Earlier this month at the Roblox Developer Conference (RDC), we shared the new products and features we are building to help creators to earn on Roblox. This includes empowering creators with the flexibility to build subscription-based offerings and business models giving them a new way to monetize on our platform.
We’re excited to announce that starting today, we are rolling out the ability for creators to start creating and managing subscriptions within their experience. Eligible creators will be able to create subscriptions in Creator Hub and implement them into experiences via a new set of APIs in Studio.
Users will not be able to purchase subscriptions until November. We’re giving you access to the tools first so that you have ample time to experiment and plan.
Implementation is straightforward and mimics what creators are accustomed to with products such as Passes and Developer Products.
We want to make sure we are introducing this new feature in a way that encourages accountability, which is why creators need to verify their account via ID or phone number. In addition, your experience needs to be created in Studio and available in Creator Hub before September 1. This deadline is meant to be a temporary requirement. We plan to open this up to all experiences in early 2024.
Subscriptions can be created in the Creator Hub within Associated Items on the left navigation. Creators can select from a set of monthly recurring price tiers to best reflect the value their subscription offering provides.
This launch also includes a set of subscription-specific APIs which will allow you to create in-experience UI for your subscriptions, as well as test the purchase flows and subscription benefit granting.
Please do not publish an experience with any of these APIs. Since users won’t be able to purchase subscriptions until later this year, if you implement a subscription in a published experience, a user trying to purchase your subscription will see an error message.
For a more in-depth breakdown of the new APIs, check out the MarketplaceService documentation page.
In the coming weeks, we will be publishing more educational resources on how to create effective subscriptions. Stay tuned for more updates.
Preparing for our November user launch
We are actively working on additional functionality in time for the November user launch, such as the ability to:
- Activate: Create subscriptions and make them available for sale.
- Manage: Cancel or delete active subscriptions that are not gaining traction.
- Learn: Understand the health of subscriptions via analytics and track payouts from subscriptions through reporting.
- Earn: Earn Robux based on the base web price of the subscription with the same cut as experience products today. You may have the opportunity to earn more from retained subscribers. For more information about earnings, please visit our documentation.
We are also building a seamless subscriber experience across devices for our November launch, just in time for the holidays. Users will be able to:
- Discover: Easily discover subscription offerings available in-experience or on the experience page.
- Purchase: Subscribe on desktop or mobile to enjoy benefits platform-wide.
- Manage: View all subscriptions in one place and cancel from any desktop or mobile device.
Click here to view the FAQ! (Updated on October 6, 2023)
How are we keeping users safe when they start buying subscriptions within experiences in November?
- To make managing their subscriptions easy, all subscriptions within experiences can be canceled directly in the user’s Subscriptions page in Account Settings. In addition, they will receive subscription confirmation and ongoing payment receipt emails to help them keep track of active subscriptions. For subscriptions purchased via desktop or web, a truncated version of the experience name will also be listed in the bank statement descriptor to maximize transparency. Subscriptions will appear on Apple and Google billing statements according to each platform’s standard formatting.
Users will be able to report abuse via the subscription’s tile on the experience details page. They will also be automatically refunded for the current period if a developer deletes a subscription or if an experience is moderated.
Users can submit a CS ticket to contact an agent about refund disputes not covered above.
How is parental consent handled for users under 18 when purchasing subscriptions?
- Saving a payment method is a prerequisite to purchasing a subscription on desktop or web, and users who are under 18 will need to get parental consent to save a payment method. Verified consent involves the parent verifying their age and identity, setting up a Roblox account, linking it to the child’s account, and approving the child’s account to engage with certain content. Parents will be able to leverage App Store parental controls to manage purchases through the Roblox app on Apple or Google.
Why are subscriptions charged in real-world currency but paid out in Robux?
- Subscriptions are charged in real-world currency to support automatic renewals across platforms, which enhances subscriber retention and creates ongoing revenue opportunities for creators. If we don’t have an underlying payment method, then it is difficult for users to maintain their subscription since they have to top up their Robux balance manually. Additionally, Robux payouts enable creators to comprehensively evaluate monetization across in-experience revenue streams without the need for currency conversions.
Why is there a lower platform fee incentive for renewing subscribers available only on desktop apps, and desktop and mobile web browsers? Why isn’t it available on the mobile app?
- Whenever possible, we pass savings onto our developers. Given the higher cost of platform fees for mobile apps, we can only offer this retention incentive on subscriptions purchased via desktop or web.
Can we disallow refunds for subscriptions?
- To ensure fairness and safety on the platform, developers must adhere to a uniform refund policy. Subscriptions that do not deliver the benefits promised due to lack of clarity in their description or removal of the subscription may be subject to refunds. Additionally, purchases made through Apple and Google are subject to these platforms’ refund policies, and both Roblox and our developers are obligated to adhere to these policies.
Can developers offer retention rewards or recognition to subscribers?
- Yes! Developers should feel free to recognize or reward users for tenure or retention, whether these are officially listed as benefits in the subscription description or offered in the form of “surprise and delight” to the user. It’s important to maintain uniformity in any published retention benefits across all devices.
In November, what kind of analytics will be provided to developers regarding subscriptions?
- Developers will be able to:
- View subscription sales, revenue, and cancellation trends for a given period of time
- View and copy the full history of sales and revenue per subscription in table format that can be found under “History” on the Subscriptions analytics page
- View breakdowns by subscriber type (new, renewing, previously canceled) and purchase platform (desktop, Apple, Google)
Why are subscriptions purchased in local currency but paid in Robux?
Subscriptions renew automatically unless the user actively cancels. To support this automatic renewal feature, subscribers will pay in real world currency. Automatic renewals help to retain subscribers which leads to more opportunities for creators to earn from an ongoing revenue stream.
Paying creators in Robux also allows creators to understand overall experience monetization across different products (dev products, Passes, subs, ads rev share) more seamlessly without having to do currency conversions.
Why are some things priced in a user’s local currency or $USD versus Robux today?
- There are some situations on our platform (e.g. advertisers buying Immersive Ads, users purchasing subscriptions, buying assets and tools in Creator Marketplace) where creators and users will receive more benefit and utility when something is priced in $USD versus Robux. When that is the case, we will price things in $USD.
We are eager to hear your feedback. If you’re interested in trying subscriptions and sharing feedback with us, please comment on this post.
We can’t wait to see what you create.