As much as the Roblox platform has been expanding ever since its original release in 2006 (Dynablocks in 2004/2005) there remains some question(s) on why the platform continues to be used, despite the amount of negative changes and a ban in one country.
Case in Point
Some aspects of the platform is still worth exploring, however with the environment, some people may want to stay away.
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The Roblox platform is one of the most recognized ones out there with millions of registered users with over 400 million total views. According to SimilarWeb, the platform ranks #52 worldwide and #49 in the United States. The top 5 countries of access include United States, Philippines, Brazil, Canada, and Russia. However, Amazon’s Alexa has a few interesting areas to look at, and while it’s not directly related to the SimilarWeb source, the community has a sense of humor by having Amazon’s Alexa list under their Optimization Opportunities, “go commit not feeling so good.”
Okay, so if the platform supposedly was a bad thing, why do people use it? What caused some countries to restrict it? What’s the benefit of continuing to use the platform? Why not ditch it altogether? All of which will be answered in some ways in this article.
Let's look at why the platform remains used.
Well, if we cut away the hostile environment, there are some games that still attract attention of players that are not into those cringy games like Adopt Me, Royale High, Welcome to Bloxburg, RoVille and my god do I need to bring up MeepCity that was once a website and admittedly, it needed to stay there.
However, I can’t really continue on without explaining some games that continue to get positive reception for the platform. These include Jailbreak, Arsenal, Murder Mystery 2, the Juggernaut Phantom Forces, the barely surviving Lumber Tycoon 2, Restaurant Tycoon 2, Dungeon Quest, questionably Strucid, I personally want to include Work at a Pizza Place even if the community there is questionable, the Ultimate Driving series, Traitor Town, Entry Point and Miner’s Haven which was released under the Apache 2 license.
With that painfully long list out the way, let’s begin to wonder why it remains used. For starters, as Roblox was evolving, the possibilities of expanding yourself in terms of using Studio increased significantly. One of my personal favorite updates include the Plugins being available easier through the Studio’s Toolbox tab. It was not only easier, but far more convenient for those looking to creating some really good games to have the ease of access. Of course, you can still configure the plugins by going to the configuration option under the tab.
As for games, with technology and improvements to Lua, as well as significant changes to the engine, games have gotten more advanced, detailed, and functional with multiple ways to play the game. I’d like to call in Entry Point. Because of the way the improvements were done to the engine and programming language, as well as options of animating characters and using efficient terrain within Roblox Studio, maps not only look decent, but so are the cutscenes and the many ways to beat a level. There’s also multiplayer, which is a good idea for anyone to get some quick level-ups to improve their character.
Okay so what about some games like Escape Room with its fun and challenging levels along with the nice soundtrack? It was definitely something to note from 2017, which made significant improvements and spiked up around 2019. I personally happen to like the only theme that makes any game stand out with its long time limit: Sivan Sonata (which I just would safely consider the theme “Enchanted Forest”) and how relaxing, yet perfectly tuned, to the level that you just randomly fall into a cave and uh, escape from into a forest, which you uh, escape from and can hit into an unfair situation where you have no chance of moving when you try to skip the exit area without all areas completed.
I can’t end this section without also mentioning that developers get paid real money to be on the platform developing games and catalog items through the DevEx program. The rates in which Roblox gives Robux to real money isn’t exactly too known, and is subject to change overtime.
I’ll just organize three ways of why the platform remains used, and head onto the next section.
- Significant changes overtime made both sides of the spectrum of playing and developing games still worth it, despite a very limited amount actually worth playing.
- Updates through Studio allow developers to massively overtake the features along with support of external HttpRequest for external DataServers or integration with Discord to allow the community to improve, detect, and work with the developers.
- The platform is far from killed, and community responses over at the Dev Forums ensure that some features remain updated and that certain elements are known to the Roblox Development team so they can improve on changes as they become necessary. Although the updates are unusually quick and sometimes may seem unnecessary, the platform is regularily updated with simple maintenance and bugfixes. However, they do release some botched updates which can result in memory leaks.
