Roblox, a video-game app that is wildly popular with younger players, expects to pay out as much US$70 million to content creators this year, compared with such spending of about US$30 million in 2017.
The California-based firm revealed the estimate at its annual developers’ conference in Burlingame over the weekend, according to reports.
Founded in 2006 by David Baszucki, the gaming startup has over 64 million monthly active players, generally ranging from 17 to 22 years in age.
The multiplayer online gaming platform encourages anybody and everybody to create games, and pays out part of the income to them.
As of 2017, it had 4 million developers building games for its platform, according to Business Insider.
All 40 million games within Roblox, such as “Meep City” and “Jailbreak”, were made by its young independent developers.
The free games, available for PCs, smartphones, tablets, and Xbox, make money from “selling” in-game currency, called Robux, which players can use to buy items in different parts of the arena.
When users spend their Robux in a game, the game’s developer gets a cut. Of the US$30 million payouts last year, one top creator secured US$3 million, while two more claimed US$2 million, Business Insider reports.
In its latest funding round, Roblox raised up to US$150 million from investors at a valuation of as much as US$2.4 billion, which is about the price Microsoft paid for popular game Minecraft in 2014, according to Recode.
Roblox’s previous backers include First Round Capital and Index Ventures.
In an interview with Forbes, Roblox’s founder Baszucki revealed that the company became profitable in 2015. This March, Roblox announced it was cash-flow positive for the first time, with “hundreds of millions” of dollars in bookings in 2017.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on July 18
Translation by Ben Ng with additional reporting
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