As the Senior Director of Product, Economy, Richard Sim manages the relationship between the Roblox economy and the developer community. We spoke with Richard about the work that his team is doing to maintain a safe and thriving economy on the platform.
How would you describe your team’s role here at Roblox?
Key areas my team is focused on are ensuring that your payments for Robux are safe and secure, your Robux can be used to purchase products, and creators can earn money from those transactions. We also build and support our subscription product, Roblox Premium, as well as the ad system that developers use to reach more users on Roblox.
What is one of the most interesting aspects about working on your team at Roblox?
By far the most interesting aspect of working on Economy at Roblox is witnessing the impact that the Roblox economy has had on developers who have earned money on the platform. Behind each experience on Roblox is a story. I am inspired by our developers’ creativity and initiative, and I love hearing their stories about when they discovered they could actually make a living doing what they love most – building on Roblox. Some of our developers started off as players, began tinkering with our creation tools to build their own experience, and before they knew it, discovered they could pursue a full-time career building on Roblox as opposed to getting a “traditional job.” Some developers built companies with their best friends, and even purchased cars or homes for their parents. I share many of these stories with my own children, hoping to inspire them to follow their passions.
How is your experience on the team at Roblox different from other roles you’ve had?
Roblox encourages systems level-thinking over program or feature development. As a platform that enables over two million creators to build deeply immersive experiences for over 200 million people every month, Roblox, at its core, builds systems that empower others to innovate and drive impact at scale. We think deeply about what motivates our creators and then build incentive structures and feedback mechanisms that reward that motivation. We often find that building tools to empower our community of creators to explore and build leads to better outcomes than Roblox building the product or feature directly. This is one of the reasons why Roblox doesn’t build experiences ourselves. Rather, we build the incentive structures, tools, reporting, and platform capabilities to empower our creators to discover new ways to delight our users.
What are the most interesting projects you’ve worked on and things you’ve learned while working at Roblox?
Two years ago, we made the decision to pay developers explicitly for the engagement they drove through their experiences. Premium Payouts, also known as engagement-based payouts, allow developers to earn Robux even if they haven’t enabled purchasing in their experiences. Premium Payouts creates a revenue stream for many up-and-coming developers who build incredibly engaging experiences but haven’t yet focused on earning Robux in those experiences. We’ve heard from many developers that Premium Payouts enabled them to hire a team and invest back into their experience when they would otherwise be struggling to continue without predictable revenue.
What’s one thing you love about the culture at Roblox?
What I love most about the culture of Roblox is that everyone is unified in taking the long view. Roblox is truly a mission-driven company. Our long-term focus enables us to prioritize the most leveraged opportunities that will have a lasting impact, as opposed to being distracted by short-term optimizations.
Interested in joining the Economy team at Roblox? We’re always looking for new talent, so check us out at corp.roblox.com/careers and see if there’s a role that’s right for you.