If you read all to that point, good for you.
Let's look at why the platform was restricted in some, well one area.
Admist the controversy with parents finding offense to some users who display pedophillic based activity, this controversy managed to get United Arab Emirates to ban the platform. It wasn’t just the controversy that led to the ban, children were being exposed to generally explicit sexual content and inappropriate use of swearing. I don’t contest the ban and I am very aware of the platform containing said content, and has been a problem for a long time. This happened alongside the bans of the websites Blue Whale, My Friend Cayla, Cloud Pets, and Mariam. Information on these bans can be seen here. (Graphic Warning)
The news about pedophillic actions are not new. It has been around for a few years now and resulted in some local news stations getting in on the news action. One of them that actually got significant attention is a video released by WCBD News 2 which is funny of the amount of downvotes it has. (I don’t think it remotely was about the ban on the UAE nor about the pedophillic actions as a whole, just a general thing.)
The ESRB has given Roblox an Everyone 10+ rating for the Xbox platform, and so did Android for their platform. Apple on the other hand assigned a 12+ for the iOS platform, which was first 4+ then a 9+. Apple is saying the game is appropriate for teens, basically. And I don’t disagree with Apple.
However, a thread on the unofficial Roblox forums seem to indicate some different reasons in which UAE banned Roblox, alongside some claims that North Korea banned Roblox. So I investigated. Both claims are false because no source has proven that UAE banned Roblox over database leaks nor North Korea banning Roblox, and no documented news stories have proven otherwise. The thread also linked nothing to support their claim. The UAE ban was officially for swearing and sexually explicit content which can be harmful to children’s health, among the pedophillic controversy. Whether it was officially linked to the controversy or not is not fully certain, but one can make the best guess that happened to be the case.
A thread on Reddit collected opinions about the ban from UAE, which was generally negative and filled with confusion. It isn’t a very large thread, but the community around Reddit is very significant over things from little to large in impact, such as this incident.
What are the benefits?
There aren’t a lot of benefits out there for everyone. Developers looking into the Lua language may find some elements of Roblox Studio to get them into programming. As for players, with the removal of Tickets, a very common type of currency that existed at the time.
The reaction to that was overwhelmingly negative. Admittedly, I believe it was the time Roblox was purely for profit.
Let’s get back on topic. Some of the known benefits for both sides include the ability to look at games, examine the mechanics used, get into some games on a professional scale, and learn how to build two and two together using the Studio platform.
You can still get some activity into Groups, some of your friends you can meet long distance or in real life while in a Discord call, and play some of the better games listed above.
If you’re looking at Roblox for these benefits alone, you’re out of luck, buddy.
Why not ditch Roblox?
There’s a lot of those that actively enjoy Roblox despite the negativity on the platform for meeting with friends and playing some games still worth it to this day.
If you’d ditch Roblox, they wouldn’t really have much of an impact. But why not ditch it as a company? That’s nearly difficult. You’re asking to shut down one of the bigger companies in the world, which we know here in America is a difficult thing to do without government intervention.
Despite the pedophillic controversy, a ban from the United Arab Emirates, and significant changes overtime involving Roblox being hacked (Questionable Content) involving the administration and items being hacked and posting offensive topics, some of the sexual variety, on the forum. It was widely considered that the infamous user 1x1x1x1 was getting revenge on the platform. As of why it really happened is unknown. It was certainly an unexpected and unwanted joke that caused some damage to the site as a whole. It’s an event that will never be forgotten.
Even despite the downfalls, the hacks, the “pay-to-play” move and such, not everything is a total loss. Sure, you can up and forget the platform. You can forget being on there. You can forget all the progress you did on the platform. But in one way or another, there’s always something that will have you return back. It would be difficult to pinpoint an exact source and just leave it up to you to decide. For me, it’s a great time killer.
That is all to see of this massive opinionated article. What do you think? Is there some things that I missed, or something you’d wish to include or change in the article? Leave a comment below and I’ll be checking it over to see if the article is invalid by your comments.