Over the past few months, we’ve been exploring new ways to showcase your experiences on Roblox Home. We’re excited to share a few upcoming experiments that will make the experience tiles on Home richer, more compelling, and relevant
We plan to roll out these experiments to a small number of users by September 27. Here’s what you can expect:
Larger tiles to better engage users
In the coming months, we’ll start replacing smaller square icons with larger 16:9 tiles. This extra real estate will give you even more room to capture users’ attention and improve their understanding of your experience.
You can control which asset you want showcased on Home. Simply upload the desired 16:9 image thumbnail of your experience, then reorder it to be first in your asset list. In the absence of a 16:9 thumbnail image, Home will use a default Roblox image to showcase your experience.
Images play a pivotal role in our users’ decision-making process. Be sure to review our best practices for how to choose compelling, high-quality images.
Spotlighting friend activity
Soon, users will be able to look at your experience tile on Home and see whether they can join any friends in real time. By clearly showing any online friends in your experience, we hope to build even more connections.
We’ll also highlight friends who have recently engaged with your experiences, making it easier to discover experiences that match users’ interests.
Reducing prominence of concurrent users (CCUs)
To foster the discovery and growth of new experiences, we’re experimenting with removing CCUs from Home tiles, which typically highlight popular experiences.
Users can still view CCUs on the experience details page and when hovering. Creators will continue to have easy access to these insights through Creator Analytics.
We’re excited about these improvements and welcome your feedback. We look forward to sharing more updates with you soon!
As a developer of a few games, I use the CCU count on the home page to quickly see how they are doing. While I get the point, I am not a fan of the change for me, as well as the probability players will join a game with no players without realizing it. For games that require multiplayer, I fear this will harm ratings.
I’m interested to see how this experiment goes, but from the announcement so far, I’m happy that removing CCUs is part of the experiment. I’ll explain why:
Completely ignoring how this could be a double-sided blade for surfacing bad faith actors (or, the above is also very valid), discovery has only ever benefitted those with top statistics for a long many years now and it’s made it horrible for new experiences to break through the surface without a significant financing effort on our part, to which the existing ad system is a bad gamble. This feels like it’d make experiences rather equal and rely less on “algorithm luck”.
Discovery has never felt like discovery, and the only experiences that get surfaced to me personally are those with already large communities and don’t need any further help from Roblox - but are still everpresent and always in my face. It’s difficult to find new experiences with the lack of developer-curated sorts (e.g. via genres, tags or otherwise), and lack of discovery is also a contributor to why our experiences can’t reach audiences even during peak update times.
We are currently lucky enough to have a longstanding and fiercely dedicated community spanning over a decade that, during peak update times (we update infrequently but massively when we do), our existing playerbase showing up to play and inviting some friends is what helps us through. We otherwise barely get any visibility in discovery that we otherwise had back when genres were up (which is what helped me find the game in the first place and eventually become one of its developers as well).
I wish the experiment well. A better discovery driven by both algorithms and developers will help us all win here, and the first step I feel would be to let all experiences have a chance to appear - rather than only letting discovery feel like it’s tailored towards top earners only.
ETA: This may be articulated a bit poorly. This is mainly in regards to the whole update. As for the removal of CCUs, I may hold the unpopular opinion of “I like the idea to experiment with that”, but time will tell how this will truly behave for experiences dependent on player-to-player interaction. As much as it indicates that there’s enough of a presence in sessions making the friction to joining easier, it also only rewards… obviously only popular experiences. No CCUs means equal chances. I think the precious balance is to figure out how to make it apparent that there are players playing.
Removing CCU from games is a huge deal. What if you are looking to play a social hangout and you end up joining no one in a recommended game given to you via the algorithm?
Little factors like this decide whether or not a player will click on the game to play. I wouldn’t go out of my way to play games with no one; what stops young players from doing the same? Most people play games with high concurrent numbers, which are known to be made of high quality and shown to retain players due to being really engaging and fun for their audience. Can you say the same for other low-quality, rushed games without looking at the CCU?
I understand this is a countermeasure to help assist experiences with no players to gain impressions, but it’s an interesting method to bring some sort of first impression to games without looking at how many people are playing.
This is COMPLETELY backwards. Really, just why? The CCU is EXTREMELY useful and removing it out of nowhere would make the homescreen 50x worse. Why does every UX “improvement” to the homescreen just get worse than the last?
Firstly, thank you for communicating this in advance!!! This really helps with figuring out why various KPIs are suddenly nosediving or skyrocketing with seemingly no major game changes. More communication like this moving forward please! This is a great start.
Does this mean there will be less experiences shown on the home page? E.g. 6 experiences down to 3-4?
Are we still keeping the “Friends” section? I often want to see what my various friends are doing regardless of the context of a given experience. If that’s removed I’d be joining my friends less often / would have to explicitly search for them, which would be annoying as a user.
If the above questions could be answered it would clear up some of the confusion I think!
I don’t really agree here - you can quickly view the game’s CCUs on its details page, or from the creator dashboard. Can be slightly annoying yes but it’s a non-issue imo.
Regarding the issue of players joining a game with no players in it - I don’t really see that as an issue. If I’m looking at an experience, I’m probably interested enough to join it regardless. Seeing a low CCU can actually make a user not join, when they otherwise would’ve had a fun time in an experience that happens to have only 80 CCU.
Bring. back. genres.
For real, bring them back - looking for a new game in a specific genre is so hard with how the front page is set up, the weird Whatever made up algorithm based faux-genre sorting doesn’t even work properly (at least on the site, I can’t vouch for the mobile app or desktop app since I won’t bother touching those with a 10 mile stick).
Clearly genres are still supported by the platform’s APIs since they’re still around in a few places for no reason.
Bring back genres how they used to be, or better yet - like how other game distribution platforms/metaverse platforms have it, where you can search by defined genres and tag so people can find what they want and not what the platform thinks they want. (See: Steam)