Tag Archives: Bitcoin

01 Apr

No, there is no Bitcoin mining in “The Way Home”, just April Fools

Several hours ago we published and promoted an article stating that we had made over $3000 dollars in revenue from mining Bitcoin when people played our iOS game.

For those who actually thought we were capable of such things – Yes, it was April Fools. We don’t have any code for mining Bitcoin in any of our games and we probably will never have. We have ethical dilemmas when it comes to applying and implementing  IAPs in general.

So why did we choose this topic? Why did we choose the Bitcoin mining in games/apps? Well, here are a few reasons:

  1. Some people have already done this without notifying or telling the users about it. Fundamentally that is wrong. It is even more so when the mining drains your phone’s battery and uses 100% of your CPU and GPU.

  2. After the few incidents that did occur with devs mining Bitcoin without notice (and sadly some are probably still doing it), people will be searching for more info on how to do it (again, sadly). Hopefully, they will come across this post and all your comments on Hacker News / Reddit / Facebook and hopefully refrain from doing such things.

  3. The idea of having a passive monetization mechanic was intriguing to us. We always try and build the game and the monetization/IAPs so that the player’s experience is not interrupted. We hate bad experiences. You are finally enjoying the game and then an ad pops up. Or you’re in the middle of a story and then you need to pay to read the rest.

Bitcoin will not be the answer to our third question, but we are curious whether it is possible in some way for the player (having been fully informed) to trade off some of the processing power of the phone in order to gain money in the game.

The best April Fools’ pranks that we experienced (suffered) were the ones that were half believable. That is why we also chose this topic. You wouldn’t have believed us if we said that we bought EA. No hard feelings.

As for actually having a chance of mining Bitcoin on your iPhone or iPad, it might take around 30.000 days to strike such luck.

 There were some interesting talks on this topic on Hacker News.

01 Apr

How playing “The Way Home” earns us revenue by mining Bitcoin

bitcoin

Because of the nature of our newest title, “The Way Home”, an arcade game play meets a time traveling story, we knew that players would spend a longer time in the game. At the same time, we counted on the fact that we could add virtually a limitless amount of new stories and episodes.

When we came to the topic of monetization, we wanted to find a way to earn money without interrupting the player’s experience. That is when the idea of mining for Bitcoin came up.

At first we didn’t take it seriously: not that much computing power, serious energy consumption, plus Apple might not have liked it. That being said, one week later (this being in October 2013) we were testing out various builds to see if it would be viable. Sure enough, with certain limitations and constraints, it was. “Meet play to pay”.

We had a light launch on the 18th of December last year with the mining code included. Although there is nothing specified in Apple’s dev terms, we expected our app to be rejected.  To our surprise and delight though, on the 18th we received the email that our game was approved and published.

Since then, we’ve been mining through all the active devices. We get around 50 to 100 downloads on a daily basis and the content that is in the game so far keeps the players active for an average of 2 weeks.  At present, “The Way Home” has earned just a bit over $3000 by mining.

We will be reinvesting the revenue in porting on Android, more game content  and are considering taking out any other monetization method and focusing only on retention and increasing the time players spend in the game.

We find that mining Bitcoin is a better and more passive way as opposed to coin doublers, hard gates, lives or other IAPs (since there is no annoying the player).

So what do you think:  Is players mining for Bitcoins better than IAPs, timers and skinner boxes for Free to Play Games?

 UPDATENo, there is no Bitcoin mining in “The Way Home”, just April Fools.

P.S. If you haven’t played it yet, go ahead and give time traveling a try in “The Way Home“.