22 Cans: "We now offer the option for kind people to donate"

Developer appeals for help in fixing Curiosity: The Cube

Overwhelmed by the number of people using its Curiosity: The Cube app, developer 22 Cans has asked for help from the public to fix it and is now accepting donations via PayPal.

"We are a small independent developer and due to popular demand we now offer the option for kind people to donate, so that we can make Curiosity the best possible experience it can be," it said on its official site.

"However big or small the donation; it will really help us make Curiosity better."

Last week 22 Cans head Peter Molyneux told Twitter "we may need help to make the experience truly wonderful, our server costs are going to ramp up with our new fix."

The free game has seen incredible success on iOS and Android, but that success quickly turned sour as the demand overloaded the start-up's servers, causing problems for users with log ins, disappearing coins and general functionality.

"Even in the most popular MMO games it is rare for 10,000 people to be playing in the same level at the same time, currently up to a million people are trying to get access to our server," said the company in a statement to Eurogamer on Friday.

"What has blown us away is the number of taps each player wants to do, we estimated it would be hundreds, but it is actually thousands, and in a few cases millions. We simply did not anticipate this level of curiosity."

"The programmers are continuing their work throughout the weekend to resolve this. We are not a big company and the amount of people is starting to rack up a massive (for us) server bill. We are doing everything we can with the resources we have."

The company also released a video last week to share their frustration and explain the issues to users.

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Latest comments (19)

Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 5 years ago
I have to say I did want to give this a go, but given everything I've heard about it's server problems it's put me off downloading it.

I'd find it hard to believe that many people would donate, not because they're not interested in the game, but essentially this is an experiment. And I'm not sure a lot of gamers want to pay for an experiment. I guess few people bought that diamond chisel(?) then.

And as I've heard from some people say, they'd rather be donating to victims of Hurricane Sandy more than donate to this,which I have to say is quite fair.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Kingman Cheng on 12th November 2012 1:51pm

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Dave Mitchell Founder, Two Tails5 years ago
Instead of begging people for money why don't they work on the monitisation? Stupid.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D5 years ago
@ Dave - yeah, that's what I thought, too. Downloaded it this morning, but in about a dozen attempts it simply hasn't connected to the server.

Still, all this allows people to proclaim Peter M a genius again, that technology simply wasn't ready for his latest creation.
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Show all comments (19)
This is an over-hyped mess - and I notice that the game media have spotted they have been overly supporting a hype-led failed state and are now drastically trying to back-peddle to avoid getting tarred with the same brush.

I would point those that have not seen it to the MCV commentary online today that questions if they (MCV writer) may have been overly embroiled on over-hyping PM and the project, and not been critical to the level expected on what was being proposed (memories of the Milo scenario flooding into everyone’s memory).

This is an incredibly badly led, directed and organized project, which shows at best complete incompetence in business planning, and at worst a self-centered and ego driven approach to manipulating a situation. There will be editors now feeling incredibly uncomfortable they fraternized with PM on this, or had him keynote at their conferences – I note that this is one of the first 22Cans report on GI.Biz that does not lead with PM!

Fundamentally, did not the consumer media set this up to fail? –finding a self-absorbed self-proclaimed ‘legend’, over-hype him and then scramble to try and run-away when the ‘emperor reveals he has no cloths’? Shame on all of you, and the more we see this level of ineptitude of business (THQ, EA, Atari, etc.,) the more we are setting up the consumer game trade to fail and take down the whole rotten structure!

I just hope that we won’t end up like the BBC saga - seeing certain consumer game journos’ having to throw themselves onto their sword when it is revealed that they have unreported connections (associations) leading to why they overly reported one individual over reporting on the trade in general?
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Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, Azoomee5 years ago
oh dear...
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Adam Jordan Community Manager, Ubisoft5 years ago
Anything with Peter Molyneux involved in will always be an over-hyped mess. I learnt that one during his "handy work" with Fable, the fact people still applaud him after he confessed that he lied about those games to hype them up because "he" felt the games couldn't sell themselves is astounding.

The concept of Curiosity is one that fuels life itself...the sense of the unknown and not knowing what's around the corner. The idea of the experiment is actually compelling but as soon as I knew Peter was involved...I basically stopped caring and my curiosity was gone in a split second.

