Roblox's success goes mostly unnoticed. Minecraft was sold to Microsoft for about $2bn and is estimated to generate about $500m a year in revenue. Roblox's market cap, however, is $65bn. Why? Because it has an internal app store that puts its young player base to work making virtual stuff and selling it for scrip or peanuts while the company pockets the profits. It even promotes the far-right personalities and groups using it to recruit. It is a ruthless money machine that embodies the perverse incentives of social media, aimed directly at children and operated by amoral reptiles.
Last year, People Make Games released a thorough expose of the company's practices. Roblox "pressured us to delete it", says presenter Quintin Smith. So they dug deeper, talking to employees and others, and today published a follow-up report.
Note that since the original report, Roblox has grown from a $45bn company to a $65bn one. Reminds me vaguely of this old Dan Hodgets tweet, in that the point where you notice how bad things have gotten is not the point where it ends, it's the point where the people doing the bad thing take off the mask and say "fuck your children" and you realize there's not an awful lot you can do about it.