The gaming platform Roblox stopped being operational this Friday, after starting to have problems in the late hours of Thursday, and it has not been in operation again until the last hours of Sunday. Three days in which its users have not been able to play or create games as usual. Now that it is available again, it is time to wonder what the cause was, erroneously attributed at first to a Halloween promotion in collaboration with the American restaurant chain Chipotle. But as confirmed by Roblox, the failure “is not related to experiences or specific agreements of the platform.”
In an update of the web page that shows its status, and in which it can be seen that the platform is fully operational, the company assured, when it was not yet in operation, that it had identified the cause of the blackout suffered, and that it was of a “internal system issue«. The company founder and CEO, David Baszucki, apologized in a post on the Roblox blog this past Sunday for all the time it had taken them to restore the service, in addition to giving more details.
Thus, Baszucki pointed out that it was «an especially complicated blackout because it involved a combination of several factors. A main system of our infrastructure suffered an overload, due to a small bug in our backend communications service while it was supporting a heavy load. It was not due to any external traffic spike or specific experience. Rather, the failure is due to the growing number of servers in our data centers. The result was that the majority of Roblox services were unable to communicate effectively, or to deploy«.
Baszucki has also suggested that developers working on the platform could be compensated for the potential losses they may have incurred during the days that the platform has not been operational, as he has indicated that they will implement «a policy to make financial compensation to our community of creators as a result of this blackout«. Roblox shares 30% of the income it makes from virtual purchases with its community of creators.
It so happens that the blackout has occurred in a holiday stage, Hallowen, in which platforms such as Roblox, a company that has a market capitalization of 48.3 billion dollars, can get a strong sales boost, since It’s one of the times when companies try to get their players to buy promotional virtual items like new skins and outfits. In addition, it is a period, as happens at Christmas, in which children, among whom Roblox has a great popularity, do not have school, so they play for longer. Its app has 43.2 million daily active users, and many of them are under 14 years of age.
The delay in returning the platform to active service was apparently due to the fact that the company it took a long time to identify the problem, which also led them to take time to find the solution. From Roblox they have ensured that as soon as they have analyzed in detail what has happened, they plan to publish a comprehensive report that will include the measures they plan to take to avoid similar blackouts in the future.