Roblox is an online game platform and game creation system developed by Roblox Corporation. It 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, due to both co-founder Baszucki’s lack of interest in press coverage and it being “lost among the crowd” in a large number of platforms released around the same time. 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, with it being played by over half of all children aged under 16 in the United States.
Although Roblox has generally received positive reviews from critics, it has faced criticism for its content, chat filtration system, and microtransactions.
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 allows players to create their own games using its proprietary engine, Roblox Studio, which can then be played by other users. Games are coded under an object-oriented programming system utilizing a dialect of the programming language Lua to manipulate the environment of the game. 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”. Revenue from purchases is split between the developer and the Roblox Corporation 30–70, in favor of Roblox Corp. 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.