One of the biggest games on Steam right now is… a clickable banana

If you regularly stare at the Steam charts to see if there’s anything new and exciting to play, you may have noticed an odd little “game” called Banana. It has quickly become a huge success and, as of this writing, sits at the number three spot with over 400,000 concurrent players. It’s a simple idle clicker game, like many before it, so what’s making players flock to what amounts to a static screen of a huge banana?

The promise of sweet, sweet cash, that’s what. It’s an extremely bare-bones title that has you repeatedly clicking on a banana. That’s pretty much it, though there’s a twist. As you click and click on the tropical fruit, there’s a chance of a banana sticker dropping into your Steam inventory. These bananas come in all different designs, from silver-encrusted variants to one that looks like it’s glitching out from a hack.

A silver banana.A silver banana.

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Because the bananas show up in your inventory, they can be sold on the Steam Marketplace. Rare bananas have already gone for as much as $1,400, though the average payout is somewhere in the $0.02 range. One of the developers called it a “legal infinite money glitch” in an interview with Polygon. “Users make money out of a free game while selling free virtual items,” he continued.

The money earned goes into a Steam wallet, which can then be used to purchase games. So these bananas are basically NFTs, only without the blockchain. People are buying and selling them like crazy, like weird fruit-based trading cards. Forget the banana stand: it looks like there’s money in just the facsimile of a banana.

If the idea of spending all day clicking on a fake banana in front of a vomit-green background doesn’t do it for you, the developers sell inventory bananas outright for $0.25 a pop. The game itself, however, is free to play. The devs deny allegations that the clicker is some sort of scam or a Ponzi scheme, simply saying that it’s “pretty much a stupid game.” Idle clickers, after all, are nothing new.

As for the future, the designers have teased updates, including a way to use inventory items to change the way the plain in-game banana looks. There also might be a minigame coming down the pike, as well a shop upgrade that lets players exchange multiples of the same banana for a unique drop. One thing is a near certainty. The massive popularity of Banana is sure to inspire a whole bunch of copycats. May I humbly suggest a pizza slice as something to click over and over.

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