Welcome to Lowpass! This week: How Roblox wants to rule all of the worlds.
Don’t call it the M-word
Last week, Roblox held its annual investor day to highlight its recent milestones and outline where the company is going. The event got a bit lost in the news cycle due to the OpenAI drama, but it’s worth giving it another look, especially given the recent skepticism around the metaverse.
Roblox was one of the first companies embracing the idea of the metaverse, with then-CBO Craig Donato telling me back in 2020 that Roblox was best positioned to build a social metaverse.
However, the M-word was curiously absent from Roblox’s presentation last week. CEO David Baszucki instead described what the company was trying to build as a “social utility communication platform,” while at the same time stressing that the future of communication was “ultimately going to 3D simulation.”
The metaverse may be a dirty word right now, but Roblox still wants to build avatar-based social spaces that include but also go beyond gaming. Metaverse veterans like Second Life founder Philip Rosedale have long discounted Roblox as a platform for kids, but Baszucki pointed out last week that the company is seeing huge growth with adults, all the while expanding to new and upcoming platforms like VR, game consoles, and ultimately even AR.
In other words: Roblox wants to rule all the worlds.
First, a quick data dump: Roblox shared a bunch of data during its investor event. Not all of those numbers were new. But if you don’t follow Roblox’s day-to-day business, it’s still worth taking note:
- Roblox now has 70.2 million daily active users, who collectively spent over 16 billion hours on the platform in Q3.
- Roblox paid out $701 million to developers over the past 12 months.
- 19.7 million new social connections / “friendships”are formed on Roblox every day.
- Roblox is seeing a lot of international growth. For instance, daily active users in Japan are up 66% year-over-year, revenue in the country is up 174% year-over-year.
- Roblox now has 29M DAUs over the age of 17; this age segment saw a 41% growth rate over the past 12 months. It’s also close to half of Roblox’s total daily user base.
- Roblox has been downloaded more than 2 million times on Meta’s Quest VR headset to date, and installed 17 million times on Sony’s PlayStation since launching on the platform in October.
- Roblox’s top 10 creators make $27M every year on average; the 100th-most-successful creator makes $970k per year; 1000 creators make $65k or more on Roblox every year.
- More than 93 Roblox experiences have been played over 1 billion times each.