Roblox is going to let creators that sell assets and tools for other creators on its marketplace keep all of the revenue from their sales minus taxes and payment processing fees, the company announced at its Roblox Developers Conference (RDC) 2023 on Friday. The change goes into effect starting sometime next year.
This will be a big change — though it will only apply to sales on the Creator Marketplace, which is for creators to sell to creators, and not to sales on the Marketplace (formerly Avatar Shop) where people can sell avatar-related goods.
Right now, creators who sell things on the Creator Marketplace get a 70 percent cut, and they only thing they can current sell on that marketplace are plugins. But starting next year, developers will be able to sell 3D models as well, meaning that there’s a near future where developers will sell 3D assets to other creators and pocket most of what they earn.
There’s another big change coming to the Creator Marketplace as well: the company is going to let people buy and sell things in dollars instead of in its Robux virtual currency, meaning that Roblox won’t take platform fees from any non-Robux sales. Like many virtual currencies, the value of Robux isn’t 1:1 with dollars and cents, so it can be hard to understand the actual dollar value of something you might want to buy. This update is set to arrive sometime next year.
“We’re starting small, but our hope is to build a vibrant economy of creator-to-creator exchanges,” Roblox chief product officer Manuel Bronstein and CTO Daniel Sturman said in a blog post. “We want to help creators of all sizes diversify the ways they can earn, and pass on cost efficiencies in the form of savings or higher payouts where we can.”
Roblox is also planning to let developers offer in-experience subscriptions sometime soon — a feature that the company already teased earlier this year. In their blog post, Bronstein and Sturman suggest the feature could be used for things like “a subscription for a digital avatar ‘trunk club’ where subscribers regularly receive curated outfits, or a members-only fan club.” Personally, I worry it will mean a bunch of the scummy subscription tactics we see in many mobile apps appear in Roblox experiences, which could be a potentially dangerous thing for the many children who use the platform.