Gaming company Roblox has been quietly building a massive user base. That growth will propel the game to cross the 100 million monthly active user mark this month.
For those unfamiliar with Roblox, it may help to ask someone under the age of 13. The free-to-play game, which was released in 2006, operates both as a platform for creating games or "experiences" and for playing ones that others have created. These player-made games can include a wide range of scenarios, from operating a pizza place to escaping a tornado. Roblox is available on smartphones, tablets, desktops, Xbox One, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive.
The title makes money through microtransactions, or small in-game purchases, through the use of Robux, Roblox's currency, which was launched in 2008. This in-game financial system is a similar business model to Fortnite and its V-Bucks system, which lets users can buy cosmetic items. Both V-Bucks and Robux let players add elements to the game, but the currencies aren't required for playing. This pay-to-personalize (but not to play) model has proven successful for younger audiences looking to enjoy a richly developed game, with few adoption roadblocks.
In fact, Roblox seems to be the top way for children under 13 to spend time. A comScore study found it ranked above YouTube and Netflix for overall time spent in 2017.
As with many multiplayer games and online communities, Roblox is increasingly a place where young people can connect with one another. This is done through the game's chat system.
"We have an audacious vision to usher in this new category we call human co-experience," said Baszucki, "a place where people come together to have shared experiences."
And with a growing user base, the game appears poised to continue its success.
"As people connect and play together in a digital realm, we believe it represents something bigger," he said. "It unlocks a ground swell of creativity and learning, and helps bridge our differences."
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