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One of the most popular interactive software platforms available today is ROBLOX, which garnered more than 13.4 billion pageviews in the first six months of 2013. The focus on user-generated content via voxels allows anyone from any age to build their own game using the easy-to-use game creation toolset. The pick-up-and-play appeal of the software has given ROBLOX high affinity to young kids, teenagers and parents alike. We had an opportunity to throw some questions the co-creator and CEO of ROBLOX, David Baszucki.
There's a few key topics of discussion surrounding the current status and future of the program, including whether or not there are plans to make the shift from PC and mobile to home consoles, as well as parent-engagement levels with using ROBLOX with their kids, and finally what users and fans of the software can look forward to throughout 2015. Check out the brief interview below.
Gaming Blend: Now that ROBLOX has conquered the PC and mobile platforms, are there any plans to extend the game to a family-friendly console like the Wii U or the new gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft?
David Baszucki: We believe ROBLOX, as well as many other social games, can be experienced across platforms with great native controls. We’ve already brought ROBLOX players together across desktop, tablet, and phones, and see consoles as another opportunity – not only for us to satisfy existing demand among our community, but to be able to reach new players. We’re absolutely looking to expand ROBLOX to console platforms; which one(s) remains to be determined.
ROBLOX is spearheading the next generation of gaming – one in which players become developers and user-generated content is at the core. It’s exciting to envision this budding trend reaching consoles, but it does present challenges. First, user-generated content is still a new concept within the console space. Second, console platforms are more restrictive about game updates (currently, the ROBLOX platform updates roughly once a week on desktop and mobile). We’re working with console vendors to solve these challenges and devise a unique approach to a great user-generated content experience.
Gaming Blend: There have been many reports about how young audiences really love ROBLOX, but have parents talked about how they feel about the software and the community engagement aspects?
David: We hear from parents all the time about how much their kids learn from playing and creating on ROBLOX. Some of the most gratifying feedback we received this year at our many events (Maker Faires, STEM festivals, and the like) wasn’t from players, but from their parents! One frequent comment we hear is something like, “I didn’t think my son (or daughter) was interested in coding, but now he’s on ROBLOX all the time making games.” Once parents see that ROBLOX isn’t simply a video game, but a platform for creativity, building, coding, collaboration, and more, they become some of our biggest advocates.
Gaming Blend: Being that ROBLOX is oriented around user-generated content, what's some of the common feedback that users have given the company in terms of what they would like to see added to the software?
David: The two biggest things we hear is that our community wants an easier way to play games with friends, and for ROBLOX to be available on consoles. We are addressing both of these by working on better social functionality and private game servers, and thinking about how ROBLOX can harness other platforms in the gaming landscape.
We also often hear from content creators that more built-in support for collaboration in our game development environment, ROBLOX Studio, would facilitate bigger, better results. We’re going to be diving into this in 2015.
Gaming Blend: ROBLOX has become quite large and seems to have a rapidly expanding community. What sort of new community-oriented features can users look forward to in 2015?
David: As mentioned previously, one of the things we’re improving early in 2015 is the social ROBLOX experience. We’re revamping many of the most popular pages on roblox.com to make it easier for players to connect, and overhauling the systems that allow players to establish meaningful friendships, communicate well, and get into games together. On top of that, we’re working on a private server feature, which will allow players to establish their own game instances and play them with friends. The latter feature is very important to gamers who want to do everything from host social events to play post-apocalyptic survival games in the most realistic setting possible.
As always, we will be working in parallel to make ROBLOX Studio more feature-rich and easy to use for game developers, and improving the core technology that makes ROBLOX look great and gets players into the action quickly.
Our thanks to David Baszucki for answering the questions. You can learn more about ROBLOX by visiting the official website.