Roblox, a gaming platform with 32.6 million daily users, hit the public market on Wednesday.
In 2020, the company paid out more than $328.74 million to Roblox game developers.
Roblox games are built by independent developers - helping some teens pay for college.
The wildly popular gaming platform Roblox went public on Wednesday through a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Its stock spiked 15% to value the firm at nearly $44 billion.
Unlike "Minecraft" or "Fortnite," Roblox isn't exactly a game, but a platform where players can jump from one user-generated experience to the next. Roblox allows kids to play games created by others or to try building games themselves.
Popular titles include "Adopt Me," in which players "adopt" pets, care for them, and share them with other players, and "Brookhaven," in which players can role-play living in a city and buy homes, vehicles, and other items.
While all the games are free to play, most offer premium features or benefits in exchange for Robux, an in-game currency that can be purchased for real money.
Developers get a 70% commission on all the Robux spent in their game. That can help young developers reel in significant amounts of money - in some cases enough to pay for their college educations.
The stock began trading under the ticker RBLX on Wednesday. Here are some eye-popping stats about Roblox on the day of its market debut:
The platform had 32.6 million daily active users as of 2020, an explosive surge from the 12 million it had in 2018.
There were over 18 million games, called "experiences," on Roblox as of September 30.
In 2017, Roblox said it would pay out $30 million to developers. That figure jumped to $328.74 million in 2020.
Over 1,250 developers earned at least $10,000 in Robux from the platform, and over 300 earned $100,000 or more.
Roblox users spent 22.2 billion hours engaged in gameplay in the first nine months of 2020, more than double the 10 billion hours in the first nine months of 2019.
Roblox said in July that it counted over half of all Americans under the age of 16 as users.
The most popular games can have 500,000 concurrent players during peak times.
"Adopt Me" became the first game in the platform's history to cross a total of 20 billion visits in November. On Wednesday, it had 391,000 concurrent players.
"Brookhaven" had 457,000 concurrent players on Wednesday.
Alex Hicks, a 24-year old Roblox developer, made more than $1 million in a year as the owner of RedManta, a studio that creates games for Roblox.
The platform has 8 million active developers, Roblox said in its S1 prospectus.
Infrastructure and trust and safety were Roblox's second-largest cost after developer fees. Last year, these expenses rose by 69%, to $264.2 million.
The firm reeled in $923.9 million in revenue during 2020 with a $253 million net loss, its S1 said.
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