Gaming fintech Zebedee and mobile gaming studio Fumb Games said Bitcoin Miner, a simple idle mobile game that simulates running a crypto mining business, has been played by over one million players.
The companies said that this proves that sustainable play-and-earn mobile gaming works, is easy for anyone to get into and is here to stay. Unlike any Web3 titles, the game is completely free to play and rewards users in real Bitcoin just for playing. Playstudios uses a similar rewards model for its games.
Bitcoin Miner is not a new game. In fact, it was released almost five years ago but never gained traction with users. It was essentially a dead game until its creator, Fumb Games, partnered with Zebedee to add real Bitcoin rewards.
This transformed the game overnight, turning it from a failed project into the mobile gaming studio’s most profitable and biggest game. Now, almost a year after the game’s re-release with Bitcoin rewards, it has become arguably the most popular play-and-earn game in the world by user count, the companies said.
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Despite what the name might suggest, the game does not actually mine Bitcoin. Instead, Fumb Games shares a part of its generated revenue with users in what is becoming known as sustainable play-and-earn, or rewarded gaming.
The concept has proven to resonate with users because of its simplicity, the companies said. It is one of many such games powered by Zebedee that are live on both Android and iOS, but due to its theme, Bitcoin Miner seems to especially resonate with audiences.
The game’s user base is primarily in big markets like the U.S. and United Kingdom. This is a trend across Zebedee-powered games, with 30% of the total user base coming from the U.S.
While this is nothing out of the ordinary for a mobile game that monetizes primarily through ads, it is definitely far from the norm for the Web3 or play-and-earn space, where the lion’s share of users usually comes from emerging markets. That’s why Zebedee and Fumb Games are reluctant to use those terms, opting to call their joint projects “rewarded gaming.” This doesn’t count as gambling because players aren’t rewarded for individual bets they make in a game. They are rewarded for coming back.
The two might appear similar, but differ in one key way: here, the gameplay comes first, the companies said. This naturally attracts a different type of user than games where the earning aspect is front and center.
“The magic of Bitcoin Miner is that it’s a game about crypto that requires no crypto knowledge whatsoever to get into and earn real Bitcoin. In fact, we hear from players all the time that they were a bit scared it would be a complex system, but it’s so simple they got it instantly,” says Paul West, CEO of Fumb Games, in a statement.
Unlike many Web3 games that have surfaced in past years, Bitcoin Miner is free to play and focuses on providing a fun player experience. The free Bitcoin is just the cherry on top, but it has proven to be a true game-changer. This is not crypto gaming, blockchain gaming or Web3 gaming, but rather, it is a simple game with an even simpler way for users to get their rewards as well as use them to shop online.
“Bitcoin Miner’s success is great validation of everything we’ve been building at Zebedee,” said Ben Cousens, chief strategy officer at Zebedee, in a statement. “Free-to-play was a massive revolution in mobile gaming. We believe rewarded play will be just as disruptive. While it’s still early, successful projects like Bitcoin Miner are proving that this concept does resonate with users and that the games can scale sustainably.”
Bitcoin rewards in Bitcoin Miner are powered by Zebedee’s payments platform, tailored to the specific needs of game developers. It is a powerful tool that lets any gaming studio easily implement programmable Bitcoin payments using simple APIs. It is a fully managed solution that removes the need for game makers to worry about any technical Bitcoin or blockchain-related issues. They just make sure their game wallets are funded and watch the payments fly instantly into their users’ wallets, the companies said.
For users, it’s even simpler. They just get the Zebedee app, easily withdraw rewards from the game and can then instantly use their Bitcoin to shop for more than 5,000 gift cards or move it to a wallet, exchange or service of their choice.