Roblox, Minecraft, and relative newcomer Core all share similar traits: they’re driven by user generated content and they’re inching their way towards earning “metaverse” status. Much like Epic Games’ popular Fortnite, these three have been evolving from video game to full-on entertainment platform.
Roblox recently held a virtual fan meetup with pop star Ava Max and wants to do more virtual music events, Minecraft had its own virtual concert, Block by Blockwest, earlier in the year, and Core – a bit like Roblox for older gamers – is heading in the same direction and gained $15 million in funding from Epic.
The momentum behind user generated content-based games is undeniable. Roblox, which has been available since 2004, now has 115 million monthly active users and raised $150 million back in February at a $4 billion valuation. Moreover, the company is now actively preparing for a public listing next year in which its valuation could jump to $8 billion. Microsoft saw the potential back in 2014 when it purchased Minecraft studio Mojang for $2.5 billion – since then, Minecraft has become a global phenomenon with 200 million copies sold and over 126 million monthly players. Microsoft even distributes a Minecraft Education version to schools. And Core, which has raised a total of $60 million thus far, could be the most ambitious yet, as it aims to transform game creation and transform gaming much like YouTube and Twitch revolutionized video content.
According to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, both Minecraft and Roblox have enjoyed high levels of familiarity among US consumers, with 42% of Americans familiar with the former and 33% familiar with the latter. That puts these user generated content-based titles in similar territory as other blockbuster game franchises, like Fortnite (37% familiar) and Grand Theft Auto (34% familiar). The world of tomorrow is being constructed by your kids today. Are you ready?