Hamster Kombat creators: marketing geniuses or modern satirists?

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Hamster Kombat isn’t just another game. It’s a digital powerhouse driven by constant clicks, a quest for profit, and promises that exist only online. Since its launch on Telegram in March 2024, Hamster Kombat has skyrocketed in popularity, attracting over 200 million users.

The speed with which it gained players is perhaps most impressive. The Telegram-based game onboarded around 1.8 million players daily in the 77 days after it went live. It’s in-game mechanics have also led to its social media and YouTube channels breaking records.

Hamster Kombat’s viral growth puts it among the fastest growing applications in history. Source: Hamster Kombat

Casual Games: Simplicity and Appeal

Hamster Kombat embodies casual gaming—simple, accessible, and requires zero skill. These games are meant to kill time effortlessly. In Hamster Kombat, you can mindlessly click on the Hamster avatar to rack up coins. 

According to data from Hamster Kombat’s official Telegram channel in early June, user engagement in the game averaged over 20 minutes per day, as measured by Google Analytics. This metric continues to increase.

Related: Hamster Kombat destined for Guinness World Record?

If you multiply this 20 minute metric by 100 million users, the total is 2 billion minutes per day as of early June 2024. Less than 30 days later, the game has doubled its player base to 200 million users.

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Hamster Kombat’s user engagement in early June 2024. It’s metrics have continued to increase exponentially. Source: Hamster Kombat

Game Mechanics: Clicks, Subscriptions and Investments

The game revolves around accumulating coins and increasing profit per hour, with three primary methods to achieve this goal.

  1. Clicks: The most straightforward method involves clicking on the hamster. Techniques exist to boost earnings per click, but each click depletes the hamster’s energy. The more you grind, the quicker you burn out. It’s reminiscent of corporate work, isn’t it?
  2. Subscriptions: Earning coins extends beyond the game through tasks like subscribing to channels and recruiting new players. It requires stepping out of one’s comfort zone, where new opportunities are always available—whether in life or beyond the game itself.
  3. Investments and Daily Combo: Strategic players can engage in investments and the “Daily Combo.” Think of it as navigating a digital stock market with hamsters. Who would have thought your financial journey would start with a virtual hamster?
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An in-game screenshot of a player’s hamster CEO. Players can click on the screen to earn coins, or buy exchange upgrades under the mine button to increase their passive profit per hour. 

Why are people playing Hamster Kombat?

Easy money seems likely to be a primary motivator for players. Hamster Kombat’s creators keep players hooked with the enticing idea that these digital coins could one day become real cash.

The game’s website casually mentions a potential token listing, nudging users to link their Telegram wallets to the game bot. The developers seem to be gearing up for a cryptocurrency airdrop and onchain functionality on the TON blockchain.

Related: Here’s how crypto game Notcoin onboarded over 30M users — founder

People have reason to believe their hopes might pay off, given that similar projects already lined players’ pockets this year. Enter Notcoin. Launched on Telegram in January 2024, Notcoin started as a clicker game, arguably more basic than Hamster Kombat itself.

The premise was simple: users clicked their screens to earn in-game currency. In the Spring of 2024, Notoin held a listing event, allowing some players to convert virtual coins into tangible money.

Genius marketing and social media

The minds behind Hamster Kombat are marketing geniuses. They’ve devised a virtual currency for paying social media subscriptions, video views, and attracting new players. The currency is virtual, but the social media followers are real.

The result? 47.4 million Telegram subscribers, 30 million on YouTube, and 10.8 million on Twitter in just over three months. Furthermore, as Cointelegraph recently reported, the Hamster Kombat YouTube channel is recognized as the fastest-growing channel globally and will be mentioned in the Guinness World Records.

Related: Notcoin’s explosive growth drives crypto adoption on Telegram

Importantly, the game creators don’t ask players to invest money; all they want is players’ time and engagement in activities. Therefore, it’s challenging to accuse the game creators of deceit. Perhaps it’s largely due to this that people feel secure and become engrossed in the game.

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Hamster Kombat audience. Source: Hamster Kombat

On the other hand, is what they’re doing really so wrong? They’ve essentially taken people who are already spending time on casual games and offered them a chance to do the same thing with the added possibility of earning money. It’s brilliantly simple.

You might even argue there’s a social benefit here. Instead of idly wasting time or engaging in questionable activities, people are tapping on a virtual hamster and potentially boosting their income. It’s a win-win.

The UBI Concept

But let’s take a step back from the game and consider the concept of exchanging people’s time for potential income.

In a recent interview with BBC Newsnight, Professor Geoffrey Hinton expressed concerns about the future with “AI taking lots of mundane jobs.” He warned that while “AI would increase productivity and wealth, the money would go to the rich and not to the people whose jobs get lost, and that’s going to be very bad for society.”

