Roblox & Beyond: The Problem with Game Creator Platforms 🚧

Joseph Kim
Apr 9, 2020 · 2 min read

Roblox’s massive success has spawned a number of teams to try and follow suit by creating their own next-gen game creation platforms, but how likely will these efforts succeed given the peculiarities of Roblox’s demographic? Specifically, the majority of Roblox users are young children (aged ~5–16), and the majority of creators are slightly older (~16–25); many creators became so after investing time as players. Young kids as players are not as demanding of high-end polish, graphics, or complexity. The slightly older indie creators do not necessarily require a high monetary reward for the time and effort they put into the development of their original creations.

Soon we will see if this opportunity space is big enough to support startup creator platforms like Buildbox and Manticore:

  • Buildbox is a no-code platform that uses templates and visual scripting to enable the development of mobile games. Buildbox allows developers to create their own app which can be registered with various mobile app stores
  • Manticore just announced its platform CORE, which seems to be a “high resolution ROBLOX” with a focus on creating games like Fortnite based on the announcement trailer. It currently appears as if Manticore will build a platform more similar to Roblox where games exist within their own environment

These teams seem to offer feature sets with higher graphics quality in comparison to Roblox, but is that enough?

Key Challenges

In order to capture market share in this opportunity space, creator platforms must surmount a number of key challenges:

In our view, cracking the creator market is one of the most difficult challenges that can be tackled in the gaming industry today. The moat that Roblox has built around its business, especially around its young player and creator bases, seems vast and at times even insurmountable. However, as avid game players and makers ourselves, we cheer on all new entrants’ efforts, and eagerly await for hopefully many more ways to play and create together.

Further Reading

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