The 2048 game is being hailed as the next “most addictive thing” on the Internet.
Gabriele Cirulli, the game’s creator, appears to recognize the way people are quickly getting obsessed, saying via Twitter “Just realized I am also my own productivity’s worst nightmare.”
He told the Wall Street Journal that over 5 million people have played the game over 50 million times. Many people are playing the game over and over again.
The 19-year-old Italian told his followers on Twitter that he plans on not monetizing the game.
“My plans not to monetize 2048 are part of why I won’t be making an app and why I ask everyone to play from the site,” he said.
“I want it to be free and playable by anyone who enjoys playing it. My strategy is to support the game on the site. It’s open source, so the original site is the only place where I have authority.”
He told people that any apps are not official and pointed to one, saying that the author was impersonating him to boost downloads. He says that the game is open source and encourages people to build on it.
He said that the game was inspired by an app 1024! and another web game with the name 2048.
“I really liked 1024 but I felt the pace was a bit slow, and that was one of the reasons why I built 2048,” Cirulli told Buzzfeed. “[It] is also very unforgiving, which leads you to easily messing up the match and having to start over, but it doesn’t make you feel bad about it.”
The game presents players with a grid of 16 squares, two of them with the number 2.
Pressing keybord arrow keys moves the squares around and causes new ones to pop up, something the Wall street Journal said is “almost like Candy crush for math geeks.”
When two squares with the same number make contact they merge. Two number 2 squares form one 4 square, and so on. The goal is to double a square 10 times to create a single 2048 square.
Cirulli said that he hasn’t even completed the game himself.
“I still haven’t managed to get anywhere close to a 1024 tile at my own game,” he said on Twitter. “I doubt I’ll ever beat it, which is ironic,”