Roblox says is not exploiting kids, just helping teens that might need it

Mike Powers

In context: After nearly 20 years on the market, Roblox remains extremely popular. Part of its allure is that users can share games that they created. The platform also allows them to monetize their creations. However, things become complicated when considering the age of those content creators.

Roblox has a monthly player count of over 200 million. A not-so-insignificant portion of these players are teenagers or even younger children, leading to child exploitation accusations. However, Roblox Studio boss Stefano Corazza says the platform stands wrongly accused.

Eurogamer interviewed Corazza at GDC, where the company was showcasing a new set of AI-powered tools. When asked about Roblox’s reputation for child exploitation, Corazza provided some somewhat questionable rebuttals. People can say that Roblox exploits child labor, but Corazza thinks the company offers young gamers the chance to earn money anywhere in the world.

“I can be like 15 years old, in Indonesia, living in a slum,” Corazza said. “And then now, with just a laptop, I can create something, make money and then sustain my life.”

Democratization brought by user-generated content (UGC) always has a flip side to consider, and younger Roblox gamers are also involved in this issue.

Roblox says is not exploiting kids, just helping teens that might need it

Corazza said he has heard from younger Roblox players and claims they don’t express feeling exploited. They see UGC monetization as the “biggest gift” to them. Roblox’s funding to younger and older players now amounts to $1 billion. Most people earning money on the platform are over 18, but Corazza admitted the corporation has hired “some teenagers” (meaning minors) whose creations were enjoyed by millions of players.

Roblox quickly issued a long-winded statement clarifying Corazza’s remarks regarding hiring teenagers. It says it doesn’t hire minors. Instead, it pays content creators within the massive Roblox community to play, program, and learn through the platform regardless of age. You can read the company’s lengthy explanation in Eurogamer’s updated coverage.

Like many other UGC-based platforms, most people creating content on Roblox don’t earn cash. Roblox creators are “paid” in “Robux,” an in-game currency worth $3.50 for every 1,000 Robux.

Establishing a fair exchange rate is difficult because the company charges more for its currency than it pays to reclaim it. Coin packages range from 400 Robux for $4.99 to 10,000 for $99.99. However, no matter how much you purchase, you’ll never see a 1:1 exchange rate.

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