Publicly traded video game developer Roblox Corp. is planning to introduce a new feature on its online gaming platform to attract middle-aged workers.
The company said during its first investor's day that it wants to turn its gaming platform into a virtual space where workers can meet.
Over the past few weeks, Roblox said that its own employees had tested the proposed new feature. The company said that its staff had held several meetings online. Its staff had also held virtual parties where they hung out and played games together.
Roblox, which filed its initial public offering in November but switched to a direct listing, said that it is targeting users between the ages of "six to 60." The company's direct listing is expected to take place March 10. Roblox's chief financial officer Craid Donato said that the company would be providing guidance to investors next week.
Roblox currently hosts millions of "rooms" and "games" that were developed by its own users using its game creation system. According to the company, around two-thirds of all children between nine and 12 in the U.S. currently use its platform.
The company said it had been seeing a gradual increase in the average user age of its customers - which is why it is working to develop features to cater to older customers. One of the features it is working on is to give users the ability to put up virtual shops for users to purchase items online.
Roblox's chief executive officer Dave Baszucki said the virtual worlds within its platform should give companies and customers a truly immersive experience. The idea is not especially novel as other companies such as Linden Labs' Second Life have tried to offer virtual spaces to people that want to hold conferences and workshops online.
Experts said holding virtual meetings and workshops using artificially created online worlds could be the evolution of video conferencing. The pandemic has made virtual meetings more common and it is quickly becoming an easier and safer alternative to face-to-face meetings.