Update to Roblox Licensing Program & Brand Guidelines

I think I can understand the reasoning behind sunsetting Stars; endorsing random creators by selling their avatars or IP is dangerous if they do something bad, and the scalability of this program is questionable. This was honestly a long time coming.

Further, I think I can understand the reasoning behind preventing developers from creating experiences titled after the Roblox brand; Unity games never refer back to their engine, that would be weird, and Roblox in the past has made it very clear that they want to step into the background in a similar way, but I think Roblox’s pursuit of this is getting aggressive and artificial. Roblox was incredible to users of all ages for years for a good reason, and I don’t think this new direction is compatible with that reason. We are losing something.

Instead of embracing what makes Roblox unique (the entire concept of the Roblox Community, and the almost family-like togetherness the platform itself created over almost 2 decades), Roblox has now dropped everything that made it truly special to its userbase and is chasing some sterile corporate ideal, distilling itself down into its minimum required components and dissolving everything else, trying to become a gargantuan and faceless platform, which is honestly just very sad? If I found Roblox today at the age I was when I discovered it in 2007, I likely would not have become a developer. I’m starting to lose that feeling like I belong to something greater. I don’t feel like I matter anymore.

I cannot say anything towards whether or not this vision will make Roblox more successful as a platform or as a company, but to us as developers, we are absolutely feeling the loss of Roblox’s identity and involvement with us. We are losing how approachable and friendly Roblox was, and trying to engage with the platform we love is getting increasingly out of reach.

Further, lately it has felt increasingly like the people in charge of the features we love just don’t care, don’t have the time to dedicate to managing them, are themselves mismanaged, or are getting priorities as they matter to developers just plain wrong. Roblox’s communication with us on important matters is getting corporate and terse, or completely nonexistent. Questions go unanswered and language is often infuriatingly vague or rife with legalese. Our feedback most of the time doesn’t feel like it ever goes anywhere (see below).

I left a lot of other related feedback in a private discord server. MisterGreenTurtle has notes from me and the other people in that server, including some great examples of instances where our feedback on matters that affect us has simply been ignored, even if low-effort, with no communication funneled back to us.

It really feels like the direction this platform is going is losing us something important.

44 Likes

Hi all, I work with Jazwares. If you are interested in learning more about working with us on licensed product, please send me a DM here on the forums. Thanks!

14 Likes

Not really making me want to keep my games on roblox, Unity is a lot more chill

3 Likes

Wow, I uh…think you’re 100% right even if you’re sorta guessing most of this.

Truth be told, this sort of thing did actually happen once in the past believe it or not…

COUGH

COUGH

And it’s kinda easy to tell that Roblox doesn’t want a repeat of this to happen on their platform, so it really does make sense when you think about it.

I mean, they’ll literality do almost anything for their investors so…yeah.

Yeah, that’s the sad truth unfortunately.

I thought that maybe things would get better over time, but copyrighting the likeness of R6 and R15 just because they want Rthro pushed even more is a new kind of low for them.

Maybe in 2035, we’ll see a Roblox animator get sued for having an R6 charcter in a Youtube video for 8 seconds.

Wouldn’t surprise me if they become the next Viacom by then.

4 Likes

This change is in no way endorsing Rthro characters. Blocky character can still be used in media (youtube, twitter, ect). This change only applies to physical products, packaging, retail displays, services, NFTs, film, TV, books, stage shows or amusement parks. R6 and R15 blocky characters have very strong brand recognition. Roblox does not want developers working with toy manufactures to exploiting that recognition and create knock-off Roblox toys. You can use blocky characters in your game and game icons but when it comes time to manufacture a toy for your game the toy design can’t have that Roblox blocky aesthetic. It will need to be altered in a way that is recognizable as your IP but not recognizable as a Roblox toy.

The reason Roblox wants “Roblox” and “Blox” removed from future games is to that when a game starts working with a toy/merch company, they won’t have any reference to Roblox on the packaging

It’s a shame they completely removed the stars program. Though stars was a terrible deal for large games it allowed smaller games to get a toy who otherwise wouldn’t. Just some changes to the exclusivity clauses would have been enough to free large games.

47 Likes

I’ve made a post outlining, in detail, why this is problematic for developers & the community as a whole, & requesting for it to be restored with a facelift. Support is appreciated!

11 Likes

The only issue is the wording is a bit more fuzzy than that, as it simply cites not using the R6 characters in a commercial circumstance.

If you make a living off of YouTube, and use a generic R6 character there, whether it be a video thumbnail, or as your brand icon, does that not seep into the realm of commerical activity?

8 Likes

The wording is a bit fuzzy. The examples they listed on the usage guidelines was very commercial. Doesn’t seem like they are targeting youtubers imo but it is vague enough to go after youtubers. https://gyazo.com/c3d8025a346372e58ab1ad53070705be

9 Likes

I doubt they would shoot themselves in the foot that much as to target the influencers that attract players to the platform in the first place, but it remains that these rules implemented by Roblox have had a trend over the past few years of being vague enough to be a cause for concern.

