The Developer Exchange program is the backbone of Roblox, its the reason most top developers are here and why they stay. This program has helped to accelerate hundreds of teens and adults into full on game developers and business owners, and yet Developer Exchange still is unable to keep up.
Roblox developers have asked time and time again for developer exchange increases as we watch other platforms around us continuing to lower their cut taken from developers, however we’ve either been met with silence or poor solutions. Roblox put out premium payouts as the solution to the problems brought up back in 2019, however premium payouts remains at only 10% of my games total profit and going down as Roblox removes more features from premium.
At the same time Roblox seems to be clamping down and removing other forms of revenue. When Bloxbiz & Anzu were very clearly targeted by Roblox, almost shutting down a large source of revenue for developers such as myself. When they shutdown the stars program, with little regard for developers who are unable to create their own toy lines. It shows they clearly don’t care enough about passing more money to Roblox developers.
Roblox desperately clamors for larger more expansive (and expensive) games to separate themselves from their prior child personality. The tech is there, the skills are there, the community is there, the revenue isn’t. How are we meant to create large games with a massive budget if we are unsure if we will even make a fraction of that budget back?
I love Roblox, its allowed me to turn my hobby into a job, but that’s all. I’m only able to bring more people onto my team because of outside revenue sources like Bloxbiz. Roblox needs to step up their game, nothing has come after 4 years of asking. If they don’t want to be seen the child-like, “exploitive” company that the rest of the world thinks, if they want to foster true innovation then raising DevEx is the best choice.
Just blindly raising DevEx rates and hoping for the best is hardly a good solution. It completely misses the real problems with the system in favour of a populist, reductionary solution only helpful to those with vested interests.
If you care about making DevEx more equitable and fair, then it needs reconsideration at a fundamental level. We need to untangle costs from conversion rates and show developers exactly how much of Roblox’s services they use and how much each costs. These totals need to be calculated per asset rather than amortised across the entire developer base. Only once the fundamentals of the system are ready to accommodate developers of all genres and asset types properly does it make sense to debate about which numbers to pick for the system.
We should not reduce this problem to an ineffective solution.
You can listen to my extended thoughts in this other video I made recently. It was originally centering around debunking the myth that Roblox takes a predatory cut, but coincidentally serves as a good explanation of where DevEx actually goes wrong based on analysis, not rhetoric:
While having different cuts for different assets would be great, this doesn’t solve the fact that Roblox development in large teams and massive triple A games that Roblox is so desperately looking for isn’t financially possible right now. (The gamefund is a step in the right direction, but its not sustainable.)
This doesn’t fix the fact that Roblox is constantly trying to shutdown various ways of monetization through the attempted shutdown of ad services and removal of the stars program, while these programs help many developers stay afloat.
Roblox is looked down upon for their current rates by the larger development community, and while I do believe that alot of people don’t do enough research into these rates, 80-90% is still a ridiculous cut, no matter what way you look at it.
If you been looking at Revenue reports (which are available to the public because Roblox is a public company) you’ll see that they can increase devex rate from 19% to 50% with no sweat
FYI: For every dollar that goes into our game, we only get 19.6 cents
it is incredibly unfair to take a huge cut for our hard work while providing service that is often on life support, broken updates, platform outages and horrible moderation and support system
i don’t think it is in anyway acceptable to give us such a low cut while they can increase it with no issues
treating developers like we don’t matter; making pending robux longer without any announcements, long moderation approval time and inaccurate moderation action, extremely long devex approval time and inaccurate rejections, unhelpful support system, shoving features down our throats, not listening to feedback, studio lacking the most basic features, lack of documentation and behavior of fundamental systems, etc
i’m looking forward to this being discussed at RDC 2022
Unsustainable? Can someone please tell me how the company paying out over $500 million to creators in 2021 is ‘unsustainable’?
I have not seen a single developer argue this case that isn’t making unimaginable numbers from Roblox, including you @OutlookG. Roblox isn’t unsustainable, the only reason I could possibly understand why people want a DevEx increase is greed.
Is Roblox really that unsustainable when @BuildIntoGames is able to flood the website full of “raise devex” ads which will objectively do absolutely nothing? Is it really that unsustainable when the creator of this post has a RAP of 1.2 million robux which was all bought with the money made from his games?
