As a Roblox developer, I see more potential with regard to developers introducing a new game to players, and growing that game with those interested in the niche. Developers should, with a good game for their niche, however big or small that niche already is, be able to reach a wider audience that is potentially interested. Currently, there is a plethora of sorts on the front page, the front page has never had so many games on it than it has today.
But what is the click through rate?
What is the data behind all of these (frankly spammed) sorts from Top Earning down?
Does “spamming” players with games that they may or may not be interested in, and just hoping for the best, increase first time user retention, or long term retention?
What if a player never clicks on a game to play through the ‘Obby’ tab?
Is it good for player engagement and Roblox’s profit to “waste” front page real-estate?
If a player is looking for entertainment during a quick check to the Roblox front page, and sees the same games that they’ve never clicked on before, how many games could have been placed on the front page in their personal recommended sort, that they might have been interested in playing but those games are past 150 games in popular. The player didn’t have the current patience or thought to look through, is that the fault of the player? Did the developers of those niche games and Roblox miss an opportunity?
What if a player only plays ‘FPS’, and they see the ‘Up and Coming’ sort showing ‘Simulators’ and ‘Roleplay’ games, why would they think highly of the ‘Up and Coming’ sort if it didn’t relate to them, and show an up and coming ‘FPS’?
The problem with today’s front page is game discovery for player’s interests.
A one size fits all solution is no solution. Players are individuals with differing life experiences which leads to wanting to play differently from one another. We need a paradigm shift. The current paradigm that your game has to be the top of all games on Roblox (ie, getting to the top of popular, top rated, or be lucky enough to be featured) to have access to everybody’s eyes, so then all of your niche players can find your game is becoming archaic. We need to believe there is a bright future ahead where communities on Roblox live in a bit more harmony as everybody finds their like-minded people in games through personalized recommended sort algorithms.
If Roblox is able to address this issue, it would improve everybody’s game development experience because there would be larger funnels of interested players into dev’s game, rather than trying to compete with every single genre on Roblox to be shown to a significant amount of people flocking to games on the front page, you would only be competing with developers within your niche, and even then, it’s up to devs if that’s collaborative or competitive. The front page would have a partial one size fits all solution (no one is arguing the popular sort should go away), but the front page would also show games that relate to the player’s history of gameplay on Roblox. I believe this done properly would boost retention and a measurement so often forgotten, happiness, to astronomical levels.
P.S. I didn’t know how to explain this without describing what I see as a potential solution. I’ve heard it before, some devs will just say, “grow your niche better by advertising more”, or “the front page is what players decided should be on front page”. There is no reason for me to not propose a vision that can get the dialog rolling, rather than all of us being stuck in the old paradigm that niche games don’t attract “the audience” and other vague nebulous terms as if everybody wanting to play a game on the front page wants the same type of game. Remember, people are individuals.