Roblox is now letting creators sell digital items that are only available in limited quantities, according to a post on its developer forums. That means, for example, that a creator can make a small number of digital sweaters for Roblox avatars in an effort to make that sweater feel more valuable. Users will also be able to resell these limited items, and when that happens, the original creator will get a 10 percent cut of every sale.
Before now, creators could already make and sell digital items (which you may see referred to as “user-generated content,” or UGC). Roblox is calling these new user-made limited items “Limiteds,” and yes, the entire premise of a scarce digital Roblox good feels like it’s straying into the realm of NFTs.
But Limiteds are not blockchain-based in any way; they’re Roblox-exclusive items that can only be purchased with the in-game Robux currency, which you buy with real money. Roblox also requires that creators apply to sell Limiteds (all creators selling UGC have to apply to do so) and pay an upfront cost — calculated differently from the normal item upfront fee — before listing a limited-availability item. This could prevent creators from flooding the market with junk just to try and earn a quick buck.
Checking Roblox’s Avatar Shop, I’m already seeing that some creators have posted Limiteds since the program was announced last week, though I had to apply some filters to find them. I actually kind of like this potato with a crown (120 Robux) and this UFO sunhat (150 Robux). For an idea of how that translates to real-world money, you can purchase 400 Robux for $4.99.
These aren’t actually the first limited-time items on the store. As shown in one of People Make Games’ excellent videos about Roblox, the company has sold Roblox-made limited-time items in the past, and if you sort by “Limited” in the Roblox store, you’ll see many listed by resellers for hundreds of thousands or even millions of Robux. But any new influx of limited Roblox items could be enticing for the many young players on the platform, and they could encourage dangerous overspending if a parent hasn’t set monthly spending limits.
The idea of limited-availability digital gear isn’t unique to Roblox. Fortnite constantly adds new in-game outfits to its store that are only available for a limited time. However, there are an unlimited number of those outfits for purchase, and in Roblox’s case, creators are the ones making that gear and introducing it to the in-game economy. And since Roblox takes a cut of every sale, the more of these scarce digital goods people buy, the more money the platform makes.
Update April 14th, 5:21PM ET: Clarified in the first paragraph that the items are digital items. Clarified in the third paragraph that all creators selling UGC must apply to be able to do so, not just those selling Limiteds.