Saying Goodbye to Tickets

March

15, 2016

by David Baszucki


Archive

Dear ROBLOX Community:

In the next 30 days, ROBLOX will discontinue Tickets. This is one of the biggest changes we have ever made to our platform. While many of you will welcome this change, I know that many of you will be concerned. I want to explain our reasoning here, and also share details of the process we will go through with this migration.

Nine years ago Erik Cassel, John Shedletsky, Matt Dusek and I designed the original ROBLOX economy. At the time, virtual currency was a new concept, and typically only used in online MMO’s. Virtual worlds like Second Life and Club Penguin were popular, and social platforms like Facebook were just coming into existence. Smart phone mobile gaming did not exist.

In designing our virtual economy, we decided on two forms of currency, Tickets and ROBUX. ROBUX formed the backbone of our economy, while Tickets were designed to reward participation (building stuff and playing the game) without giving out free ROBUX (which would cause inflation for all users who purchased them). At the time, it was a common practice for many games to have two currencies.

We have come a long way since that time. Today, the economy in ROBLOX is more and more driven by developers, who create imaginative and creative games. Many of these games have their own currencies, and many of these games provide their own retention bonus systems. We’ve introduced a host of ways for our developers to make ROBUX. The ticket bonus for place visits has become a very small factor to most developers relative to the ROBUX economy.

Our catalog is going through a similar expansion over the next year, as we begin to allow ROBLOX developers to sell body parts, hats, gear, animations and other items.

We are removing tickets for a number of reasons. Although familiar to many of us, they are confusing to first-time users. We believe removing tickets will simplify our product in all areas, from the UI to the catalog to user-accounting.

We have many things in store for the majority of ROBLOX players who do not want to become involved with the ROBUX economy. In the catalog, we intend to provide more free items, so that avatar customization without ROBUX continues to be creative and rich. Today, we have introduced two free packages for your character. Going forward, we will feature the work of top creators in the community as we migrate to a fully community driven catalog.

There will no longer be any Ticket bonus for logging in daily. As our platform has matured, we believe the reason to come to ROBLOX should be the desire to experience incredible things with your friends. We do not want to incentivize people to “check in” every day.

For our deeply engaged users we want to be able to provide more valuable rewards that are not directly tied to login. While we are going through this 30 day transition, we will be making several gifts available to our users based on their engagement. We will be announcing these gifts tomorrow on the blog.

There is another benefit to removing tickets, and that is it removes the incentive to create alt accounts. We don’t believe it makes sense to provide a currency bonus to having multiple accounts, as this drives behavior that is not at the core of ROBLOX.

The impetus behind removing tickets is not to make more money. The primary reasons have always been product simplicity, botting, and not incentivizing certain behaviors.

For those of you who are clothing developers, we believe that over time you will have a richer opportunity as we expand our catalog to a next generation avatar. We will be lowering the ROBUX price floor on shirts and pants to help increase the volume of sales of these items for our creators.  We have a roadmap for the future of avatars on ROBLOX, and as these new features roll out, new opportunities for clothing designers will follow, making the catalog more robust and high quality.

Users will have 30 days to spend down their Ticket balances on commemorative Ticket items, user ads, or to trade them using our currency trading system. In addition, ROBLOX will be awarding gifts over the next couple weeks. By completing tasks on ROBLOX, namely playing and creating, you will earn virtual items.

Here is a list of the current changes:

  • Developers will no longer receive Tickets on place visit
  • Users will no longer get Tickets for logging in
  • Price floor is lowered on shirts and pants to R$5
  • First gifts appear in the catalog shortly (future announcement)

 

After 30 days the following will happen:

  • Trade currency will close. Users will no longer be able to exchange currency with one another.
  • User ads will be available for purchase in ROBUX only.
  • Users and developers can no longer sell items for Tickets. Items with a Ticket and a ROBUX price will be available for the ROBUX price. Items with a Ticket price will have their price converted to ROBUX at a rate of 17:1
  • Tickets will no longer be visible or usable.

 

Over the next 30 days we'll be selling exclusive, commemorative items as a sendoff for Tickets.

Over the next 30 days we’ll be selling exclusive, commemorative items as a sendoff for Tickets.

 

FAQ:

Q:  I used to spend most of my time on ROBLOX earning the login bonus, and then shopping for shirts and pants in the catalog for my avatar.  What can I do now?

More and more, the future of ROBLOX will be about experiencing things with your friends. Most of our work at ROBLOX is focused on making ROBLOX more immersive, and available on more platforms, and easier to play with friends. Removing tickets simplifies our efforts to expand in all directions. And it will simplify the introduction of our new articulated avatar. We plan to be free forever, so you will accrue these benefits as we expand to the living room and VR, and as we make our mobile experience increasingly more social and spontaneous.

