As the CEO of Gamefam, a gaming studio that is focused on setting a new standard for production and live operations on Roblox, I sit in a lot of production meetings where we ask the tough questions – is this game fun enough and how can it be even more fun; in fact, how can it be THE MOST fun?
Most everyone has tried playing a video game at some point in their life. Whether it was Super Mario World on the SNES in 1990 or Candy Crush on your phone this morning during a conference call, we all have our own understanding of why games are fun.
But Roblox is a little different. Well, actually, a lot different. The thing that makes Roblox games the most fun, the thing that Roblox offers in a way that no other platform can, is a true digital playground for groups of friends. Sure, you can play on a team in League of Legends, or you can join a crew in GTA Online, but you’re always working on the game itself. In Roblox, players are gaming, but also simply hanging and looking for new friends to hang with.
To understand the real distinction here, please take a step into my custom-made, Gamefam branded, reverse-aging machine. Instead of being the LinkedIn, professional, world-beating super-star that you are, take a trip back to being a snotty, silly 9 year old.
Whoa, OK! Here you are, 9 years old, standing at recess on the pavement. Some kids are playing kickball, some are playing hide and seek, some are just hanging like maniacs from the monkey bars. As you look around, assessing your options, little Frankie comes up to you. You don’t really know him, he’s in the other class, maybe you even thought he was a little self-consciously too cool with his fashion sneakers and gelled hair. But now, here he is, offering you friendship and asking nothing in return except your company.
“Hey, I’m gonna try and climb up the big slide, do you wanna come?” And off you go with little, gel-haired Frankie, barrelling towards the slide. And you climb up, you slide down, you make up a story about being chased by aliens and take turns role-playing it, and it is SO MUCH FUN! And even better, well, you’re kind of best friends with Frankie now and you’ll keep playing together every day for who knows how long, I guess until he moves away for his mom’s new job back in Paris (and voila, his fashion-forward style suddenly makes perfect sense).
Roblox has taken this experience into the digital age. It has recreated everything about socializing as a kid, but opened it up at a global scale and allowed “kids of all ages”, from 4 to 104, to experience that joy together.
An example from our own portfolio is in our PvP game Shoot Out, which just recently achieved 10MM total visits. We lifted concurrent players by 400% in a month by focusing on better socialization with one magical feature change. We added quick buttons for “Add Friend” onto the final screen of each round, next to each name on the leaderboard. We just made it slightly easier for the most engaged players to find each other and build new friendships. And — shibbidy-shibbidy-BOOP — we had a huge new cohort of returning players, increased virality, and increased retention. Shoot Out magically flew into contention for being a Top 5 most played shooter on Roblox. It’s now growing week-over-week with only more great things to come.
This wouldn’t work on another platform. Strangers on Playstation aren’t looking to form new friendships in the same way they are on Roblox. On the Switch, Nintendo has almost made this type of socialization technically impossible due to concerns over privacy. But Roblox, with its incredible community focus and powerful COPPA compliance toolset, has created a whole new way to play together.
On Roblox, see someone, invite them to be your friend, play together and have fun – MAGIC!
So, when you think about gaming on Roblox, remember, the games are amazing, but the friendships being formed are even more amazing and are an underlying factor in the platform’s incredible growth.
You can make some new cowboy and cowgirl friends in Shoot Out.
Thank you kindly for your time and I look forward to enjoying more conversations about Gamefam and Roblox soon.
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