the owner of game development studio RedManta, which creates games for Roblox
- The platform has 8 million active developers, according to its S1 Prospectus
- Infrastructure, trust and safety were Roblox’s second-largest cost after developer fees. Last year, these expenses rose by 69 percent to $264.2 million
- The firm reeled in $923.9 million in revenue during 2020, with a $253 million net loss, according to its S1 Prospectus