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Roblox touts creator community at VidCon 2022

Kerry Flynn
Jun 23, 2022
Photo illustration of Manuel Bronstein, Chief Product Officer of Roblox, with an image of the metaverse and abstract shapes.

Roblox CPO Manuel Bronstein. Photo illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios. Photo: Courtesy of Roblox

Roblox chief product officer Manuel Bronstein was in Anaheim on Thursday to present at VidCon. Axios chatted with him ahead of time about his background and the online gaming platform's creator community.

Why it matters: VidCon isn't just about creators who are known for their presences on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram. Roblox has built a massive community of amateur and professional creators who enjoy social gaming and metaverse experiences.

Catch up quick: Bronstein joined Roblox last year, but he's no VidCon newbie. He first attended in 2017, when he worked at YouTube. Prior, he was at Xbox and Zynga.

  • "I joke that if you merge those three [companies] together and they had a baby, it would look like Roblox in many ways," Bronstein says.

What he's saying: Bronstein says he became interested in joining Roblox after he saw the Lil Nas X concert in 2020, and other non-gaming experiences, on the platform.

  • "I think that the notion that we had a new canvas for creators to build really immersive experiences and have a large community of people who are going to join them and interact with them was super, super compelling," he says.
  • Some of his favorite recent experiences include the Twenty One Pilots concert, the game Rolling Thunder, and Alo Yoga's wellness space for yoga and meditation.
  • "Whatever your vibe is as a video creator, you could probably find Roblox content that you can build on top of," Bronstein says.

By the numbers: Bronstein shared some updated statistics, including that Roblox has more than 54.1 million daily active users in 180 countries who are spending more than two hours a day on the platform.

  • Its fastest-growing demographic is ages 17 to 24, and about 52% of its users are older than 13.
  • About 10.5 million people have built more than 29 million experiences on the platform.

How it works: Some of Roblox's new features stem from acquisitions. Roblox's new facial animation for avatars came from Loom.ai, a startup founded by former LucasFilm and DreamWorks staffers, which Roblox acquired in 2020.

  • Bronstein says future acquisitions could support two of Roblox's priorities: "aging up" their audience and international expansion.

Of note: Bronstein joined the New York Times' board of directors last year.

  • "Their mission statement about seeking the truth and helping people understand the world resonated deeply with me," Bronstein says. "The Times [is also] an amazing story of a company that reinvented itself in the digital era."
  • As for New York Times Games, he's a daily player of Wordle.
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