Roblox Leaping the Metaverse Age Cliff With VOIP Calling, PlayStation Expansion, Dating Experiences and (Sigh) Generative AI

If you missed the recent whirlwind of Roblox announcements, they read like the company's concerted attempt to the cross (in a single leap!) the Metaverse Age Cliff, that point in the lifecycle of a platform where usage tends to drop sharply as the user base reaches adulthood:

  • Coming later this year in early release, Roblox Connect is an avatar-to-avatar voice chat system. Most metaverse platforms already have some variation of this, but seeing as Roblox has 300 million monthly active users — i.e. nearly the size of the entire US population –  this feature will create a calling network large enough to compete with traditional phone carriers.
  • Roblox is coming to PlayStation 4/5 next month, connecting it to an install base of over 150 million households, primarily comprised of core gamers in their 20s and 30s.
  • The company also unveiled a generative AI assistant (video below) to create 3D content.
  • Roblox CEO David Baszucki is again promising "dating experiences" coming to adult-age users in the next 5 years, where "thousands"  of people will start real life relationships. This is basically re-branding an existing phenomena for a mass market/Wall Street audience — thousands of people already do that in virtual worlds every day.  Indeed, the 20-something developer couple I profiled in the book first met in Roblox. (More on them later.)

Roblox frontlines interview

Pictured: Frontlines, recent user-created Roblox experience ideal for PlayStation crowd

This is on top of the recent Meta Quest integration and the little covered news (from a reputable data gathering source) that Roblox has amassed 300 million monthly active users. If the PlayStation launch is successful, the company will have a near-unbeatable lead among metaverse platforms.

As for the generative AI, I'm still a bit skeptical that it will be more than a brief novelty — but it will take a platform of Roblox's size to determine that. Watch below:

More on the Roblox developer blog.

Update, 5:55pm: Tweaked this post and title to emphasize the VOIP calling feature, because, wow.

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