2023 Year in Review — A Letter From Our CEO


This was a big year for Roblox. We made great progress toward our vision of reimagining the way people come together by building innovative technologies that enable richer forms of communication, creation, and immersion. During Q3* of this year, we saw 70.2 million daily active users on Roblox, which was up 20 percent from the same period last year, and users spent 16 billion hours coming together to connect, explore, learn, play, and create on our platform. As Roblox has grown, our responsibility to our community is as strong as ever, and I’m proud that we’re keeping safety at the forefront of everything we do.

Throughout 2023, we shipped a broad range of innovations that helped us make significant progress towards our core goals:

  • Enabling 3D immersive communication.
  • Making Roblox welcoming for everyone, everywhere.
  • Growing our vibrant economy so creators of all sizes can launch and scale a business.
  • Empowering people to connect, create, and thrive in safe and civil experiences. 

 

Take a look at some key highlights above, and read on for more detail on the great work we did together:

The Growth of Our Platform

Immersive Communication

Over the last year, we’ve added a range of new tools that make connection and communication on Roblox even more like real life. We’ve made it simple for people to bring their friends and family onto Roblox by importing their contact list from their phone or sharing a QR code with a friend. We also launched Chat with Voice, and we’ve been working to ensure that all avatar heads can utilize facial animation. These advances enable new, richer ways for people to express themselves just like they would in the real world. This year, we also began allowing people to customize friends’ names, including using their real names (Q4 23) if they’re over 17.

In 2023, improvements we made to our advanced real-time communication tools created new opportunities for our developers. For example, we introduced a technology that developers can incorporate into their experiences to allow people to call one another as their avatars for impromptu conversations and gatherings (Q4 23). This technology uses face tracking, so people can actually see each other’s facial expressions and body language while they’re communicating, which really helps them feel closer. In fact, we released our own experience based on this technology, called Roblox Connect, and I’ve been using it to talk with my family on Roblox, which has just been amazing.

Roblox Connect demo

Roblox Connect

For this technology, it’s still early. Our job is to provide infrastructure and tools for the community and to see what our developers build. And I’m always astonished by their creativity as more and more becomes possible on the platform.  

Expressing Yourself With Avatars You Love

We believe that when someone can express their authentic self with their avatar, they’ll have a better time on Roblox. So this year, we gave our community new ways to do that. This could mean building an avatar that looks like the person does in real life, or one that resembles a jetpack-wearing ninja, an emo princess, or almost anything else they can dream up. Here’s how:

  • We made it possible for creators to make and sell full avatar bodies and standalone heads (Q3 23). We plan to expand access to avatar creation and monetization and offer more and better ways for people to communicate and express themselves on Roblox. This is just the beginning of these efforts. 
  • We also want to provide everyone on Roblox with the best possible technology for creating avatars, and our new Avatar Setup tool makes that easier than ever. And we’re taking avatar personalization to the next level with the Studio beta of our mesh and image APIs that will eventually allow anyone to create a completely unique avatar in Roblox experiences. 

Next year, we’ll double down on developing generative AI tools that let people create avatars based on images and text prompts. We’re being thoughtful about moderating the avatars created with AI and the interactions people have with them, and ensuring it’s done with safety and civility in mind.

At the same time, we always want Roblox to be simple to use, so we’re making it easier than ever for creators to be sure their experiences work for everyone. 

  • We’re developing technology that allows people to create unique and personalized avatars and accessories (in addition to our classic avatars). But we want all modern avatars to be able to access experiences built for classic avatars without sacrificing features like layered clothing or facial expressions, so we built an adapter to ensure just that.
  • We want all of Roblox to mimic real-world physics, which means objects respond to things like gravity and aerodynamics. Our researchers are developing technology to make sure that even hair and fabric on avatar outfits reacts to movement, collisions, and wind. They’re also working on ways for avatars to eventually mimic the many complex ways humans move their bodies.

The Future of Creation

Everything you see on Roblox was imagined and built by our community, and we’re continuing to evolve our platform to empower more and more of that creativity: 

  • In Q1* of this year we began using generative AI as a way to enable more people to create on our platform. We’re already seeing creators being more productive and needing less technical skill to get their ideas off the ground. 
  • With Roblox Assistant, our new conversational AI (Q4 23), creators can use natural language text prompts to quickly prototype ideas. For example, someone could type “I want to create a game set in ancient ruins where the player spawns by a campfire,” and the system will automatically build it. This will let creators spend more time on high-value activities like narrative, game play, and experience design.
  • While these tools will make it easier than ever for existing creators to express their creativity and earn, we want to make it possible for anyone to create on Roblox. In the next year, we plan to bring some of the features of Roblox Studio (our 3D content creation software) to everyone on our platform. That means anyone could start to create things like houses, cars, or even avatars within existing experiences. 

 

The Growth of Our Community 

Creator Connections

Roblox wouldn’t be where it is without our talented, diverse, and global creator community. This year, we rolled out our new Creator Roadmap to reflect how we’re building our platform hand-in-hand with creators. The Roadmap is a place for us to give our creators an early look at the things we’re working on, collaborate, and get their feedback. 

