Games platform Roblox: Documentation raises allegations of “exploitation”

Roblox is accused of systematically exploiting the work of underage developers through various systems. With more than 200 million users per month, Roblox is a platform that provides tools for creating games. However, the suggested earning opportunities almost never exist.

There is actually a fascinating concept behind Roblox: With the proprietary tools provided, children and young people can design their own games, which they then publish on the platform – games by children for children. However, an analysis of the documentary channel “People Make Games” puts the beautiful Roblox world in a different light. The company creates an environment that ultimately serves the exploitation of children.

Disguised Mechanisms

Because Roblox lures in its presentation very clearly with the possibility of making money by creating your own games – it should be over 20 million by now – because authors participate in the success. In fact, only very few players make money with Roblox codes, in essence only the rich get richer. According to People Make Games, this is due to various systems that revolve primarily around the premium currency Robux.

Roblox shows only the most popular games of its users in an overview. Mechanisms for discovering titles like on Steam would be missing. The platform itself offers a solution for the expected invisibility of new games: It sells advertising space to the highest bidder for Robux amounts that can be used to increase visibility. 

The chance of success is made more difficult by such structures and can quickly turn into negative business, especially if the problem of sunk costs is taken into account: Those who have already put a lot of effort into creating their game will be more inclined to invest a little more.

But even in the event of success, money is not guaranteed. Because the profit sharing of 70 percent of all purchases takes place in Robux, which can only be spent in the game. In order for this to happen as far as possible, the provider first pays out amounts of at least 100,000 Robux, which would cost around 1,000 US dollars to buy in online shops. This $ 1,000, which Roblox Corporation earns from players for 100,000 units of the currency, is not paid out to creators; For this sum of Robux you will only get $ 350 back, provided you have the premium subscription for $ 5. No payouts are possible without a subscription.

Of the promised high profit sharing of over 70 percent, what remains in the end is a sum that cannot be precisely determined even by successful Roblox developers due to such concealment, but is definitely much smaller, which is significantly below other industry standards such as Steam, criticizes People Make Games. All in all, this construct suggests that you continue to work in Roblox and reinvest currency again, i.e. continue to contribute to the attractiveness for other players. Without: ideas are not protected, a successful concept from a new talent can easily be adopted, refined and prominently placed with advertising by a successful Roblox developer. Developers below the tiny success layer can quickly end up in a hamster wheel.

Roblox always wins

In its analysis, the channel considers it extremely unlikely to actually earn money or even a living with Roblox, as advertised. In return, however, Roblox benefits from arousing unrealistic expectations, which lead to the investment of an excessive amount of time and work. This gives the provider ” hundreds of thousands of free workers who invest their imagination and ingenuity to create the next Roblox hit “.

Roblox benefits immensely from this carrot principle, as it has become seven times more valuable on the stock exchange than Ubisoft. In essence, the online platform would ultimately revive practices that had been banned in normal working life for decades. In the end, legal regulation is needed to protect minors. Roblox itself did not respond to the specific allegations in statements that were sent to Gamasutra, among others.

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