Roblox is an increasingly popular sandbox game that meshes the gameplay of the infamous Minecraft with the functionality of the traditional Lego gaming experience. Kids ranging from ages 8 to 18 can log onto the website to build their own world with mini-games for others to interact with or destroy. Much like the two original games it’s based off of players who are free to roam and explore other users custom built zones.
Recently Roblox has announced a Developer Exchange program (DevEx), which will allow kids that develop games inside the Roblox universe with the opportunity to get paid. There’s now an option for the bonus virtual currency that players earn for building to be converted to actual money.
“Roblox isn’t just a place to play games, but to build them. What we’re seeing is there a lot of very talented developers here, and in a way, we’re helping to create the next generation of game developers right now,” commented the Vice President of Marketing and Brand Experience for Roblox.
“Some of the attention in gaming seems to have shifted away from the big behemoths like EA to the smaller independent studios and beyond that to these individuals or small groups of individuals who are already building cool stuff. What we have with Roblox is not just a distribution platform a la Steam or YouTube, but we also have the engine, a la Unity.”
What Roblox is doing with their game is quite extraordinary. The company is teaching young children and teens how to use an app builder, master skills in design, coding, and game marketing while having fun. It’s also showing them that if they can create something really cool that others want to play they can make serious money with games.
Initially there was an earnings limit to cash out set at $500 per month for young developers but Roblox felt like it was stifling users from developing more so starting in February they’re increasing it to $2,000 per month.
“Right now, we have hundreds of people participating, and we’ve paid out more than $60K to date.”
The games that players are building vary from first-person shooter arenas to sky high amusement parks to walking dead zombie showdowns. According to Roblox, later this year they’re planning on expanding their website to distribute the immensely popular games in the universe to other platforms and as standalone apps. They want to eventually become a game publisher.
Maybe the next big app developer will hail from the universe of Roblox.