If Roblox's daily users were a country, it would be bigger than Canada

If Roblox’s daily users were a country, it would be bigger than Canada

If Roblox’s daily users were a country, it would be bigger than Canada


If you’re over a certain age, Roblox probably won’t be of much interest. The audience for the game’s big platform is overwhelmingly young: more than two-thirds of children aged nine to 12 play the game in the US, and about 1.5 million in the UK. Developer Roblox Corporation has just released its report for fiscal year 2021 (i.e. October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021), along with estimated metrics for January 2022, and if anything, the giant will only gain momentum.

Unlike many other games that like to cite monthly or yearly stats, Roblox shares its Daily Active Users (DAU) — the number of accounts logging into Roblox every day — with great optimism. For fiscal 2021, the number was 45.5 million users, which Roblox Corporation said was a 40% year-over-year increase.

Those 45.5 million players spent 41.4 billion hours on the platform (up 35% year over year), with an “average bookings per DAU” of $59.85. That brought in $1.9 billion in revenue, Roblox said. Net cash from operating activities was $659.1 million — a measure of a company’s cash position from one period to the next, so they’re rolling. Roblox Corporation reported free cash flow of $558 million, also known as bank deposits, a big pile of cheddar, a big pile of cheese and investor bait.

However, the most jaw-dropping numbers in the entire document come from January 2022 estimates. These were made ahead of the earnings call (no doubt there was a very pleasant atmosphere after these stats: stock prices rose after the report).

What is Roblox?

Roblox’s game catalog is all created by its users. The platform has its own development kit called Roblox Studio Software, which includes a wealth of game creation tools. Each one built on the platform is completely different and separate from the others, and creators can make basically anything they like, including role-playing games, shooters, racing games, and more.

Roblox Corporation said its DAUs are now at a staggering 54.7 million, up nearly a third from January 2021. These players spent 4.2 billion hours on the platform, up 26% year-over-year, and revenue was between $203 million and $206 million, up 64%-66% year-over-year. For Roblox, the only negative impact was a drop in average spend per user (down 22%-23% year over year), but the scale of this operation is unimaginable.

If Roblox’s 54.7 million daily players were a country, it would be bigger than Spain, Australia, Colombia, and Canada.From a gaming standpoint, Minecraft has 140 million monthly users, while Fortnite’s 10-15 million Whenever the game hosts one of the big live events. This is an apples and oranges comparison since it’s concurrent players rather than DAUs, but Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the most popular game on Steam: its current 24-hour peak is 866,853, and its historical record is 1,308,963 concurrent players. Even if you multiply its history by the 24 hours of the day, it still won’t come close to Roblox.

Other comparisons are Steam’s estimated 120 million monthly users, and Riot’s October 2021 big stat that the League of Legends game has 180 million monthly users.

OK, stop: it’s time for a suit.

“With nearly 55 million daily active users, Roblox is increasingly an integral part of people’s lives,” said Roblox CEO David Baszucki. “Looking forward to 2022, we will continue to develop our technology to enable deeper forms of communication, immersion and expression on our platform.”

“The foundation we’ve laid allows us to continue to generate strong cash flow while investing in our business, which is one of the most unique aspects of our business,” said Michael Guthrie, Chief Financial Officer of Roblox. “Our 2021 results demonstrate that we can Investments in our technology and developer community are yielding impressive returns, and we will remain focused on the business as we focus on the great long-term growth opportunities that lie ahead of us.”

(Image credit: Roblox Studio)

Roblox has a huge player base, and numbers like these blow our minds that the problem it faces is that the player base is so young. In December 2021, YouTube channel People Make Games shared new allegations that the game and game creation platform are not safe for kids — and for anyone unfamiliar with the Roblox scene, it’s an eye-opener: literally Kids on the go are sometimes cheated out of large sums of money and jobs, and Roblox seems unwilling or unable to address the situation.

This was followed by additional reports of “projectors,” as they were known in the Roblox community, who hacked into Roblox accounts, stripped them of their valuables, and sold them on the black market.

Fraudsters are one thing, but other allegations are more serious: The BBC report, released earlier this week, said the platform had a sex game problem called “apartment”. Roblox published a new blog post titled “Supporting and Protecting the Roblox Developer and User Community” ahead of the report, outlining what it intends to do.

“We know of a very small number of users who deliberately try to break the rules,” a Roblox spokesperson told the BBC, adding, “We conduct a security review of every image, video and audio file uploaded to Roblox, using a combination of human and machine detection. Roblox is at least as aggressively chasing bad guys as it can: recently sued a long-standing issue and banned him from Roblox by court order.

(Image credit: Roblox Corporation)

However, the most controversial element of these financial figures has to be that Roblox is a creation platform whose audience is almost exclusively children, and that it derives most of its profits from these creations. Creators on the platform can expect to receive 25% of their work, plus additional financial rewards for high engagement. On the surface, this seems a bit exploitative.

CEO David Baszucki’s ultimate vision is to turn Roblox into a “metaverse.” In a presentation to investors earlier this year, Baszuck said he wanted to turn the game space into a virtual world that would allow users to build whatever they wanted, which could be seen through a virtual reality headset. The example given is learning about Rome by “going to” ancient Rome.

The future certainly looks bright for Roblox Corporation, Metaverse or not. Whether it’s so sunny for a creator in a system that requires such huge cuts…I’m not so sure.

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Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.