Roblox really wants to move beyond being an app for kids, and that includes making it a place where adults actually meet and date. As he closed out Friday’s Roblox Developers Conference (RDC) 2023 keynote, CEO David Baszucki predicted that “thousands” of adults will meet and form “real-life relationships” in dating experiences on the platform over the next five years.
It’s a wild idea, but Roblox is now in a place where this prediction could feasibly come true. The company recently added experiences that can only be played by users who have verified that they are 17 or older, meaning that people hanging out in those exclusive experiences can be relatively sure they’re spending time with people who are old enough to be there. Next year, Roblox is planning to release an AI-powered tool that would let you make an avatar with an image and a text prompt, which could help you make a more realistic version of yourself. And with the platform’s soon-to-launch Roblox Connect video chat feature, people who form a connection could move to a video call to talk more.
The forecast was one of 10 five-year predictions Baszucki made onstage to cap off a jam-packed show. Here are the rest of the predictions, one of which hints at a future update that will let creators sell physical merchandise on the platform:
10. A Fortune 500 company will use a Roblox experience as part of their recruiting process
9. A school will integrate a full K-12 curriculum with Roblox, including language classes with schools in other countries and virtual field trips
8. For 17+ verified people in 17+ experiences: Thousands of adults will meet for the first time in Roblox dating experiences and subsequently form real life relationships
7. Roblox employees will spend more time using Roblox for remote meetings than with video
6. We will share a universal civility metric, and show that for most players, it increases over time
5. Some Roblox creators will make more money from selling physical merchandise on Roblox than virtual merchandise
4. Roblox will be a frequent communication channel for my family
3. A top fashion designer will be discovered on Roblox, without having any experience in physical fashion
2. A musician will perform live to over 1 [million] people on Roblox, using a phone for motion capture
1. A Roblox developer will be valued at $1 [billion]
“The difficult thing about doing this live with all of you: these are etched in stone,” Baszucki said onstage. “So we are fully committed. These can never change. We will be here over the next four years, and we will see you in 2028 for the review of this. I’m shooting for 60 to 70 percent.”
Baszucki also reviewed Roblox’s last set of five-year predictions from 2018. The company said it achieved 58 percent of its goals, including 1 million concurrent players in a Roblox game, having a Roblox developer earn more than $50 million in a year, and having a 100-person company developing on Roblox. The misses included a US president mentioning their Roblox avatar on camera and Tesla using Roblox developers in a promotional effort.