Their parents couldn’t believe it when identical twins Ben and Matt Horton started generating substantial money from video games.
“It was strange at first,” Ben adds, “because I was doing a paper round and they were blown away.” “They believed a paper round could never make this much.” Matt, his brother, adds: “It was a substantial sum of money. They assumed we were involved in nefarious online activities. The brothers had created their first great hit, a game called Boat Ride, which was released on the online gaming platform Roblox when they were just 13 years old. Ben and Matt now work full-time on gaming, with Ben focusing on software and Matt on video creation, seven years later. Their games have been downloaded over 100 million times, and they each make £100,000 per year.
It all started as a pastime during the Christmas holidays when the two had some extra time. They were already avid Roblox players who found it simple to begin creating their own games. “Anyone can learn,” Ben argues, “even a 10-year-old kid can learn to build a game.” After dropping out of the sixth form to focus full-time on game development, the brothers now share a flat in their hometown of Crawley. Their bond as twins is extremely important to them. “We’re not telepathic,” Matt explains, “but I have a sense of what he’s thinking and he has a sense of what I’m thinking.” “We’ve never gone more than two days without seeing each other in our entire lives.” Despite their newfound fortune, the two insist that they are “not huge spenders” or “materialistic.” Their main expenses have been a family vacation and helping to pay off their parents’ home, with the majority of their money invested. “All we want is to live comfortably for the rest of our lives,” Ben explains.
Roblox has become a great hit thanks to the efforts of developers like Ben and Matt. It’s already the largest user-generated games site in the world, with a market capitalization of $47 billion on its first day of listing on the New York Stock Exchange. One of the reasons it’s been a smash, according to Candice Mudrick, head of market analysis at gaming data company Newzoo, is its versatility.
“Roblox is a platform that invites producers to create experiences for other users, rather than just a game. While many games incorporate some type of user-generated material, it’s rare to come across games whose entire economic model is based on it “she explains. However, among the platform’s best developers, competition is fierce. More than 1,250 developers earned at least $10,000 in Robux, the platform’s currency that can be converted to cash, in 2020, according to the company. Only roughly 300 people received a salary of $100,000 or more. “This shows that, while the creative community as a whole is strong, the top earners are still a small group,” Ms. Mudrick said.
Sources: BBC NEWS