Roblox CEO David Baszuki. Photo: Bloomberg. Art: Shane Burke

Roblox’s New Ads Could Keep Creators Coding

By  |  Sept. 12, 2022 3:09 PM PDT
Photo: Roblox CEO David Baszuki. Photo: Bloomberg. Art: Shane Burke

Roblox over the last few years has quietly become a significant source of creator earnings. More than 12 million of these game developers, many of them individuals, collectively generated $538.3 million in revenue last year. Still, like other online services that benefited from a huge boost of interest during the pandemic shutdowns, Roblox—and its gaming creators—face the challenge of keeping momentum going. Two changes announced this weekend are likely to reinforce creators’ willingness to spend their time on the platform. 

Before the end of the year, the San Mateo, Calif.-based company will test ads that players can interact with inside games. Some of those ads might act as portals, which can move users back and forth into a brand’s virtual experience. In a demo, Roblox showed an avatar walking to a Vans poster, which took it into Vans World, a branded virtual skatepark. Creators will also be able to launch and earn money from their own immersive ads using a self-serve platform. Such ads expand beyond what Roblox already sells: partnerships with brands like Chipotle, Nike and Mattel that can launch their own virtual worlds, games or digital asset collections.

Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Former Apple design chief Jony Ive and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. Photos by Getty.
Designer Jony Ive and OpenAI’s Sam Altman Discuss AI Hardware Project
Jony Ive, the renowned designer of the iPhone, and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman have been discussing building a new AI hardware device, according to two people familiar with the conversations.
From left to right: Blair Effron, Robert Pruzan and David Handler. Photos by Getty; Tidal Partners.
Exclusive Finance
Disputes, Employee Misconduct Rattle Centerview’s Silicon Valley Dreams
The San Francisco Bay Area–based bankers at Centerview Partners, the investment bank that advised Silicon Valley Bank’s owner and Credit Suisse through recent turmoil, got two doses of bad news last week.
Art by Clark Miller
Exclusive startups entertainment
MasterClass Takes a Crash Course in Frugality
MasterClass had a problem with the shoot featuring its latest star instructor, Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger.
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Photos via Getty
Exclusive microsoft ai
How Microsoft is Trying to Lessen Its Addiction to OpenAI as AI Costs Soar
Microsoft’s push to put artificial intelligence into its software has hinged almost entirely on OpenAI , the startup Microsoft funded in exchange for the right to use its cutting-edge technology.
From left: Paul Graham, Garry Tan and Michael Seibel. Photos by Getty. Art by Mike Sullivan.
Exclusive startups ai
Y Combinator’s Garry Tan Goes to the Mat
Garry Tan was in his happy place. Surrounded by food trucks and techies basking in San Francisco’s September sun, the CEO of Y Combinator snapped selfies with entrepreneurs as he meandered through a crowd of 2,700 attendees at the startup accelerator’s annual alumni event.
Dave Rogenmoser, cofounder of Jasper. Photo via Getty.
Exclusive startups ai
Jasper, an Early Generative AI Winner, Cuts Internal Valuation as Growth Slows
Jasper AI, an early darling of the generative artificial intelligence boom, has cut the internal value of its common shares 20%, according to former employees who were notified by the company.