Posted by Rose Fin, Monday, 7th October 2019 @ 3:19pm
It was perhaps only a matter of time before a free-to-play game had more active players than the $27 Minecraft, but people would be forgiven for expecting battle royale phenomenon Fortnite to be the first to take the lead. That’s not what happened, however, and Roblox now reigns supreme the online gaming world.
Roblox, a free-to-play game popular among the under-18 crowd, now boasts 100 million active users and all are crazy for getting free Robux according to a release sent out by the game’s creators. This is more than the 91 million players that Minecraft attracts per month, as reported by Microsoft back in March.
The latest Fortnite numbers show just 78.3 million monthly players. Granted, those numbers were from August of 2018, but if Fortnite has gotten bigger since then, Epic Games hasn't let anybody know.
Part of Roblox's popularity undoubtedly comes from being featured by internet personalities such as PewDiePie, but that alone can't account for such huge rise in popularity.
So what exactly is Roblox? It’s a bit more difficult to pin down than its competition since the game is really a collection of games made by its community using its creation tools. The result is literally thousands of creations that all have different gameplay styles, though they all feature the same simplistic low-poly graphics that are iconic to the series.
Some of the games model themselves after popular genres, such as the aptly-named "Tower Defense Simulator" or the zombie survival shooter "Those Who Remain."
Others are more experimental in their design. The game "Broken Bones IV" has players trying to injure themselves as badly as possible by jumping from high places, and the extremely-popular "Royale High" lets players attend classes that challenge them to various mini-games, and gives them the opportunity to attend a dance where they can compete to be crowned "Supreme Royalty" through votes by other players.
Like many free games, Roblox earns money by getting players to pay for its in-game currency, Robux. Members of the community who get players to spend Robux in a game they created can earn a share of this money, which goes a long way towards explaining the sheer number of games available. None of the games have anywhere near the amount of polish you'd find in a AAA release, but the content that's there has proven to be enough to amass such a huge following.
Some may be disappointed to see Minecraft, a longstanding giant of the gaming world, lose out to a competitor that rarely gets any mainstream coverage. The gaming world is always changing, however, and there will undoubtedly be another that overtakes Roblox in popularity.
Roblox Reinstates PewDiePie's Account After 'Accidental' Ban
Well, well, well, Roblox. You thought you could ban the mighty PewDiePie? Well, clearly you could because you did, but not for long. It just goes to show, you can’t keep a good internet personality down.
As we all know, Let’s Play has become a huge force in the gaming world. Some like to watch them get a good feel for the title in question, some are more interested in how others approach a game they’ve already played. Still others just like the YouTuber/streamer themselves, and would happily watch them play Yard Work Simulator 2019 or something.
How we arrived at this point as a society is tough to say, but the fact is that watching games are just as much a pastime as actively playing them. In some cases (such as with the mighty Apex Legends), there are more gamers watching than playing. That’s just the way of things, though.
Inevitably, then, there are going to be some streamers and YouTubers who become super popular. Perhaps the best known is PewDiePie, Sweden’s Felix Kjellberg. He’s a controversial character that some love and others love to hate, but nobody can deny one thing: he’s tapped into the whole Let’s Play culture and made himself a heck of a lot of money in the process.
All this fame and fortune comes at a cost, though. As Kanye West repeatedly tells anyone who’ll listen, the haters are everywhere. You become popular, yes, but you also become a little slice of pop culture. Before you know it, you’re a meme. And this is exactly the problem that led to the banning of PewDiePie’s Roblox account.
With Roblox’s online-play-centric approach, it was inevitable that some bad apples were going to surface. Toxic players, offensive language, trolls, spammers… these things aren’t new to anybody who’s spent more than a nanosecond on the internet. They’re issues that developers everywhere have to try to manage, though, as the Roblox team explained:
“Roblox is committed to providing a safe and civil platform for our players, including blocking memes that represent or are synonymous for behavior that falls outside of our community standards.”
Where did good ol’ Pewds come in, then? Well, he didn’t, exactly. Not directly.
“In December, “pewdie” became one of these negative memes on Roblox. As such, we began blocking the creation of new usernames that incorporated the term “pewdie.” The legacy account that PewDiePie used in his Livestream was incorrectly banned as part of the administration of this policy. His legacy account is being reinstated.”
There we go, then. PewDiePie is being welcomed back into the Roblox fold. It wasn’t his fault, but rather those who were using his mighty internet name in vain. A lesson learned, then. "Fame is a fickle friend," as that guy from Harry Potter with the nice teeth once said.