But after the pandemic hit, Ms. Shoemaker noticed a surge of curiosity in her two Roblox video games, Mermaid Life, a fashion-focused role-playing sport, and My Droplets, a pet simulation sport. Players have paid for further content material in these video games, and for the hats she made for customers’ avatars that she sells throughout the positioning.
Ms. Shoemaker mentioned she has now made about $500,000 by way of Roblox, most of that since March. Before the pandemic, she might afford to pay only one or two individuals to assist her. Now her sport studio, Fullflower Studio, employs 14 contractors and she or he is plotting new video games.
“It feels incredible,” Ms. Shoemaker mentioned. “People used to tell my mom, ‘Stop letting her play this video game; it’s not going to get her anywhere.’ And it’s getting me somewhere.”
Roblox mentioned it has greater than 2 million builders, 345,000 of whom earn cash and who break up their earnings 50-50 with the corporate. Dozens of the highest builders make hundreds of thousands of dollars, the corporate mentioned, and high video games up to now have generated a mean of $2 million to $three million a 12 months.
Revenue from Roblox’s cell app, which most gamers use, totaled $493 million within the first half of the 12 months, up from $228 million in the identical interval a 12 months in the past, based on SensorTower, an analytics agency. Roblox declined to reveal its financials, besides to say it was cash-flow optimistic.
Roblox, which relies in San Mateo, Calif., was based in 2006 by Erik Cassel and David Baszucki, who had been engineers and entrepreneurs. Mr. Baszucki is the chief government; Mr. Cassel died of most cancers in 2013. The start-up has raised $335 million from buyers together with Meritech Capital Partners and the Chinese web big Tencent. In February, when it raised contemporary financing from buyers together with Andreessen Horowitz, it was valued at $four billion.