Roblox went public yesterday, after experiencing tremendous growth in 2020. This is good news not only for its employees and investors but also for startups like Gamefam who hope to benefit from the platform’s success.
Roblox boasts a huge ecosystem of creators and developers who work on the game platform. Some are joining forces to form their own studios and teams. We profiled several of these teams in earlier this year, as well as an article about the creator accelerator. Gamefam CEO Joe Ferencz stated that his startup is the “first and only professional, fully-dedicated game publishing company on Roblox.”
Gamefan was founded in 2019 and currently employs 37 people. There are eight live games, including Ultimate Driving, Hot Wheels Open World, and Hot Wheels Open World. Ferencz stated that there are 10 more in development. These games collectively have 48 million monthly visitors and generate six figures in monthly revenues.
Ferencz described this team as “gaming industry professionals working side-by-side with the top up and coming Roblox creators.” TwentyTwoPilots, the creator of Ultimate Driving, also serves as Gamefam’s creative director.
Ferencz has also worked as a manager at Ubisoft, Mattel, and was a key player in the digital transformation of Hot Wheels franchises. He recalled that he saw the rise of mobile gaming and said, “The next time there is a big platform shift, I won’t be part of it. He was able to do this because of Roblox’s rise and user-created gaming.
Ferencz stated that he is excited about Roblox because it allows creators to get away from the “orthodoxies” of free-to play gaming. This is where economics often dictate game design decisions.
He stated that Roblox was the “metaverse” for younger generations. They are discovering something beyond gaming. It’s human coexistence. This means that every game must have an appealing and distinctive immersion, which is something mobile free-play does not offer.
Roblox’s appeal lies in the fact that creators don’t have to collaborate with large publishers or teams. Ferencz stated, “When you have larger teams, you have more process. You need to be able to structure high-performing groups and foster positive teamwork.”
He said, “As your business grows, you will need dedicated marketing functions and a dedicated operations team.” “That’s exactly what we offer.”
Ferencz and Gamefan have been involved with Roblox for many years. However, he acknowledged that they don’t understand it as well as people who have been developing for it since age 15 and playing on it since age 10.
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He stated that Gamefam’s key element is to ensure creators drive the game development process.
Ferencz stated that visionaries or teams of visionaries are needed for each project. They need to make the right decisions. “There will be a team around them, which is part of a process that builds consensus. The visionaries are responsible to bring along a ride.
Ferencz stated that Gamefam could one day publish its games on other platforms as he contemplates Gamefam’s future. However, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen soon.
He stated that Roblox was the only place in UGC gaming that is important today. We plan to create GG Scripts website a massive brand and media company hand-in-hand, with Roblox. If other platforms are relevant in the long-term, we will evaluate them and then expand our reach on them. But right now, we can’t be any more focused on Roblox.