Roblox Corp has laid off a number of employees in China after conducting an “evaluation of the operational structure” of the company.
The news was confirmed in a statement handed to GamesIndustry.biz, with a Roblox spokesperson explaining the layoffs are “specific to LuoBu and its unique business and operational needs. No other teams within LuoBu or Roblox are impacted.”LuoBu is the name of Roblox China, which is headquartered in Shenzhen.
15 jobs were cut as a result of the decision, impacting staff in Shenzhen and some LuoBu employees working in the United States.
Roblox Corpsaid it remains “committed to our long term vision and plan for the LuoBu platform in China,” although it’s somewhat unclear as to where that plan will take the platform.
Roblox in China
The Chinese version of Roblox launched in 2021 with help from publisher Tencent and is known in the region as LuoBuLeSi. Roblox Corp had to jump through various regulatory hoops to make headway in the region, including ensuring that any maps created in-game would “respect the integrity of the country and not misrepresent the Chinese territory.”
As reported by VICE in 2022, the company also had to segment the Chinese version of Roblox from the international version that’s played in other countries and prevent users from tampering with “historical facts” or using the images or names of national leaders.
Although it eventually managed to touch down in China, Roblox delisted LuoBuLeSi in January 2022 so it could continue working on the project. At the time, a Roblox Corp spokesperson told Game Developer that developing LuoBuLeSi was an “iterative process,” suggesting the company was perhaps going back to the drawing board. LuoBuLeSi, however, has yet to resurface.
The layoffs in China were made shortly after Roblox Corp chose to cut 30 members of its talent acquisition team after adjusting its hiring needs. The company is also in the process of mandating a return to office policy that will require the vast majority of staff to work from its headquarters in San Mateo. Those who don’t wish to relocate will be asked to take a severance package.