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:
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.
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.
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.