Teenage Gamer Turns a Profit

A River Edge sophomore has earned $70,000 in seven months from his popular online game.

A screengrab from Bereza's game.

Most high school kids play computer 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 interesting 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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