Molyneux unveils Curiosity - Report

E3 2012: Social-media-focused experimental game from Molyneux studio 22 Cans to launch in a few weeks; players will have the option to purchase in-game items, the most expensive of which will be priced at roughly $77,000.

by

LOS ANGELES--Former Lionhead studio head Peter Molyneux has unveiled the first project under his new label, 22 Cans.

Molyneux is experimenting with social media…and really rich people.

Speaking with New Scientist magazine, Molyneux revealed he is working on a series of social gaming experiments in an attempt to explore the "psychology of social-media users." According to the report, Molyneux will use the results of these experiments to help him craft a game that he plans to release in two years' time.

The first of these experimental games--which is set to be released in a few weeks--is called Curiosity. The game sees players enter a virtual room containing a single black cube; players must tap at the cube to try to fracture it layer by layer. However, fractures will appear simultaneously as other players join the game online and begin tapping at the same cube.

According to Molyneux, the cube will eventually fall open after an undisclosed number of taps. What lies inside Molyneux described as "truly amazing" and "absolutely unique." The catch is that only the player who executes the final tap will get to see what's inside. 22 Cans will rely on social media for the word to spread.

During the game's duration, players will be able to purchase in-game items to help them in their quest to be the one who breaks the cube; these items will take the shape of a limited number of chisels that will amplify the strength of each tap. They will range from an iron chisel costing around 0.91 cents (with a tapping strength 10 times as powerful), all the way up to a diamond chisel costing roughly $77,000 (with a tapping strength 100,000 times as powerful).

"It's an insane amount of money," Molyneux told the magazine. "[But] this is not a money-making exercise; it is a test about the psychology of monetisation."

In March this year, Molyneux left the Microsoft-owned Lionhead Studios to open up 22 Cans.

Discussion

129 comments
pimpofdoom
pimpofdoom

Peter making money from those who don't know any better way to spend it? Kind of reminds me of the time I rented Fable 2.

armedvigilante
armedvigilante

When a picture of whats inside gets posted nobody will care about it anymore. and whats inside is probably different each time it gets open.

armedvigilante
armedvigilante

i laughed out loud during that second paragraph. ahahha tapping a cube wtf did i just read. man he is losing it

CoachHale
CoachHale

look at it this way, say he does the experiment and makes hundreds of thousands of dollars off of something inherently worthless, then someone cracks open the cube and the reward is a simple message to the effect of:

 

"hey bros, let's take a moment to step back and think about what you just paid insane amounts of money for. nothing. absolutely nothing. i'm putting all your money back into your individual accounts, but next time let's all just stop and THINK before we buy BS from cash cow games, ya dig?"

 

i'd call that pretty amazing, and obviously very unique. not naive enough to think that's what he'll actually do, but you want to cement yourself in gaming history? send a message like that right in the middle of this F2P and DLC crisis, where video games are rapidly turning away from creativity and innovation and sprinting down the profiteering path.

pinching_perry
pinching_perry

He's insane for sure, but this is interesting as hell. His experiment is working already.

AlexTehGr8
AlexTehGr8

I think i'll just look it up on youtube

vince14_evil
vince14_evil

The most interesting thing about his 'experiment' is that it's working. He didn't give any pictures, barely described how the game worked, and suddenly thousands of people read about it, commented about it and are mad about such a 'stupid money-making scheme', Soon, it'll be all over Facebook, Twitter, and before the game is even released, people will know this 'game' exists. Some people will try it just to have a crack at what it's about, just to see what a 'game' about BREAKING A CUBE is all about. And then some people will be curious as to what's really inside.

 

Like the article said, it's also about social medias, and I think he's interested in both the 'hype' or criticism it'll generate over the web, and also how many people will download it just through that little information.

 

Then when someone breaks the cube open, he won't have any proof of what was inside, even if he writes up what he saw all over the web. Then someone will think of recording it or taking pictures, and the message will be sent all over the place.

 

tl;dr: This isn't a test to see if people are dumb enough to give money for curiosity; it's about how people will discuss it, spread it and share it all over the internet.

 

And it's working damn well so far.

 

My guess on what's inside is a short teaser about his other 'two years development' project.

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

I like the idea but it will be incredibly sad if it's a success. If people actually pay for items, it only shows what we understand of the value of the dollar. And that is, nothing. People are reckless. Molyneux understands this, and thus a project like this will be the ultimate test.

