Iranian Government Slams Hamster Kombat as Google Searches Surpass Bitcoin

UTC by Anisha Pandey · 2 min read
Iranian Government Slams Hamster Kombat as Google Searches Surpass Bitcoin
Photo: Unsplash

The government of Iran has voiced strong objections to the rapidly growing popularity of the Telegram-based tap-to-earn game Hamster Kombat, which has seen a dramatic surge in interest in the region ahead of its upcoming token launch.

As Iranians grapple with high inflation, unemployment, and Western sanctions, the allure of Hamster Kombat’s crypto rewards has captivated a broad audience. As per a report from the Associated Press, local users were attracted by the simple gameplay. Due to its origins in the crypto sector, the rising popularity of the game raised eyebrows of the authorities.

Iran’s deputy military chief, Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, shared concerns over the game’s impact, adding that it represents a part of an unwanted “soft war” against the country. In an interview with the IRNA news agency, Sayyari said that the “enemy” might be using the game to distract Iranians from the upcoming presidential election.

The Iranian presidential election, scheduled for this Friday, follows the tragic death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash in May.

The state-run newspaper JameJam has also criticized the game’s growing popularity, arguing that it promotes “shortcuts and windfalls” to gain wealth without effort. According to JameJam, this could impact entrepreneurship in the society.

Hamster Kombat’s Increasing Popularity

Despite the governmental pushback, Hamster Kombat’s adoption in Iran has skyrocketed. Interestingly, since May, Hamster Kombat has consistently outpaced Bitcoin in search queries in the country, as shown by Google Trends data.

Iranian Government Slams Hamster Kombat as Google Searches Surpass Bitcoin

More notably, the game surpassed Bitcoin in global search interest for the first time earlier this week. Although Bitcoin quickly regained the top spot due to a flurry of news, Hamster Kombat’s brief but impressive breakthrough highlights the growing influence of gaming tokens around the world.

Hamster Kombat, which mainly requires tapping the screen to manage a fictional crypto exchange led by a hamster CEO, has attracted a vast number of players. The game has amassed over 20% of Telegram‘s estimated 900 million users worldwide, totaling 200 million participants, according to the developers’ recent announcement.

Notably, the Hamster Kombat team also revealed their plans to roll out a native token on The Open Network (TON) next month. This move mirrors the earlier success of Notcoin, a similar Telegram-based clicker game that launched in May.

Before the token NOT token launch, Notcoin amassed 35 million worldwide. The token saw a meteoric rise, achieving a peak market cap of over $2 billion within weeks of its launch. However, the NOT token’s price has since declined by 43% from its all-time high, currently trading around $0.01634.

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