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Roblox outage continues into weekend

Videogame company Roblox Corp. suffered an outage Thursday evening that continued through Saturday, leaving children around the globe looking for other entertainment on Halloween weekend.

Roblox is a free online website and app with millions of videogames and other entertainment experiences, all of which are made by its own users instead of the company.

In August, Roblox had more than 48 million users who spent 4 billion hours on it, according to internal metrics. The platform is particularly popular with preteens.

“We believe we have identified an underlying internal cause of the outage. We’re in the process of performing the necessary engineering and maintenance work to get Roblox back up and running ASAP,” Roblox said on Twitter Saturday evening.

The outage began as the company kicked off a Halloween-themed event in partnership with Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. in which the restaurant chain pledged to give away more than $1 million in free burritos to Roblox users. Roblox on Friday tweeted that the outage “was not related to any specific experiences or partnerships on the platform.”

As of late Saturday, the outage persisted. In an email, a Roblox spokesman told The Wall Street Journal there was “no evidence of an external intrusion.”

Outages affecting large volumes of users are relatively common. Earlier this month, Facebook Inc.’s services went offline for as much as six hours. The company apologized for the incident, which affected its core platforms and apps including WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger.

A recently completed global survey by Uptime Institute LLC, a provider of consulting services on data-center reliability, found that 69% of data-center operators had some sort of outage in the past three years. Human error played a role in 78% of those incidents and 44% had major financial, reputational and other consequences.

Roblox’s business model is centered on users’ purchases of virtual currency that allows them to acquire in-game perks or items for their avatars. It doesn’t feature advertising.

Like Facebook, soon to be renamed Meta Platforms Inc., Roblox has been among those lately looking to drum up interest in the metaverse, loosely defined as an extensive future online world where people exist and interact in shared virtual spaces through digital avatars.

Roblox users interact as avatars and transport from one experience to another, including concerts by popular real-world artists. In September, for example, millions of fans logged on to the platform over the span of a weekend to watch Twenty One Pilots perform.

 

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text

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