Pangamaster
Pangamaster

Maybe this is just a troll project, there is nothing inside the cube and they are just seeing how much money one is able to spend in order to get the chance to break the cube, the "extent of curiosity".

RetroSEAL
RetroSEAL

Makes sense. Because of it's name "Curiosity", once can assume the psychological side of this goes something like, how many people will buy chisels just to break open and see what's inside? How many people will want it so badly they will buy a virtual diamond chisel? Who will be the one to discover it; the one who taps at it 24/7? Or the one who buys his lifetime supply of money 4 times over in diamond chisels? 

 

I see where he's going with this.

 

I am already curious.

aussiemuscle
aussiemuscle

So, it's an exercise in testing psychology, but there's no reason not to make money along the way.

Agent-M
Agent-M

Another Facebook game with useless asinine in game purchases.

Hurvl
Hurvl

"It's an insane amount of money," Molyneux told the magazine. "[But] this is not a money-making exercise; it is a test about the psychology of monetisation." Yeah...right. Would be fun if the companies behind overpriced DLC would also call that decision a "test about the psychology of monetisation".

SuperDutchy
SuperDutchy

"It's an insane amount of money," Molyneux told the magazine. "[But] this is not a money-making exercise; it is a test about the psychology of monetisation."   LOL.... "This is not a circle; it is a two-dimensional sphere"

a_ndy
a_ndy

"...it is a test about the psychology of monetisation" into Peter Molyneux's pocket.

koospetoors
koospetoors

I was hoping that Peter would try doing something great again (like with Bullfrog all those years ago) seeing how he has more freedom now....

 

Guess I was wrong, heh.

moonlightwolf01
moonlightwolf01

Seems kind of a redundant experiment we already know that a small section of the populace are willing to fork out massive amounts of money for items in social media games, most of these people have obsessive disorders and or spending addictions. the experiments already happened it's called everything Zynga ever made. What's the next phase of this experiment supposed to be. Make a game where you pay to win? oh wait that's been done as well. The guy's just losing it.

Unholy123
Unholy123

Someone will buy it with their own money? probably not but when you just need a credit card to make this purchase yes yes this will happen not many and like most people I've built up a heavy resistance to the PM's bull so all I really took away from this was "I'm promising abunch of stuff again wanna bet if I deliver?"

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

You know...some stupid person is actually going to buy that thing too. How is this a psychology experiment? Better show some data beyond "5 idiots actually bought the diamond chisel!" I hope this game and everything that man touches crashes and burns...oh wait, fable already did...

FoxbatAlpha
FoxbatAlpha

I can wait till he starts boasting about his new games and then let's u down like Fable. Sorry Pete, Microsoft canned you for a reason.

dogman7
dogman7

This guy is a genius, he's figured out a way to exploit peoples stupidity and make a killing doing so. I love it!

GunBladeHero
GunBladeHero

My psychology ( and my wallet )  tells me that this is a monetization test not worth taking.

hitman047m4
hitman047m4

For some reason this reminds me of the I Am Rich app in the AppStore, if anyone remembers it.... it will truly sucks for that person who spends the $77,000 and do not get the "price" at the end.

 

Do not get me wrong, the idea of the game seems extremely interesting, and can add a "kind of" co-op, camaraderie, etc element to the game experience among the players... as well as other obscure elements; but the whole buying element of the game (as any other freemium style of game) is what I really dislike about it... specially if they are trying to hide their true intentions (make money), behind this so called "test about the psychology of monetisation".

 

I personally dislike the cash-cow concept, specially in the gaming industry. In my opinion, this concept have gained strength (unfortunately), due to the laziness and lack of patience (not trying to offend anyone)  of some gamers.

petek480
petek480

"It's an insane amount of money," Molyneux told the magazine. "[But] this is not a money-making exercise; it is a test about the psychology of monetisation."

 

Of course it's not about the money!  It's an experiment to see how much money you can get out of people by providing them with basically nothing!  The money going into his pocket is just a nice extra bonus.  It's all for science!

 

"According to Molyneux, the cube will eventually fall open after an undisclosed number of taps. What lies inside Molyneux described as 'truly amazing' and 'absolutely unique.'"

 

Unless whatever is inside of the cube will actually get up and jump out of your monitor it will not be truly amazing and absolutely unique.

