Gaming company Roblox said Monday it has paid out $500,000 to its teenage game developers. The eight-year-old company launched its developer exchange program in October, rewarding programmers as young as 14 years old to build and monetize massive multiplayer games geared toward children and teenagers.
“When we started, we were paying out $500 a month, then $1,000, then $5,000, then $10,000,” founder and CEO David Baszucki told Fast Company. “Some of our developers are starting to make $20,000 a month, which is really significant. … We’re getting developers who are 14 and 20 years of age making more money than their parents, starting to make a professional career of developing games on Roblox.”
One such developer is 17-year-old Laimonas Mileska from Lithuania, whose title The Mad Murderer has been played 16 million times over four months, netting him more than $50,000 to date. All 15 million-plus games on Roblox’s platform are available for free, but its developers are given tools to monetize by selling virtual assets, such as power-ups. Responding to this growth, Roblox increased its monthly payout limit in September to $20,000 from the previous $12,500 cap.
Roblox, which has 4 million active gamers who play about 60 million hours each month, hit the milestone August 25. In July, the company launched on Android, rounding out the platforms its games can be played on, which include iOS, Mac, and PC. In the five weeks after its Android release, mobile engagement jumped 37% in time played, according to the company.
“It’s kind of a growing perpetual motion machine that’s feeding itself,” Baszucki said. “As the quality of our platform gets better, the developers can make more interesting experiences. As the experiences get more interesting, people enjoy them more and spend more money. As they enjoy it more, they tell their friends about it.”