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Roblox is 'the biggest gift' to teen devs, not exploitation, says studio head

The platform's relationship with children has been the subject of scrutiny for years, but Stefano Cozarro thinks Roblox helps more than it harms.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

April 4, 2024

2 Min Read
Logo for game platform Roblox.
Image via Roblox Corp.

"I think that we are really focusing on the learning - the curriculum, if you want - and really bringing people on and empowering them to be professionals."--Roblox Studio head Stefano Corazza

For years, Roblox has faced criticism and allegations of how it exploits young players and developers. But studio head Stefano Corazza says the platform has done more good than harm.

During GDC, Corazza talked to Eurogamer about a number of topics, including the game's relationship with kids. In recent years, a light has been shone on how it allegedly underpays teen developers who create in-game content for other players.

This can be particularly painful due to both the conversion rate and creators only getting 30 percent of the revenue. Roblox Corp previously argued subscription services can help make up the difference.

Cozarra's optimism was geared more towards its career benefits. To him, it "offers people anywhere in the world the capability to get a job, and even like an income."

"I can be like 15 years old, in Indonesia, living in a slum," he continued. "And then now, with just a laptop, I can create something, make money and then sustain my life."

Yes, Roblox Studio has empowered teens, who he claims told him they don't feel exploited. Those creators reportedly called their payouts "the biggest gift," and provided them with enough money to retire.

In total, Corazza says Roblox is nearing $1 billion in terms of money distributed to creators. The company has previously stated its "vast majority" of paid creators are 18 or older.

More over, Corazza advocated for Roblox's cultural value by touting how it's gotten kids interesting in programming. "Imagine the millions of kids that learn how to code every month. [...] You can get a job in the tech industry in the future, and be like, 'Hey, I'm a programmer,' right?"

Eurogamer's longer conversation with Corazza can be read here.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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