22Cans speeds up the Curiosity cube

Peter Molyneux's 22Cans studio put out Curiosity on iOS last year, as a sort of a social game-slash-experiment. The idea was that hundreds of thousands of people would be able to download the app, and then use it chip away (by tapping) on a virtual cube, unearthing layer after layer of virtual cubes, with only one person getting the chance to eventually tap on the center. Originally, the project was scheduled to end sometime next year, but that's become too long for 22Cans: The company has decided to update the app down to the last 50 layers.

"I think six months is a long time for this to go on," Molyneux has told Wired. "We're on the cusp of it being forgotten about." That's certainly true -- the iOS market moves quickly, and Curiosity never really did catch players' attention the way 22Cans hoped it would. But Molyneux believes that even though the app may have fallen down many players' priority lists, the project is worth following through on. "It is life-changing in any measurable way," he says about the reward hidden at the center of the cube. "I'm telling you, you want this."

Interesting. Curiosity has also been playing with monetization, offering in-app purchases to both remove cubes from the game more quickly, and even offering to put them back on for a certain price. But for all of its experimenting, Molyneux says the game has only made "a few tens of thousands" of British pounds.

22Cans is also expected to announce another new title -- the company is currently working on a followup to Populous called Godus, which it ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for, and boosting Curiosity's interest will help them promote the next title after that. So if interest picks up again, it may not be long at all before we finally see these last 50 layers chipped away. And then, we'll all get to finally find out just "what's in the cube."