It's official: Roblox now has more active players than the behemoth world-building game Minecraft.
It was perhaps only a matter of time before a free-to-play game had more active players than the $27 Minecraft, but people would be forgiven for expecting battle royale phenomenon Fortnite to be the first to take the lead. That’s not what happened, however, and Roblox now reigns supreme the online gaming world.
Roblox, a free-to-play game popular among the under-18 crowd, now boasts 100 million active users according to a release sent out by the game’s creators. This is more than the 91 million players that Minecraft attracts per month, as reported by Microsoft back in March.
The latest Fortnite numbers show just 78.3 million monthly players. Granted, those numbers were from August of 2018, but if Fortnite has gotten bigger since then, Epic Games hasn't let anybody know.
Part of Roblox's popularity undoubtedly comes from being featured by internet personalities such as PewDiePie, but that alone can't account for such huge rise in popularity.
So what exactly is Roblox? It’s a bit more difficult to pin down than its competition, since the game is really a collection of games made by its community using its creation tools. The result is literally thousands of creations that all have different gameplay styles, though they all feature the same simplistic low-poly graphics that is iconic to the series.
Some of the games model themselves after popular genres, such as the aptly-named "Tower Defense Simulator" or the zombie survival shooter "Those Who Remain."
Others are more experimental in their design. The game "Broken Bones IV" has players trying to injure themselves as badly as possible by jumping from high places, and the extremely-popular "Royale High" lets players attend classes that challenge them to various mini games, and gives them the opportunity to attend a dance where they can compete to be crowned "Supreme Royalty" through votes by other players.
Like many free games, Roblox earns money by getting players to pay for its in-game currency, Robux. Members of the community who get players to spend Robux in a game they created can earn a share of this money, which goes a long way towards explaining the sheer number of games available. None of the games have anywhere near the amount of polish you'd find in a AAA release, but the content that's there has proven to be enough to amass such a huge following.
Some may be disappointed to see Minecraft, a longstanding giant of the gaming world, lose out to a competitor that rarely gets any mainstream coverage. The gaming world is always changing, however, and there will undoubtedly be another that overtakes Roblox in popularity.