Roblox (/ˈroʊblɒks/) is an online game platform and game creation system developed by Roblox Corporation that allows users to program games and play games created by other users. Created by David Baszucki and Erik Cassel in 2004 and released in 2006, the platform hosts user-created games of multiple genres coded in the programming language Lua.
For most of Roblox’s history, it was relatively small, both as a platform and a company. Roblox began to grow rapidly in the second half of the 2010s, and this growth has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Roblox is free to play, with in-game purchases available through a virtual currency called Robux. As of August 2020, Roblox had over 164 million monthly active users, including more than half of all American children under 16. Although Roblox has received generally positive reviews from critics, it has faced criticism for its moderation, microtransactions, and exploitative practices directed toward children.
Roblox allows players to create their own games using its proprietary engine, Roblox Studio, which can then be played by other users. Games (called “experiences” by the corporation) are made with an object-oriented & open-source programming language based on Lua, known as Luau. Users are able to create purchasable content through one-time purchases, known as “game passes”, as well as microtransactions which can be purchased more than once, known as “developer products” or “products”. The majority of games produced using Roblox Studio are developed by minors, and a total of 20 million games a year are produced using it.
Items and currency
Roblox allows players to buy, sell, and create virtual items which can be used to decorate their virtual character that serves as their avatar on the platform. Clothes can be bought by anyone, but only players with a Premium membership can sell them. [better source needed] Only Roblox administrators can sell accessories, body parts, gear, and packages under the official Roblox user account; virtual hats and accessories can also be published by a select few users with past experience working with Roblox Corporation.
There are several individuals who design items as a full-time job, with the highest-earning creators making over $100,000 a year off item sales. Items with a limited edition status can only be traded between or sold by users with a Roblox Premium membership.
Robux allows players to buy various items, and are obtained by purchase with real currency, from a recurring stipend given to members with premium membership, and from other players by producing and selling virtual content in Roblox. Prior to 2016, Roblox had another currency, Tix (short for “Tickets”), that was discontinued in April of that year.
[better source needed] Robux acquired through the sale of user-generated content can be exchanged into real-world currency through the website’s Developer Exchange system. There are a sizable amount of scams relating to Robux, largely revolving around automated messages promoting scam websites, scam games designed to appear to give out free Robux, and invalid Robux codes.
Roblox occasionally hosts real-life and virtual events. They have in the past hosted events such as BloxCon, which was a convention for ordinary players on the platform. Roblox operates annual Easter egg hunts, and also hosts an annual event called the “Bloxy Awards”, an awards ceremony which also functions as a fundraiser.
The 2020 edition of the Bloxy Awards, held virtually on the platform, drew 600,000 viewers. Roblox Corporation annually hosts the Roblox Developers Conference, a three-day invite-only event in San Francisco where top content creators on the site learn of upcoming changes to the platform. The company has also hosted similar events in London and Amsterdam.