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It was late afternoon on May 12, 2017. Two exhausted security researchers could barely unpack the events of what had just happened. Marcus Hutchins and Jamie Hankins, who were working from their homes in the U.K. for Los Angeles-based cybersecurity company Kryptos Logic, had just stopped a global cyberattack dead in its tracks. Hours earlier, […]n”,”protected”:false,”author”:133574210,”featured_media”:1853137,”comment_status”:”closed”,”ping_status”:”closed”,”sticky”:false,”template”:””,”format”:”standard”,”meta”:”outcome”:””,”status”:””,”crunchbase_tag”:0,”amp_status”:””,”relegenceEntities”:[],”relegenceSubjects”:[],”jetpack_publicize_message”:””,”categories”:[21587494],”tags”:[576594359],”crunchbase_tag”:[],”tc_stories_tax”:[],”tc_event”:[],”jetpack_featured_media_url”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/kill-switch-ransomware.jpg”,”jetpack_publicize_connections”:[],”shortlink”:”https://tcrn.ch/2XzeIEF”,”rapidData”:”pt”:””,”pct”:””,”featured”:true,”subtitle”:”Keeping the ‘kill switch’ alive is the only thing preventing another WannaCry outbreak.”,”fundingRound”:false,”seoTitle”:”The sinkhole that saved the internet”,”seoDescription”:”Keeping the ‘kill switch’ alive is the only thing preventing another WannaCry outbreak.”,”premiumContent”:false,”premiumCutoffPercent”:1,”tc_cb_mapping”:[],”associatedEvent”:null,”event”:null,”authors”:[133574210],”hideFeaturedImage”:false,”relatedArticles”:[],”_links”:”self”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1852971″],”collection”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts”],”about”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/types/post”],”version-history”:[“count”:16,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1852971/revisions”],”predecessor-version”:[“id”:1853162,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1852971/revisions/1853162″],”authors”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/133574210″],”replies”:[“embeddable”:true,”count”:0,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments?post=1852971&order=asc&tc_hierarchical=flat”],”https://techcrunch.com/edit”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1852971&action=edit”],”author”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/133574210″],”wp:featuredmedia”:[“embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media/1853137″],”wp:attachment”:[“href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media?parent=1852971″],”wp:term”:[“taxonomy”:”category”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/categories?post=1852971″,”taxonomy”:”post_tag”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tags?post=1852971″,”taxonomy”:”_tc_cb_tag_taxonomy”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/crunchbase_tag?post=1852971″,”taxonomy”:”tc_stories_tax”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_stories_tax?post=1852971″,”taxonomy”:”tc_event”,”embeddable”:true,”href”:”https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event?post=1852971″],”curies”:[“name”:”wp”,”href”:”https://api.w.org/rel”,”templated”:true],”_embedded”:{“authors”:[“id”:133574210,”name”:”Zack Whittaker”,”url”:””,”description”:”Zack Whittaker writes about cybersecurity for TechCrunch. You can send tips securely via Signal and WhatsApp to +1 646-755-8849, and his PGP fingerprint for email is: 4D0E 92F2 E36A EC51 DAAE 5D97 CB8C 15FA EB6C EEA5.rnrnHe can also be reached by email: zack.whittaker@techcrunch.com.”,”link”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/zack-whittaker/”,”slug”:”zack-whittaker”,”avatar_urls”:”24″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9c6f2f007a1fadfcf4f9da867130c493?s=24&d=identicon&r=g”,”48″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9c6f2f007a1fadfcf4f9da867130c493?s=48&d=identicon&r=g”,”96″:”https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/9c6f2f007a1fadfcf4f9da867130c493?s=96&d=identicon&r=g”,”links”:”homepage”:”https://techcrunch.com/author/zack-whittaker/”,”facebook”:”https://www.facebook.com/zackwhittaker”,”twitter”:”https://twitter.com/zackwhittaker”,”linkedin”:”https://www.linkedin.com/in/zackwhittaker/”,”crunchbase”:”https://www.crunchbase.com/person/zack-whittaker”,”position”:”Security Editor”,”cbDescription”:”

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Roblox avoided the gaming graveyard and grew into a $2.5B company”,”content”:{“rendered”:”

There are successful companies that grow fast and garner tons of press. Then thereu2019s Roblox, a company which took at least a decade to hit its stride and has, relative to its current level of success, barely gotten any recognition or attention.n

Why has Robloxu2019s story gone mostly untold? One reason is that it emerged from a whole generation of gaming portals and platforms. Some, like King.com, got lucky or pivoted their business. Others by and large failed.n

Once companies like Facebook, Apple and Google got to the gaming scene, it just looked like a bad idea to try to build your own platform u2014 and thus not worth talking about. Added to that, founder and CEO Dave Baszucki seems uninterested in press.n

But overall, the problem has been that Roblox just seemed like an insignificant story for many, many years. The company had millions of users, sure. So did any number of popular games. In its early days, Roblox even looked like Minecraft, a game that was released long after Roblox went live, but that grew much, much faster.n

Yet here we are today: Roblox now claims that half of all American children aged 9-12 are on its platform. It has jumped to 90 million monthly unique users and is poised to go international, potentially multiplying that number. And itu2019s unique. Essentially all other distribution services offering games through a portal have eventually fizzled, aside from some distant cousins like Steam.n

This is the story of how Roblox not only survived, but built a thriving platform.n

Seeds of an idean

"GettyImages

(Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)n

Before Roblox, there was Knowledge Revolution, a company that made teaching software. While designed to allow students to simulate physics experiments, perhaps predictably, they also treated it like a game.n

u201cThe fun seemed to be in building your own experiment,u201d says Baszucki. u201cWhen people were playing it and we went into schools and labs, they were all making car crashes and buildings fall down, making really funny stuff.u201d Provided with a sandbox, kids didnu2019t just make dry experiments about mass or velocity u2014 they made games, or experiences they could show off to friends for a laugh.n

Knowledge Revolution was founded in 1989, by Dave Baszucki and his brother Greg (who didnu2019t later co-found Roblox, but is now on its board). Nearly a decade later, it was acquired for $20 million by MSC Software, which made professional simulation tools. Dave continued there for another four years before leaving to become an angel investor.n

Baszucki put money into Friendster, a company that pre-dated Facebook and MySpace in the social networking category. That investment seeded another piece of the idea for Roblox. Taken together, the legacy of Knowledge Revolution and Friendster were the two key components undergirding Roblox: a physics sandbox with strong creation tools, and a social graph.n

Baszucki himself is a third piece of the puzzle. Part of an older set of entrepreneurs, which might be called the Steve Jobs generation, Baszuckiu2019s archetype seems closer to Mr. Rogers than Jobs himself: unfailingly polite and enthusiastic, never claiming superior insight, and preferring to pass credit for his accomplishments on to others. In conversation, he shows interests both central and tangential to Roblox, like virtual environments, games, education, digital identity and the future of tech. Somewhere in this heady mix, the idea of Roblox came about.n

The first releasen



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I'm a 50 year old PLC programmer from Burnley, UK. I severed my time as an electrician in the baking industry and soon got involved with the up and coming technology of PLC's. Initially this was all based in the Uk but as the years went by I have gradually worked my way around the globe. At first it was mainly Mitsubishi with a bit of Modicon thrown in but these days the industry leaders seem to be the Allen Bradley range of PLC and HMI’s.

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