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Roblox comes back online after a three-day outage

The company said the gaming platform will compensate developers for lost income

Child holding gaming controller
Photo (c) Carol Yepes - Getty Images
Online gaming platform Roblox has resumed operations after being down for three days. Users found that they were unable to access the site starting late Thursday.

After an investigation over the weekend, the company said the root cause of the outage was an “internal system issue.” The site was reported to be fully operational as of Sunday evening.

“As most of the Roblox community is aware, we recently experienced an extended outage across our platform,” company CEO David Baszucki wrote in a Sunday evening blog post. “We are sorry for the length of time it took us to restore service. A key value at Roblox is ‘Respect the Community,’ and in this case, we apologize for the inconvenience to our community.”

Baszucki described the outage as “difficult” and said it was caused by a combination of several issues. For starters, a core system in the platform’s infrastructure became overwhelmed, caused by a “subtle bug” in the site’s backend service communications while under heavy load. 

“This was not due to any peak in external traffic or any particular experience,” Baszucki wrote. “Rather the failure was caused by the growth in the number of servers in our datacenters. The result was that most services at Roblox were unable to effectively communicate and deploy.”

Though engineers were working around the clock, the company said the repair took longer to diagnose and complete because the glitch was difficult to identify. Once the bug was found, engineers completed the reconfiguration by Sunday afternoon.

Ask the kids

Adults who are unfamiliar with Roblox might ask their children what it’s all about. The app has more than 43 million daily users, and many of them are under the age of 13. According to The Verge, over half of all U.S. children under age 16 played Roblox games in 2020 during the pandemic.

Roblox is an online platform and app store where users can play different video games. Roblox, itself, is not a game. The games are produced by independent developers.

Because holidays like Halloween are peak times for gamers and developers, the system crash came at an inopportune time. Baszucki said the company will implement a policy to make the developers who create the games “economically whole as a result of this outage.”

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