Roblox, stylized as RŌBLOX, is a massively multiplayer online game created and marketed toward children and teenagers aged 8–18. In the game, players are able to create their own virtual world, in which they or other members may enter and socialize within the blocks of varying shapes, sizes, and colors. Games on Roblox can be scripted using a sandboxed edition of Lua 5.1 to affect events that occur in-game and create different scenarios. The company’s main source of revenue comes from players buying Robux, the main virtual currency in the game, and from players buying “Builders Club” access, a status which gives virtual benefits to users. Players who have created an account may purchase either Builders Club, Turbo Builders Club, or Outrageous Builders Club, otherwise known by users as BC, TBC, and OBC, respectively
Roblox was created by founder and co-founder David Baszucki and Erik Cassel in 2004 and officially launched into its beta version, titled “Dynablocks” in 2004. Soon, “Dynablocks” was renamed to ROBLOX in 2005 and the website was officially launched in 2006. It was named after a portmanteau of the words robots and blocks. Roblox is still in the beta stages today.
Development and beta (2004–2006)
David Baszucki and Erik Cassel founded Roblox, then known as Dynablocks, in 2004. After a year of development, Dynablocks was renamed ROBLOX and was launched into beta in 2005. In 2005, people could gain the currency at that time, Roblox Points, by completing single-player mini games developed by Roblox admins. As the game was released publicly in 2006, people came to the game slowly, but eventually the game started growing exponentially to its noticeably large 6 million account base.
Early history (2006–2009)
In early 2006, Roblox had one currency, known as Roblox Points, first used like the Player Points, then as an upgrade to your avatar, which was subsequently discontinued and replaced with “Robux”. In mid-2007, Roblox added more customization to user characters to allow items such as caps to be worn. Roblox badges were first introduced on 22 December 2006. Meshes were added, and so were the abilities of sending friend requests to other players, and sending messages. Other things accomplished in 2006 were searching through players, places, and items, multiplayer places, stats, and inventories.
In 2007, character customization became possible. In late January, the abuse report queue was introduced, with the ability for any user to report content as inappropriate through the “Report Abuse” buttons disseminated throughout the site. In March 2007, Roblox became compliant with COPPA, with the addition of safe chat, a change which made users who indicated to be under the age of 13 at registration only able to communicate by selecting predefined messages from a menu. In August 2007, Roblox added Builders Club, a premium membership, and applied server improvements.
Exclusive features and game features (2010–2012)
In 2010, Roblox began creating body shapes which Builders Club members could purchase using virtual currency. These body shapes were available in the catalog as packages, which included many items that were all obtained when the package was bought. These packages varied in size and price and occasionally went on sale.
In the year 2011, more than 5.4 million games were created by users.
At the Roblox Game Conference, Roblox released a system that allowed members with a premium membership to trade collectible items with other users who have Builders Club. Over time, other features have been added to the system such as increasing the value of a trade, adding Robux to a trade, and owning and trading multiple copies of the same collectible item.
On 13 January 2012, Roblox announced on the blog that their first Hack Week had been held. The post announcing it described it as a week where developers worked on projects they chose that they then had to present to the company and that, if considered interesting, could be put further work on. Projects worked on by developers were later described by blog posts during the rest of the year. They included the implementation of the possibility for user interface elements to rotate, which was later added to the game engine, the exploration of a system for crafting items, the suggestion of a system that would allow game developers to connect many games together, which was also later added to the engine and the creation of a mobile website to replace the normal website for tablets and cell phones.
On April 1, 2012, Roblox suffered site issues that caused players to get incorrect amounts of Robux. Some assets were uploaded without being reviewed by the moderators. The catalog and the trading systems went offline. The site returned to normal after a day or two.
On 5 June 2012, Roblox announced that a new water material was released to add to the existing collection of “high scalability” terrain cell materials.
On 11 December 2012, Roblox released the ability to play games on iOS. The current iOS devices compatible with running Roblox games are the iPad 2 and newer devices including mini, iPhone 4 or newer, and the iPod touch 5th generation. The mobile Roblox application gives users the ability to customize their character, shop in the virtual catalog, play games, view their profile, and respond to messages. Previous to the release of the mobile Roblox application, the company created 20 virtual Roblox tablets. Players who purchased one received a brand new iPad 3.