Exclusive: Two leading Roblox studios merge
Why it matters: While lots of big companies talk about their plans to develop a virtual world, Roblox has built one with a devoted young audience and a growing number of brands and game studios taking part. Its economy generates hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue per month.
Details: RedManta Games and Sonar Studios have been profitable and had not taken on outside funding, and their combination was an all-equity deal, the companies told Axios.
- The combined Twin Atlas has around 70 employees and contractors around the world, including around 15 at a physical office in Las Vegas.
The big picture: Roblox, which was growing fast before COVID-19, saw usage accelerate amid the pandemic as its young audience had more hours to spend online and was looking for social connection.
- "The pandemic kind of shot us five years into the future," said Samuel Garcia, CEO of Twin Atlas and previously head of Sonar Studios. Garcia, 22, has been involved in Roblox since he was 9, eventually turning the hobby into a business.
- Back then, he said, a top game might have 100 people playing at a time. Now, a top game might have 2 million people simultaneously playing during peak times.
- "Roblox is obviously growing a ton," he said.
Between the lines: In addition to creating its own titles, Twin Atlas works with large brands to build sponsored worlds or apps within Roblox. That accounts for about 30% of business and is growing quickly, according to business development chief Gavin Rosenthal.
- "We think of them as long-lasting Super Bowl ads," Rosenthal said.
By the numbers:
- People spent 4 billion hours on Roblox in September, up 16% year-over-year, according to data from the company released Monday.
- Roblox had 57.8 million daily active users, up 23% year-over-year.
- Estimated revenue for Roblox was roughly flat, though, at between $171 million and $180 million.
- As for Twin Atlas, its 16 or so titles have been played more than 2.3 billion times, led by Robloxian High School, a virtual high school role-playing game that has been played more than 1 billion times.