2021 was a transformative year for Roblox. As we reimagine the way people come together through shared experiences, our community grew from 32.6 million daily active users in 2020 to nearly 50 million* across 180 countries. With this growth came a groundswell of talented developers who leveraged our latest technological advancements to create engaging and immersive experiences along with new genres. It was also great seeing our community express their identity by embracing and creating digital fashion items on Roblox.
There’s no better way to point out some of the top trends we saw in 2021 than to look into the data. So, we’re proud to introduce our inaugural “A Year on Roblox” recap featuring some of the top highlights, reflections, and experiences brought to life on the platform in 2021. Share your favorite top 10s, stats, and trends with the #YearOnRoblox hashtag.
*As of November 2021
WHICH EXPERIENCES DID Roblox USERS VISIT THE MOST?
26,953 experiences reached 100k or more visits.
107,737 experiences reached 10k or more visits.
Experiences that simulate real-life activities such as school and family dominated the list of the most popular genres on Roblox in 2021 and got twice as much engagement time from the year before. The popularity of Brookhaven, which according to its developers, is a place where you can “hang out with like-minded people” while exploring and living in a virtual city, is a good example of this trend. Empowering people to play, connect, and create on Roblox just like they can in the real world has always been core to who we are, and this is one way our community is doing just that.
Here are the Top 5 Most Popular Genres in 2021:
- Role-Playing (Experiences where users take on a certain character role; can be focused on simulating certain aspects of life or character customization)
- Action, with some of the most popular subgenres being Fighting and Survival (experiences featuring combat against opponent(s) or those where users try to keep their characters alive), as well as Murder Mystery (where participants get assigned certain roles as part of a group, mainly consisting of innocent and evil characters trying to complete their own missions in order to win)
- Simulator (Experiences closely simulating a variety of activities where users are collecting certain items or clicking repeatedly to upgrade the experience)
- Platformer/Obby (Experiences where users attempt to complete an obstacle course with uneven terrain, suspended platforms, and/or various hazards, such as lava)
- Tycoon (Experiences closely simulating real-world activities focused around earning money to build and upgrade a user’s individual empire)
In 2021, we saw a surge in anime and horror experiences. New titles like Anime Fighters Simulator and The Mimic quickly accrued hundreds of millions of visits while existing titles like Shindo Life and Spider saw their activity double year over year. There was also a 4x year-over-year engagement time spike in certain subgenres like simulator collector experiences, particularly those that require users to collect minions to fight non-player characters (NPCs). Prominent new examples created in 2021 in this genre include Pet Simulator X and StrongMan Simulator, which respectively racked up over two billion and 470 million visits.
Additionally, with dozens of brand and music partnership experiences like music launch parties and fashion shows hosted on the platform, experiences such as The Fashion Awards started trending among the most popular while live on the platform.
TOP 10 MOST VISITED EXPERIENCES
The Top 10 Most Visited Experiences on Roblox garnered billions of visits and hours of engagement time in 2021:
- Tower of Hell
- Adopt Me!
- Royale High
- Blox Fruits
- Murder Mystery 2
- All Star Tower Defense
The #1 most visited experience Brookhaven added over 12.2B visits in 2021 alone—compared to approximately 2B visits in 2020 when it launched.
There’s a notable variety of mechanics and themes in this list, as seen in the rise of popular titles like BedWars, a competitive experience where you must destroy opponents’ beds in a floating arena while defending your own from other users, and Blox Fruits, an open-world experience where you complete objectives to get special abilities and train to become more powerful.
TOP 10 GROSSING EXPERIENCES
This next group of experiences have proven success in terms of turning users into fans. Their creators continue to surprise and delight the community with exciting new updates and timely content, while also building sustainable businesses on Roblox and growing their teams. In 2021, these top earners also served as social hangouts connecting people from all over the world through shared experiences, be it raising pets or building cities and discovering treasures together.
- Adopt Me!
