Roblox’s Viral, AAA-Quality FPS Not a Huge Hit (Yet)

Above: Frontlines’ Daily Active User rate via RoMonitor Stats

Last week I described Frontlines, a Roblox game experience with newly updated AAA-level graphics and gameplay, as an amazing breakthrough in metaverse platform technology; I even said it showed how Roblox could be a competitor against Steam itself. That’s still true, but here’s a somewhat important qualifier to that:

Frontlines doesn’t seem to be making much money, and it’s definitely not a hit by Roblox standards. Not yet, at least.

According to RoMonitor stats, Frontlines is regularly attracting Daily Active Users in the mid-six figures, with concurrency levels in the low-to-mid four figures. If we’re comparing it to a Steam game, that’s quite good! Easily placing it among the Top 200 most popular games on Steam out of thousands of available titles.

By Roblox standards, however, Frontlines is not a huge hit; on Roblox, the top games have concurrency levels in the mid-five figures to the mid-six figures. Brookhaven, a mini-MMO that’s usually the #1 Roblox experience, has DAU rates between 30-60 million.

Frontlines’ monetization rates have not yet been officially reported, but the developer is selling IAPs — mostly weapon expansions, ranging from 50 cents to $5.00.

But how many players are actually buying those?

I talked on background with a Roblox creator who’s behind some of the top experiences on the platform, and they made some rough estimates’ of Frontlines’ revenue:

Frontlines Roblox FPS user monetization options.jpg

Based on Frontlines’ total visits and assuming 1 Robux per visit, that comes out to about $45,000 USD total over the last month — i.e., about $1000-1500 a day. 

I came away with a roughly similar estimate with another methodology: Assuming Frontline has about 250,000 monthly active users, and 5% of them monetize and pay an average of $2.50, that comes out to around $30,000 USD per month, give or take.

That’s not nothing, but then again it’s not a lot. Even before factoring in Roblox fees, which can be as much as a 70% take. 

My impression is that Frontlines, which was co-financed by the company through its game fund, is meant to attract professional studios. But those studios will probably expect to see monthly revenue in the six figures or higher, before they jump in.

The real mystery is why, after going viral on social media, Frontlines is not (yet) attracting more players, either from the Roblox community or the gaming community at large.

My guess right now is Frontlines is intriguing but not enough to draw players of Call of Duty and other similar titles. 

At the same time, the very fact that Frontlines doesn’t look and play like Roblox is apparently a negative for the existing community. Overwhelmingly, the most popular games on the platform are highly social and not twitchy. And my Roblox expert source believes the lack of Roblox avatars — yes, those blocky things — is also alienating to longtime ‘bloxers.

At any rate, it’s way too early to write Frontlines off. (And I reached out to the developer about all this, by the way.)* There’s many things they can still do to grow the user base, such as adding guilds and guild bases, holding contests, and so on. 

What’s clear so far is this: Creating a great-looking, great-playing core game on Roblox is no guarantee it’ll become an instant hit, even after it goes viral.

*UPDATE, 4:28 PM: Just after posting this, Frontlines’ lead dev tells me they do have future growth/monetization plans, including cosmetics and partnerships with large brands. Stay tuned!

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