Roblox has done very well on Quest. When it launched on the standalone VR platform back in July, it managed to break one million downloads in its first five days, essentially making the online game the hottest social VR platform currently available on Quest. Now Roblox has also showered attendees at its annual developer conference this past weekend with free Quest Pros.

Despite being in direct competition with Meta’s Horizon Worlds social VR platform, there doesn’t seem to be any bad blood over the explosive growth of Roblox on Quest.

A message was sent to attendees at RDC23 this past weekend, stating that Meta is footing the bill to provide a heap of free Quest Pros, its $1,000 mixed reality standalone.

“The news is out! We want to give a special thanks to our partner meta. They have offered to provide all RDC23 attendees with Meta Quest Pro headsets to help you create the best Roblox experiences for VR,” the message reads.

Developers didn’t have to wait long, as they collected their free Quest Pros on site at RDC23.

Quest 3 Finally Replaced Index as My Main PC VR Headset, and I Have Valve to Thank

During the RDC 2023 keynote, Baszucki also revealed that Roblox now features “over 50,000 experiences that are ready right now on Meta Quest.”

Roblox is currently available on the Quest platform via App Lab, however the company says it’s set for its “full” release on Quest sometime in September. Baszucki didn’t specify when, although it’s a good bet that the popular social platform will be a launch day title on Quest 3, which could come as early as September 27th during Connect, Meta’s annual developer conference.

The company also announced Roblox is headed to PlayStation in October, however it’s not clear if that will include PSVR or PSVR 2 support as well.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • ViRGiN

    Valve didn’t give index to their own employees lmao

  • Christian Schildwaechter

    Some ideas about why Meta might be giving away free QPro to thousands of Roblox developers, despite Roblox competing with Horizon Worlds:

    – The least interesting one: they have too many that they cannot sell. Either already produced, or they have contracts with Qualcomm and others for components like the pancake optics that require them to buy e.g at least 500K.

    – AFAIK RDC is invite-only, so they wouldn’t be giving out the QPro to random users, instead only to a rather exclusive list of people Roblox considered important enough to invite, incl. a lot of influencers.

    – Even though Horizon Worlds and Roblox compete, Meta would still earn on every payed transaction in Roblox VR. The widely criticized up to 48% fees that creators would have to pay in Horizon Worlds on every digital sale was due to the actual Horizon Worlds fees going on top of the regular 30% fees Meta takes on (almost) everything. Something similar would apply to Roblox too.

    – Roblox is huge. 169M monthly users, while the Quest 2 hit around 6.5M in late 2022, making the active Roblox user base more than 25x larger. Roblox talks numbers during the RBC, they had 65.5M daily users in June 2023, each spending on average 2.3h on the platform every day. That’s up from 58.5M just a year ago, about 11% more in a year. 30% from millions of users would be much more than 48% from a few hundred thousands.

    – Roblox is already where Meta’s Metaverse wants to go. They have a large active user base, they have a developer community that works completely inside the Roblox world, while Meta relies on external tools like Unity and Unreal Engine. Roblox has thousands of user created experiences, with hundreds of them making their creators six figure sums every year.

    – There are a lot of technical similarities, e.g. with avatars. About 95% of all Roblox users have enabled functions that allow them to dress their avatars, for individualization and of course enabling a market to sell lots of cosmetic items. They are pushing further in that directing, allow virtual calls between users as avatars also on mobile phones, and just announced that those will use the real mimics of the users, so a mix between the basic facial tracking for avatars on the QPro and the attempted realistic face rendering on the AVP.

    – Of all the competing “metaverse” platforms, Roblox may be the best pick for Meta to partner with. It is much more restricted and “civilized” than VRChat, which is more like a grass root “anything goes” platform that doesn’t exactly appreciate attempts to moderate or commercialize it. Roblox also has a giant non-VR user base, but at the same time seems rather eager to move towards VR as a very natural fit, without any ambitions to create their own VR hardware/ecosystem, so they also like Meta. And they are clearly aiming to make Roblox a financially viable and sustainable platform of its own for all participants, which leads to things like introducing ads on the platform, but also reacting to developer criticisms and removing fees on digital sales they initially introduced. So they are trying to play nice with everyone, which will probably also include Meta, though I’d expect them to make special deals to not have to pay the full 30%. This is still more cooperative than e.g. Epic, who wanted to get rid of the 30% fee for anything sold in their Fortnite-Universe on the Apple/Google stores, deliberately broke the license agreement to start a fight in court and is trying to lobby politics to take away Apple’s and Google’s ability to arbitrarily set prices. And Epic is still rather uncommitted towards VR in general.

    So it looks like a sort of “if you can’t beat them, join them” move, actually two-sided, with Roblox themselves pushing the Quest version, plus a lot of free PR from articles like this one and probably lots of Roblox Twitch and YouTube streamers showing of their QPro after the official launch of Roblox on the Quest Store in a few weeks.

    • Traph

      Damn, this has me half convinced Meta is going to attempt an acquisition of Roblox. Horizon Worlds isn’t exactly popular and probably never will be with VR Chat and Roblox existing and both being far superior at what they do.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        That would be very expensive, with the Roblox market capitalization currently at an insane USD 17.6bn, and most definitely get Meta into serious trouble with antitrust regulators. They already got into trouble in the US and UK when trying to buy Supernatural for USD 400mn due to their dominant position in VR, even though VR is still just a tiny niche. If they tried to buy what is basically the largest “metaverse” company, the FTC would nail them to the wall, and then drop that wall onto their head.

  • Foreign Devil

    Is nobody going to point out that the average Roblox player is 7 years old and therefore far below the cutoff age for Meta’s own VR safe use age??? My 8 year old loves Roblox but I”m not going to let him play it in VR everyday.

    • ViRGiN

      That’s the same as for games like Pavlov or Onward. Or Gorilla Tag, #1 PCVR game.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Roblox is mostly a platform for rather simple mobile games with a very young audience, so even RecRoom or Gorilla Tag players may feel old there. But your estimate of an average age of 7 is still somewhat off. Their current statistics list 44% of users below and 56% above 13, with those above 13 spending (slightly) more time with it on average. Only about 1 in 7 is older than 25.

      So the average age is probably somewhere between 14 and 16, given that there will be a couple of 75 years old users messing up the statistics, and very few toddlers to compensate for it. But given that Roblox is mostly a platform with thousands of games, not a single experience, where you choose to go will greatly influence the average age of the users you meet there, and for whom that experience may be appropriate.

      • Guest

        It’s the parents that set it up as a babysitting device that are distorting those stats. The user base is obviously preteenage! For a couple dollars Robucks a parent can keep kids busy for days.

  • They got rid of some stock…