Add Sponsored Games to more game sorts

Developers the past few months have seen an enormous sponsored game upgrade.

However, this upgrade came at a time when sponsored games only show up for users while browsing FOUR out of NINETEEN, I repeat: 4/19 of the game sorts. Sponsoring is currently extremely worthless - #58 by TheAmazeman
That is to say, developers are paying Robux to have their games appear in only 21% of the visible game sorts.

As a Roblox developer, it is currently too hard to take full advantage of this new system because the upgrade was given to a system that is fundamentally broken at the neck.

With low supply space to show users sponsored game ads, many games do not make economic profit by sponsoring them. This has led to a new equilibrium of only the statistically best few games being willing to continue to sponsor - cutting off the economic mobility ladder for newer developers, and games with less natural growth.

Roblox could improve game visibility and help more developers become profitable by adding sponsored games to more game sorts. The supply/demand equilibrium would then change so sponsoring games would be profitable to more games.

If Roblox is able to address this issue, it would reverse the trend of the complete alienation of upcoming developers by improving economic mobility in the sponsored game market.


This is absolutely an issue and I am looking forward to this being resolved eventually.

I didn’t even understand the severity of this issue until I discovered an issue with Sponsored Games:

I point out in the post that this bug probably wasn’t discovered/mass reported earlier due to THIS VERY ISSUE; Sponsored Games in terms of visibility are so scarce that a massive issue like the one I reported basically becomes non-existent; but remains silently destructive to the platform.

And during a time of booming online activity and income it would only make sense that this “boom” happened for Sponsored Games in the visibility sector as this would translate to greater returns on investment for developers: A characteristic that facilitates Game Discovery.


This is harmful for developers of all levels and an unnecessary regression.

The point of ads is two-fold:

  1. To bring users to games they may find interesting through targeted ads which will keep them on the platform (I am assuming Roblox wants this)
  2. To get players into our (developer) games, whether that’s a game that has 100,000 concurrents, 1,000 concurrents or even 0 concurrents.

Not having ad placement in sorts is harmful to the ecosystem. It will prevent new developers from rising up to the top, and new content from being discovered. This is not going to happen from a magical algorithm since awesome new games won’t have the ability to be surfaced at all. I’m also confused as to why Roblox spent 3-6 months building out a fantastic new sponsored ad targeting system just to completely neutralize it’s value.

It would be fantastic to get a response on this from Roblox. This is preventing Developers from growing their games, and therefore harming the platform.


I’m gonna explain the equilibrium thing more in depth, because it’s so important. While I can’t know exact stats on which game sorts gain the most attention, therefore I can’t compute any accurate numbers, I am going to use economic theory to make the following point: With more game sorts showing sponsored game ads, the supply of sponsored ad supply space increases. For simplicity every time I saw “ad” it means sponsored games. The user ad system is not talked about here - as they do not show up on game sorts.



In this figure, the pink demand slope represents a “slow ad day”, where collectively many developers skip out on using the ad system. In the previous system with estimated impressions, this told developers that the price to advertise has dropped the next day. While the orange is the long term equilibrium, the new equilibrium (at pink and blue demand/supply intersection) is only possible as fewer games are advertising (less demand may imply fewer games advertising). This is similar to what’s going on now, with fewer games able to afford continuing to advertise given the weeks of low supply. Note that the games who were able to profit at the orange long term equilibrium in this scenario are even better off now as less are in the market in the first place.


If many developers at once realize there was a slow day - they may rush to advertise all at once, creating a demand surge. As supply ad slots stays roughly the same, this increases the CPI / CPC ratios.

What is happening is a cycle of the previous 3 figures, and if a developer’s game does not profit at either of those equilibriums, they may opt to dip out of the market entirely and seek other ways.

The obvious problem here, the supply is low - and there is room to grow so obvious it pains the developers who understand this.


With an increased supply of ad slots, this figure shows that more games would be supported along the demand curve (please note I am not equating the axis numbers to mean anything, -it’s not the number of games supported in each scenario)

Source: Roblox Promotion Rates | Rolimon's

Driving home the point of the equilibriums going in cycles (Figure2 and Figure3), creating a long term average equilibrium (Figure1). Then the last few weeks leading up to the switch to the new sponsored system mixed in with when the sorts changed orders so that the first sort was no longer Popular, you can see when developers started to realize the rates no longer favored their games so they stopped advertising, Figure2 repeated many times.


As of 12-2-20 there are now sponsored game ads in 17/19 sorts. Awesome.

Only sorts without it are “Recommended For You”, and “Featured”. In my opinion, that’s perfectly reasonable, as those are relatively small amounts of games on the sorts specifically designed to get desired content out to players with no other distractions.


Howdy all! Thank you for sharing your feedback on this. Here’s the official post about the new sponsored sort additions @TheAmazeman caught a sneak peek of:


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