Here are the successful companies that grow fast and collect tons of press. Then there is Roblox, an organization that took at least a decade to achieve its success and has barely gained any recognition or attention compared to its current level of success. Why has the story of Roblox become so largely unaltered? One reason is that it originated from a whole generation of gaming portals and platforms.
Some, like King.com, have been lucky or have pioneered their business. Others also failed. Once companies like Facebook, Apple and Google got into the gaming scene, it seemed like a bad idea to try to build their own platform – and so on. Associated with this, founder and CEO Dave Baszucki seem uninterested in the media. Overall, however, the problem is that Roblox has seemed like a trivial story for many, many years. Sure, the company had millions of users. So did a few popular games.
In its early days, Roblox even looked like Minecraft, a game that released long after Roblox went live, but it grew much faster. Yet here we are. Roblox now claims that half of all American children aged 9-12 are on its platform. It jumps to 90 million monthly unique users and is ready to go international, potentially multiplying this number. In addition, it is unique. All the other distribution services that provide games through a portal have finally fizzled out with the exception of some distant cousins like Steam.
This is the story of how Roblox not only survived, but also created a rich platform. Before Roblox, there was an organization called Knowledge Revolution that created teaching software. Although designed to allow students to mimic physics experiments, perhaps presumably, they treated it like a game. “The fun seemed to come from making your own experiments,” Baszucki said. “When people were playing it and we went to schools and labs they were all crashing cars and buildings were collapsing, making really fun things.”
Provided with a sandbox, the kids did not just experiment dry about mass or speed – they created games or experiences that they could show off to friends for laughter. The Knowledge Revolution founded in 1989 by Dave Baszucki and his brother Greg (who did later co-find Roblox, but now have it onboard). Nearly a decade later, it acquired MSC Software for $20 million, making professional simulation tools. Dave continued there for another four years before becoming an angel investor.