Roblox is an online game platform and game creation system that allows users to program games and play games created by other users. Founded by David Baszucki and Erik Cassel in 2004 and released in 2006, the platform hosts user-created games of multiple genres coded in the programming language Lua. For most of the company’s history, it was relatively small, both as a platform and a company, due to both co-founder Baszucki’s lack of interest in press coverage and it being “lost among the crowd” in a large number of platforms released around the same time. Roblox began to grow rapidly in the second half of the 2010s, and this growth has been accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roblox is free-to-play, with in-game purchases available through a virtual currency called “Robux”. As of August 2020, Roblox has over 164 million monthly active users, with it being played by over half of all children aged under 16 in the United States. The Roblox Corporation, which develops, publishes, and operates the game, has an estimated $29.5 billion valuation as a result of this large playerbase.

Throughout 2017, Roblox engaged in a number of updates to its server technology, as the technology they were operating on until that point was out of date and led to frequent outages. In November 2018, the ability for a player to play as a “guest”, without an account, which had been progressively restricted over the previous two years, was removed entirely. In February 2019, the Roblox Corporation entered into a joint venture with Songhua River Investment Limited, an affiliate of Tencent, in order to create a localised version of the platform. Roblox was granted permission to release in China on the 3rd of December, 2020. In July 2020, the company announced the creation of “Party Place”, which functions as an online hangout. The feature was created using new technology that had been used during the 2020 Bloxy Awards, and was designed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In November 2020, the Roblox Corporation announced its intentions to become a public company with appropriate filings with the US SEC. Following a $520 million investment round in January 2021, Roblox announced it would be issuing a direct public offering in the near future. In late January 2021, it was announced that Roblox had delayed its plans to become public to February due to the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s insistence that the company alter its ways of tracking revenue from the purchasing of Robux.

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