Roblox has been at the centre of some damning reports recently, but that hasn't stopped the gaming behemoth from more than doubling its revenue to $1.9 billion in 2021. It also had a 45.5 million daily user average, showing reports of exploitation and sex condos aren't slowing the platform at all.
These figures come courtesy of GamesIndustry.biz. Roblox Corporation, a company valued at over $56 billion, with revenue of almost $2 billion, and if we're being honest, a cartoonishly evil-sounding name, is entitled to small business tax breaks.
Roblox is a platform where people can build games for their friends and strangers to play. As an E rated game with Lego-esque graphics, it naturally appeals to children. A video report released last summer by People Make Games journalist Quintin Smith alleges that the Roblox system that promises young, aspiring developers large audiences and lots of cash, actually exploits their labour.
The exploitation is clearly working, as the company's value, revenue, and daily user average continue to grow rapidly. Roblox Corporation CEO David Baszucki has his sights set on expanding the game even more by bringing it to PlayStation, Switch, and any other video game platform.
The end of last year saw a follow-up report from Smith that further alleges child abuse is rife and barely punished on Roblox. One Sonic fan game creator named Doc was found to have been sexting a child he was collaborating with, and although Roblox banned him from the platform, he is still able to profit from his game and retain full creative control.
A BBC report also revealed the presence of "sex condos" on the platform. These are sexually explicit experiences – what Roblox calls games made on its platform – where users discuss sexual topics and sometimes engage in virtual sex. As a platform heavily marketed towards children, this is obviously against Roblox's terms of service, but they keep popping up despite the company's attempts to remove them.
The company did release a blog statement promising it would take more steps to ensure the safety of the children on its platform and is also lowering the minimum payout amount so that more devs can access their money, but it seems the company has a long way to go if it hopes to fix all these issues.
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