Roblox goes down and forces kids outside for Halloween

This weekend, children around the country started behaving strangely, as if they were on their way out of a trance. They moped around in their houses. They started hanging out with their parents. They turned on long-neglected electronics in search of entertainment. Some even – gasp! – went outside.

The culprit for their sinister behavior? Roblox, or lack thereof.

Roblox, the gaming platform that is wildly popular with children, especially those aged 9 to 12, was hit offline from Thursday afternoon. Attempts to use the website only resulted in a message: “We’re making things more amazing. Be back soon.”

Sunday morning, It wrote Roblox’s official Twitter account that the company had identified the “root cause and solution” and was working to restore the platform. Hours later, the company tweeted that it “gradually brought regions online again.”

The platform, a blocked, colorful online universe that hosts millions of unique games created by independent developers – some who are young adults or even teenagers themselves – attracts more than 43 million players every day. So social media was quickly filled with terrified kids who couldn’t log on and frustrated parents demanding answers.

“My god daughter outside and playing with a football made me think the world was going under,” one person tweeted. “Works Roblox down.”

A Roblox spokesman referred to the company’s tweets but did not comment further. The company also shot down a viral rumor that a Chipotle campaign that began shortly before the outage had caused the platform to crash. Roblox tweeted Friday that “this interruption was not related to any specific experiences or partnerships on the platform.”

Meanwhile, the parents were left to cope with stressed children. In Aliso Viejo, California, Harper Deal, 9, has been watching television, scrolling through TikTok and decorating his house for Halloween. She usually plays Roblox with her cousin who lives outside the state.

“When Roblox shut down, I didn’t really talk that much with her,” Harper said in an interview before rushing to her room to check again to see if the platform was online again. “I do not know what to do.”

Harper’s mother, Aishia Deal, noted that Harper had behaved strangely: “Yesterday she and her best friend actually had to go outside and play,” she said.

Normally, Ms. Deal, Harper comes home from school and immediately logs into the online universe with his friends, sometimes without even taking a break to eat.

“That’s what they do, so they’re a little lost,” she said. “I’ve never seen my daughter so much in one day.”

Megan Letter, a YouTube host and Roblox game developer, said she had received hectic tweets from children wondering if the platform would ever return.

“There is some panic, but it is normal with children,” she said. “Your whole life is Roblox; that’s all you know. You live, eat, breathe Roblox, so all of a sudden, once it’s taken out of your routine, it’s a little bit stressful. ”

In Bethesda, Md., 13-year-old Garvey Mortley also tried to find a way to fill the time.

“I didn’t really have any Halloween plans before – my only plans were to play Roblox, so that kind of was ruined,” she said.

Garvey’s mother, Amber Coleman-Mortley, said she used the outcome as an opportunity to teach Garvey how corporate issues can affect their stocks – Roblox was listed in March – and the ripple effects these issues can have on people.

“It’s the end of the month, people have to pay their bills, and if Roblox is their only income stream, it’s a problem,” Garvey said she had realized.

That was the case for Austin Enders, a 23-year-old Indiana who relies on revenue from Roblox game development and two YouTube channels connected to the platform to earn a living. Mr. Enders said he had enough money saved to avoid something catastrophic, but said the situation “still stinks.”

Ammon Runger, a 16-year-old developer, said the Halloween weekend was “definitely the worst time it could have happened,” because of the many special Halloween-themed events that developers had planned for their games. He said the developers estimated that millions of dollars in revenue had been lost since the outage began.

Despite the presence of Halloween festivities, kids looking for fun this weekend seemed more interested in finding something that could come close to mimicking the feel of playing Roblox.

“It’s a little too late to go trick-or-treating because I do not have a costume,” Garvey said. “I just think I want to play other games like Animal Crossing.”

Leave a Comment