Mobile game developer Project M has launched ‘Dig That Gold,’ the world’s first game to reward players with real gold bars in exchange for in-game achievements.
As a nation of 42 million smartphone users (78% of the nation) who look at our mobile devices on average 85 times a day, seldom is there a moment when we are without our phones. Brits spend on average an entire three days per year playing mobile games, making a whopping £4.27 billion worth of in-app purchases. The independent, nationally representative survey of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by mobile game developer Project M found that whether sitting on the toilet, at the dinner table or in bed before drifting off to sleep, Britons are spending a huge amount of time using their smartphone. Furthermore, when they have their smartphone in their hand, people are engaged in all manner of activity for large periods of time, whether it be playing mobile games, taking selfies, stalking people on social media, or even for “adult purposes”.
With gaming now a more popular hobby than football, Britain is a nation of gamers. Taking advantage of a growing consumer audience, there has been a rapid rise in the number of mobile games launched to market – an average of 500 mobile games launch daily on the App Store. While there have been some amazing success stories such as Candy Crash, Clash of Clans and Pokémon Go, it can be a challenge for smaller game developers to gain a foothold in the mobile gaming market.
In light of the huge amount of time people spend on their smartphone, Project M launched with the premise of creating mobile games that give something back to players who invest time in the game.
Dig That Gold pays back the player
The London-based company’s first creation – Dig That Gold – does just that by enabling players to win real 24k gold bars for in-app success. It is the first game of its kind that offers real world awards for achievements in a virtual environment – it was launched in September 2016 and has currently been downloaded by almost 100,000 users.
Set during the legendary Gold Rush era, Dig That Gold plays host to an infinite and exciting ecosystem of virtual gold mines. The game sees players navigate through different mines, destroying blocks in search of gold nuggets while managing their air and energy levels which deplete over time. Once a player exits a mine, they are then able to pan for virtual gold nuggets which will eventually convert into real gold.
As players explore this online mining environment, every virtual gold nugget that is successfully mined is stored in their in-game account. When the player collects enough gold nuggets in the game, they will be awarded real 24k gold bars, which are dispatched in the post by Baird & Co – the oldest gold refiners in the UK to supply the Royal Mint.
Players are able to make in-app purchases to accelerate their game progression – so far, 97% of the 300-plus people who have acquired gold bars during the game’s beta phase did so without spending any money. New research commissioned by Project M found that 40% of British adults play mobile games – equating to 20,535,600 people nationwide. The research also found that the UK mobile gamer spends on average £4 a week on in-app purchases – equating to over £4.27 billion spent by UK mobile gamers nationwide every year.
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