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Roblox is finally coming to PlayStation. The announcement was made at the annual Roblox Developers Conference event, where CEO David Baszuki spoke about the future of the popular social gaming platform. Roblox will be available for PS5 and PS4 on 10 October.
The hit-game was initially released in 2006 for Windows, and after realising success it was made available on iOS, Android, and Xbox One. In July this year Roblox launched an open beta for Meta Quest VR, with more than one million downloads in the first five days. A full launch is coming to Meta Quest 2 headsets later this month.
Roblox has been available on Xbox since 2015, and its absence from the PlayStation platform has been due to safety concerns. Sony blocked Roblox on PlayStation, expressing concerns over the exploitation of younger children. Roblox currently has over 66 million active daily users, half of which are under the age of 13.
CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment Jim Ryan explained the decision to investors last year: "Historically, because of the large number of children that play on the PlayStation, we have been very careful with regards to opening them up to anything that could potentially exploit them." But since then Sony's stance on the issue has softened, and they are finall giving Roblox fans what they want.
Roblox has often been criticised for failing to moderate its user-generated content, exposing children to graphic images and inappropriate language. Other concerns are directed towards microtransactions, where users can purchase in-game currency called Robux, which is used to purchase items and cosmetics. This is hardly new in the gaming world, with Fortnite having received a $520 fine in 2022 for tricking users into making unwanted charges. Even though Roblox has safety mechanisms and parental controls in place, there will always be risks associated with online multiplayer games.
Baszuki also announced several new features at the RDC 2023 event, including Roblox Connect. According to a blog post, "Connect will enable people to call a friend from their Roblox friends list using their real name and facial expressions." Roblox Connect will only be available to players over 13 years old.
Another new feature is Assistant, a conversational AI that will help new and veteran creators alike. It builds on the existing use of generative AI, lowering the barrier to entry for new developers while enabling established creators to automate repetitive tasks and scale their work. Creators will soon be able to offer subscriptions within their experiences, having the ability to choose features to make available as a subscription model.
Roblox also plans to open up Marketplace: any user that is ID-verified and has Premium is invited to create 3D items for the Marketplace. Next year there will be an update to Creator Marketplace fees that will allow asset and tool creators to keep 100 percent of net proceeds from Studio or Creator Hub item sales (excluding tax and processing fees).
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