For those of you specifically interested in character dress-up, more and more developer games are supporting this. Some of our games, like ROBLOX Top Model, have made clothing purchased in the catalog less important, because dress-up can happen in-game, with your friends.

That said, we will be making more free items available in the catalog, not just shirts and pants.  We expect that all players will still be able to customize their avatar for free in creative and meaningful ways.

 

Q: Will anything replace the login bonus?

We want to continue to reward many of the other activities you do on ROBLOX.  We are introducing three temporary achievements on ROBLOX. Check the blog tomorrow for details. We want to continue to celebrate your accomplishments – and you guys do so much more than just log in!

 

Q:  I have a business making clothing on ROBLOX. Will I make less money going forward?

We are reducing the price floor on shirts and pants from R$10 to R$5. We are reducing the price floor to ensure that creators have more freedom to sell items at lower prices, now that tickets will be removed. We will also be holding regular contests for clothing makers going forward. They will be creating the clothing for our new users and we’ll also be featuring their clothing in the catalog for all users.

Over time, our catalog will be largely stocked with community created items for all categories, including body parts, animations and gear. All items in the catalog will go through a selection process where we pick the best items for sale, along with the best items that are freely available for everyone. For those items that are freely distributed, there will be fantastic rewards to the catalog developers.

 

Q:  Tickets were a reward for developers who made great content. How can they be rewarded now?

Developers can now monetize their game with developer products, gamepasses, and the affiliate program.  ROBLOX developers can cash out their ROBUX for dollars which can be spent in the real world.

 

Q:  Without tickets, how can developers to advertise their games?

In addition to user ads, ROBLOX has introduced Sponsored ads which allow developers to more effectively advertise their games. User ads will continue to be available in the future for ROBUX and we believe this will increase the quality of user ads on the site.  Both forms of ads are profitable for users who are advertising virtual items and games that sell developer products.  We will continue to work on both systems to provide you additional stats so that you know just how profitable running ads on ROBLOX.

 

Q: How can new Developers get started without Tickets?

ROBLOX is a place where many game developers get their start. We are committed to making sure new developers get their games discovered. To that end we have created a new email address – featuredgames@roblox.com – for you to submit your up and coming games to. These submissions will be reviewed by our marketing team and submissions that meet our editorial standards could end up in the featured games sort.  We’ve also identified the top ways our developers are making money in their games and provided this information to you in the Developer section of the site. Soon we’ll release more templates for budding designers to use when creating clothes and items.

 

Q:  How will top ROBLOX developers be affected by this?

ROBLOX developers will no longer receive Tickets on place visit. Currently, only a very small portion of our top developers’ income is from Tickets.

We are committed to helping our developers earn money.

We plan to expose additional stats on best-selling products so devs have better insight into what is performing well. We will continue to provide new stats for devs and new platforms and users to help devs earn more. We think that this change will increase sales by more than the income lost and will end up being a positive change for developers long term.

 

Q:  If it’s about simplifying the economy why aren’t we getting a small stipend of ROBUX for continued logins?

This would make it even more attractive to create alts and bots.

 

Q:  If it’s about botting, why don’t you just implement ways to counteract that, like only awarding currency for spending at least x minutes in a game?

In general, anything we reward with currency will ultimately be botted.

 

Q:  ROBLOX is greedy for taking away free currency.

Every dollar we make at ROBLOX gets poured back into the company. Unlike many other kid (and adult) virtual worlds, MMOs, and social networks, we are growing rapidly and have an enormous opportunity ahead of us.

Our vision is to Power the Imagination of our community, and to do it more immersively and more socially. Removing tickets is not about greed. It is about simplifying the platform, removing bots and alts, and paving the way for a ROBLOX that is bigger, more engaging, and more fun than ever before.

 

Q:  ROBLOX doesn’t care about base-level players, the majority of our Monthly Active Users.

Every player who ever supports us through ROBUX or Builders Club was originally a base-level player. We understand this dearly. We understand that if we make ROBLOX less attractive for base-level players, over time we will have fewer monetizing players.

 

Q:  Is ROBLOX in financial trouble?

We are profitable and will be hiring 40+ additional employees in 2016, 100% supported by our profits.

 

We have a lot planned as we make this transition. Every day will mean a new exclusive Farewell to Tickets item – be sure to check back in the catalog or check out our handy calendar with images, prices, and on sale dates for these exciting commemorative items.

I want to thank you for playing ROBLOX over these past (almost) 10 years.

 

Truly,

David Baszucki

Founder and CEO