Curiosity dispelled: Peter Molyneux reveals what's inside the cube

Thank Godus that's over.

Six months after it first went live, players have finally made it to the centre of 22cans' infamous Curiosity experiment, barging their way past 25 billion "cubelets" to discover the "life-changing" experience promised to the person who removed the last barrier.

It turns out that the prize is an opportunity to be "the god of all players" in 22cans' Kickstarter-funded god game Project Godus. The winner will dictate the game rules and receive a cut of all the money made by the game.

22cans' Peter Molyneux was tweeting live as the last layer of the Curiosity cube, which players have collaboratively pecked away at since 6th November, disappeared and the fledgling game studio made contact with the winner.

"We are sending the winner the video explaining what's inside, hope he shares," Molyneux tweeted. Soon after he added: "He has said he will share!!!!!!!!!"

A little later: "Okay winner is Bryan Henderson from Edinburgh."

Mercifully for anyone who found the tension unbearable, Henderson agreed to share the details of his prize, which you can hear about in Molyneux's own words in the video below - the actual message given to Henderson for reaching the centre of the cube.

"You, the person who has reached the centre, will be the god of all players. You will intrinsically decide on the rules that the game is played by," Molyneux said in the video. "And here's the life-changing bit: you will share in the success of the product. Every time people spend money on the product, you will get a small piece of the pie."

Molyneux left Microsoft in early 2012 claiming he had been promoted beyond his ideal position making games into a management role that seemed to condemn him to a lifetime of meetings. He also said that numerous 'lifetime achievement' awards gave him a sense of his time having past.

He founded 22cans - located just down the road from his old job in Guildford - as a means of rebelling against those outcomes, using numerous media interviews and appearances at shows like Rezzed and the Eurogamer Expo to reach out to potential employees and talk about Curiosity - the company's first "experiment".

Curiosity was a giant cube covered in many layers of 'cubelets'. Any player could log in to mobile or tablet apps (a promised PC version never materialised) and start tapping away to remove cubelets.

One of the reasons Molyneux described it as an experiment was that everyone was working on the same giant cube - a feat of network engineering that would provide valuable experience to the developers at 22cans as they set out to make future games that Molyneux hoped could have many millions of players.

Interest in Curiosity was substantial to begin with, leading to downtime and a lot of contrition from the young British studio, then waned for a while before increasing again as it became clear the end was approaching.

Curiosity also came under fire by people who felt Molyneux overhyped the prize at its centre, while others pointed to the dubious scientific benefit of a social experiment where the organisers constantly prompt and prod those contributing.

Early reaction to the prize on social media appeared mixed at best. In the words of Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson, "That was the most lame reveal ever."

Others, like Rock Paper Shotgun's Jim Rossignol, saluted the showman. "I can't help feeling that video might have been Peak Molyneux," he said. "Not sure if getting people to tap unsubstantiated hype out of a giant square egg can be beaten, even by the man. But we can hope. But perhaps that's the point. Molyneux's hyperbolic invention is the show, now. The games will all have Peter inside, one way or another."

And now Godus will have Bryan. Good luck, Bryan.

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