Video Games

How Roblox, a video game platform for kids, became a $30 billion company

How Roblox became a massively popular gaming platform worth $30 billion

More than half of the children in the United States play video games on Roblox.

In fact, the massively popular gaming platform has grown so much during the coronavirus pandemic, the company's valuation has skyrocketed from $4 billion in early 2020 to $30 billion in early 2021.

What makes Roblox so popular? It's a social gaming platform where users can play a library of games and hang out and chat with their friends. There are games for all ages and tastes — games where you raise a virtual pet, operate a pizzeria with friends or run amok in an open-world take on cops-and-robbers.

Roblox also relies on its own users to develop games for its platform — not giant, publicly traded studios such as Electronic Arts or Activision Blizzard. Its game creation engine, Roblox Studio, allows users to make games and receive a cut of the profits.

"If you think about how to make a game 10 years ago, you had to have a deep knowledge of programming languages," says Andrew Uerkwitz, senior emerging tech analyst at Oppenheimer and Company. "Now, with Unity or Roblox or several other game engines that are out there, it is actually very easy."

Here's a look at Roblox's business model, why investors are excited about the platform, and the company's plans to go public in 2021.