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Roblox boss denies profiting from child exploitation, calls it ‘a gift’

Roblox is a global phenomenon, popular with kids of all ages. On this platform, users can use Roblox Studio to create games and upload them to other players to play for free or purchase. It’s so popular that pop star Nicki Minaj used it to promote her latest album.

However, Roblox is known for exploiting the labor of its audience and leveraging it to make staggering profits (and $3 billion in revenue) by making the exchange rate between Robux and real money extremely unfavorable. This was highlighted in a 2021 survey by YouTube channel People Make Games (PMG), which revealed the unsavory side of Roblox.

Roblox recent statements

The company’s CEO David Baszucki recently told The Verge that “obviously everyone wants to keep kids safe,” but their intentions are certainly in question after Roblox Studio head Stefano Corazza spoke to GDC’s Eurogamer.

In response to questions about the exploitative nature of his business, Colazza said he did not consider it exploitative. He emphasized the earning potential and the fact that people can use Roblox to learn to code.”

” I don’t know, you can say that about a lot of things, right? Like, you can say, ‘Well, we’re exploiting, you know, child labor,’ right? Or, you can say: We work for people around the world provide people with the ability to find a job and even an income. So, I can be like 15 years old, in Indonesia, living in a slum, and now, with just a laptop, I can create something, make money, and then sustain my life.

“When you go broad and democratized, there’s always another side — and in this case, there’s a younger audience,” he continued. “I mean, the average age of our game developers is in their 20s. Of course, there are teenagers – we employ some teenagers who have millions of players on the platform.

“For them, you know, from their experience, they don’t feel exploited! They feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is the greatest gift, all of a sudden I can create something and I have hundreds of million users, I made so much money, I can retire. “So I’m more focused on the amount of money we allocate to creators every year, which is now approaching a billion dollars, which is staggering.”

These statements stand in stark contrast to what PMG found in its investigation and the exchange rate between Robux and U.S. dollars (1,000 Robux redeems for $3.50 but costs $12.50 to buy), calling into question whether Roblox truly understands the concerns some people have The nature or scope of child exploitation.

As Baszuki begins meeting with legislators and legislators in Washington to discuss child safety, it remains to be seen what changes will happen to the platform and how, if at all, its creators will be compensated. Until then, there will be no war in Ba Sing Se.

Featured Image Credit: Roblox

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