Gaming: What's inside the box? A blooming great bill

 

There are people who wouldn't pay a penny to play a game. There are others who will shell out £800 for a special-edition version of Resident Evil 6.

But surely most would balk at splashing out £50,000 on an in-app purchase, a sum that even the people who created it have labelled insane.

Testing people's will in this case is a game called Curiosity, to be released on Wednesday, which is produced by Peter Molyneux. It's the first title by his new venture, 22Cans, and it consists of a virtual room with a black cube. Players chip away at this cube with a chisel until someone breaks through. But the problem is that the default tool which comes built into the free app is rather weedy. You can get a chisel for 69p to let you smack the cube with 10 times the power or you can pay more to upgrade to better tools. The most powerful is 100,000 times more intense than the freebie tool yet it costs £50,000… and just one of them exists.

Molyneux says it is all about the psychology of monetisation – exploring whether discovering the supposed life-changing prize within the box is, to put it bluntly, worth taking leave of your senses and remortgaging your house. Unless of course, that prize really is life-changing, in which case our begging bowl is out.

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