About our upcoming Global Compliance System

Hey developers,

Our vision is to bring the world together through play and this entails entering new markets that have their own sets of regulations related to privacy, safety, and local laws. In order to reach our vision, we’re currently building a system for global compliance for games. The idea behind this system is that any game will be able to work on any platform, in any country, etc.

The system will effectively allow for your games to be compliant with various national regulations for multiple countries. We want it to be as simple as possible for you, as the developer, to specify where and how your game can be played. We’re starting with the Chinese market first and today released documentation on the GetPolicyInfoForPlayerAsync API. To help you better understand the regulations involved, we will very soon be publishing a guide for game content compliance in major countries around the world.

We know that there can be some apprehension about going into markets that have regulations that are different than what you’re used to, or even in conflict with personal views and beliefs. We will only be enforcing local compliance in those local markets. With that said, it’s ultimately up to you whether or not your game should be available in any given market. Developers wishing to enter another market will continue to be able to use a checklist of requirements to ensure the content in their game fits the criteria for being included in that market, but our long-term vision is a much bolder undertaking to create an entire Global Compliance Module that gives developers full control over their game’s availability across the world’s markets and platforms.

Accomplishing our vision involves immense logistical and technological efforts. We want Roblox to work on any platform, anywhere in the world. We will always give developers the choice of which countries their games are published in. We will also be transparent with our developers regarding the expectations for operating in other markets.

Thanks,
The Roblox Team

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I’m very interested in introducing this to one of my games.

I’m hoping this guide that you guys are working on is going to be extensive given the nature of China’s “Allowed and Not Allowed” list, as long as you guys get us that in some form or shape then that’s going to be a big help in making sure our games compliant!

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In order for a game to be compliant with a particular restrictive policy, does the entire game need to be compliant, or is there a way to distinguish on something like a per-server/per-player basis which policy it is supposed to follow so that the entire game does not need to be held to the same limitations for everyone else playing?

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After some googling it looks like you do it on a per-player basis:

https://developer.roblox.com/en-us/api-reference/function/PolicyService/GetPolicyInfoForPlayerAsync

So I’m assuming you just make some changes on-the-fly depending on whatever that gives you back

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I don’t think this is justified criticism of the company at all.
Whilst China does obviously have political concerns, businesses should have no obligation to sacrifice their own revenue because of issues that aren’t applicable. It frankly shouldn’t be relevant to the business decision. Millions of children game in China, and forcing them to use circumvention measures just to play the games they want just because of concerns about parts of a countries political status isn’t right.

If you don’t want to have your game in China, you have the option to not publish it there.

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While I do support this idea, I only have 1 question; Do we have to apply through a survey first or is it automatically in this system once our games meets the requirements? Other than that, great idea! :+1:

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yesyesyesyesyes and yes.

This gives me so much ideas! Making games based off of people cultures, and then letting them play, or making a certain country only game!

time to make a spanish only club :sunglasses:

Also, im not that smart when it comes to this type of stuff, so what countries will soon be allowed on roblox?

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How exactly will the :IsSubjectToChinaPolicy API work? How will it be used? Would it be allowed to only disable certain functions of our games for certain players in China while allowing other players to experience the full game?

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This is actually awesome!

This shows that Roblox is going in the right direction (once again, and again, and again…), specially because this change mainly allows developers to expand their horizons and creations without being limited by rules / laws set by specific countries!

This means that if a country or market isn’t okay with your game’s concept / idea, you can still make your game come true, just not within that country/market. This is pretty big news and really important when considering making wider scale, successful games that could be compared to game industry big titles.

I’m actually really excited / happy about this. We’ll see how this goes.

Maybe we’re finally having the ability to restrict audiences? We can always dream right…?

Edit: I just checked GetPolicyAsync (as referenced in the main post) and I can say so far it does not disappoint. I’m actually really happy with what’s documented there. It seems that some very limiting / limiting roblox rules are finally going to be limited in favor of this new system, which in my opinion is a very, very welcome change.

OCD Warning

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I’m not really sure if this was already explained but let’s say that a game on ROBLOX doesn’t follow what the Chinese Government think is right. Does that mean that game has to keep Chinese viewers from enjoying the content? Plus, How will Roblox handle cases where things are for the Chinese audience are not appropriate for the laws there? Will ROBLOX get the kick or will a more severe thing happen to the content creator?

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If something is illegal in a country, it will not be accessible there.
Otherwise Roblox would be breaking the law. You have the option to make your game complaint, meaning you have the option to decide if your game can be accessed in China.

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Can’t wait to see what this checklist looks like and how big it is.

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I feel very uneasy about this.

But that aside, I still have a question about this:

"ArePaidRandomItemsRestricted"

Is there a way to better define this term? At what point does something become “random”? I know that sounds kinda weird to ask, but I’m serious. Obviously using a random number generator would count. But what about purchases that guarantee something that might vary a bit from time to time based on the circumstance of how the purchased item is used? …and a million other edge-cases.


Also, can we opt-out of regions with restrictions like this? Kinda going with @IntegerUnderflow’s points, I know myself and my teammate would rather opt out. We don’t support the way such governments treat their citizens, and it feels like we’re only supporting said governments if we explicitly comply with such things.

Edit: You have to explicitly opt-in to it.

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If you pay for something that’s directly random, such as a lootbox. Some governments are now enforcing laws against it. In order for Roblox to be compliant they’re going to try and get Developers to avoid breaking these laws.

A good rule of thumb I’d say is to question whether or not the buyer knows what they’re 100% getting when making the purchase.

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I’m assuming it would be opt-in since they need to know you’re using the API correctly in your game first (that seems hard to automate)

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I believe this clarifies your question, I could be wrong though.

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Although if you don’t opt in and you are a large game get ready to see yourself crippled in the sorts for popular, top earning, etc since games that do will naturally get an audience boost

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That would make sense if they kept emphasizing global sorts, but to me it would make more sense if they started highlighting sorts like “Popular Near You” as Roblox goes more global, then that wouldn’t be as much of an issue in whatever markets you’re targeting

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I think this is an interesting move, but I am curious to what degree this “Global Compliance System” will force developers to spend time implementing the module to expand their availability to other countries. Previously, from what I thought at least, our games were accessible world-wide without local market compliance playing a massive role in determining availability.

Is it the developer’s responsibility to maintain localized compliance on a global platform? Or is it the company’s responsibility to filter our games for us? Either way, I think developer and corporate actors at Roblox would like to expand availability. I imagine this sort of API gives the company legal credibility in implementing and complying with Chinese policies. However, my personal belief is that ideally Roblox is a creative outlet free of localized political ideologies and a place where kids can freely play and without fear of retribution, explore their imagination through safe UGC.

Are there paradoxes in which Global Compliance means demographic or identity exclusion? i.e. what if Country X says any religious symbology is banned and country Y does not care. This presents a dilemma for a game. The same principle is applicable to racial, social, sexual, and gender topics in games.

Excited to hear more in the near future… :octopus:

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