Screenshot from Banana, a game about clicking a banana, showing a picture of a banana.
Screenshot via Destructoid.

Developer behind Steam smash hit Banana swears it isn’t a scam

There are plans to update the game into something more.

Chances are you’re well aware of that bizarre Banana game that’s exploded in popularity recently. Even though all you do is click a static image of a banana to make a number go up, it’s currently the second-most played game on Steam, losing only to Counter-Strike 2. This success appears to have attracted scrutiny, however, as the game’s developer has had to issue a statement about how Banana isn’t a scam of some kind, as reported by Eurogamer.

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For anyone not in the know, you can earn bananas (either by clicking enough times or waiting long enough), which can then be sold on the Steam marketplace. While most only go for a few cents, there are reports of people spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on these bananas, even though they don’t do anything in-game. As such, members of the Banana Discord and Steam users have found the whole thing suspicious.

A banana with the number 40 above it for some reason.
Screenshot via Destructoid.

Things appeared to escalate when one of Banana‘s team members, only known as Theselions, was accused of once being part of a Steam market bitcoin scam. Banana‘s co-founder, aestheticspartan, has since explained on Discord that this is true, but insisted no one else on the team was even aware of Theselions’ involvement. What’s more, when confronted on the matter, Theselions is said to be “showing remorse and is sorry about what happened in the past.” However, aestheticspartan added that Theselions has now “parted ways” with the team, and his inventory has been cleared of “any valuable bananas that could concern and/or worry the community.”

It’s unlikely the removal of a single team member will put to bed any suspicions about the Banana game itself, but the developers have said they are working on updates that will “turn this game into something bigger and better than just a clicker game.” This includes letting players “do much more with your bananas,” suggesting there’ll eventually be some in-game function for the bananas people have been earning.

In a recent interview with Polygon, developer Hery assured everything the team is doing is perfectly legal, but it remains unclear how much of its 786,000+ players (at the time of writing) are actual humans and not bots set up to farm for bananas. Hery admitted there is a bot problem, saying only a third of Banana‘s concurrent player count from last week were real people, but they believe more human players have since joined in. Plus, it’s contacted Valve to figure out how it can clamp down on the bots.

I have to admit, I am a bit curious to see how much longer Banana can maintain its popularity, and what sort of additions it could make with these promised updates. The whole thing does sound worryingly similar to the NFT fad, though, and if the Banana bubble bursts, people could be left with a bunch of useless items that they can’t even sell off.

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Michael Beckwith
Staff writer covering all kinds of gaming news. A graduate in Computer Games Design and Creative Writing from Brunel University who's been writing about games since 2014. Nintendo fan and Sonic the Hedgehog apologist. Knows a worrying amount of Kingdom Hearts lore. Has previously written for Metro, TechRadar, and Game Rant.