Roblox's numbers continue to boom

(Image credit: Roblox)

Correction: The original version of this article multiplied Roblox's daily active user figure to extrapolate a monthly user figure of 1.7 billion. This was bad math because, obviously, individual players return to the game many times a month. It also got the paying user life estimate figures muddled, but they are now correct.

Original article follows.

Every so often, Roblox releases some numbers and you remember just how massive it is. We all know the platform is huge among a younger demographic but the last time I wrote about the numbers in February this year, they were so big the only comparison that made sense was Canada. No wonder the CEO looks set to pocket $234 million over the next five years.

As a public company Roblox regularly issues metrics, and has just done so for September. We're gonna need a bigger comparison country because the daily active user count for the game has now hit 57.8 million, which marks an incredible 23% rise year-over-year. Other games tend to cite monthly numbers, which is not going to be a straight comparison, but we can look at Minecraft (140 million monthly users), Fortnite (where numbers peak at 10-15 million whenever the game hosts one of its big live events), and the whole League of Legends franchise (180 million monthly users, as of October 2021).

Here's an official Roblox Corporation figure though: "Hours engaged were 4.0 billion, up 16% year-over-year." Four billion man hours a month in this place. 

The report goes into some detail on the financials, with the estimated revenue for this month being between $212-219 million. This is more-or-less equivalent to last year's figures, so while the numbers are going up the average spend is slightly decreasing (this month, anyway). Roblox Corporation puts some of this down to the strengthening of the US dollar against the euro, British pound and other currencies.

One final interesting metric is what Robox Corporation calls a "paying user life estimate", which is an average of how long an account will be active within Roblox and spending money. The figure is "calculated based on historical monthly retention data for each payer cohort to project future participation on the Roblox Platform." Based on this the company had previously put the figure at 25 months; it's now gone up to 25 months.

Is Roblox the biggest game in the world? If you think it's a game then I'd say it is. Probably the most interesting element of Roblox is how it may fit into the much-vaunted metaverse future because, while others may look (a lot) fancier and seem more obvious contenders, this has the sheer numbers to succeed. Even if, sometimes, they don't turn up. Roblox still has issues (it feels like every couple of months there's a new report about scammers targeting kids, and sometimes worse), but it has a userbase that simply towers above its competition and, while Zuckerberg messes about with legs, is quietly taking over its own corner of the digital world.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."