Sadly like with most things that should really just put itself into a corner, people will give this attention, people will be curious to see what Pete and co have put in the centre of the cube and I can't wait to see their reaction when all they find is either a big middle finger or Lonely Island performing "D*ck in a box" live.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Jordan on 12th November 2012 3:38pm

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or Lonely Island performing "D*ck in a box" live
Well, then I'd be doubly disappointed about Curiosity not working on my phone!
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 5 years ago
I would say something but, others here already know my views on PM and his antics. I'm only surprised that people still seem to be falling for it after all this time.

Seriously folks. Stop indulging him!
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development5 years ago
+1 Peter. And my usual +1 to Kevin.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 5 years ago
We are not a big company and the amount of people is starting to rack up a massive (for us) server bill. We are doing everything we can with the resources we have.
How big does a company need to be before they can cover server costs for their own game, on their own?

Also, if this were a PC game, would they be asking for donations? It feels soooooooooo close to asking for money to patch the game.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 12th November 2012 5:31pm

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Jed Ashforth Senior Game Designer, Immersive Technology Group, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe5 years ago
Since their in-game cash-to-credits store has not yet gone live, meaning no revenue stream yet, they've either (a) released before they were ready, or (b) were banking on this all along.

Does PM really think we could believe that they never factored these costs and these possibilities into their development plans?

Whatever the intent, 22Cans just comes off looking hugely unprofessional.
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John Cook Senior Partner, Bad Management5 years ago
I admired Ben Parfitt's MCV piece today - and some valid points are made in the posts above - but how about dialling down some of the hysterical vitriol guys?
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Hugo Trepanier Game Designer, Behaviour Interactive5 years ago
They simply cannot have expected only a few hundreds of people to try it out - there is no way to make money off of a title that only has this few players and Peter Molyneux knows this. So either this donation thing was planned from the start as part of the experiment or they have a very poor business strategy.

Seeing the popularity of their initial experiment, they should front the cash to buy more servers, knowing it will repay later on. Otherwise they're not really showing much faith in their product and its financial viability.
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@John, wow long time no hear! Hope you are well

Just to your comment - I understand you have association with PM in the past (not sure if also currently), but I do not read anything above that is 'hysterical' or 'vitriol' - there are no untrue or poisonous accusations, but a stating of the facts of over-exposure - and a lot of concern on association by implication for the trade.

But if you compare this to what is being said on the forum sites between 22Cans customer base then I think those accusations would be more accurate - PM may have burnt his last bridge!
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development5 years ago
>> PM may have burnt his last bridge
Wow, first time I ever disagreed with you, Kevin. I've thought several times that he (PM) must've done that, but each time he takes a dump in the press' mouth, they just yum it up and ask for more.

The guy is a multi-millionaire and I presume the major shareholder in this new venture. He can personally afford a better server to run this "experiment" literally without noticing the bill at all. He could mark it down as a capital injection and claim it back later from his directors account.

That would imo be best and fastest solution to solve this "crisis". But crisis solving isn't what this is about, what this is about is getting money out of people without looking like you're trying to sell them something. I guess I should be impressed because I'm sure it's gonna work, too.

EDIT: And hi, JC. Getting cosy in here. :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 12th November 2012 10:57pm

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Oliver Birch Director of Marketing, Hothead Games5 years ago
Donate to your experiment, really Peter?
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D5 years ago
"each time he takes a dump in the press' mouth, they just yum it up and ask for more."

Would be funny if it wasn't so true.
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@Paul, I totally understand your conjecture.
The reason I think he may have burnt the last chance is the red faces of a number of his 'supporters', 'hangers-on' in the media. Obviously he can just grab another bucket of cash and go shill off somewhere else - but for those that remain they have been made to look very stupid in supporting him and that loss of credibility in a 'dog eat dog' media environment could be a game changer for his fortunes.

One forum discussion I saw touched on the interesting observation that though PM has generated big cash over the years he may not be as minted now as some have speculated and may not have the assets to just pony-up the dosh to cover the 22Cans financial hole! If that is the case it may explain the shill approach to donations - as well as the reason for all the hyperbole?
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Steve Nicholls Programmer 5 years ago
Why can't he spend his own money to get it sorted?
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