‘Hamster Kombat’ Slammed by Iran Official as Telegram Game Claims 200 Million Players

Digital hamsters are reportedly taking over Iran—and the government isn’t too keen on it.

Telegram-based crypto game Hamster Kombat has seen surging interest in Iran, according to a report Monday from the Associated Press, as local users flock to the simple tap-to-earn game ahead of its upcoming token launch.

That interest has been seen broadly in recent weeks as the game—which primarily revolves around tapping the screen and lets players oversee a fictional crypto exchange as a hamster CEO—has apparently drawn vast amounts of players eager to get a share of the token drop.

Hamster Kombat’s developers announced Monday that the game has now drawn 200 million total players, representing a sizable share of the reportedly 900 million overall Telegram users. That’s up from a claimed total of 150 million players on June 14.

That’s based on internal data shared via screenshots, and Decrypt cannot independently verify that mark via public sources. However, the demand comes amid surging social media followings for the game, including the largest overall Telegram channel at nearly 44 million subscribers—more than double the next-largest channel, which is for rival game TapSwap.

Hamster Kombat has seen sizable growth across YouTube and Twitter, as well, and reports like this from the AP on Monday help support the idea that the game is blowing up in a big way.

But that’s not sitting well with the Iranian government, apparently. As players in the country tap away at their phones in the hopes of gaining crypto rewards, members of the government apparently see it as undue Western influence as Iranians struggle with high inflation, few jobs, and Western sanctions.

“One of the features of the soft war by the enemy is the ‘Hamster’ game,” Iran’s deputy military chief Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari told the state-run IRNA news agency. The AP added that Sayyari speculated that Western forces are trying to distract Iranians from the presidential election so that they won’t “pay attention to plans of presidential candidates.”

Iran is set to elect a new president this Friday following the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in May. A state-run daily newspaper, JameJam, also criticized interest in Hamster Kombat, writing that it encourages “the dream of becoming rich overnight and gaining wealth without effort.”

“A society that instead of working and trying to succeed and earn money turns to such games and looks for shortcuts and windfalls gradually loses the culture of effort and entrepreneurship, and moves towards convenience,” the newspaper added, per the AP.

Hamster Kombat’s developers have said they plan to launch a token on The Open Network (TON) in July. The game follows in the footsteps of Notcoin, a similar “clicker” game that launched earlier this year and attracted 35 million players before dropping its own NOT token on TON in May.

Notcoin hit a peak market cap above $2 billion in the weeks following the launch, though the NOT token’s price has fallen by 52% since reaching its all-time high price on June 2.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top