In 2023, we connected with development studios from around the world both in person and virtually. And at Roblox Developers Conference (RDC) in September, thousands of people came together for informative and inspirational sessions, booth demos, and networking events. RDC continues to be a great place for developers, brands, and influencers to learn from each other and for us to connect with our talented and growing community.

David Baszucki on stage at RDC 2023

Roblox Developers Conference 2023

At Connect 2023, our conference by creators for creators, more than 12,000 creators gathered for a series of networking opportunities and competitions. And with the launch of Creator Events, we saw creators from all over the world come together to share knowledge and learn from one another by hosting dozens of online workshops.

Community Creations

This was a year of breakout hits on Roblox. In fact, 38 percent of the top 1,000 experiences on the platform were created within the last 12 months.*** A sampling of some of the exciting new experiences on Roblox includes: 

  • Social fashion experience Dress to Impress, which surpassed 40 million visits in just two months.
  • Obby But You’re On A Bike, a new (wheelie) spin on the well-loved obby (or obstacle course) formula.
  • Drinks On Tap, an experience with more mature content for ID-verified users 17 years and older, was visited nearly 5 million times since 17+ experiences launched****, and users in the experience were able to use strong language, the latest in our communication technologies.

At the same time, our Game Fund debuted ten experiences that leverage our latest innovations and push the boundaries of what’s possible on Roblox. Those releases included Skullbeat by Chop Chop Games & Kong Orange, Primal Hunt by Phaser Lock Interactive, and—from the Hello Neighbor universe—Secret Neighbor by Tinybuild.

I’m happy to say that this growth extends beyond just experience creation. During the first three quarters of 2023, community creators sold nearly 1.6 billion digital fashion items and accessories. As a result, users were constantly changing their look, with 165 billion avatar updates over that same timeframe.

Honoring the Community

In November of this year, we awarded 16 winners at the Roblox Innovation Awards. Great creators at LSPLASH won both the Builderman Award of Excellence and Best New Experience for Doors, and Gamer Robot Inc. won the People’s Choice award for Blox Fruits

We also saw incredible work from influencers in our Video Stars program like Tanqr who won Best Video Star, Temprist for creating the Best Video, and TeraBrite and RussoPlays for delivering yet another community smash hit season of RB Battles. This year we welcomed a diverse cast of more than 50 new video creators into the program, and we can’t wait to see what they continue to create.

I’m so proud that Roblox is home to one of the world’s most passionate and innovative creator communities, and so impressed by their monumental year of creativity and innovation.

The Growth of Our Business

We’ve long talked about the multiple elements driving the growth of Roblox—being a platform for everyone, being available everywhere, growing internationally, and building a vibrant economy that serves our entire community. By combining all of those elements, the growth of our platform gets very interesting very quickly. 

Roblox for Everyone

In Q3 2023, more than 57 percent of our users were 13 or older and the fastest growing age group on Roblox was 17-24 year olds. And we believe there is much more growth to come with this audience. 

This year, we introduced experiences for 17+ users (Q2 23), which means creators can incorporate the kinds of mature themes and storylines found on TV shows or stand-up comedy into what they build. This is exciting because brands on Roblox now have access to a valuable, often hard-to-reach demographic, and because many developers over 17, the group that creates the majority of our top 1,000 experiences, want to build for older users so they can express themselves more freely.

Roblox Everywhere

For years, people joined Roblox from a wide range of devices including mobile (iOS and Android), desktop, and gaming consoles. 

Making Roblox available everywhere and on every platform is a big focus for us so we can be where our users want to join us. This year, we expanded that range by bringing Roblox to Meta Quest (fully available in Q3 23) and PlayStation (Q4 23). Millions more people can now access our platform, which opens up even more opportunities for developers to create and instantly share their experiences. They can now easily publish and distribute existing experiences to these popular global platforms or create unique, new experiences for VR or console.

Roblox Around the World

Our users come from all corners of the globe, and this year, we launched four new languages to better support people on Roblox in 180 countries. We also made significant progress in markets like Japan, where we grew DAUs 66 percent year-over-year** in Q3 2023. And we’re learning from those efforts. When we develop Roblox in a new market, we’re systematic about making sure the users there will immediately have a great experience, so we zero in on search and discovery, natural language translation quality, and the performance of our infrastructure. As we think about joining new markets, we focus on:

  • Automatic AI-powered language translation.
  • Ensuring performance and stability on lower-end devices.
  • Content and our developer community in the new market.
  • Global payment optimizations.
  • Platform safety and civility.

This playbook has been successful in Japan and India, and it’s guiding our work in other countries. For example, Bookings in Germany grew 75 percent year-over-year** in Q3 2023. We’re also excited about the big opportunities we’re seeing in major markets like Brazil and India.

