Roblox today reported its earnings for the three months ended September 30, and the company continued to show signs of growth even as losses ramped up significantly.
- Net revenue: $518 million (up 2% year-on-year)
- Bookings: $702 million (up 10%)
- Net loss: $302 million (compared to a $74 million loss in the year-ago quarter)
Roblox’s results were significantly impacted this quarter by a shift in the company’s reporting process.
The company revised its estimate for each paying user’s lifespan with the platform from 25 months to 28 months, meaning that more of the money it brings in each quarter (bookings) has to be deferred as revenue to future quarters’ results. For this quarter, that meant net revenues were about $111 million less than they would have been under the old method of reporting.
As for the company’s continued losses, Roblox CEO David Baszucki said in a post-earnings call that the company expects to report net losses “for the foreseeable future” because its investment decisions are based on non-GAAP bookings.
Roblox also touted growing engagement metrics on the platform, particularly where other companies are seeing their pandemic-era boosts fade.
“Our Core markets, in particular the US and Canada, are generally at peak levels (above peak-COVID levels) and are growing well,” Baszucki said in a letter to shareholders alongside the earnings release.
Daily active users were up 24% year-over-year to 58.8 million, while monthly unique payers were up 16% year-over-year to a record 12.9 million.
The company also noted its aging user base. In the third quarter, 46% of daily active users were under the age of 13. In the same stretch of 2019, that youngest cohort accounted for 61% of the user base.
Baszucki was optimistic about the future of the business as well, saying in the conference call that where other companies have been freezing hiring or staging layoffs in recent months, Roblox plans to continue hiring throughout 2023.
He added that Roblox is looking to roll out the ability for creators to make their own limited edition items next year.
“Very early on in Roblox, we started building Roblox items with the vision that we ultimately want our community and user base to be the provider of all UGC items – clothing, avatar items, avatars all of that – and the final step of that that we’re in the process of completing is a limited marketplace.”
Baszucki gave a hypothetical example of a high-end brand like Gucci having a verified presence on Roblox and being able to sell an in-game item limited to 10 copies across the entire platform.
“We’re moving to an economy where top brands will have limited index items,” Baszucki said. “The items that Roblox has made – which we want our creators to make – that we’ve done in a limited fashion — for example our Dominus Crown — trade at $20,000 on the platform. And we believe we will see similar trade value, similar things we see in the real world with scarce items, with some of these things. We believe this is going to be really fun, really good for engagement, and will ultimately expand our economy so it does look more like the real world and we have very high-priced items as well.”
Roblox CFO Mike Guthrie added that the company expects this open marketplace to be effective across all age groups and demographic splits on the platform, saying, “There’s going to be content that will be appealing to younger users and older users.”