Price Floor: T-Shirts, Shirts, and Pants

September

24, 2013

by Roblox


Archive

Effective immediately ROBLOX is changing how clothing is priced. In the past users could charge whatever they wanted for clothing. We think it’s better for the economy as a whole to enforce a minimum price on these goods. Therefore, we’re instituting a price floor of 10 R$ for T-Shirts and 25 R$ for Shirts and Pants (or 12x this amount in tickets, which is slightly above current exchange rates as of the writing of this article). Users will be able to charge more than this at their option, but they will not be able to charge less if they choose to sell their clothing in the ROBLOX catalog.

Why are we making this change? There are three main reasons:

  1. Raise the quality of items in the catalog.
  2. Reward makers and sellers of clothing.
  3. To incentivize non-paying users to buy ROBUX.

Raising the quality of items

Talented artists aren’t making a ton of clothing because they can’t make money doing it. We think it’s important for the overall health of our game that all characters look great (like in screenshots that appear in gaming magazines). If users have to spend 25 R$ on a shirt, they’re not going to spend it on a bad-looking shirt. In contrast, for 1 R$, you might not even think about it.

Catalog Items

Rewarding sellers

It takes a certain amount of skill to make a good-looking piece of clothing in ROBLOX; this should be fairly rewarded. Right now it is not fair.

One huge problem is copying. If I make a great shirt and sell it for 20 R$, it’s fairly easy to copy it and sell the copy for 19. Or 10. Or 1. ROBLOX wants to reward creativity, not copying. Copy-protecting these assets is technically impossible, so we want to move to a system where copiers cannot profit on their copies. Adding a price floor limits their ability to do this. Copies won’t be able to sell for less than the original, and given the option, most buyers would rather have the original.

Another issue is that creating clothing isn’t very profitable in general compared to other ways users can make money on ROBLOX. Sales of shirt and pants represent less than 1% of the total player-created economy (game passes, paid games, gear commissions, and resellable items). We think that having great-looking characters is probably nearly as important as having great-looking games. Game makers are currently making 94% of the money in the player economy. We don’t know exactly what a fair split looks like, but it’s higher than 1 to 94.

Incentivizing ROBUX purchase

The rapid growth of ROBLOX has been supported by the players who make purchases. We philosophically believe that ROBLOX should be free forever.  We currently provide enormous value to free users, and we understand that this is one of the attractions of ROBLOX. However, we want to bring our virtual economy system more inline with regard to the industry standard freemium business model. At the same time, we are not compromising on our core vision, which is making ROBLOX the best free online building game on the internet.