RBLX

Roblox forecasts strong 2024 bookings; in-game spending gets holiday boost

Credit: REUTERS/BRENDAN MCDERMID

By Harshita Mary Varghese

Feb 7 (Reuters) - Gaming platform Roblox RBLX.N forecast annual bookings above estimates on Wednesday after it crossed $1 billion in quarterly bookings for the first time on higher in-game spending during the holiday season, sending its shares up 15% before the bell.

In a positive sign for the gaming industry, the global video game market is anticipated to grow 2.8% this year, as it expects robust sales of Microsoft's MSFT.O Xbox and Sony's 6758.T PlayStation 5 consoles, according to research firm NewZoo.

Roblox forecast annual bookings, generated from in-game purchases of virtual currency "Robux", between $4.14 billion and $4.28 billion, above the estimate of $4.03 billion, according to LSEG data.

Its first-quarter bookings forecast was also above expectations.

Net bookings for the fourth quarter came in at $1.13 billion, hitting a new record for the company and surpassing the estimate of $1.08 billion.

The company has been seeing an uptick in spending on its online gaming platform during the holiday quarter, when players have more time because schools and colleges are closed.

Roblox said the growth "continue to be heavily influenced by older users" above the age of 13.

"A slow and steady improvement in the core technology has allowed our developer communities to build better stuff... (which has) naturally attracted an older audience," Roblox CFO, Michael Guthrie said, underscoring Roblox's attempt at diversifying and aging up its player base.

Roblox which is popular for games such as "Brookhaven", "Adopt Me!" and "Blade Ball", has partnered with a number of brands including Adidas ADSGn.DE, Lamborghini and L'Oreal OREP.PA to engage fans in its 3D world.

The company reported adjusted EBITDA, a profitability metric looked at by investors, of $259.6 million, beating analysts' expectation of $191.2 million.

Average daily active users rose 22%, to 71.5 million in the fourth quarter.

(Reporting by Harshita Mary Varghese; Editing by Pooja Desai)

((HarshitaMary.Varghese@thomsonreuters.com;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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