Back at E3 last month we learned that famed video game designer Peter Molyneux’s new studio 22 Cans would be releasing a series of small experimental titles, each focused on one singular concept or experience, leading up to the release of their first traditional game over the course of the next few years.

On Friday at the Rezzed game conference in the UK, Molyneux announced that the first title in this series, Curiosity, will be launching on August 22nd on iOS, Android and PC. Curiosity involves players virtually chipping away at a gigantic cube made up of tens of millions of tinier cubes. Up to one million players can be hacking away at the cube at the same time.

In a, let’s say interesting, twist Curiosity will have in-app purchases for tools that can help you chip apart the giant cube more quickly, including a single diamond pickaxe which will cost $50,000. Hang on, I’m running to grab my credit card right now.

While (theoretically) millions of players will all work towards the goal of chipping away the massive cube, only one lucky person will actually be able to claim the secret at the center. A secret Molyneux describes as “life-changingly important” and “so amazing I think it will appear on news reports.”

I know this might sound more like the rantings of Peter Molyneux’s parody Twitter account Peter Molydeux, but I am assured they are from the man himself. It all seems like some sort of whacky social experiment, but at the very least 22 Cans has me curious about Curiosity, and I’m eager to see firsthand what this is all about when it launches next month.

[Via Eurogamer]

  • Jack Amick


    Who, how, why?

    • Adams Immersive

      It depends—sounds like a lot, but is it a really nice pickaxe? And can you use it for more than one game before you have to buy another?

      Maybe the “life-changing secret” is that you get to pocket the $50k from anyone who bought a pickaxe!

      Or maybe it’s rigged so that only a pickaxe-weilder can win, and the “life-changing secret” is that “your house is foreclosed.”

      Either one would be great fun!

  • B34$T

    Life changing? You mean like Milo?

  • stryver12

    $50,000 for a game? Is this the end of mobile gaming?

  • oooooomonkey

    Woohoo give me a diamond pickaxe. Jk

  • John Dickerson

    Im hoping the middle contains Black and White 3, I always thought any of the earlier ones would be great iOS titles.

    • Guillaume Merle

       You know what, I think yoru're actually right because he said "it will appear on news reports"

  • CurtNeedsaRide _

    Well I was going to put down on a house and get a car, but now...
    I still will.

  • Furtin

    Yes, uhmm, ok. I'll have the spare-ribs with french fries and a diet coke. And a diamond pickaxe for starters. Ouh, or make it two, please, as I am really rich. Thank you that'll be all.

  • Bliquid

    It think there'll be a money prize inside the last cube.
    Say something like a 100.000 $ prize or more.
    It would indeed change someone's life, in a way.
    That is, if you havent bought 2 or more diamond pickaxes...

    • Derek Lore

      Only one person can buy the diamond pickaxe, once purchased, its no longer avaliable

  • jchamplain

    Peter Molyneux sounds like a crook. I hope Apple doesn't approve his $50,000 IAP.

    • Scott Phoenix

      Molyneaux is one of the most respected game designers in the business and has been for many, many years, don't be a fucking idiot.

      • jchamplain

        I understand Peter Molyneux must be a hero of yours, but that's no reason to be so irate. Charging $50,000 for a fake pickaxe is extreme and wrong.

      • Niklas Wahrman

        no it's not, it's an experiment. If you don't want it, don't buy it. A problem however is that the most an IAP can cost is $999 so wonder how they'll go around that.

      • jchamplain

        Labeling it as an "experiment" doesn't justify it. It would be wrong to charge $50,000 for a full game, let alone for an IAP. Just because someone is willing to pay an insane amount of money doesn't make it right either. This is a moral dilemma. It's just like an opportunist to justify the means.

      • ducksFANjason

        While I agree that it's insane to charge that kind of money for an IAP (or even a game for that matter), morality is simply too subjective to make a blanket statement like that. "It's wrong" you say while others feel it's simply his choice to charge whatever he wants. The whole point to capitalism is that the market will dictate what an appropriate price is. If his price is too outrageous (which it is an he knows it, that's why it's an experiment) no one will pay and it will go away. If not, then you were wrong because it sounds like someone found it worthwhile enough to pay such an excessive amount.

      • jchamplain

        I think you misread my comment, because it wasn't a blanket statement. It was an opinion directed at a specific individual for his proposed IAP.

        Anyone with any sense knows it's foolish to pay $50,000 for a virtual pickaxe. It's morally wrong in my opinion to seperate a fool from his money, whether it was given willingly or not. And I can care less if capitalism allows it or what the market says. It's a matter of principle.

