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Flickr founders reveal new game to public

'Glitch' powered by microtransactions, not available on Facebook

Tiny Speck, the development studio founded by the same four developers who started Flickr, has revealed new multiplayer online social title Glitch to the public, revealing that the game will not be playable on Facebook, although Facebook logins are supported.

In development for two years, the game is entirely non-violent, instead asking players to create a community of tiny characters existing in the minds of 11 giants. Success requires extensive collaboration with other players. The target audience is 14 years and above.

Speaking to All Things D about the decision not to integrate fully with Facebook, CEO Stewart Butterfield said that he knew the game's numbers may suffer as a result, but that he expected customer attachment to be much higher.

"We don't need tens of hundreds of millions of people to play," said Butterfield. "We need a couple hundred thousand players to break even."

Monetising through both character customisation virtual goods and a premium subscription model, Glitch will not allow players to purchase extra actions or energy to complete tasks like the majority of social games with limited time mechanics.

In fact, Butterfield sees those tactics as exhausting audiences, driving them towards games with greater depth and engagement levels instead.

"I think social gaming companies are burning their customers out. That's the best possible position for us. We are trying to bring beauty and brains to the online gaming world. There's humour and absurdity. We have a low-level fundamental belief that there's an importance of fun in everyday life."

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Dan Pearson