Why are players spending real world money on a game that self-identifies as a scam? The answer is Fomo.
Fomo3D is a new game that is using cryptocurrency and pyramid schemes to lure players into spending real world money for their chance to share in the riches and potentially win a multi-million dollar prize pool. The problem is it’s a prize pool that is unlikely to ever pay out. The rules of the game are simple: a timer will continually count down to 0 and the last player to have purchased a key for the game before the timer hits 0 will win the grand prize. That grand prize comes from all the key purchases of the game and is therefore ever increasing, currently sitting at over $6 million US. The real kicker is that every time a user purchases a key, the timer will increase. So what we’re left with is a system that will essentially never reach 0 and will instead continue to siphon money out of players as the prize pool grows to ludicrous amounts. The game will never end until everybody has forgotten about it and moved on, but the higher the prize pool grows the more interest is generated. And with players able to set up scripts and bots to purchase keys just before the timer hits 0, how could it ever end?
The game uses the cryptocurrency ‘Ethereum’ in lieu of real world money although, of course, that cryptocurrency has a real world value. As of time of writing, the current pot sits at 21,788.89 Ethereum which is the equivalent of $6.658 million US. Whilst the Ethereum continues to grow, the dollar value will constantly shift up and down because the cryptocurrency’s value is unstable (as they all tend to be). Whilst the prize pool may sound like a lot, it actually pales in comparison to the amount of real world money players have invested into the game. $28 million US has gone into the game and a lot of it has already been paid out thanks to what is unquestionably a pyramid scheme. For every player you refer, you get a small cut of their key purchases as well as the purchases of people they refer. What this means is that early investors who sit atop the pyramid are generating money for doing nothing whilst newer players spend money hunting down a dangling carrot that will always remain inches away from them.
The whole game’s worth is based on the value of the Ethereum cryptocurrency. Ethereum is currently quite valuable, largely in part thanks to people playing Fomo3D and therefore investing in Ethereum and keeping its economy booming. The hilarious realisation of this is that the only way to ‘win’ is for people to stop playing the game and therefore slow the investment in Ethereum. Once people stop investing, the cryptocurrency will likely devalue making the final payout less than anticipated. Yep… It’s somehow the most stupid and yet most genius system imaginable.
There’s even teams (pictured below) that you can join. You can then track the stats of your team against other teams. Talk about gamifying scams.
The game also self-identifies as a scam. The game’s name ‘Fomo’ means the fear of missing out, a fear the creators of the game are openly playing on. In fact the website URL is “exitscam.me” with the term ‘exit scam’ referring to a situation where money is exchanged for goods or services but the goods or services are never provided. The entire website itself is created as a parody of scam sites and it openly mocks its own players and the systems it uses. The whole thing feels like one big joke, yet it’s a joke that is actively succeeding in encouraging players to cough up real world money. For those who want to check out Fomo3D you can find the website here. But for goodness sake don’t actually use it…
“WELCOME TO A PSYCHOLOGICAL SOCIAL EXPERIMENT IN GREED. THE PROFITABLE KIND”.