When Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went dark a few weeks ago, the Internet was unsurprisingly on fire with speculations and theories, especially considering the timing of the outage. The truth was stranger than fiction, though, and Facebook, now called Meta, attributed it to simple human error. Roblox’s case, however, is still shrouded in mystery even after it has finally gone back online after almost three days of being inaccessible to all gamers.
You might be forgiven for not knowing what Roblox is, especially if you don’t consider yourself to be any sort of gamer. In practice, however, Roblox is more of an open-world virtual sandbox in the same vein as Minecraft, though using higher-quality 3D models than Minecraft’s blocky voxels. It reportedly has over 40 million users daily, so its sudden and unexplained outage naturally made tech headlines.
As of this writing, Roblox is back online, according to a very brief tweet from the company. It’s definitely good news for those who have been waiting since October 29 to enter the virtual world, though some are understandably a bit peeved by the company’s responses to inquiries about the incident.
Roblox’s developers did make it clear that the outage wasn’t due to an external intrusion, otherwise known as a hacking incident. It has nothing to do with Chipotle either, the company also clarified without naming names. Chipotle was offering $1 million worth of burritos in Roblox that you can redeem for real-world food.
Unfortunately, that leaves users questioning what happened to take Roblox down for that long. Given its audience, which includes kids that may have been emotionally affected by the outage, the company should probably issue some statement to answer parents’ questions. While it is insisting that there was no security intrusion, keeping mum even on broad technical details might not inspire confidence in a platform that caters to younger audiences.
Update: Roblox has finally issued an official statement detailing the cause of the outage. In a nutshell, it was caused by a combination of several technical factors that made it more difficult for the company to quickly trace down the source of the error and fix it. Again, there was no security-related incident and Roblox users and their parents can rest assured that their personal information is safe. More importantly, Roblox is committing to implementing policies that will safeguard creators who can become economically vulnerable to outages like this.