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Roblox has issued an apology to the millions of fans who were unable to get online over the last three days.

The game platform and creation system suffered a blackout after the outage, which began on Thursday.

On Sunday the company said the outage had been caused by a “bug”.

Roblox said the issue took longer to fix than “any of us would have liked”, echoing complaints from millions of its players who took to social media during the lengthy downtime.

“We are sorry for the length of time it took us to restore service,” David Baszucki, Roblox’s founder and CEO, said in a blog post.

Mr Baszucki said “a subtle bug” – while systems were under heavy load – was responsible.

“This was not due to any peak in external traffic or any particular experience,” he said, but rather a growth in the number of servers the company uses.

Some players had initially speculated the problems had been caused by a spike in traffic due to the popularity of a burrito promotion from a fast-food chain, which had encouraged players to visit its in-game restaurant. That theory was dismissed when Roblox said the problems were not down to a surge in traffic.

On Sunday, the restaurant tweeted an image of a cashier at the in-game eatery with a sign reading: “Pls don’t yell at me. The burrito is innocent”.

Roblox said it first noticed users were having trouble connecting to the game on 28 October: “This immediately became our highest priority”, it said.

“Teams began working around the clock to identify the source of the problem and get things back to normal.”

The problem persisted for nearly three days. The company said it will conduct a post-mortem to help avoid a similar situation in the future.

Why is Roblox so popular?
Since the coronavirus pandemic closed schools and kept children at home, the popularity of the platform surged. Since March 2020, 50 million new users joined the game, and there are now more than 42 million active daily users. The majority of them are under 16.

The entire platform is made up of user-generated games, many of them created by teenagers, some of whom have made significant sums of money from the platform.