Peter Molyneux's Curiosity to be renamed 'because of NASA'
[UPDATE] Former Lionhead designer says his new iOS project with 22 Cans not allowed to use same name as space agency's Mars rover; Molyneux says name change a matter of improving search engine optimization.
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[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, Molyneux told Modojo that Curiosity's impending name change was related to search engine optimization, and was not a decision made at the request of NASA.
"The name change is prompted by the need to have something simple to search for in Google," he said. "This worked well for 'Curiosity' but since NASA: Curiosity is now obviously generating a lot of interest we need to change the name."
The original story follows below
Peter Molyneux's first post-Microsoft project, Curiosity, has hit a snare. The developer tweeted today that the game's name must change, "because of" The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), whose much-publicized Mars rover is also named Curiosity.
Molyneux is currently soliciting new names for Curiosity through Twitter, offering up "The Cube" himself. He said the top choices will be revealed through the 22 Cans Twitter account at a later date.
Molyneux left his post at Microsoft in March, forming independent venture 22 Cans. He announced he was working on a series of social gaming experiments in June that would attempt to explore the "psychology of social media users," the first of which was the game now formerly known as 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).
The game formerly known as Curiosity was expected to arrive in August, but was recently delayed to September.