[ P E O P L E ] BY KATIE KORTEBEIN
Turns a Profit
MOS T HIGH SCHOOL KIDS PLAY com-
puter games. Andrew Bereza built his
own. In the process, the 15-year-old from
River Edge in Bergen County has earned
around $70,000 in just seven months.
Bereza built his game on Roblox, a user-
generated gaming site where anyone with
a good imagination and computer skills
can create their own world, complete with
characters and unique rules of play.
Bereza’s game, “ 2 Player Gun Factory
Tycoon,” is a combination of different
successful games, he explains. A player
starts with nothing, builds a factory with
another player, and then keeps the factory
running while fighting off players from
other factories. The game—which Bereza
describes as “cartoony” and not graphically violent—has been played close to 10
million times since its launch in July.
“Andrew created enough interest-
ing features for people to want to spend
money,” says Roblox CEO David Baszucki.
Users start out playing for free, but can
pay for advanced features. Creators earn
virtual currency called Robux, which can
be exchanged for cash.
Baszucki says Bereza is one of the site’s
top developers, although he is not alone.
Many game creators make $500 to $1,000
per month through Roblox; some earn in
excess of $20,000 monthly.
Thus far, Bereza, a sophomore at River
Dell High School, has invested his earnings in a new computer—to better work
on improving his cash cow. The rest he
is saving for college, much to the delight
and surprise of his parents, Pavel and
Irina Bereza. “At first, they didn’t believe
me,” Bereza says of his haul. How did his
friends react to his success? “They think
it’s pretty cool,” he says. ■
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