Roblox once again accused of child exploitation
Roblox is a platform that is not often written about in the gaming media because it is oriented towards the younger ages of players. But it is a popular platform for creating games with more than 200 million active players a month. And by all accounts, that's not the only thing about Roblox that the word "terrible" can be used for.
Four months ago, a team from the YouTube channel People Make Games released an alarming video in which they shared the testimonies of several young developers from Roblox. Among other things, this video emphasizes that the chances of a developer making "serious money" through Roblox are astronomically small, contrary to the marketing of the platform itself. In addition, it is stated that Roblox, without any regulatory system, is non-transparent about what percentage of earnings game developers can get from their creations.
The practices described in the said video have caused outrage among professional developers, and the video has been viewed more than 900,000 times. If you haven’t, be sure to check it out below.
Four months later, People Make Games released a sequel to the story after they were asked by Roblox to remove the original video. The research has led to even more alarming findings that suggest that Roblox is an extremely unsafe place and can lead to even worse exploitation of underage developers.
In short, games on Roblox are no longer run by individual developers, but by groups of developers who gather outside the Roblox platform itself, most often on Discord. The problem is that Roblox has no authority over this or any tools to ensure the safety of its users.
The video also highlights the problem of moderating content on Roblox, which users themselves say doesn’t work when it’s needed, and it works when it’s not needed. Perhaps the most shocking part of the research is related to the market of overpriced items in the game, as well as the black market where Roblox commissions are bypassed, and thus all regulations regarding user safety.
Roblox representatives participated in this investigation, but mostly provided standard answers, without going into the heart of the matter and without taking responsibility.