Roblox Accounting Change Will Reduce 2022 Sales by $141 Million
New estimate will cost the company nearly 5% of consensus sales forecast.
May 11, 2022
Roblox (RBLX), a digital development platform, says first quarter sales would have been higher by $82.5 million if not for an accounting change. The company extended its paying user life estimate on which it recognizes revenue for durable virtual items— like virtual hats, pets, or houses— to 25 months from 23 months.

It’s the first change to this estimate since January 1, 20217.

Extending the useful life estimate slows the recognition of revenue from those sales while also reducing cost of sales accordingly. The change, according to Roblox, reduced sales by $82.5 million in the first quarter of 2022, or the equivalent of 15.36% of reported sales. The change will reduce 2022 full year revenue by an estimated $141 million, or approximately 4.85% of the consensus forecast.

Roblox derives nearly all of its revenue from the sale of virtual items. Revenue recognition was cited as a critical audit matter in the company’s most recent annual report.
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