The Kardashian-Roblox scandal continues to be messy and dumb

Kim Kardashian
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur (Getty Images))

A source close the Kardashian family has told the BBC that the family denies allegations that it faked the discovery of a Roblox game advertising a new Kim Kardashian sex tape for the first episode of its new reality series, The Kardashians.

The incident, reported earlier this week, began when Kim Kardashian's young son Saint West showed her a game he was playing on a tablet. She looks at it, shows it to her sister, and then says in a cutaway segment, "There was a picture of my cry face, and then I looked at it and it said something super-inappropriate, like, 'Kim's new sex tape.'" The clip goes on to show her explaining in a phone call, with her "cry face" on again, that it was a game someone made on the Roblox platform to promote the sex tape.

Roblox Corporation confirmed that it banned the developer in question and clarified that no explicit content had actually appeared on the platform. "The text reference to the tape that got around our filters was quickly taken down and fortunately visible only to an extremely small number of people on the platform," it said at the time. "We also swiftly took down the associated experience and banned the community developer involved with the experience."

Despite the moving affect of Kim's "cry face," some viewers questioned whether the incident, which took place in September 2021 but didn't come to light until the new series premiered on April 14, actually happened as it was portrayed on the show.

For one thing, the sheer numbers make it unlikely. Roblox Corporation said in its most recent shareholder letter that Roblox's daily active user (DAU) count—daily—has climbed to 54.7 million, and there are currently 11.1 million "experiences"—the Roblox term for games—available on the platform. What are the odds that Saint West would be among the "extremely small number of people" to stumble upon the one game promoting Kim Kardashian's sex tape, while filming for the new show is underway?

Beyond the raw numbers, the incident doesn't seem to line up with how Roblox actually works. This in-depth post on the KUWTK [Keeping Up With the Kardashians] subreddit claims that Roblox's automated vetting process is actually quite effective, and that it's extremely unlikely that the word "sextape," or variant spellings, would have been able to bypass it. Age restrictions, assuming they were implemented, would also have prevented Saint West from accessing restricted content.

But the real issue, according to redditor soundsonz, is that it doesn't appear that they were in a game at all. "They were on [the] thumbnail of the game that displays the title and description," they wrote. "So how could 's*xtape' bypass the Roblox filter. I've even tested if I could upload a game with that word or many respellings of the word and it literally prevents the game from being uploaded until I change the title completely."

That, soundsonz wrote, leaves three possibilities: That someone created and then played the game on Saint's account so he could see it and click on it; that someone searched through hundreds of thousands of little-known Roblox games in order to surface it; or that it was just a game that happened to use Kim's "cry face" that wasn't actually related to a sex tape at all, but was played up as such.

Roblox developer Zomebody concurred with that assessment, telling the BBC that "the chances of 'accidentally' stumbling upon a game like that are astronomically small."

"There are two potential ways for Saint to have found such a game," they said. "Either he or the family actively searched for (or even created) such a game or someone else in their group of peers created it and then shared it directly with the boy."

A search of the KUWTK subreddit reveals plenty of other threads sharing similar takes on the situation, questioning both the timing and the mechanics of Saint's discovery of the game. Still, while neither the Kardashians nor Fulwell 73, the production company behind their new reality show, have commented on the claims, "a source close to the family" denied that the scene is fake.

Kardashian wrote in an Instagram story that she was "so grateful for you all for tuning in" to the new show, according to the BBC. She also referenced the sex tape again in an April 20 tweet promoting the second episode of the series, posting a clip in which she says that "people are saying that maybe there's a little bit more from 20 years ago." 

Kim Kardashian's sex tape was originally recorded in 2002, and leaked in 2007; Kardashian eventually settled with adult film company Vivid Entertainment to allow the distribution of the video.

A Roblox representative declined to comment further.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.