- Welcome to Bloxburg
- Murder Mystery 2
- Royale High
- Blox Fruits
- Shindo Life
- All Star Tower Defense
- Grand Piece Online
WHAT DO INTERNATIONAL Roblox USERS MOST ENJOY AND WHERE ARE OUR MOST ENGAGED USERS?
When we analyzed the most visited experiences in different countries, we saw many similarities. Gen Z communities are very interconnected, and global trends spread fast thanks to the social nature of the platform. However, we did spot a few differences from the global ranking in different markets.
For example, Welcome to Bloxburg and Shindo Life ranked among the Top 10 Most Visited Experiences in the USA, while Club Roblox popped up in the Top 10 Most Visited Experiences in the United Kingdom and Germany. Tower of Misery drew in users from Germany. And Anime Fighters Simulator, which launched in 2021, featured in the top rankings in Brazil. Meanwhile, in the APAC market, Japanese users’ visits pushed experiences like Escape Running Head and Twilight Daycare into their top 10, while South Korea’s top 10 includes Islands and features King Legacy as the second most visited experience after BedWars.
Finally, the list of countries where people spent the most time connecting and creating on the platform in 2021 reflects Roblox’ status as a major social hub in certain markets. Presence on this list indicates at least hundreds of millions of hours spent on the platform, with the top seven surpassing one billion hours.
WHERE ARE USERS 17+ SPENDING TIME ON Roblox?
When we looked at the different age groups on the platform (under 13, 13-17, and over 17) and their preferences in content, we saw some similarities, including Brookhaven at the top across all age groups. Much like the platform, many of the popular experiences have aged up meaningfully between 2020 and 2021, adding users from the 17+ audience. For example, experiences on the list of Top 10 Most Visited on Roblox, such as All Star Tower Defense, Blox Fruits, and Shindo Life, had over 40% of their users in the 17+ year-old group in 2021.
With our fastest-growing demographic being 17-to-24-year-olds, the Roblox developer community is tackling this expanding market with new content updates and more complex experiences featuring stunning visuals and effects. Consider, for instance, Deepwoken, a fantasy roleplaying adventure focused on unraveling mysteries, the fast-paced Driving Simulator, or the upcoming action-packed Rolling Thunder that developers teased in a demo. Experiences with more aged-up content like Phantom Forces and World // Zero also have over 40% of their fans in the 17+ category, while an experience like Deepwoken has over 60% in the 17+ age group.
In 2021, we also saw exceptional music artists and brands create their own experiences on the platform in partnership with Roblox, including the Twenty One Pilots concert and the surreal Gucci Garden experience, and the massive skate park in Vans World. Some developers are also directly collaborating with brands that have a mass appeal, especially with these older users. For example, in partnership with NASCAR, developers of Jailbreak held a creative contest where the community had the opportunity to design virtual NASCAR skins and then drive those cars in the experience.
While all of the brand partner events hosted in 2021 saw great success with millions of visits and nearly a third (or more) visits from our 17+ year old audience, the top 5 events that engaged over 30% of visitors in the 17+ age group were:
In 2021, approximately 2.5 billion chat messages were sent and 17 million friendships were made on Roblox daily.*
*Measured on active users on a representative, randomly selected day (12/20/21)
HOW DO Roblox USERS EXPRESS THEMSELVES?
Roblox is committed to ensuring a diverse, inclusive, and respectful community that’s welcoming of everyone, whatever their identity and beliefs. Our vision is that on Roblox people can be whoever they want to be—our users’ journey starts with creating a unique digital identity that they take everywhere they go on the platform, with limitless opportunities for self-expression, body shapes, hair, accessories, and clothing from the Roblox Avatar Marketplace. Digital identity is important to our community, and we see this in the variety and number of items created, acquired, and worn on the platform.
25 million+ virtual items were created by the Roblox community.
5.8 billion+ virtual items (both free and paid) got acquired.
165 billion+ avatar updates were performed.
1 in 5 daily active users updated their avatar on any given day.
Most updates included body and face, followed by accessories.