I am completely up for being corrected in the statements I’ve made, and I admit that my argument could potentially be wrong in some areas. However, if you’re going to complain about DevEx rates and call them “unsustainable”, then show us your profit/loss numbers. I know they’re not unsustainable.
Why are we always talking about the DevEx rates alleged problems? This is only one variable to the “issue”. If you really dig just a tiny bit deeper, you can observe that Roblox is steadily increasing developer share indirectly overtime. Apart from the 40% increase in the conversion rate a while ago, Roblox has also:
replaced builders club with a cheaper alternative (premium)
reduced the cost of development (free asset uploads)
added premium payouts (which a surprising number of games actually make a living from, or a big chunk of it)
removed the premium requirement to DevEx
reduced the quantity of Robux required to DevEx
gave resources (money) to quick start development (accelerator)
Most of these were done in the past few years. There’s nothing Roblox isn’t doing to increase the DevEx rate.
Just addressing some points in the linked thread.
You can’t compare net worth to developer payouts. That’s misleading.
Apple users spend way more on virtually anything in general.
This is every large company trying their best to work at scale. You cannot possibly have something perfect. Moderation will be flawed. Support will be slow. There is just too much to deal with as a human that it’s all down to automation. Automation isn’t perfect, so you have to deal with it. This is a problem for virtually every consumer company, so I don’t understand why people are penalizing Roblox for it.
If you want an example, look at YouTube. It’s managed by Google, which invests heavily in AI and has more resources within their pool. Despite this, there doesn’t seem to be much improvement regarding their issues compared to Roblox. Even with a lenient moderation system (less strict, as it’s not worried about children listening to swears like Roblox does), YouTube still runs into… every problem Roblox runs into. Support is slow, false bans, people complaining about not being paid well, etc. Search up why YouTube sucks on Youtube, and you’ll realize how similar their problems are to Roblox.
Minimum wage is the worst argument you can make for a company like Roblox. Roblox isn’t hiring you, so they’re not legally obliged to pay you minimum wage. Should Unity or UE pay you for your flopped game?
Roblox is a platform to make games that might get popular. If your game sucks that your problem, not Roblox’s.
Saying Roblox developers aren’t successful is just a bogus argument as well. According to Google, indie developers outside of Roblox fail 14 times before they succeed. “[O]nly 7% of [indie] games will generate enough revenue to fund a second project” (source). Keep in mind these are mostly mature professionals with a handy number of tools that can work within teams, has a lot of money, and can full time. Compare that to Roblox where there are young individuals starting from scratch with a handy number of homework assignments that can’t really work in teams, is likely broke, and cannot work full time. Very contrasted and yet people still throw up popular games. Some games make more than many popular indie game titles, and even many triple a games (cc: @OutlookG).
You can make way more than enough with 50ccu in your game on average to make quite a passive income.
I’m not stating that ROBLOX is a bad place for the developers or something, I am saying ‘Increasing DevEx Rates will do nothing for the small developers’ thus instead of just increasing the ‘Rewards’, there should be more opportunities; since alot of people asking for increase of the devex rates were bringing ‘Developers can’t even pay for their foods and bills’ issues and many of the small developers were actually agreeing to it, while the issue isn’t really related with the current dev-ex rates at all if you think about it, like as you said.
If you ask me, yes. “Roblox is a pretty good platform especially for solo ~ indie developers”; from my experiences, of course. I have been saying this for tons and tons of times in here DevForum as my games and I have been doing quite nice with enough amount of players, updates, patches and monetizations; enough amount of failures too. You can just check my profile → activity if you really think I am yelling ‘I keep failing and its all Roblox’s fault.’
How should moderation be improved, then? Increase the number of human moderators? That’s not going to make much of a difference and it’s not logical either. Improving AI isn’t easy.
According to many people I’ve talked with on Discord (who’ve had many games they’ve worked on/working on), a game with 500 ccu is able to make upwards of 200k USD a year. These were real stats from real games. In addition, they stated that a huge chunk of it came from premium payouts and they have no aggressive monetization either. So, it’s much higher than 200k. A game with thousands of ccu can make millions. It doesn’t seem like the ~20% cut is being a problem for even minimally successful developers.
I cannot expose any conversations as it’s a private Discord server, this includes images.
I’m not going to pretend to know anything about the financial situation of the Roblox corporation itself, nor will I pretend that I am any sort of expert when it comes to these sort of things.
