When 18-year-old Scot Bryan Henderson opened Peter Molyneux’s Curiosity cube, he was promised that the reward would be “life-changing”. That was on 26th May 2013, and Henderson is still waiting.
Curiosity, a mobile game developed by Molyneux – the famed auteur and creator of the Fable games – through his new indie production house 22Cans, was billed as a “social experiment”. It required players to tap on the tiny cubes that made up a larger cube, stripping it away, layer-upon-layer, until someone uncovered the secret in the centre. Molyneux was cryptic about the contents of the Curiosity cube, but promised that it would change the life of whoever discovered it.
Henderson uncovered the secret, and won the accompanying reward. That reward, it turned out, entitled Henderson to a cut of the profits of Molyneux’s next game.
That game? Godus.
Kickstarted back in 2012, Godus was meant to be Molyneux’s magnum opus, which he described as the spiritual successor to his 1989 game Populous. Despite raising $750,000 from investors and releasing for Windows and OS X in early acccess form, iOS, and Android over a year ago, the game has failed to hit its targets – including the still-uncompleted multiplayer option – and is yet to raise a penny, with rumours that Molyneux has handed the game off to a skeleton crew while he develops his new folly.
Henderson, of Edinburgh, Scotland, now 21 years-old, is more disappointed by the lack of professionalism at 22Cans than the absence of his prize. He told Eurogamer, “Since I won and a year after, I would email them as a ritual thing, every month, just to get some kind of update. Eventually I was like, they’re not being professional at all. Communication is non-existent, so I’m not even going to try any more.”
Before communications with 22Cans ceased, though, Henderson was granted access to an early version of Godus, but he wasn’t exactly impressed. Though he says, “It was interesting. And it was pretty fun,” he later admits, “I did get bored of it, like after an hour-and-a half, two hours.”
The full interview with Henderson is available on Eurogamer.