roblox began letting makers make and sell limited edition avatar gear — aptly dubbed “Limiteds” — in April, and on Thursday the company shared a wide-ranging post about its vision for the roblox marketplace and some updates on how makers can sell Limiteds.
roblox considers its marketplace to be a “critical part of the Roblox economy,” and seemingly rightly so; the company says it has sold “1.8 billion avatar items” on the platform in 2022 alone. Limiteds allow creators to create artificial scarcity for those digital goods, which can make certain items feel more valuable and potentially allow creators to make more money.
roblox seems invested in the idea that his economy functions like an IRL economy. “We really believe that the market should reflect the real world,” said product manager Jehan Damji in an interview with The edge. With Limiteds, that seems to mean offering a mechanism by which the market can determine the price of a good.
There already seems to be some traction from makers for Limiteds. According to the message, about half of all Limiteds are used up roblox are now made by makers after less than 30 days; only for April roblox could offer Limiteds. But over time, you’ll see a lot more Limiteds on the market as the company plans to open up its user-generated content to everyone, according to Thursday’s blog. Currently, you need to sign up for the program.
roblox also makes a change that could mean creators make more money from their Limiteds – and therefore entice more creators to sell them. Starting May 30, creators can choose to sell Limiteds only in a roblox experience rather than making it available to the wider market.
robloxThe typical payout of a UGC item is as follows:
- 30 percent of sales go to the maker
- 40 percent goes to what Damji described as the “distributor,” or the person who made the place where an item is sold
- 30 percent goes to roblox
So with the change to only allow makers to sell Limiteds in roblox experiences, they can theoretically make their own experiences And sell a Limited in it to get 70 percent of the Limited’s fees.
But you might be wondering who gets that 40 percent when an item is resold roblox‘s general marketplace. In that case, Damji says so roblox itself is considered as the distributor, meaning that roblox gets 70 percent of the purchase – which is probably not ideal for some creators.
roblox also makes a few other changes to Limiteds. Groups can publish Limiteds starting next week; previously only private individuals could sell them. The company will remove price caps for Limiteds; previously, some items could initially only be sold for up to 5,000 Robux, while others were limited to 10,000 Robux. And Roblox itself will no longer make its own Limiteds.
Personally I’m not a fan of it roblox‘s choice to offer scarce amounts of digital items. I am very guilty of spending money on digital clothes in games like Fortnite – I couldn’t pass up the chance to dress up as Goku – but if I had to choose, I prefer Epic Games’ approach of creating scarcity by limiting how long something is on sale. That system has its own set of issues, but it also means that anyone who wants to buy something when it goes on sale can get it, no matter how many people bought the outfit before them. And I worry that the many children who play roblox could inadvertently spend a lot of money on cool-looking but expensive Limiteds.
But for a creator who wants to build a career making avatar gear or digital fashion, Fortnite is not an option, like Fortnite‘s creation tools are instead focused on helping people create virtual worlds. roblox‘s Limiteds could be the place to go instead.