More often than not the concern is validated once moderation occurs further down the line.

2 Likes

Would be nice if Roblox replaced this program with something else, Stars program has been super helpful in manufacturing/marketing toys to major retailers and there would of been no way I would of been able to do the same myself

3 Likes

This absolutely terrible change is gonna do so much damage to your reputation as a company.

Well not like they always had a good reputation to begin with. But changes like these is what will make developers stray away from Roblox and onto actually good platforms like Unity or Unreal Engine. And that’s starting to be the case here for me. If garbage changes like these are kept up eventually I’ll just end up quitting developing and go to a real actually good platform.

8 Likes

Welp, I’ve tried to give this platform a chance, even gave it one more after the audio changes, I tried to even defend the platform a bit within an argument with some friends. (unity vs roblox)

Obviously, that was a mistake, the way we get mistreated here, we are the bloodline of the platform are we not? I’m going to admit the loss and say my friends were right all along.

I love how only us developers are affected and not the YouTubers, say what you want, but obviously the crop has their favorites let alone with quite a few people who shouldn’t be in the program at all.

Let’s talk about rthro, obviously nobody much likes it, but I guess the corp will continue pushing something that’s super dead, the only people that I see use rthro are ROBLOX staff and rarely players.

If I were to market a game, I want it to have the classic R6/R15 characters in it. In my opinion, rthro has no place here, it looks so ugly on the platform, and I would be forgiving if this were VRCHAT, but this isn’t. (If we can’t market it, why not just fully remove it??)

Seriously, what are they thinking? The platform already has bad publicity, and now this…?

This is the worst update I have ever seen; I don’t see what they’re trying to accomplish apart from “let’s spend less money on developers and let’s force branding down their throats”.

P.S. Might as well get rid of the name “ROBLOX”, it’s a shadow of what this platform once was, we might as well call it “rthro-tropica” since it makes sense for their agenda they’re trying to accomplish nowadays.

The fact we can’t use “BLOX” in the names of our experiences anymore too, why? that’s one of the iconic things about this platform.

11 Likes

If my game has the word “Blox” in it and was created well before 1st July, do I need to change it?

2 Likes

Frankly, I disagree with the discontinuation of using the Roblox-themed names. I make games and stuff aimed at people in the Roblox community, not just random people, I get the idea of them trying to allow us to “Expand out our Experience’s” potential but to do so by forcibly forcing people to not even associate with Roblox is a bit of a step too far. If we want to make Roblox-themed games on Roblox, we should be able to use Roblox-themed names.

Kinda not interested in marketing my games to Facebook so…

9 Likes

Think if someone’s good idea’s true meaning is good to ruin.
Betlayal, isn’t it?

3 Likes

I have to agree.

I have owned and run a group for over 12 years, the Robloxia Railroad System. The group is entirely within the bounds of Roblox, and having existed under our name for so long we feel this is an outrageously massive slap in the face. Suddenly we can’t make new experiences with our name involved, and I fear if these guidelines go further we won’t be able to do anything under our name anymore. What do we do now, trash 12 years of history, memories, fun and frolic on Roblox by being forced to change our name?

5 Likes

Ok I understand the reasons behind the Stars Program idea, even tho small devs won’t be able to have a toy line up anymore as it requires money and full time investment, and thats if the big company that produces toy have something to care about the small dev you are.

And as I am a small dev, I know this toy business is completely over for me, aswell as the funds I had for a living, that really sad.

Thanks for the mail notification at least.

5 Likes

I always thought this platform had the motto “Powering Imagination”. It seems like they limit you to the core when it comes to things as simple as naming. From how it looks, it seems as if they’re trying to get rid of R6 and Classic R15 as a whole in place of Rthro. This game is Roblox, nothing else. Getting rid of what it’s mostly known for is going to hurt the community tremendously. Especially when it’s going to look like those generic multiverse games every other company is trying to push out now. This platform was special because they weren’t like everyone else. I can hardly see the good in most of these things here. Maybe the Star Program being sunsetted was fine, because smaller developers would get control. The other things? It’s removing the “Blox” from Roblox.

7 Likes

Even so, wouldn’t it still fall under fair use?

2 Likes

I am part of the Stars agreement, and I have not received a payout in 11 months - I should have gotten one 5 months ago - I have 3 toys that have recently released which I have not received a cent from thus far. Roblox is 5 months late in paying me. It is coming dangerously close to a year since I have received a payment from them. Emailing them has yielded nothing so far, and I have to wait over 20 days just for a response. It is absolutely egregious and infuriating. Now I am seriously concerned that I will never get what I am owed.

EDIT: Matter is now resolved.

16 Likes