GameTech: Roblox scales the heights

GameTech: Roblox scales the heights

You might block someone on Twitter, but have you ever shut out a game? That’s what happened to us with Roblox — while we were ignoring it, Roblox has quietly become the world’s most popular game. As of this month, there are 100 million active users, making it more popular than both Minecraft and Fortnite.

Roblox started in 2005 with just 100 players and has since grown into a game-creation tool that makes its developers millions and attracts a hugely devoted fanbase.

The premise is simple: Minecraft meets game development. So, players can collaboratively come together to not only create worlds to explore with blocks, but also develop entire games using the Roblox Studio. As such, Roblox isn’t just one ‘game’ like Minecraft, but a shared platform for millions of user-created games.

Much like Minecraft before it, Roblox targets a younger age group, but there’s plenty of online evidence to suggest that this is a platform that parents love to play with their kids too. Running through a list of Roblox games would take all day, with every genre from adventure to murder mystery to action to racing covered, but we’re comfortable saying that you will absolutely find something that entertains you, regardless of taste.

The quality of production doesn’t nearly match independent developers or, for comparison’s sake, mobile development, but Roblox is largely free, which makes up for it. The developers make their money by selling cosmetic items and other upgrades that are usually optional, much like in Fortnite or other free-to-play games.

In a statement released on reaching 100 active monthly users, Roblox founder David Baszucki said:

We started Roblox over a decade ago with a vision to bring people from all over the world together through play. Roblox began with just 100 players and a handful of creators who inspired one another, unlocking this groundswell of creativity, collaboration, and imagination that continues to grow.

Thankfully, one of his staff members gave a more colourful perspective on the milestone.

“The Roblox community has made a massive impact on my life,” said Joseph Brosnihan, Roblox member since 2007 and now an engineer at the company. “My love for building things led me to Roblox when I was in seventh grade, and I made friends with others who liked to build things too. Roblox inspired me to study math and programming, and at the encouragement of another developer, I eventually applied for an internship where I reconnected with many of my friends I first met on Roblox. Now, I’m helping build the future of Roblox as an engineer at the company.”

Incidentally, on Friday, the annual Roblox Developers Conference takes place in London. An invite-only event, it’s an event for Roblox developers, where they can share their experiences and take part in a game jam creation session.

The conference will also be streamed.

You can visit www.rdcglobal.com to find out more. If you have a child under the age of 8 who plays games, there’s a good chance they have installed or used Roblox at least once, making them part of the global block party. We may have ignored Roblox before, but there are 100 million reasons to acknowledge it now.

NINJA IN THE MIXER

Meanwhile, Ninja probably has millions of reasons to justify his latest move too. Each of them making a difference to his bank account.

Richard Tyler Blevins, aka Ninja
Richard Tyler Blevins, aka Ninja

The world’s most famous Fortnite streamer, better known as Richard Tyler Blevins, has officially announced his move from Twitch to Microsoft’s comparatively little-known streaming service Mixer, no doubt earning himself a huge pay packet in the process.

This is a huge coup for Microsoft and a big blow to Twitch, where Ninja was its real bonafide star and one of the platform’s first proper headline acts. Ninja made his name streaming Fortnite, attracting a younger audience with his colourful personality and equally colour hairstyles.

More importantly to Microsoft, however, Ninja began his streaming career playing competitive Halo. With a big year for Microsoft coming in 2020, including the launch of a new console and a new Halo, having Ninja on board to stream Master Chief’s new experience will be a real boon to the big M.

Fans of Ninja don’t need to worry — platform aside, it seems like Ninja will be streaming per normal on Mixer.

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