‘Infinite Money Glitch’ Banana Game Takes Over Steam

Credit: Sky

Banana, a clicker game released on April 23rd, 2024, has taken over Steam. The PC title has 800,000 concurrent players at the time of this writing, second only to Counter-Strike 2, which has over 1 million. However, unlike the developed graphics and strategy needed to play the latter game, Banana has a simple premise: click on a banana with a pea-soup green background and eventually receive a reward.

The prize? Bananas, which can come with a hefty pay day.

It works like this. When a person plays Banana, they have a single task: Click on a banana. This ups a counter, which eventually leads to drops of ‘bananas’ that go straight into the player’s inventory. The player can then sell the bananas on Steam’s community marketplace for cash.

In most cases, the game may not seem worthwhile: The average sale price for a banana is three cents. But that’s where it gets interesting. Some of the rare bananas have much higher average sale prices. One rare banana, a “Shiny Golden Banana,” sold for $1,379. You might see why people are apeing in.

Hery, a Banana developer, told Polygon that Banana is a ‘legal infinite money glitch,’ which is the reason they believe the game has caught on. People can make money out of a free game by selling virtual items.

Truly, that high concurrent player number may be a little…inflated. Just a few days ago, Hery admitted that two-thirds of the Banana ‘players’ were bots. People were creating hundreds of fake accounts to farm the game. And that admission came when the concurrent player count was at 141,000. The number of bots could have risen since then.

Flashbacks to the NFT Bull Run of 2021-2022

In our research for this article, we saw that many writers of gaming magazines noted that the phenomenon of Banana seemed familiar. To us, it does as well. That familiarity dates back to 2021-2022, during the NFT bull run, when mania over digital assets dominated internet discourse.

A closer look at the “bananas” shows a resemblance to NFT collections of that time. The bananas come in different rarities, meaning there are varying supplies of each one. This creates artificial scarcity. The bananas have different artwork and names. There is the botting, a familiar strategy during NFT mints, and FOMO, with the number of players rising day-by-day. Quick money, like during the NFT craze, seems to be a primary motivation.

Of course, the bananas themselves aren’t NFTs; they are simply digital collectibles. Steam has had a long-standing policy of not allowing games that include NFTs or crypto onto its platform, even though some publishers have tried to circumvent these rules by directing players to the publishers’ websites where they can engage in Web3 activities.

While Banana may not have the underlying tech to be considered a “Web3 game,” the game and the spirit surrounding it put us right back in 2021, and that is certainly a good vibe.

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