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To build or not to build? That is the Roblox question

Industry Commentary

If you’re interested in entering the metaverse, Roblox seems to be the easiest way in for most brands. All you need is an idea, the money to pay a Roblox development studio, and you can build your own branded experience in the hope that millions of people on the gaming platform will flock to it. 

Roblox is usually the first name that comes to mind when people talk about the metaverse. That’s largely because there are over 58.8 million daily active users on the platform. But it’s important to remember that these 58 million players can choose from nine million different games on the platform. 

That means there’s a lot of competition out there, proving that launching a branded experience on Roblox doesn’t mean it’s going to be successful. Even for the biggest brands and IP, player engagement can quickly grind to a halt once the initial PR hype has run its course. 

The restaurant company Dave & Buster’s launched its Roblox experience on 8th February and has an average concurrent user count of around 250 players. As a direct contrast, the Sonic The Hedgehog-themed Sonic Speed Simulator has an average concurrent user count of around 10,000 players almost a year after its launch in March 2023. 

Of course, Sonic The Hedgehog is an IP that most video game fans are familiar with, and as a video game franchise it’s already a great fit for the Roblox platform due to its natural gaming elements. In most cases, the most popular branded experiences on Roblox contain solid game mechanics, as proven by the success of Vans World (skateboarding), Hot Wheels Open World (racing), and Nars Color Quest (decoration). 

So, not only is building your own branded experience from scratch in Roblox incredibly expensive, but it’s best suited for brands that already align with young gaming audiences. Even then, there’s no guarantee that players are going to visit and stick around long enough for you to monetise your world effectively, so your other option is integrating with a well-established Roblox game for a limited-time event. 

This formula has led to so many successful mobile and console game collaborations over the years, whether it’s The Walking Dead in State of Survival, Spider-Man in PUBG: MOBILE or the Korean boy band BTS making an appearance in Cookie Run Kingdom. 

Metaverse Marcom recently took a look at the most successful IP activations in Roblox games. As it points out, building a game from scratch in Roblox is one of the hardest and most expensive ways for brands to connect with users. If you look at the figures provided by Marcom, it’s easy to see why: 

Most branded experiences in Roblox are lucky to hit over 100,000 daily visits, but games such as Adopt Me!, Livetopia and The Floor is Lava are picking up over one million every day. Adopt Me! is the most popular game on Roblox and has a staggering 16 million daily visits. 

This might explain why Minions choose to integrate with the game rather than building its own experience – instant access to 16 million players with an average session time of 15 minutes. The same justification can be given to LOL Surprise in Twilight Daycare (1.8 million daily visits) and GAP in Club Roblox (1.25 million daily visits). 

That said, these visits don’t account for unique players and while these numbers may look impressive, they’re still dwarfed by many of the most popular mobile games. As an example, PUBG: MOBILE has 30 million daily active players. 

So, if you’re a licensor looking to step into the metaverse and you’re thinking about activating in Roblox, you may want to consider a Roblox integration rather than building your own world. Alternatively, you could do one better and pursue a deal in the mobile space with a video game that best aligns with your brand values – and that’s something we can help with.


Read the episode transcript here

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