Curiosity Winner, Once Promised a "Life Changing" Prize by Peter Molyneux, Has Received Nothing
Developer 22Cans stopped responding to winner's emails; Molyneux offers new apology.
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Bryan Henderson, the 20 year-old Scot whose life was thrust into the spotlight when he became the winner of Peter Molyneux's Curiosity game, has not received any money since winning what was described to him as a "life changing" prize.
Curiosity was an experimental iOS game, released in November 2012, that offered one lucky player a unique reward. The game presented dozens of vast layers of cubes, each encased within each other in a Russian-doll set-up, with players from the outside picking each layer apart piece-by-piece. The cube's six faces contained hundreds of thousands of cubelets, presented to all players simultaneously via shared servers. These were all restlessly picked away for seven months, until May 2013, when the final layer opened.
The iOS experiment's popularity was fueled by claims made by its designer, Peter Molyneux, who said that what lies in the center of the cube was a "life changing prize," which would be given to the person who picks off the final cubelet. Henderson, by chance, was that final player, and was told he would become the "God of Gods" in Molyneux's next game, Godus.
"A month or two after winning, I would email them every month, purely because I expected more communication from them, but it wasn't happening"
According to Molyneux in interviews conducted in 2013, the God of Gods would be able to influence certain multiplayer modes in Godus, and along with this, would receive a cut of the game's revenue.
Now, in an interview with Eurogamer nearly two years since winning Curiosity, Henderson says he has not received any money, nor has Godus' developer 22Cans maintained contact with him.
He explains: "For a moment I was excited. My general feeling was, depending on how well the game does, I was thinking in terms of worst to the best, I could get £10,000 to £500,000 at the very best. Still, that would be awesome. But so far not a penny."
The problem is that Henderson's role in Godus cannot commence until the game's multiplayer is introduced. Yet this has not materialized since the game's launch on PC in September 2013, nor after its release across iOS in August.
GameSpot understands that much of the game's internal team has either left the studio or moved onto a different project, with the remaining lead designer of Godus has publicly expressed that features such as multiplayer are unlikely to arrive soon.
Molyneux cannot guarantee that multiplayer will ever come to the game, meaning that Henderson may never receive anything after winning the "life changing" prize.
Henderson had tried to maintain contact with 22Cans about the promised reward, but says he was left frustrated after many routine emails to the studio.
"A month or two after winning, I would email them every month, purely because I expected more communication from them, but it wasn't happening," he said.
"I would ask, so, what's happening? When am I going to find out more stuff? What's going to happen, specifically? They were taking their time to answer. They would say, we need to do this first and tell you afterwards.
"Since I won and a year after, I would email them as a ritual thing, every month, just to get some kind of update. Eventually I was like, they're not being professional at all. Communication is non-existent, so I'm not even going to try anymore."
Henderson has not received an apology from Molyneux, or his team at 22Cans, before Eurogamer had contacted the studio about the story.
"That's pretty poor, isn't it?" Molyneux said of the whole affair.
"He should have a contact here. That's pretty shoddy for us to not keep him posted. I totally and absolutely and categorically apologize. That isn't good enough and I'll take it on my own shoulders that I should have made sure he was communicated with. We will from today onwards do that."