I run a team of 4 full time developers and a rotating team of part-time contractors called Ruddev Media. We’ve been responsible for many projects throughout the years but the project that our team has depended on over the last 4 years has been Bad Business. This is an FPS game that has 390 million visits, been featured in platform-wide events (Egg Hunt 2021, Ready Player Two), and was initially funded by Roblox in part of the Accelerator Program.
Starting sometime in mid-late April and early May, Bad Business has seen a sharp decline in new players, seemingly coming from us not appearing on people’s home pages anywhere near as frequently. Our average new users have halved between April and May. Our average new users from the home-page in particular have plummeted, looking to be just a quarter in May than what we had in April.
Based on our stats, I don’t believe we deserve this sort of punishment. We suffered a very slight dip in Day 1 retention in early May due to an unbalanced update (game dev is hard!) - but these trends were already occurring and it was nothing too out of the ordinary for the game. Aside from that statistic, everything else looks… normal? It’s best to just show you below.
Disclaimer: Early March stats show extremely different statistics from the rest of the month, and the rest of the year. It looks like there was an adjustment to the calculation of these statements, but I decided to leave them in so as to not mislead anyone.
Disclaimer 2: I’ve included June stats so far. This is obviously not a full data set compared to the others, but I felt like it was important to show that this issue is ongoing, as well as to provide another data point after we made an update.
The first image here is our New User Home-Page Acquisition stats. As is the case with all the acquisition stats, I exported a period of March 1 - June 6 and graphed the data. The blue line is our daily stats, and the red dots are the monthly averages. With this I included the trendline for our averages as well.
This is another look at the averages and how they changed month to month - as you can see, our May averages are just 23% of what our April averages were. This is an intense drop, and June so far looks worse, despite us having just put out an update and bringing in an influx of interest to the game.
The next stat I wanted to display is our home-page impressions. Take note of how our peaks became more subdued over a very short period of time. These peaks are (predictably) over weekends. Our current peaks are lower than our dips previously.
And again a look at the averages of these months.
When looking at our overall new players statistic, we can see that it matches up directly with these changes in the algorithm. These downturns are all happening around the same time.
Take a look at the averages here - about half of these players have disappeared.
So - we need help.
The current trends for the game, seemingly due to something out of our realm of responsibility, is pretty damning. These rapid changes are endangering this game, and my team. Despite our ARPDAUs and ARPPUs being above average (according to dev stat benchmarks), this is just not sustainable. We saw a massive decline in revenue last month, one that meant I personally had to forfeit a paycheck.
We are not a huge game. And with that, we are not a huge team. And yet as of just a couple months ago, we were extremely stable, and seemed poised for future growth. Now our future with our game, our company, and this platform in general, have come into question.
Roblox - PLEASE rethink these changes to the algorithm, and please offer more transparency on algorithm adjustments in the future. I know that we are not the only game on the platform feeling these effects.
If you are a developer and have been noticing these changes in your acquisition stats, I highly encourage you to reply with them below! We need to show how this is hurting developers.