Uh, 'Roblox' Is Starting To Feel Kind Of Like A Child Grift
Sadly, we have to inform you that the people behind one of the most successful Lego
ripoffs inspired kids' games are pretty shitty. Wait! We're not writing about how weird the guy who made Minecraft is. We know you're already aware of that. This one is about Roblox.
An investigation by independent reporters People Make Games revealed that the economy powering the game isn't as comfortably distant from Nestlé's use of figurative (and maybe literal) sugar-coated slavery as one would expect.
Roblox -- as you probably don't know -- is not just a game but also a sandbox where users can make their own games. Roblox Corporation says these games will earn their creators actual revenue if they end up garnering enough players. This is naturally very exciting for kids, who have a lot of energy and hours to spend on creating stuff, and easily believe in things. However, there's one problem: To engage with the game's economy, kids will have to get a premium subscription, which means they'll have to spend actual money before hoping to make money.
That's tough because, on top of having to convert their entirely candy-based wages into real money, they then have to trade their real money for … ugh … Robux, Roblox's money, which is also what they'll get paid in if their games are successful. Robux can only be exchanged back to dollars if you have at least $1000 worth of Robux, which is probably way too much money for a kid to sneak out of their parents' wallets unnoticed. People Make Games says this strategy isn't dissimilar to that of old mining and logging companies, which paid workers in company money (and probably expected them to die from freak accidents from before they tried to get real money).
To make matters even worse, The company doesn't promote games organically. Once again, players need to spend money on auctions to win ad space to promote their creations. That'd be pretty shady as is, but Roblox isn't only played by independent Boss Babies. There are also enough predatorial devs specialized in both stealing ideas and in having more money than kids to ensure original games will end up hijacked and rebranded. While Roblox corp claims that there are over 600 developers making over $85k a year through their creations, that's not impressive for a game with over 200 million monthly users.
The segment of PMG's video below shows a disillusioned 11-year-old complaining about the game being rigged.
The only good part about this mess is how it's unintentionally providing users with a really good view of the real-world economy from early on – maybe too early on.
Top Image: Roblox