Why Content Creators Are Moving from 2D Screens to 3D Worlds
by By Manuel Bronstein, Roblox Chief Product Officer
Product & Tech Creators Events
Roblox’s vision is to reimagine the way people come together to create, learn, play, work and socialize. We are creating a platform for immersive human co-experience, and people all over the world are participating and contributing millions of 3D experiences, all created by users. As of the first quarter of this year, there are over 54.1 million people coming to Roblox every day, to connect with friends, to participate in these immersive experiences and to have fun.
Influencers and video creators are integral to this community. Every month, videos about Roblox get more than 10 billion views on YouTube alone, thanks to the creativity and charisma of the awesome video creators who are behind them. Creators like InquisitorMaster, LeahAshe, and KreekCraft have found tremendous success by leveraging the Roblox platform to create engaging content, and we expect this trend to continue growing as more people join the Roblox community.
But video creators have bigger plans! Increasingly more creators are seeing Roblox as a platform to foster a healthy, rich community around their content and personal brands. They want to be where the audience is and find richer ways to create, connect and interact with their audience, and synchronous 3D immersive experiences provide a new canvas for creativity.
Some call this the metaverse, and it’s the next frontier for creators of all kinds. By expanding from 2D, one-way communication and content distribution platforms into 3D immersive and shared worlds, the possibilities are endless. Whatever exists in real life can be built in digital life on Roblox without the restrictive parameters of language or location — and sometimes even physics, like in Tai Verdes’ gravity-defying, teleporting concert. We believe this 3D metaverse provides ample opportunities beyond familiar, but comparatively static, 2D screen content.
While Roblox provides the technology that allows for both physics-defying and reality-mirroring creations, it’s the 10.5 million developers across the globe who have built more than 29 million virtual experiences across genres. From gaming to social hangouts, to concerts, sports, fashion and film, and more, the range of experiences on the Roblox platform makes it easy for creators to follow their passion and connect to their audiences. Every experience is free, which means users see no barriers to trying new ones, and video creators have ample inspiration to build on.
Several have already started trailblazing, not only by creating video content based on Roblox experiences, but also by bringing their innovation and creativity to the Roblox platform. Take MeganPlays as an example, who I will be speaking with later today at VidCon. She co-founded a development studio called Wonder Works Studio, which has created several Roblox experiences to connect with their fans, and fans have responded in kind with 220.7 million visits to their flagship experience Overlook Bay alone. But Megan hasn’t stopped there, she has also created a line of avatar fashion representing her brand which sells in the Roblox Marketplace. I’ll talk about this more later.
With this vast variety of content comes a diverse, global scale that brings video creators’ content to new audiences. With users from 180 countries on Roblox, 53% of which are over the age of 13, the potential reach for creators is massive.
Engagement on the Roblox platform is deep. In the 3D world, creators connect with fans in immersive social experiences. Video creators can interact using unique avatars (more on this later), build virtual worlds for followers to convene, or even premier a video (using VideoFrame) on Roblox for fans to watch together.
Late last year, for example, Twenty One Pilots took the virtual stage with a pioneering interactive concert experience The five-song interactive and ‘choose your own adventure’-style concert captivated people from over 160 countries, with nearly 70% of attendees coming together from outside of the U.S. to kick off the band’s sold-out Takeøver Tour with an exclusive virtual concert on Roblox. Bandmates Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun are obsessed with their fans, so they made sure to take time to hop from server to server as their avatars ToggAndJog and JogAndTogg, meeting fans from across the globe. They also held an on-platform Q&A session with fans. Video creators could host private servers to hold concert parties with their followers while streaming, giving a VIP experience to their fans as they dance to their favorite music.
The potential for creators to build deep relationships with their audience is greater on Roblox because of these interactive opportunities. They can bring their followers with them to do the things they would do in the real world with the safety and cost savings of hosting remotely. KreekCraft even brought 350,000 fans to the Twenty One Pilots show with him on YouTube.
We want to support everyone who creates on our platform to continue developing great content, so we’re always looking to open new revenue streams for video creators on the platform and beyond.
Creators can earn Robux (virtual currency on Roblox) in several ways. First, they receive a portion of in-game purchases for any experience they’ve partnered with or created themselves. Second, creators can also produce avatar items like clothing, accessories, or even dance moves, which all earn Robux. Finally, we have an influencer program with additional incentives and support to our growing content creator community.
MeganPlays, for example, leverages a variety of programs to earn money through Roblox. For 2D screens, she makes videos of her play sessions, finding experiences she loves and creating stream-style videos for YouTube or capturing dynamic moments for her 3.6 million TikTok followers. Since making the switch to creating videos around Roblox, she went from 240,000 subscribers to 1,000,000 subscribers in under a year from 2018 – 2019. Today, she has amassed over 740 million video views on YouTube alone. She also offers an exclusive affiliate code on these profiles, which earns her a 5% commission on every Robux purchase made with the code.
In 3D worlds on Roblox, Megan has created her own fashion line. Her best-selling Butterfly Earrings have been favorited over 87,000 times. She also founded a development studio called Wonder Works Studio, which has built experiences for high-profile partners including electronic music event promoter and producer Insomniac to bring the world’s largest dance music festival, Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), to Roblox.
With new technology launched by Roblox in recent months, the monetization opportunities in 3D immersive spaces only continue to expand. In April, Roblox launched Layered Clothing, the first and only technology that enables a single clothing or accessory item to fit any avatar body type, whether it’s humanoid or dinosaur. On Roblox, identity (which people express through their avatar) is paramount. With 1 in 5 daily active users updating their avatar on any given day in 2021, the possibility of helping any user express their identities through fashion has been inspiring for many creators. Within months of Layered Clothing being available to all, over 89 million users had acquired Layered Clothing apparel, selecting from the more than 5,400 items designed by creators available in the Avatar Shop today.
And with new technology that will enable facial animation for avatars based on voice and facial expressions in the real world, customizable opportunities will become endless in the months and years to come.
Our goal is to mirror the real world through technology and empower any user to create with it. With dynamic facial expressions, we are moving towards a world where avatars can mimic our own expressions with ease, helping users to better express themselves as they move from world to world and change their body.
The Next Frontier
Digital co-experience has captured everyone’s imagination, and the opportunity to invest in the move from 2D to 3D is now.
To learn more about the opportunities for video creators on Roblox and be a part of this amazing community, visit our Roblox Video Stars information page or tune in to my keynote at VidCon with MeganPlays and VidCon CEO Jim Louderback at 2:10 pm PT today.