New games launch on Facebook all the time but this one caught my eye for being just a little bit different. My Mad Millions, developed by Apps Genius, lets you live the virtual lifestyle of a spendthrift millionaire and rewards the top players with a share of real-life revenues.
The idea is that players take on the role of a millionaire jet-setter who needs to spend an entire $300 million virtual inheritance and end up penniless. As well as investing in the in-game stock market, which is integrated with real stock-market data, users can go on spending sprees, make bad bets on real-life sporting events or gamble at the in-game casino, hire their friends to be part of their entourage, and challenge other players to chance games such as Dice or Rock, Paper, Scissors.
App Genius chief executive Adam Kotkin said the game let players live out a fantasy. “Everyone’s dream, and I’ve always had a dream, of winning the lottery and going on a spending spree,” he said. “One of my favorite items in the game is a $1.5m mattress, which is something I’d never buy in real life.”
The game earns revenue when people pay for My Mad Millions (MMM) points, basically a level up that lets you spend money more quickly, making bigger investments in the stock market and going on longer spending sprees. Players can earn MMM points through game play or buy them with credit card, PayPal or check or by accepting affiliate offers and completing surveys. Kotkin told AllFacebook that the game, which has just come out of Beta mode on Facebook, was in the process of getting approval to use Facebook Credits and hopes to offer that shortly.
I wondered if the fact that players are competing for real cash prizes would be an obstacle to using Facebook Credits, since Facebook does not allow Credits to be used on gambling games. The game paid out $20,000 during the Beta process and the plan is that twice a month, the top 20% of active users will share half Apps Genius’ game revenue.
However, Kotkin said the company had already worked through these issues with Facebook’s account liaison. “After discussions with us they’ve decided to class it as a promotion so we’ve had the all clear on that,” he said. “The algorithms to determine the top 20% of players are based on a number of things and it doesn’t necessarily mean that the person who lost the most money that day would win.”
The game is also available on MySpace where it is still in Beta mode. Apps Genius has other Facebook games such as Crazy Dreams and Drama Llama and several still in development.