It’s been about 10 months since we unveiled our Developer Exchange program and in that time game developers have earned a total of more than $300,000. As the total amount of money earned grows each month, so too does the number of new DevEx participants. TheGamer101 remains the only ROBLOX dev who has earned $10,000 in a single month — something the development duo has actually done twice — though several developers (Floppa98, loleris, and Nikilis, to name a few) have earned over $10,000 total since the Developer Exchange debuted in October. We spoke with three of the top earning developers from June about their achievements and plans for the future.
Gusmanak, co-creator of Apocalypse Rising/Games
Apocalypse Rising has been a mainstay on the front of the games page for years at this point — its long-standing popularity stems from the nature of its gameplay. It’s a deep dive in terms of ROBLOX games, as you can easily spend hours traversing the massive world hunting for loot, avoiding zombies, and forming uneasy alliances with other survivors. Having such a successful title on ROBLOX means keeping the game fresh and continually updating, as Gusmanak told us during his interview:
DevEx has changed our (the game is scripted by Zolarketh) mentality and priorities while developing. We only spend time on the highest priorities — the most important bug fixes, and the most anticipated features have our full attention. ROBLOX has become much more than a hobby now. This is our job, and it’s important for us to make the most of our time.
Both of us are saving DevEx money for college expenses — Zolarketh is currently attending MIT and has a hefty loan to pay off. Since we’re both in school, we treat ROBLOX as a part-time job. We even have an official work schedule set up — Wednesdays and Sundays are our only days off. Since the game is officially under my account, whenever I get paid, I immediately transfer half of the earnings to zolarketh.
SmoothBlockModel, creator of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Don’t Blink!
SmoothBlockModel is a name that is familiar to many ROBLOX gamers — he’s created several smash hits and is continually making new and innovative titles. His success stems from an early passion for building and a self-taught foundation of coding, which he explains in this interview:
When I first joined ROBLOX I was 12. I got into building obbies and simple things, but I became impatient because I would have to rely on other people to do coding for me. I finally decided I had waited long enough, and decided to teach myself how to code, and now here I am!
When I first started earning money off of game development I was using it for clothes and going out. Now that I’m making such a large profit from my games I’ve been putting away a percentage to save for college and am trying to save to get more productive things, like a new computer, and hopefully a new car soon.
Having these popular games taught me a lot about economics. Figuring out how much to sell something for, how much to spend on advertising — it really showed me how to distribute my money. I’ve also learned a ton of advanced math for coding purposes that makes my math classes in high school a breeze.
Imaginaerum, creator of Skybound
Some developers, like Imaginaerum, are excited to use DevEx to not only continue building in ROBLOX, but build outside ROBLOX as well. If you’re wondering what that means, check out what Imaginaerum is doing with his DevEx earnings:
I’ve been using my earnings on lots of different things — from buying video games, to recently paying for a hotel room when I visited San Francisco. I’ve also been buying parts for an awesome desktop PC I’m planning on building. Looking ahead, I’ll be saving portions of the money I earn to put towards a car and higher education.
Ideally I’d like to one day get a job at ROBLOX or Disney as a software developer, though for the time being, developing games on ROBLOX and earning an income through DevEx is a pretty awesome job in and of itself.
These are only three of the hundreds of stories out there. We can now confidently say that DevEx is supplementing the lives of many young developers and encouraging innovation and creativity. We’re proud to be transparent with the numbers the Developer Exchange program is generating — and we’ll continue sharing stories from different developers in the coming months. For now, get out there and create that game that’s been kicking around inside your head — it could pay for your upcoming college semester!