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Roblox Halts New Marketplace Policy After Backlash From Creators

In the wake of developers protesting new Unity runtime fees, Roblox creators have stood against the new Marketplace policy

After recently launching its new Experiences using Marketplace Items, which makes it mandatory for creators to make their experiences meet certain criteria, online gaming platform Roblox is now looking to retract its new policy after backlash from users. 

The company wrote in a forum post, “We value your feedback and concerns. Our intent with this policy is to further ensure that UGC creations are respected and properly used across the platform. We realize that the requirements behind the policy are very nuanced and have a significant impact on experience creators. We sincerely apologize for causing these concerns.” 

“In light of this, we have decided to pause the rollout of the policy. This means that on September 27, you will NOT be subject to moderation for this policy.” 

Roblox went on to say that it will take more time to consider the use cases and feedback from users and will, “Redefine the policy as appropriate while respecting creators’ rights.” Even after the policy is finalised, Roblox will also provide users with ample time to meet these new requirements. 

The rejected policy

The new Roblox policy which is now on a halt, would require creators to meet certain requirements including a prompt purchase UI for the item when the user equips it and maintain a prominent ability to purchase later if the user declines to purchase in the moment. 

The second policy is meant to prevent items that are not available to purchase from being used in the experience (i.e., zero quantity, only for resale, or off-sale items). 

Since the announcement, many users have commented on the policy with one user saying, “What happens when a creator suddenly has their item go offsale? I mean, we already know Roblox is planning on killing the UGC catalog by making future unstocked items go offsale. Does the developer get punished and moderated just because a creator couldn’t afford to restock their item? What about Roblox themselves?” 

With another saying the prompt purchase UI feature is, “The worst thing you can do for monetization across the board.” 

Communities that stand together

It’s unsurprising how Roblox creators wasted no time in rejecting the new policy, especially after the recent Unity pay-per-install policy which caused total uproar and – ironically – unity amongst developers. Many developers felt that the new policy was unfair and would make it more difficult to create and distribute successful games. 

It could also favour larger and more established developers that are able to afford to pay more for installs, making it more difficult for smaller developers to get their games noticed or even installed. Unity has now issued an update in response to the very public pushback and may make changes to its policy as well as look for other ways of working with developers to address their concerns. 

It’s safe to say that Roblox’s community of creators is just as vocal and is prepared to reject any new policy that doesn’t serve them. Unlike Unity, Roblox didn’t take long to respond to the backlash from creators and will announce an update on its new policy in the coming days. 

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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