We also see a great diversity of digital identities selected by users on the platform: a female character Linlin leads the list of the Most Acquired Avatar Bundles in 2021, where 5 out of 10 are female characters.
TOP 10 MOST ACQUIRED AVATAR BUNDLES IN 2021
- Knights of Redcliff: Paladin
- City Life Woman
- Roblox Girl
Looking at the top-selling Roblox Avatar Marketplace items from our user-generated content (“UGC”) creators, the top 10 is dominated by casual wear like T-shirts, such as these fun Wolf & Moon and Flaming Dragon styles. As for the top-selling 3D items, they include a creative variety of accessories and virtual objects like Shadowed Head and BubbleGum Candy, which were among the most sold in 2021. Reflecting on real-life trends, community members bought a variety of face masks to wear on their avatar, with the #2 most sold item being a black Medical Mask and #5 being a white Medical Mask. Both items were made by the same creator, who encouraged community members to “stay safe and spread awareness about how much masks can make an impact.”
TRENDS IN THE DEVELOPER AND CREATOR COMMUNITY
Our creator community comes from 170 countries and represents people from all walks of life, very different cultural backgrounds, and demographics, which is reflected in the content created on the platform. This community has already become a driving force in pioneering a more inclusive metaverse, and it’s incredible to see a triple-digit percentage surge year over year in the number of new creators that have used our free immersive creation engine Roblox Studio for the first time. The overall share of female creators (based on the number of active Studio users) is also increasing. We saw this trend accelerate during the pandemic when the growth in the number of first-time female users of Roblox Studio surpassed the already significant growth of Studio use by new male creators.
In 2021, the number of new female creators using Roblox Studio for the first time grew 353% year over year — compared to 323% growth for new male creators.
There are certain parts of the world where we are starting to see hubs with high concentrations of Roblox developers, who build experiences, and creators, who make avatar items. While it may not be a big surprise to see the United States topping the list, Brazil is second in both developer and creator numbers, and Russia and the Philippines follow right behind (ahead of the UK, Germany, and Canada). South Korea shows up in the top 10 list of countries with the most developers, while Thailand is among the countries with the most UGC creators, and Turkey and Mexico are present on both.
COUNTRIES WITH THE LARGEST NUMBER OF DEVELOPERS AND CREATORS
- United States
- United Kingdom
- South Korea
- United States
- United Kingdom
The top-selling UGC creators come from the U.S., Spain, Australia, Denmark, and Mexico. The top 10 creators who made the largest number of items in 2021 (which means hundreds of items made in one year) include creators from the Netherlands and Brazil, in addition to the U.S.
We are also seeing that creators in many regions such as Thailand and Brazil are more likely to integrate their knowledge of local trends and culture into their UGC items. Thus, they are expanding the ways our community members from around the world can express themselves in a way that’s relevant to them.
HOW DO CONTENT PREFERENCES ON THE PLATFORM DIFFER BY GENDER?
When we look at the types of experiences that users of different gender identities enjoy on the platform, we see role-playing experiences being popular across all groups (with at least two such experiences across all top 10s). Brookhaven is the #1 most visited experience for both male and female users (users who chose to specify their gender as either male or female on the platform), as well as for the 10% of our users who either don’t identify as male or female, or didn’t select a specific gender preference (which is optional on Roblox).
Action-packed experiences were very popular among male users, as were simulators—comprising two of the top five genres—and some strategy experiences. Female genre preferences were dominated by role-playing experiences (with 3 of the top 5 genres in the category), and our female community members also enjoy platformer/obby experiences, sandbox/building experiences, tycoons, and some action experiences like survival and murder mystery where people are given different roles in a group, mainly consisting of innocent and evil characters trying to complete their own missions in order to win.
The top 10 ranking for the group that didn’t specify their gender is distinct from the male and female lists. For example, both Royale High (high ranking for females) and Blox Fruits (high ranking for males) made it to the top 5, and Murder Mystery 2 ranked higher than it did on either the male or female lists.