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Renowned computer scientist and cognitive psychologist Professor Geoffrey Hinton endorses the concept of UBI during an interview on BBC Newsnight. Source: BBC

His idea is to give people the right to Universal Basic Income (UBI), a concept where “the government pays all individuals a set salary regardless of their means.”  However many governments are simply not ready to implement a UBI system, and a United Kingdom government spokesperson was quoted saying there were “no plans to introduce a universal basic income” due to the enormous costs involved.

But what if there is a way to get money without relying on the state treasury? What if we could create a mechanism where businesses are willing to pay for the most straightforward actions? What if these clicker games are a concept of an alternative UBI?

Virtual promises and real benefits

Let’s break it down. In just a few months, Hamster Kombat has amassed a massive audience with enormous potential for monetization. The simplest methods include advertising and conducting surveys.

If stakeholders are willing to pay, a listing could indeed happen. Given the growing awareness of Hamster Kombat and its in-game coins, there is potential to replicate the success of Notcoin. Or maybe we will see Hamster Kombat combined with AI in the future, creating a whole Hamster Universe for users?

But let’s focus on the present. The creators of the game will certainly make money. Will the participants? That remains unclear. However, if similar projects continue to emerge and demonstrate potential earnings, it might be worth taking a closer look at this mechanism.

Why are we playing as a Hamster?

Let’s take a break from the existential considerations and appreciate the audacity of the game’s creators.

The growth of Hamster Kombat’s social media and YouTube channels can be attributed to marketing genius. However, the minds behind Hamster Kombat are not just marketers; they had the bold idea to make a hamster the central character. Have you ever wondered why they chose a hamster?

The choice of a hamster as the central figure in Hamster Kombat goes beyond just cute critters running on wheels. It’s a clever nod to the financial world’s penchant for “lemming-like behavior”.

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A cartoon making light of lemmings make impulsive decisions. Source: Hedgeye

Investopedia unpacks the financial jargon related to a ‘lemming’, in which investors make impulsive decisions driven by ‘FOMO’ and the irrationality of some market movements. Interestingly, lemmings and hamsters are distant cousins. Is this a coincidence? 

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The “Bull” Shaving “Hamsters”. Source: FreePick

In the game, players humorously start by “shaving the hamster,” a metaphorical initiation into the cutthroat realm of finance. In financial circles, ‘shaving the hamster’ or ‘lemming’ refers to seasoned investors exploiting the herd mentality of novices—much like how Hamster Kombat’s creators playfully prod at their users.

Remember the GameStop Saga?

Let’s spin this hamster wheel a little harder. Perhaps the creators of Hamster Kombat aren’t mocking their users after all; maybe they are wholeheartedly embracing and accepting them as they are.

In 2021, retail investors on Reddit’s r/WallStreetBets subreddit joined forces, triggering a surge in stock prices that caught institutional investors off guard. It was a classic case of amateurs outmaneuvering the pros—a scenario where a critical mass of ‘hamsters’ could sway the financial tide.

This event underscores the irony within Hamster Kombat: perhaps it is not about grooming its users for exploitation after all.

Maybe one million hamsters rising up against institutions will fail, but a billion hamsters are a potent force. Maybe ‘shaving the hamster’ is simply a quirky initiation rite, acknowledging that real strength lies in these ‘hamsters,’ and they won’t be taken advantage of.

The CEO Hamster: Mr Goxx

The hamster CEO character in Hamster Kombat could also be inspired by Mr Goxx, the legendary 2021 crypto-trader hamster.

Renowned for navigating volatile crypto markets from a sophisticated cage and outperforming human investors, Mr Goxx streamed his trades on Twitch and used his unique “intention wheel” to make buy and sell actions.

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Mr Goxx grabbed headlines as a hamster who made crypto-trading calls that outperformed some season human traders. Source: BBC

His success suggests that in crypto, it’s not just about credentials; sometimes, it’s the wheel of fortune in your favor.

A simple explanation – the founders love hamsters?

The third hypothesis suggests a straightforward reason for the hamster CEO’s role in the game. 

The creators allegedly had a pet hamster with a name similar to the CEO, whom they cherished. In homage to their beloved companion, they immortalized him as the hamster CEO within the game.

To Be or Not To Be [a hamster]

As we continue to explore the quirky universe of Hamster Kombat, where financial satire meets digital amusement, one question lingers. To click, or not to click?

In the landscape of 2024, this dilemma resonates with the timeless essence of Shakespearean inquiry, reminding us that even in the realm of games, the choices we make can reflect the profound uncertainties of life itself.

Magazine: As Ethereum phishing gets harder, drainers move to TON and Bitcoin

Source: Cointelegraph