 

What would be 'truly amazing' and 'absolutely unique' though would be Peter Molyneux releasing an actual decent game and not something overshadowed by all the insane and amazingly pointless stupid ideas he tries to come up with thinking it will make him some kind of game developing genius.

linkinpark75
linkinpark75

It's a smart psychology experiment.  He's looking deeper into how people like Zynga make so much money with social media games and micro-transactions.  90% of people will say a $77,000 chisel is ridiculous.  But people will use the 90 cent chisel, which will satisfy them to an extent.  After the initial excitement dies down, a few of the people who bought the 90 cent chisel will buy the next one up and enjoy it, but it won't be as enjoyable as the first time they used the 90 cent chisel (diminishing returns).  So a few people who bought that one will get an even more expensive chisel, hoping to experience the initial amount of joy that came from buying the first chisel, and it will cycle on and on until some moron buys the $77,000 chisel.

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

Molyneux unveils Big Mouth and Empty Promises - Report

TruthTellers
TruthTellers

Idk who'd want to tap Molyneux's cubes anyway...

carlisledavid79
carlisledavid79

What lies inside Molyneux described as "truly amazing" and "absolutely unique."

 

What's inside is another cube. Get tapping folks.

Ribbercage
Ribbercage

I really like this guy, I've never played any Fable game but I think I might pick up Fable 2.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

"[But] this is not a money-making exercise; it is a test about the psychology of monetisation."

 

...Bulls**t...but if he really means it he would give the money back afterwards.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

What could possibly be inside there to justify spending $77,000 on a virtual chisel?? this is so f***ing ridiculous, i wouldnt be surprised if out of it came a middle finger with "I cant believe you fell for it you loser" written underneath.

 

Just wait until some fool spends the money and  within an hour of them finding out it will be shared online for all to know.

aphextwin777
aphextwin777

He hasn't done a decent game since Populous, his ego and direction in gaming is so fubar'd.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

I'm so sick of this guy.  I'm sure he sits in his office all day and smells his own farts.  Some idiot will spend the money too, given how many people purchase the $100 ring in Team Fortress 2(which does absolutely nothing).  I don't give the gaming audience at large any credit, as I'm sure they'll willingly be lab rats for someone's social experiment, working the maze for that piece of cheese in the middle... but if this blows up in his face I might have to think twice about that.

theKSMM
theKSMM

By "psychology of social media users" he means how many of your dummies will actually pony up several thousand dollars to see what's in the box. And given how skewed net worth is in the world today (e.g. a small proportion of people with more wealth than they could ever use) I'm sure that there is someone who can and will spend $77 grand on a whim. And Molyneux will have made hundreds of thousands off a peek-a-boo app. Hopefully he'll at least use the money to fund a real game.

Master_Turismo
Master_Turismo

Rather use 77K on a place with the fixings than spend it on a game that is not worth it.

Pangamaster
Pangamaster

I just realized, our boy Milo is gonna be inside the cube...

ArcherRO
ArcherRO

 @RetroSEAL Unless the "truly amazing" and "absolutely unique." thing that's in the box is a million dollars or the money everybody else used to buy virtual chisels(since this is clearly not a money making scheme) it's not worth spending 72k$ on it.I wonder if there's a potato out there that will buy that crap.

dogman7
dogman7

 @---Cipher--- It's an experiment to see is there really is a market for these types of things. If he can prove that he can sell these extremely high cost items for a game that MAYBE costs half of the item to produce, and steadily do so, then he'll move onto the next phase of his plan. What that is, nobody knows.

moonlightwolf01
moonlightwolf01

 @dogman7 Zynga figured it out first with farmville, this is exactly the same as any free to play social media game

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

 @linkinpark75 Wait, wait, wait...how much joy can a person get from a chisel??? lol. You're really suggesting that clicking away on a pointless game is going to be somehow entertaining, and that the experience is going to be so much more satisfying with a slightly different chisel...so much so that a person is going to work up to spending $77, 000+ on it? lmao.

R4gn4r0k
R4gn4r0k

"It's a smart psychology experiment"

"...until some moron buys the $77,000 chisel"

What's so smart about that ? I understand what they aim to do here but taking money from an idiot is not exactly what I would call a smart experiment.

@linkinpark75

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

 @GamerLegend10 ... Ummm I think that's exactly what he's saying. Have you never heard of Las Vegas? That's exactly what this is.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

 @ExtremePhobia Are you joking?? its completely different. People go to las vegas and gamble their money in the hope of multiplying it, this is just a sad game where you buy very expensive chisels in the hope of opening a virtual box.