What happened

Shares of Roblox (RBLX 0.43%) surged on Tuesday after the popular video game platform operator delivered strong first-quarter results. As of 2:20 p.m. EDT, its stock price was up more than 17%.

So what

Roblox's revenue rocketed 140% year over year to $387 million. The gains were fueled by a 79% rise in average daily active users (DAUs) to 42.1 million, and a 98% increase in the number of hours gamers spent on Roblox's platform to 9.7 billion.

"A fundamental part of being human is connecting with others, and we're inspired by the way in which the Roblox community creates and shares experiences to play, work, and even learn together," CEO David Baszucki said in a press release.

A person is pointing to an upwardly sloping digital stock chart.

Investors cheered Roblox's first-quarter performance. Image source: Getty Images.

Better still, Roblox's bookings -- the amount of virtual currency purchased by users -- climbed 161% to $652.3 million, with average bookings per DAU increasing 46% to $15.48. This suggests Roblox is finding new ways to entice users to pay up for its "Robux" in-game currency, which grants access to upgrades and other special features. 

Best of all, those revenue gains helped to drive a more than fourfold rise in free cash flow to $142.1 million.

Now what

With kids spending more time at home during the pandemic, Roblox has enjoyed remarkable growth. Investors were concerned that its expansion would slow as vaccinations ramp up, daily new case counts decline, and children return to sports and other outdoor activities.

Yet Roblox's forecast metrics for April helped to assuage these fears. The company expects to report that April bookings increased by roughly 60% compared to the year-ago period and 8% sequentially to between $242 million and $245 million. 

"The opportunity of what we're building at Roblox is massive, and we will continue to make long-term investments as we build a human co-experience platform that enables shared experiences among billions of users," Baszucki said.