The video game Roblox is eye-ing an $8B+ IPO

Roblox has boomed during the pandemic, now it’s ready to take its virtual sandbox world public.


November 25, 2020

Two groups of people will be very familiar with Roblox, the sandbox game in which users build virtual worlds:

  • Kids under the age of 13, who make up 54% of the game’s 36m daily active users.
  • Parents, whose credit cards have been footing the in-game purchases of a virtual currency (“Robux”) and digital goods.

As The Street reports, these same parents can now get some upside from the money their kids are spending by jumping in on Roblox’s $8B+ IPO.

A rebuttal to ‘video games are a waste of time’

Unlike the time-wasters of yesteryear, Roblox empowers kids to build their own games and learn to code using the in-house visual design tool.

This year, Roblox will pay out $250m to its (largely preteen) developers, up from $110m in 2019.

The company’s Premium Payouts Program shells out money “based on the engagement time of Premium subscribers in-game,” per VentureBeat.

The numbers have boomed since March

Among the game’s Q3 2020 stats:

  • Bookings were up 200% YoY, to ~$497m (revenue is recognized over a 23-month period)
  • Daily active users were up 97%, to ~36m
  • Hours of usage were up 134%, to 8.7B

With a platform that skews so young, Roblox has to deal with many safety issues. Roblox also has to contend with the fact that users may “age out” of the platform.

While dealing with these issues, Roblox also has its eyes on a bigger prize: becoming a portal to the metaverse.

A recent L’il Nas X in-game concert drew a virtual crowd of 33m, suggesting the game is on the (Old Town) road there.

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