Roblox is back online after a three-day outage

1 Nov 2021

Image: © miglagoa/Stock.adobe.com

CEO David Baszucki said that the bug took longer to fix than the company would have liked and that creators would be compensated.

Online game platform Roblox is back online after an outage on Thursday (28 October) saw players and creators unable to access the virtual world for three days over the Halloween weekend.

CEO and founder David Baszucki apologised for the length of time it took resolve the issue and called it an “especially difficult outage” that was caused by a “combination of several factors”.

Future Human

“A core system in our infrastructure became overwhelmed, prompted by a subtle bug in our back-end service communications while under heavy load,” Baszucki said in an update on the Roblox website. “This was not due to any peak in external traffic or any particular experience. Rather the failure was caused by the growth in the number of servers in our data centres.”

After identifying the root cause of the bug, Roblox engineers were able to resolve the issues through performance tuning, reconfiguration and scaling back some of the load. Service was fully restored yesterday (31 October).

“Due to the difficulty in diagnosing the actual bug, recovery took longer than any of us would have liked,” Baszucki added.

Creator losses

Roblox provides a platform where users can create their own games and sell to other users using a digital currency. The company shares 30pc of revenue from virtual purchases with creators, which amounted to $328.7m last year – up 200pc from 2019, according to CNBC.

Baszucki said that Roblox will implement a policy to make its creator community “economically whole” in the aftermath of the outage, with more details of this compensation to come. “We will publish a post-mortem with more details once we’ve completed our analysis, along with the actions we’ll be taking to avoid such issues in the future,” he added.

He also confirmed that there had been no loss of player data and that the gaming experience should be back to normal.

In March, Roblox debuted on the stock market, hitting a market cap of $38.26bn following its first day of trading. The timing of Roblox’s direct listing followed a surge in popularity for online gaming and at-home child-friendly entertainment amid the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the company’s second-quarter results fell short of market expectations, with a loss per share of $0.25 and a total net loss of $140.1m. Average daily active users of Roblox hit 43.2m, a 29pc increase from the same period last year. The number of hours engaged were 9.7bn, up 13pc.

Don’t miss out on the knowledge you need to succeed. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of need-to-know sci-tech news.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com