• Erik S. Cassel was born in the US in 1967 and died in 2013 at age 45 due to brain cancer
• He was co-founder of Knowledge Revolution and Roblox Corporation with David Baszucki
• They created Interactive Physics and Working Model, and Roblox was released in 2006
• Roblox Corporation has over 1200 employees and over $923 million in revenue as of 2020
• At the time of his death, Erik Cassel had a net worth of $20 million
Erik Cassel was an American software engineer best known for being the co-founder of Roblox Corporation. Learn all you need to know about David Baszucki’s co-founder in the article below.
Early Life, Family, Educational Background
Erik S. Cassel was born on 16 December 1967, under the zodiac sign of Sagittarius in the US. He was of Caucasian ethnicity and held American nationality. Erik discovered that he had brain cancer in 2010, and died on 11 February 2013, at 45.
When Eric was five years old, his father would take him to work and set him up in front of a punch card machine for Erik’s amusement. As he played with the punch card machine, he thought computers were awesome.
Due to his fascination with computers, Erik started programming when he got into Junior High School, using a microcomputer called Radio Shack TRS-80. During recess, he would program a game, play it and return to class. He didn’t own a hard drive at the time, so every program he wrote was deleted afterwards, – he just kept writing new ones every day. At that stage of his life, Erik Cassel knew he wanted to be a programmer, and upon matriculation, he enrolled at Cornell University.
Erik was partnered with David Baszucki for entire working career.
He started as a programmer immediately after he graduated from college. He read about Knowledge Revolution – an educational software company founded by David Baszucki in 1989 – in MacUser Magazine, and
instantly developed an interest in the company, flew out to meet Baszucki, who interviewed and hired him.
Erik with Baszucki developed two products – Interactive Physics and Working Model; both products, designed to make educational physics an easier process for teachers/students, went on to win many awards.
In December of 1998, MSC Software purchased Knowledge Revolution for $20 million, with Erik and David retaining senior roles in the company. They accepted the positions but left after a few years.
Video game developer Roblox Corporation was founded by David Baszucki and Erik Cassel in 2004, in Menlo Park, California. The inspiration behind the company was that the duo wanted to create a 3D world, completely physically simulated, on which its users could work, play and share ideas. Cassel and his co-founder spent two years working on and refining the original Roblox Product (called DynaBlocks at the time) – according to Baszucki, ‘it was Erik who first thought ROBLOX needed an API and scripting engine rather than the hard-wired approach I had suggested.’ The game was officially released on 1 September 2006.
In the early days,R oblox was a single-player game with no Robloxian characters. However, the day the founders finally released a multiplayer game with characters, 20 young people got together in ‘Crossroads’ and started building. The audience received the new multiplayer level with much enthusiasm.
In a 2010 interview, Cassel was asked his favorite thing about working for Roblox, and said, ‘seeing what you Robloxians invent really. I love to write code, but it’s the fun stuff that the ROBLOX community creates that motivates me.’
Roblox Corporation has become one of the biggest game developers in the US. Going from a handful of employees at inception, the famous game developer now has over 1200 employees and over $923 million in revenue by 2020. In 2021, Roblox Corporation was ranked the 9th best game developer by Pocket Biz.
After Erik’s death, Roblox put up some merchandise for sale in his honor. On 15 February 2013, Roblox designed a shirt tagged ‘Official Erik Shirt’ and changed the name of their popular commodity ‘Well Worn Hat’ to ‘Erik Cassel’s Hat’, putting both items on sale for a short while.
However, the product was later taken off the sales page, deciding instead to contribute to cancer research.
They changed the items’ descriptions to read thus: ‘to honor our co-founder Erik Cassel, Roblox will make a substantial contribution to cancer research in Erik’s name. Thank you to everyone for your respect and support.’
Erik Cassel has a Series 1 Roblox Toy modeled after his avatar.
Erik’s sons also built a virtual memorial called the Erik Cassel Memorial Place on the Roblox app, to celebrate their father’s memory. In David Baszucki’s memorial tribute to Erik, he said, ‘after learning of his cancer, Erik worked selflessly to transfer his knowledge and insights to the ROBLOX Engineering team. Erik was incredibly talented, but I’ll always think of him as the nicest guy I’ve ever met.’
Personal Life, Relationship
Erik had a close friendship with his co-founder, David Baszucki, for 20 years. He was also close to his colleagues, who were his second family. His former colleague Keith Lucas said, ‘Though Erik had a profound impact on my career, I will always remember him first and foremost as a friend. We shared laughter, and I am more than comforted to know that I put more than a few smiles on his already smiling face.’
Erik and his partner had two sons together, however, their dates of birth and his partner’s name are undisclosed. He taught his children all about Roblox, so they’re also active on the Roblox website, with usernames of ‘stunshocker’ and ‘redustian,’ respectively.
During family time, Erik would play games such as Settlers of Catan, Small World, and Ticket to Ride with his children. However, his all-time favorite was Bridge.
Appearance, Clothing Style
Erik was 5ft 8ins (1.73m) tall and weighed around 132 lbs (60kgs). He had short blonde hair and blue eyes. Erik Cassel loved to wear hats, shirts, and pants; his clothing style was simple and clean.
Hobbies, Favorite Things, and Interesting Facts
- Erik enjoyed cooking, cycling, and playing the violin, also woodworking and playing ultimate Frisbee.
- In 2010, he started taekwondo training.
- Erik Cassel liked making people smile.
Net Worth and Salary
At the time of his death, Erik Cassel’s net worth was estimated at $20 million, which he earned from working as VP of Engineering at Knowledge Revolution, Roblox, and from personal projects. Details of property owned by the software engineer and his family remain undisclosed.