New Programs Available: “Roblox China” Licensed to Operate

We are excited to announce that “Roblox China,” also known as the LuoBuLeSi application, received its license to operate in China! This application will be developed jointly by Luobu (Roblox China Team) and Roblox, while our partner, Tencent, will take on local publishing and operating responsibilities.

China is the largest gaming market in the world with annual revenues exceeding $37B, making the release of Roblox China a tremendous opportunity for any developer looking to expand their audience! In celebration of this, we are launching two new programs for eligible developers wishing to take advantage of the massive market opportunity that is China.

The first program is called the Guaranteed Payout Pool (GPP). This program provides financial support for early entrants into the China market by offering $2.4M in total payouts to eligible developers. If you are ready to invest in Roblox China’s long-term growth, this is the program for you.

The second program is called China Fast Track. This is a highly selective program for developers that have demonstrated a previous record of success. It will provide services to expedite the readiness of experiences for the China market and ensure proper visibility and discoverability of experiences when they are released on Roblox China.

GPP and China Fast Track participation are not exclusive to each other; developers are encouraged to apply to participate in both with the understanding the China Fast Track will be more selective. We will also provide localization assistance to all program participants who want to ensure their content is as native to the Chinese audience as possible. Our goal with both of these programs is to grow the content catalogue in China with the most amazing and engaging content from around the world!

Guaranteed Payout Pool (GPP) Overview

The GPP program is designed to make it easy for developers who want to become first movers into the China ecosystem. We are confident that the Roblox China market will evolve into a massive financial opportunity for both local and global developers, but we will need a catalogue of incredible experiences in order to grow the platform’s player base!

As the app begins to grow its user base, we want to offer support for developers who are interested in taking advantage of this unique opportunity. To accomplish this, Luobu and Roblox will be offering a total of $2.4M in payouts to eligible developers over 12 months, beginning February 2021.

At the end of each month, during the 12 month period, Luobu and Roblox will distribute $200,000 USD among eligible developers in the GPP program. Each developer’s payment will be based on their percentage contribution to overall engagement on Roblox China.

GPP Application Process & Eligibility

In order to be considered for publishing on Roblox China, developers must submit a GPP program application. Upon submission, your application will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Content is compliant with all local Chinese laws and regulations. Guidelines can be found in the application to the program.
  • Developer has a history of respecting Roblox’s community rules and guidelines
  • Created experiences have demonstrated previous record of success
  • Active DevForum account

If you meet the above criteria and are interested in participating, be sure to apply before applications close on March 10th. You will be notified within 2 weeks of application submission if you have been accepted.

Slots will be limited at the time of launch, but will expand as we grow the program. If you are unable to apply at this time or would like to re-apply, keep an eye on this post for a notification when we re-open the GPP application as more slots become available.

Apply to participate in the Guaranteed Payout Pool program

GPP Payment Details

Eligible GPP participants will automatically be issued their monthly payment within 60 days of month’s end (e.g. If you are eligible for a GPP payment based on performance for the month of February, you will be issued payment by April 29th).

Here’s a breakdown of how the GPP payment distribution will work:

  • Payments distributed within 60 days of each month’s end
  • $200,000 per month will be divided between eligible program participants
  • Each developer’s payment is based on their contribution to overall engagement
  • Engagement will be based on a scale of 0% to 100% (Note: eligibility to receive a payment is dependent on engagement, we make no representation or warranty that a developer will be entitled to receive any payment distribution)
  • GPP payouts are in addition to regular earnings

Funds will be deposited into the bank account associated with your DevEx activities. If you have not provided banking information for DevEx purposes, you will need to do so. Roblox will send you an invitation to Tipalti, Roblox’s 3rd party payment processor, to enter such information.

China Fast Track Overview

This program will provide a dedicated service for developers who demonstrate a commitment to building a long term business in China and want to do so as fast as possible.

Accepted developers who maintain their good standing with Roblox will be entitled to the following:

  • Free localization services for simplified Chinese language
  • Full China compliance screen to identify aspects of your experience that are non-compliant and guidance on how to address
  • $15,000 stipend towards engineering costs associated with China preparation, to be paid when game has completed China compliance and localization requirements
  • Guaranteed placement and featuring in the Roblox China app

China Fast Track will kick-off with 50 open slots for global developers who will be chosen through the application process. Applicants who can complete localization and compliance work before April 15th are preferred.

