We have just closed the books on another fantastic year. In a lot of ways, as I look back at what we’ve accomplished, I’m reminded of how we first started over ten years ago and how much more opportunity is ahead. Our future is bright, and it’s getting brighter every day.
I’m excited to embark upon the next stage of our evolution. Since the beginning, our platform philosophy was built around the vision of an emerging new category that enables people to imagine, create, and experience things together in an immersive, multiplayer, physically-simulated space—a vision we’ve achieved through relentless dedication and our amazing community. Today, there are more than 80 million monthly active users worldwide on Roblox. It’s a diverse community made up of the most dedicated fans in the world, approaching one billion hours of engagement each month. Last year, we also raised $150 million in funding to support our international expansion, which made headlines on TechCrunch, Forbes, Variety, Business Insider, VentureBeat, and many others. Amid the explosive growth of 2018, I wanted to share a few thoughts about why we have a unique opportunity to help people around the world connect, learn, create, and build core life skills through shared experiences.
Our vision is to bring the world together through play. Moving forward, we will continue building a safe, civil, and diverse community—one that inspires and fosters creativity and positive relationships between people of different countries, backgrounds, and worldviews. As our platform becomes increasingly global, we’ve started putting into place the tools to help developers localize their content in Spanish, French, and German, with many more languages, including Korean, Japanese, and Chinese, to come. In 2019 and beyond, as we continue to scale our cloud infrastructure to further support our global ecosystem, we see a world where we make it easier for people to play, create, and learn together.
The quality of content on Roblox is mind-blowing, and it will continue to get even better as our technology evolves to meet the needs of our growing community. Our developer community now has over two million people actively building new 3D experiences each month. As they take advantage of our new lighting and physics tools, Rthro avatars, hundred-player server capabilities, and new distance-based rendering techniques, we’re going to see them making games they’d been dreaming about for years: the first iterations of the multi-hundred-player Roblox worlds of tomorrow. The experiences on Roblox will be more immersive, more interactive, and more engaging than anything you’ve seen. It happened before, it’s happening now, and it will happen again in the years to come.
We’re also going to be seeing a revolution in the social experience of Roblox. Now, friends around the world can easily send and accept server invites in-game, from chat, when browsing the home page, or even across platforms thanks to our Xbox One friends list integration. No matter how, where, or when you play Roblox, you’ll never have to do it alone.
In 2018, we developed an application framework that will drastically improve the speed and reliability of our platform on mobile devices. It will be easier to connect with friends, play with people around the world, and load into content more quickly. I expect great things to come in 2019 with our acquisition of PacketZoom, whose team and technology will further optimize mobile game performance. Roblox will be faster and less resource-intensive, and we will continue providing a fun, social, and completely seamless experience for players everywhere, across all devices and languages.
2018 Community Highlights
It was an incredible year for the community as well. To start, I’d like to congratulate MeepCity, Jailbreak, Murder Mystery 2, and Work at a Pizza Place for being the first games to surpass a billion visits in 2018—a truly remarkable achievement that speaks to the magnitude of their intellectual property. As we expand our localization tools, we’re welcoming an increasing number of developers from across the world. They’re bringing fresh ideas and new experiences to our platform every day.
Our success wouldn’t have been possible without the developers and creators of the Roblox community. I was fortunate to meet with many of them at last year’s Roblox Developers Conference (RDC), and I‘m always amazed by how they’ve built worlds, characters, and stories that go beyond anything we could have imagined. Our accelerators and incubators are constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on Roblox, and there have been many great experiences born out of those programs. I eagerly anticipate the upcoming Bloxy Awards, which continues to grow in scale and grandeur year after year.
Our community events have gotten bigger than ever before. For last year’s Egg Hunt, Hallow’s Eve, and Holiday events, we brought the imaginative worlds of Ready Player One, Fantastic Beasts, and Aquaman to life on Roblox. Ready Player One, in particular, holds a special place in my heart. When we talk about the vision of our company and where it could go, something akin to the OASIS isn’t too far off for us to think about. On the blog, you can find a full recap of our biggest events of the year—Ready Player One and Egg Hunt. We’re looking forward to more exciting events and partnerships to come in 2019.
Inspiring STEM Education Through Roblox
One of the most powerful things we’ve seen in 2018 is the impact our education programs are having amongst students. We always believed that the best way to teach millions and millions of people how to create, to code, and to design is to make a popular commercial platform that’s accessible and free. Under a Creative Commons license, we built out an educational curriculum that reached over 48,000 students across 22 countries in 2018. We also hosted two Creator Challenges with Jurassic World and Hour of Code™ to inspire up-and-coming creators to learn the basics of coding and build their first game at their own pace. Combined, these events have resulted in over 300,000 new games published on Roblox so far. We expect to see a lot of momentum on our platform as more and more people learn computer science, game design, and entrepreneurial skills through Roblox.
Expanding Roblox Off the Screen
It was another breakout year for our licensing programs. We expanded our top-selling line of toys (which continue to be sold in over 35 countries around the world), introduced three of our first-ever official Roblox books, and we have more apparel on the way for fans of all ages. We have already started to envision a future in which our developers’ games, stories, avatars, and worlds may even become part of a national movie or television show someday. Over the next decade, I expect we’ll see more and more content and media being created based on ideas from our community.
Our Work Continues
I’d like to give a special thanks to everyone who helped make 2018 another wonderful year of growth for Roblox. Thanks to our players, whose support has driven us to continue evolving and building the greatest platform Roblox could possibly be. Thanks to our developers, whose creativity continues to amaze millions of people around the world. And lastly, thanks to our employees, whose passion and dedication help power the imaginations of millions of people across the world.
Here’s to another amazing year ahead. Have a happy, healthy, and wonderful 2019!
Until next time,
David Baszucki (a.k.a. Builderman)
Founder and CEO of Roblox