However, working in a team is problematic. At the end of the day, while the revenue from a game may be enough to support a solo developer, in a lot of cases, it simply isn’t enough to actually be considered sustainable for anyone working in a team.
For reference, I work on a front page game that averages around 10k players regularly, and has peaked at over 60k. I make roughly the same amount of money as another solo developer I know who has a game that averages around 200 to 300 players concurrently. This is not the fault of how I am paid, it’s simply just more viable to work solo as opposed to being apart of a team.
That’s the core fundamental issue. DevEx rates may be enough for someone who is perfectly content doing things on their own, at most commissioning people if need be, but it’s not enough for larger teams of developers.
If Roblox wants more high quality and expensive games on the platform, there needs to be better incentive for teams to be formed to make these games.
I agree with you; it is very difficult to payout to a team and maintain a company with the current pay rate we get from our games if we’re not on the absolute top 1% of the platform
I feel bad for you, and I agree that there’s really no incentive to expand further than solo or duo when it comes to making a Roblox game because it isn’t sustainable and not worth it
Isn’t Roblox’s vision to have games made by companies with 100+ employees? Wouldn’t increasing DevEx rate move forward toward that goal?
I understand we should help small developers, Roblox should do their best to support, help, provide resources and educate new developers, although it seems like this is already being done with workshops and other programs?
Roblox also wants developers to stay on their platform and not move away to a (better) different one
Roblox also wants companies to choose Roblox to make their game and grow their brand
If these companies look at Unity, Unreal Engine, AppStore / Google Play and Roblox they are most likely not going to choose Roblox
What I don’t understand is why are people oppose increasing the rates so much when it benefits everyone?
I’d like to remind you that for every dollar spent on our games we only get 19.6 cents
Would you be okay with making 1000000 USD (1M) and only getting 196000 USD (196k)
Does that seem fair to you? (and that is before any taxes and fees)
DevEx rate has been the same for a few years now, and games are getting more complex.
While the rate was fine in the past when games didn’t require so many developer roles things have changed and it is time for Roblox to evolve with the rest of the developer community.
I don’t hate Roblox, I like it, but I want Roblox to improve and be better, and one of the things I want to see is Roblox being a professional platform, not just a kid’s game.
P.S Not going to reply anymore I really want to work on my game and release it
@aerophobes that is like saying you don’t need medication for your condition if you can’t afford it.
I don’t think you should be saying something like that when you do not understand their circumstances
These are incredibly small changes for a more medium size developer such as myself, they don’t really help in any way except for smaller developers. Roblox has done a great job making Roblox more accessible for newer and smaller developers, they’ve done a bad job for their mid-sized developers.
A large majority of my revenue comes from Bloxbiz, a service that Roblox is actively trying to shutdown. Its the reason im able to bring more people onto my team and invest back into my games.
This is my main issue here, the large developer teams and expensive triple A games that Roblox wants so desperately, are not financially possible right now. Its not possible to support a larger team without outside support and funding. There is no incentive to bring more team members onto the platform if you can’t even afford to give them a good wage.
Look at the video Ettlob posted. It explains quite clearly that the Roblox rate for games are quite reasonable.
This is partially due to the image Roblox has currently. This image was created by the community itself, not Roblox. Roblox in it of itself is so underrated and so unappreciated. You don’t have anything like Roblox anywhere else. Core might be an example, but it’s no where near what Roblox does. If the community is able to not just regurgitate every little complaint some popular guy said on the internet, people would consider Roblox equal or better than the other engines. There’s also the fact that Roblox was targeted at a young audience.
We’re developers too. If we can get a 100% cut we’re all for it. Unlike some people, we actually consider the benefits and cons of approaching a higher rate. I can go on explaining, but I’ve already done that.
Don’t gaslight the situation. I’m perfectly fine with getting around 20% of the “income”. As Ettlob said in the video, we’re not just paying for our services, but also paying for developers who aren’t making any yet so they’re able to freely use Roblox services.
Taxes aren’t a valid point to the argument either. Not only does Roblox not have control over whatever the government does, but this affects everyone regardless. If you have a job, you will still be taxed even after getting your cut.
Premium payouts was a huge revenue increase for small, mid, and popular developers alike. You’re earning much more than you did before because of premium payouts, which is on top of the little things that help smaller developers (which are bigger changes for them). The smaller changes will inevitably make more developers able to get their game out there more easily, making Roblox pay developers even more.
