Roblox has built up a community of 20 million monthly users and 300,000 creators across PC, Xbox One, and mobile devices. Now the company has launched Roblox VR on Oculus Rift, which is the beginning of a cross-platform virtual reality push.
“The vision is to create the ultimate place you can imagine and then gather there with your friends,” David Baszucki, CEO of Roblox, said. “Roblox is all about these 3D places and our variety is much greater than Minecraft.”
All of these experiences are stored in the cloud, so Roblox can have 6,000 to 10,000 people playing at one time across all devices, including PC, Xbox One, tablet, and smartphone.
“We’re trying to create the future of entertainment through social immersive experiences where everyone can play with their friends,” Baszucki said. “Over 20 million people every month come and visit, play, and hang out with friends in Roblox. We have over 300,000 players concurrently during peak times.”
The key to Roblox, which is a platform, not a game, is user-generated “experiences.” There are more than six million 3D experiences created by people annually. Over 10 million of these experiences are playable on Oculus Rift now.
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“All of these 3D immersive experiences are stored in the cloud and are accessible in VR,” Baszucki said.
Roblox has enhanced the platform with new character and camera controls for virtual reality. The company has added the option to play from a first- or third-person perspective, and reduced accelerations with respect to jump speeds and falling. These developments give users the ability to step back from their avatar, adding a level of separation for sensitive users.
Baszucki said the plan is to bring Roblox VR to additional platforms over the coming years.
“We’re launching on Oculus VR, but looking at HTC Vive and PlayStation VR,” Baszucki said. “We’ll have Gear VR and Cardboard announcements after the Oculus launch. Roblox already works well on a phone, when we do ship on Gear and Cardboard gamers on those platforms will be able to join and play along as well.”
Roblox has an active group of 11,000 developers making money within Roblox’ virtual economy. The company has expanded its monetization model, allowing developers to earn revenue on Oculus Rift.
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The company’s “publish once, play anywhere” vision allows VR players on Roblox to engage with millions of gamers, playing on virtually any device, from mobile phones and tablets to computers and consoles around the world. With virtual reality, Roblox is giving users an even more powerful avenue to experience user-generated content.
“When Oculus adds hand controllers that will make tools, swords, and guns work better in virtual reality, Baszucki said. “You’ll be able to reach out and use your virtual sword. It will make things even more interactive.”
Baszucki said Roblox is currently the biggest virtual reality social experience anyone can get into.
“Not all 20 million players are going to jump on Oculus, but many of our developers will immediately jump into virtual reality,” Baszucki said. “Eventually, they’ll be able to build experiences playable on Gear VR and Cardboard and test and design them using Oculus. We think the numbers will follow the VR market and there will be a lot of further interest once we’re on mobile VR.”
Baszucki said there will be some VR-exclusive experiences, but even normal avatar-based 3D experiences will look better in virtual reality.
“Roblox is pretty flexible,” Baszucki said. “Certain developers do tune for mobile, tablet, or PC. We think we’ll see some of that in VR, but the majority will be working cross-device.”
This Oculus launch follows the successful release of Robox on Xbox One, which has already been downloaded more than one million times and has remained the top downloaded title on Xbox Live since it launched on January 27.