A Vibrant Economy

The Roblox economy is designed to model and reflect real-world dynamics. We built it to offer seamless participation for anyone, serve our community, and make it possible for any creator to start and grow a business. From the beginning of October 2022 through the end of September 2023, creators earned $701 million in developer exchange fees on Roblox. Some ways we enhanced our economy this year include:

  • Limiteds (Q2 23): We began letting creators in our UGC Program decide how scarce they want their items to be by choosing how many to produce. We’re also making it possible for them to profit from every resale of their items. In fact, a leading electronic music brand, Monstercat, recently teamed up with community creator @WhoseTrade on six single-edition necklaces. Each sold within minutes, including the Ruby Pendant, which sold for approximately $10,000. And Lamborghini teamed up with @Yourius to create a Golden Bullhead Limited, which sold its three copies immediately for 1.5 million Robux each. And I’m proud to say that most resold items are selling for more than what they cost originally.
  • Avatar Bodies and Heads (Q3 23): As mentioned above, UGC Program members can now create and sell full avatar bodies and standalone heads in Marketplace or within experiences. We are excited to offer this additional way for developers to create and earn, especially because we believe it will drive more self-expression across Roblox.
  • Subscriptions (Q4 23): Developers can now create subscriptions within their experiences and establish ongoing relationships with their users, while potentially making their earnings more predictable. This also means people will be able to count on a steady flow of fresh content that’s relevant to them.
Avatar Bodies and Heads

Avatar Bodies and Heads

Monetization and Advertising

For years, Roblox has been a powerful monetization engine, but with advertising and, in the future, real-world commerce, we’re unlocking substantial potential financial growth. Today, only about 20 percent of engagement hours on Roblox are generated by monthly unique payers. But the potential for advertising, due to our large and growing Gen Z audience, and eventually, real-world commerce, highlights new opportunities for creators, including brands, to expand the ways they can earn.

This comes as we’ve made it easier for brands and developers alike to earn from their experiences by displaying ads in them. And we’re reducing the barrier to entry for those that want to display ads with tools like:

  • Immersive Ads (Q1 23): Eligible developers can earn Robux by having ads placed in their experiences. Advertisers can purchase these native ads and reach their audiences at scale in an innovative and engaging way. 
  • Ads Manager (Q2 23): Helps advertisers create and manage their ads with a self-serve tool.
  • Testing new formats like video ads (Q4 23), which we believe will increase developer payouts and advertiser value.

More Brands and Industries

We have always aimed to make Roblox more valuable to more people and in 2023, we saw top brands and talent engaging and creating deep connections with our community. Brands like Adidas, NBA, and e.l.f. Cosmetics all created incredible experiences on the platform, artists like Nicki Minaj and Olivia Rodrigo (Q4 23) introduced immersive shopping experiences, and Karlie Kloss (Q1 23) and Paris Hilton (Q3 2024) launched their fashion-forward experiences with new avatars. Each of these used our powerful creation tools to build community spaces for connection and self-expression.

We also want to scale brand innovation and enable a self-serve, global advertising ecosystem on the platform, so we launched the Roblox Partner Program (Q2 23). The Program is focused on engaging a broad network of platform advocates—from Roblox developer studios to early adopters among agencies and third-party sellers—in global education and best practice sharing for brands. 

Collage of brand experiences on Roblox

Experiences and brands featured (from left to right): e.l.f. UP!, Lamborghini Lanzador Lab, PARTY!!! at Olivia’s Place, BLACKPINK THE PALACE, Adidas, Elf [North Pole Workshop], NBA Playgrounds: Basketball Hoops Arcade

This year, we’ve also seen expanded and engaging experiences in industries like fashion, music, auto, and travel, work/recruiting, and education.

  • Fashion was huge on Roblox in 2023, with the lines continuing to blur between style in the physical world and on our platform. For example, students at the Parsons School of Design created and sold couture pieces on Roblox (Q2 23) with physical versions of them later displayed at RDC (Q3 23). Gucci also launched their fourth experience on the platform, Gucci Ancora (Q3 23) which transported users virtually to Milan to explore and interact at the intersection of fashion and art.
  • Music fandom, including K-Pop, is quickly growing, especially with the arrival of iconic groups like Twice (Q1 23) and BlackPink (Q3 23) to the platform.
  • And education continues to be a focus for us. We took some big steps forward this year with the Roblox Community Fund, including launching the program’s first set of educational experiences (Q3 23). Among them is Robot Champions (Q4 23) from FIRST Robotics and Filament Games, which offers students an open-ended space to design, build, and control robots. 

In Closing

Behind all the work everyone at Roblox and in our community did this year is the infrastructure that allows us to scale rapidly and efficiently, empowering our developers to create with ease and our users to have the most reliable experience possible. 

We’re also continuing to invest in the technical prowess that will underpin our ongoing growth and success. In particular, we will continue to invest in AI. We have access to unique data and insights that will allow us to leverage AI to benefit our community and platform, including: 

  • To accelerate creation by anyone.
  • To make our moderation systems faster, more accurate, and more efficient.
  • And to research new ways that AI could make our lives easier and better.

This is both our short- and long-term future. Looking back at 2023, I’m so proud of all the work our entire team did to make Roblox such a powerful platform, and I couldn’t be more optimistic about what’s coming next.




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