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Roblox the disruptor

Embracing the idea of the ‘metaverse’, the newly listed gaming platform poses a threat to both video games developers and social media companies
Roblox the disruptor
  • Roblox is shaking up the traditional model of video games distribution
  • The gaming platform remains lossmaking at present

While Roblox (US:RBLX) may have flown under investors’ radars until its recent market debut, anyone with children under the age of 16 is probably well aware of the wildly popular gaming platform. For the uninitiated, Roblox is not a video game; it is a platform that allows people to create and publish their own video games using its suite of tools. In effect, the company outsources game development to its users, and by the end of last year there were more than 20m games available to play.

Following in the footsteps of workplace messaging platform Slack (US:WORK) and data analytics company Palantir (US:PLTR), Roblox opted to go public via a direct listing in the US rather than an initial public offering (IPO), allowing insiders and early investors to immediately cash in some of their shares. Roblox’s shares closed at $69.50 on their opening day, more than 50 per cent higher than the $45 ‘reference price’ set by New York Stock Exchange.

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