2017: Another Breakout Year
by David Baszucki
Product & Tech Community Creators Events
It’s an exciting time. We’ve wrapped up yet another historic year at Roblox. As we head into the new year, I wanted to briefly reflect on our incredible growth and some memorable moments in 2017—all of which were made possible with the help of the best and brightest minds in the industry and the entire global Roblox community.
Over 64 million monthly active players and counting
When we first started Roblox in 2006, we envisioned a company that would inspire kids of all ages to socialize with their friends and freely express their imaginations. At the time, the social networking category was in its infancy and virtual worlds were only just starting to prosper. We believed that the evolution of these categories would lead to much broader opportunities in online connectivity, digital creation, and interactive learning.
And we were right. In a few short years, we went from a small handful of players to a few hundred, then a few thousand. Fast-forward to today, Roblox’s community has grown to over 64 million monthly active players across the world. And, with the groundswell of massively popular record-breaking experiences, our concurrent player number has surpassed well over one million at peak times this year.
Our 2017 highlights
Since our start, we have envisioned a new category of media that we call “Human Co-Experience.” Roblox provides an environment where people can do things together in real-time. This year we focused on five main objectives, and the results have been significant. We have radically improved our Mobile Authenticity, with innovations throughout the platform. For example, we introduced portrait mode on mobile devices, paving the way for new and innovative experiences supported by our revamped pathfinding system.
Our efforts to provide better tools for our Developer Community have brought a multitude of improvements to Roblox Studio, along with continuous improvements in our device emulation to provide better support for mobile developers. We’ve launched many long awaited features including inverse kinematics for constraints and a new glass material. We are deep into our work on creating an International Platform, and we expect several significant announcements in Q1 of 2018. It’s been a lot of fun seeing the top popular games by country on our game sort.
We have put into place several measures to improve Trust & Safety on our platform, introducing new features such as a parental PIN code to lock account settings, age visibility, and an experimental mode to distinguish non-Filtering Enabled games. Additionally, we formed a Trust & Safety Advisory Board comprised of leading online safety experts to ensure our platform remains a positive and productive place for kids of all ages. Playing with Friends continues to push new frontiers as well. We enabled cross-platform play on Xbox One, allowing console players to enjoy Roblox with their friends and the rest of the community across any device for the first time. Our chat experience has also evolved significantly throughout the year to include Lua implementation on mobile devices and various UI/UX improvements.
Commending Roblox’s thriving developer community
I am blown away by the caliber of the Roblox developer community. Their inexhaustible ingenuity, creativity, and resourcefulness never ceases to amaze, and there was no place more evident of this than at this year’s Roblox Developers Conference. With some of our top developers on track to make $3 million a year, we have an enormous responsibility to empower an entire generation of young, emerging creators and to make their dreams a reality. I look forward to meeting with our developer community again at next year’s conference so we can work together to identify even more ways we can better serve our community.
Named one of America’s fastest-growing private companies
Our mission to power the imaginations of people around the world was further validated by the assortment of industry awards we received throughout the year. We are honored to have been named on the Inc. 5000 for the second year in a row, as well as the Deloitte Technology Fast 500, showcasing the fastest-growing companies in North America.
Powering imagination both online and offline
We believe that ultimately the creators on Roblox are more than game or experience creators. They are character, story, and world creators. As a small step in this direction, we launched into licensing partnerships this past year, expanding Roblox off the screen and into the real world. We announced the first-ever collection of Roblox toys in partnership with Jazwares, bringing to life some of the most iconic characters and games created by the community. That was shortly followed by our second wave of toys in the summer and most recently the Celebrity Collection of toys exclusively at Walmart stores. In 2018, we look forward to continuing our licensing initiative by working together with key partners such as Egmont Publishing and Bioworld to launch Roblox books and apparel.
Looking forward to 2018
Our momentum will continue in 2018. We will continue to drive innovation in our core technology to allow anyone to produce cutting-edge, immersive 3D experiences across any device. We will continue to ensure that Roblox remains a fun space for everyone. And we will continue to adhere to our vision of powering imagination, making significant progress in internationalization, player experience, developer tools, and our avatar ecosystem.
We will also continue to focus on hiring the smartest, most talented people in the world. In 2017, our workforce doubled to more than 300 employees. As a result, we have outgrown our current office space. While it has served us well, we look forward to starting 2018 in our beautiful new building, which will allow us to greatly expand our team well into the future.
In closing, I would like to acknowledge the major role our community of players and creators—some of whom have been with us since the very beginning—have had in our success over the years. To you, I offer my sincerest thanks for your passion and limitless creativity. And to our employees, thank you. I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish together this year.
Wishing you a healthy and happy new year,
David Baszucki, Founder and CEO