      • Playpunk

        No, PAYING for a $50,000 pickaxe is extreme and wrong. If molyneux can get someone to pay that, more power to him.

      • jchamplain

        If it's wrong for a person to give $50,000 for an IAP, then how is it not wrong to take it from that same person? Is it justified in your mind because you would make money from it?

        If you are Mr. Molyneux and you take advantage of a person for personal gain, it makes you an opportunist. A crook. That's wrong in my book.

  • Jarrod Willard

    When i read the headline, I thought "studio 22" was "canning" the launch of Curiosity.

  • Artfoundry

    Heh, the wording of the title makes it sound like the studio is canning the game.

    As for the axe, I actually wouldn't be surprised if someone really wealthy bought it. Peter offering it doesn't make him a crook (as long as he makes the cost worth while) - it's all up to the users. No one HAS to buy it.

  • Apegoat

    My problem with IAP like the one mentioned is that it will primarily - or solely - be used by those who hack the game, because they can hack the IAP system as well. Thus, those who probably didn't pay for the game to begin with will benefit the most. It's difficult to imagine anyone actually paying $50,000 over something like this, and unless some impressive security measures are in place, one can be sure that hackers will be all over that $50,000 IAP.

  • Jay G

    You all seem to be missing the point.  

    Peter Molyneux is a guy with big, game-changing ideas that never live up to the hype.  He's a BS-spewing, hype-machine.  In fact, every time he opens his mouth, he promises the world rainbows and flying monkeys, but what he delivers is Fruit Stripe gum and a gerbil with wings taped to it's back. 
    So pardon me if I don't believe the center of that cube is life-changing.

    • Rubicon Development

       Absolutely. The "experiment" here is "using a long past reputation, how many idiots can I get talking about this ridiculous thing."

      I'm of an age that remembers Molyneux and Bullfrog with fondness, but all he does these days is spew crap.

      • hellscaretaker

        Agree with u there populous was a great title and bullfrog made some great titles but since Peter never given that game that's grab me like populous did

      • Playpunk

        Hmmm, seems his experiment might be a success already since this is the most replied to topic in weeks on here

      • mynameismatt

        Wow, whatever your opinion of Molyneux, using your professional account to bad mouth a fellow developer - and your entire potential audience - is a pretty unclassy move. Especially in such juvenile terms.

        Not sure that alienating your customer base is really such a brilliant marketing strategy when you've got a brand new game, what, right around the corner?

        Spectacularly unprofessional work. Well done.

  • Rubicon Development

    "While (theoretically) millions of players will all work towards the goal of chipping away the massive cube "

    My bet is that they won't.

  • GSJ1977

    Chipping away at a massive cube... mmmno thanks Peter.

  • sak3r

    Now there's a reason to hack a game. I'll be using iapcracker to get my pickaxe and let him know we're not all dumb.

  • theundertow

    BC is at the center of the Cube!

  • ImJPaul

    So and my gf r going to be chipping away at this black box for weeks on end. Hopefully one of us wins. Otherwise we'll have a dilemma. Can't wait to find out what in the middle. Maybe it's a refund for ur $50,000 IAP?

  • ImJPaul

    ...or maybe it'll be infinity blade dungeons in the middle since that'll NEVER come out.

  • mcamp

    Molyneux has a long history of making stupid claims that his games fail to live up to; see Fable vs. prerelease hype. He's a madman given far more respect than he deserves, and this sounds like his most idiotic project yet.

  • InfectiousRed

    Molyneux... still an idiot.

  • scott slomiany

    I think that part of the experiment is in watching the social media of the thing. I don't think they actually expect any one person to buy the $50,000 pickaxe. However, there might be a crew of people from an internet site that, if large enough, where everyone pitches in $2 with the expectation that everyone will share the *wonderous* award. And that's what they want to follow.

    Of course, this whole *wonderous* award is going to be pretty dangerous stuff from a meta-game angle. If it isn't something like 98% of all the in-app purchase funds going back to the winner (and something more like "hey, you get to have dinner with Peter. You pick up the tab."), then absolutely no-one will bother with the second experiment. So the *wonderous* reward at the end of this game had better be something worthwhile.

  • kieguru

    I'm fine with them charging £50,000 for a virtual item, people can spend their money how they want. There will still be no guarantee that the money will be well spent, yes you will have a better chance of cracking the cube open, but you could also just make the work easier for someone who hasn't paid anything to get the final blow. 
    It's just really elitist, giving people a better chance if they have the money to pay for it, like paying for higher education. 

    As with most of Molyneux's games, the reward at the end will never live up to the hype. It seems to me that this is less of an experiment, more a way of exploiting the 'pay to play' market.