Last month, executives at Roblox laid out a new vision for the game’s economy, boasting that the platform’s GDP has already become “as big as some countries,” thanks to its 66 million daily visitors. The company wants to make Roblox’s economy seamless for anyone to become “a buyer, creator, seller, curator, or IP owner.” Creators have been integral to Roblox, as in 2022, “the ten highest-earning creators earned an average of $23 million each, and nearly every creator in our top 500 earned at least $140,000.”
To ensure that the creator economy continues to flourish, Roblox is now working on tools for developers to offer subscriptions to players who are enjoying their experiences in the platform. While creators can already monetize experiences through virtual items and engagement-based payout, subscriptions would enable a steadier flow of content for players and more predictability in earnings for developers. Roblox also intends to expand the scope of what creators can sell to players, widening the variety of cosmetic items to include bodies and heads.
The rise in this creator economy has proven so attractive to some developers that they’ve dedicated themselves to making content for Roblox exclusively. In 2021, after finding success with the platform, a group of developers formed Uplift Games; their Roblox experience Adopt Me has enjoyed 60 million monthly active users and a total of 22 billion visits. UK studio Talewind similarly has ambitions to become “the Supercell of Roblox,” and likened the opportunity in the platform to that of creating mobile games 10 years ago. They told GI.biz that it’s a “paradigm shift in games development.”
For its part, Epic Games’ Fortnite is attracting leading developers too. In July, Halo co-creator Alex Seropian teamed with veterans from Bungie, Disney, and Amazon to form Look North World, a studio dedicated to making community-driven virtual spaces and experiences within Fortnite. While Epic Games has been a little behind in building its creator economy, it’s enticing developers by giving them 40% of revenues compared to about 25% that Roblox creators receive.
It’s hard to predict just how much subscriptions to individual developers in Roblox will resonate with the audience, but the data from Interpret’s New Media Measure® is encouraging, as it shows that Roblox players tend to favor video game subscriptions and memberships even more than average gamers. Nearly half of Roblox players in the US report paying for two or more game subscriptions/memberships compared to 39% of general gamers. And whereas just 10% of general gamers have five or more subscriptions, that figure increases to 14% among the Roblox audience.