Gaming company Roblox Corporation RBLX is venturing into new territory. During its ninth annual developer’s conference, the company announced a strategic shift to expand beyond being a children’s gaming platform, according to TechCrunch.
Roblox is reportedly elevating its game in the realm of 3D immersive communication with new tools to allow creators to craft and publish detailed avatars effortlessly.
Avatar-Powered Voice Calls, Creator Empowerment & More
In its bid to enhance communication, Roblox introduced “Roblox Connect.” A novel feature, it will permit users to voice call as their avatars within a shared digital environment while using the camera.
Later this year, the company plans to release ML-powered tools that will automate the process of rigging, skinning, caging and segmenting the model for the creator, TechCrunch reported.
Beyond aesthetics, the emotional depth of avatars is also evolving, the company said. Soon, avatar facial expressions will emulate the user’s real-time reactions, bridging the digital and physical emotional gap.
“In the near future, a person’s avatar will mirror their exact facial expressions, right down to the same blink rate,” Manuel Bronstein, Chief Product Officer, and Dan Sturman, Chief Technology Officer, said in a statement.
Monetization avenues for creators are also broadening.
The company announced “Assistant” — a conversational AI that makes creation on Roblox more accessible and empowers advanced creators to build richer, more engaging experiences faster.
In a bid to address community feedback, Roblox reportedly intends to revamp marketplace fees next year, ultimately allowing creators to retain more from their sales.
Expanding its reach, Roblox is making strides in device compatibility as well. Recent integrations with Meta Quest and upgrades to the Xbox app are expected to enhance the user experience. One notable announcement noted that millions of PlayStation console owners would be able to access the entire catalog of Roblox experiences next month.
Gaming Market Dynamics and Roblox’s Challenges
The global video game market size was estimated at $217.06 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.4% from 2023 to 2030.
However, Roblox was under the scanner of Short Report publisher The Bear Cave, led by Edwin Dorsey, following accusations of pedophilia on the gaming platform.
The company’s average bookings per DAU in the second quarter reported last month was $11.92, down 3% Y/Y.
RBLX Price Action: Roblox closed Friday higher by 0.76% to $29.01. After-hours trading had shares up 0.24% at $29.08.