Apply to participate in the China Fast Track program


Again, the Roblox and Luobu team are thrilled to take this next step in our quest to make Roblox a truly global platform.

We look forward to receiving you applications and are here to fully support your efforts to enter the amazing opportunity that is China!

Thank you,
Roblox and Luobu Team

FAQ:

How many players is Roblox China expected to have?

  • We do not yet have any forecasts as to the number of players. However, we feel confident in the app’s ability to establish a sizable presence given the efforts to customize Roblox for the China market and our partnership with Tencent to leverage its marketing and distribution capabilities.

How many developers would be accepted into the GPP program?

  • GPP will be a continuously run program from February 2021 to January 2022, with applicants being accepted in multiple rounds throughout the year. Because of the operational overhead associated with GPP, Luobu and Roblox will only be able to accept a limited number of applicants for the first round of GPP (the exact number will be determined by Luobu and Roblox). The developer community will be notified each time GPP opens up to another round.

Do I have to create a separate version of my experience to publish in China and participate in these programs?

  • No, our vision is that you can host your experiences on one place file for all locales and locations in the world. You will be able to adjust the content of the experiences as necessary (for example to comply with local requirements) at run-time through APIs that we will provide to you.

Will participating in these programs restrict what I can and cannot do to my experiences?

  • All you need to do is to make sure your content meets the compliance requirements. Compliance requirements can be found in the application to these programs.

What happens if the rules for China compliance change?

  • Participants in the China programs will need to be willing to quickly apply changes to the content when we receive updated policies.

How’s GPP payment calculated?

  • Every month, GPP will compare the engagement of a developer’s experience with the overall engagement of the Roblox China app. A percentage contribution to overall engagement will be calculated (based on a scale of 0% to 100%) and this percentage will be the eligible developer’s share of the $200k / month payout pool. It is also our goal to be communicating to developers their percentage contribution. Note: eligibility to receive a payment is dependent on engagement, we make no representation or warranty that a developer will be entitled to receive any payment distribution.

    In order to qualify for a payout, your aggregate earnings from GPP must exceed $15 USD and it must have been determined you have not made an effort to artificially boost your engagement metrics through non-live players. If your earnings from any month of participation does not exceed this amount, these earnings will be carried over to the next month to help you exceed the $15 USD threshold.

March 3rd Update:

249 Likes

This topic was automatically opened after 12 minutes.

I didn’t find any guidelines within the application. Could you provide a link to the guidelines instead? I would like to know exactly what would have to be censored.

16 Likes

Wow, this seems like a great opportunity! Until…

So… 14 year olds aren’t accepted into the program?

Normally, I’d have no complaints about this. I understand why you might want only users that are 18+, because they are (perceived as) more mature. However, a heads up would have been nice. Because, unless I am very much mistaken, it’s not anywhere in the post.

Some places where it could have been placed:

* In the FAQ

* In the little mini-things for each applicant link

I’m talking about this:

`Content is compliant with all local Chinese laws and regulations. Guidelines can be found in the application to the program.

Developer has a history of respecting Roblox’s community rules and guidelines

Created experiences have demonstrated previous record of success

Active DevForum account`

For example.

I really hope it’s notified that this is how it’s supposed to be or if it’s a glitch.

21 Likes

I am somewhat confused by how devs are supposed to publish games for this version. In case a game does not comply with the Chinese guidelines, then how should we limit whether or not that audience has access to it?

14 Likes

Pretty cool opportunity. The actual user-space in China is insane so, hopefully, we’ll start to see a rise in the quality of games made by studios and individuals which only provide better means to improve the workflow for developers. Since I am of age, my overbearing concern is the lack of freedoms and how that will affect publishing a game or weekly updates for that matter. If someone could clarify, that would be nice.

7 Likes

Thanks Roblox for making this optional, because I’m not entirely sure if I would like to do this due to controversies of China’s censorship of certain topics/items, I feel like Roblox is more of an inclusive environment with less restrictions. Not to mention considering how the Chinese government isn’t a country with free speech, freedom of the press, etc, and I don’t know how it would work for Roblox game development.

So, no thanks, Roblox, I won’t take this chance.

145 Likes

Sadly there’s not much Roblox can do if they want to make games available there. Restrictions by the local government.