As I’ve said, the games were around 500 players and earning 200k a year. If you look at adopt me, which averages 200k ccu every day (rtrack) earns 60 million dollars a year (source), you can deduce that this figure isn’t at all invalid.
The revenue for one ccu is 300 (6M / 200K = 300)
The revenue for 500 ccu according to adopt me’s stats is 150K
Adopt me isn’t even as aggressively monetized. Compared to a lot of other games (such as simulators), adopt me falls behind on terms of revenue per player.
But that is for you to take home and it doesn’t even include premium payouts. There are no additional fees, salaries or anything you need to pay out from that amount, and no up-front costs are required whatsoever, nor any licenses for development tools.
For other platforms, if you take into account the fact you’ll likely need more engineers to achieve the same, to implement networking, matchmaking, data storage, hardware and cloud occupation costs, ease of use of tools and publishing, costs for licensing a game and other legal/policy requirements, setting up your own moderation and customer support teams, connections you need / publisher that wants a cut just to have your game listed somewhere and such, you’ll likely end up with a much smaller take-home margin.
A ~29% cut on a platform where you can create and push games in a few minutes without upfront costs with moderation/CS/data/matchmaking/networking/async-multiplayer handled for you, and all of that basically limitlessly scaled for free, doesn’t sound as bad as proposed in first post to me TBH.
They should definitely keep increasing it where they can, but there’s probably more value (and sanity) in doing it through features such as premium payouts so that developers of different walks (e.g. don’t want to focus as much on aggressive monetization) can also benefit and take their piece of the pie.
This post is misleading because it only looks at isolated Robux transactions. Roblox mentions on the documentation page that they pay out 29% of their entire slice of income (beneath the line, across all of Roblox) to devs, so we are definitely getting 29% of the entire slice, otherwise they wouldn’t write it down like that.
I wish it could, but right now it is less then 5% of my total revenue (from roblox). It has never been viable for me and has never amounted to much. While it may be useful for smaller or bigger developers, it has little impact on medium sized developers such as myself. Compared to a DevEx increase which would have a much bigger effect.
Addendum to this: if you are not interested in making the kind of games that do well on Roblox (like singleplayer, or 2d, or story-focused, or non-physics or non-multiplayer or non-social), then it doesn’t make much sense to develop these on Roblox because you can get a better cut using off-the-shelf tools and platforms such as Unity or Unreal to work on and publish those.
Roblox offers a ton of tools for free; the cut only makes sense if you actually use these tools develop games that heavily focus on social/multiplayer/physics IMO. This is where Roblox really shines and where the cut makes a lot of sense compared to creating the same experience off-platform.
Would be cool if Roblox can find a way to better reward these kind of experiences if this seems like something worth having on the platform, but I think social experiences are more engaging and interesting to more users.
No, it’s basic business. You shouldn’t expand more than you can afford.
The team in question has the following members (taken from group ranks, all assumed on some sort of pay):
Creator & Co-owner: x2
Head of Development x4
3D Modelers x7
SFX Designers x4
GFX Artist x1
Clothing Designer x1
Head of Staff x3
Do you start to see the problem?
To clarify my position on this argument, I do not necessarily have an opinion on whether DevEx should be raised or not because it doesn’t affect me to a large extent. I have a problem with DevEx being called unsustainable by people who are either greedy or financially irresponsible.
I feel like increasing DevEx rates wouldn’t be a solution for issues you’ve posted.
Rather than increasing the rates, I would like to see them investing the money onto the platform itself (I’m not saying that they are greedy or something. I know they already are spending tons of money on the managements.) & for their improvements; moderations, servers, websites, more new features etc; since its Roblox, where Developers, games are Heavily related / easily affected by the platform itself unlike Unity & Unreal does. There just are more crucial stuffs which need to be done before increasing the devex rates. I feel like the situation shouldnt just be simplified to “More money = better platform”
Therefore I am quite skeptical about this topic; yet I do agree that more supports for developers would be really cool to have, but not like this.
I do not agree with everyones opinion but I do understand anyways. Just saying.
Of course, and I am saying they should consider investing more on it instead if they really are to increase the devex rate; considering that there have been alot of issues with the servers and moderations recently even with the 34.8%.
(And please do not take this to another ‘Why do you hate Roblox’ discussion; I am still fine with current, and probably future Roblox)