14 Likes

Will devex work for the games in the program? I’m asking cause I see a lot of text bout payment. GPP acting similarly to premium payouts and China’s Fast Track system having payouts for encouraging developing new content.

5 Likes

Guidelines were linked through the application in one of the questions. :sweat_smile:

Yes, along with payments from GPP and CFT, users will also receive revenue from their own games as they would with their global platform games.

8 Likes

This is a good opportunity for developers but a very small amount will be paid or accepted and amount of applications that roblox will have there isn’t any point of me trying.

However since China have so many really weird and silly laws this also puts me off on developing on there.

Hoping to develop with roblox later.

20 Likes

This’ll likely fall on deaf ears but it’s worth mentioning anyway: The reason I would be uncomfortable applying to this is because of implications of working closely with a government that is becoming increasingly notorious for human rights violations. It’s something that’s really hard to ignore when 90% of the engineering work that would go toward making my game available in the region would be spent on implementing insanely over-reaching restrictions.

200 Likes

What is the license for our intellectual property? As a developer who makes experiences on the platform, I cannot faithfully apply to these programs without any proper assurance we have the exact same protections for our IP here as well do in China.

I will need to know the following:

  • Do we have the same license?
  • Is our IP protected?
  • Am I forced to upload another game with different branding in order to protect my IP?
  • Does China and any partnered parties have access to my work, and what extent does this apply to?
88 Likes

My concern with this relates specifically to intellectual property. China is known to take apart foreign (especially American) products and steal their IP in creating a local competitor. This is what happens with smartphones (e.g. Huawei) and even happened to Uber.

67 Likes

I remember one of the main issues that popped up throughout the last announcement thread regarding Roblox’s expansion into China was IP rights.

From what I am able to recall, there was a clause that stated that developer’s content would also belong to the Chinese branch (Tencent, Chinese government, whatever jurisdiction). Is this still the case? If so, what stops Tencent from creating similar or exact replicas of our games in China to stifle our competition with their games?

One more question: Will developers need to hire Chinese translators to be compatible with the Chinese market? I know that Chinese students take English courses in China but I’m not sure whether we would have to shoulder the translation needs that come with this.

24 Likes

I doubt my team will be taking advantage of this anytime soon due to how strict the criteria is.

Will the Developers have to limit the content to the rest of the playerbase or will there be some sort of API for when LuoBuLeSi Players/Servers are playing and remove content accordingly?

9 Likes

One legitimate question I have currently is if this is actually expected to really take off and gain a substantial player base, what happens if you generate a lot of revenue in a single month (potentially even exceeding the entire monthly limit of the program)?

4 Likes

You keep the Robux you generate on top of their GPP pool.

4 Likes

This is, okay. You could have said that this is for developers above 18.

One question: What very private data will the chinese government steal? China is known for stealing IP adresses.

Like what @CanadianCrepe said:
Why are you going to work with a company that enforces the China’s laws when their government have shown themselves to be oppressive, have several human right violations, and so many other terrible things. Why would Roblox corporate with such a government? It’s totally immoral.

I am not, never will apply for this, as this is EXTREMELY restrictful.

55 Likes

I’m skeptical about this. Sure it seems like a good market but…
I don’t know, this just sort of rubs me the wrong way.

I tend to see a pattern with controversial announcements being posted by the @Roblox devforum account. I can only suspect in part this is because in general, its not good to place the controversy onto the staff but, also, I have noticed, it seems that these are also announcements coming from higher corporate level places.

To me, this whole announcement sounds more like an advertisement than an offering. The wording to me feels like there are implications that Roblox has made shady dealings with certain groups, like Tencent, because it sounds like there is intentional avoidance around certain things. Again, it sounds like an ad more than an offer to me, and not the good type of ad, the type of ad that sounds sketchy while still likely being innocent.

I don’t like it, to be honest, and, I dislike the idea that this could have future effects on the platform as a whole. I’m not going to try and invest in this at all with my lack of confidence in the stability of Roblox China.

Again, sure there is a large market in China for games, but, I am skeptical about how this could tie global events into Roblox as a platform.

With China’s history in the games market and really just the world in general, and Tencent’s history with China, this negatively effects my confidence in Roblox’s stability as a whole regardless of its ability to be optional.

I simply do not see how this could be worth the risk factors.

110 Likes