Instlife. It’s a quirky indie game originally developed by InstCoffee that lets you simulate “life” as a text-based game, starting a new life at birth, and choosing any job, career, or military road before inevitably dying through natural or questionable circumstances. For the most part, it was enjoyed by Android and iOS users alike, though its fans have often come to blows with rival app, BitLife (a younger, more corporate game that many allege to have ripped off Instlife, yet gained a much larger following).
After many months of bitter rivalry between the respective InstLife and BitLife fans, news dropped that BitLife developer CandyWriter, LLC, had purchased the rights and ownership of InstLife, and would merge some features InstLife fans adore into its own game—and would also remove InstLife from the iOS store (Google Play store release is also pending removal).
Naturally, this resulted in quite the uproar from InstLife fans.
Over the last few hours, the anger turned from BitLife to the InstLife devs. Especially on r/InstLife, questions and insults are thrown around in anger—how could InstCoffee ‘cave into pressure’ and allow their purchase? Why not fight against “corporate”, “micro-transaction riddled” game BitLife?
The answer is actually pretty simple. InstCoffee consists of a team of two: Daniel and Jonathan, who created their well-loved game as a passion project.
Over the past two years, the game has grown way beyond our expectations and as time has gone on, we’ve been finding it more and more difficult to keep up with the demands of the fanbase, alongside working our full-time jobs. We’ve always tried to release fun updates every fortnight and as you may have noticed these have been below the standard we would have liked.InstCoffee, InstLife Acquisition
For aspiring developers, who have full-time jobs of their own, creating InstLife (and perhaps inspiring a surge of text-based life simulators in the process) is quite the achievement. To demand apologies or explanations from them is unworthy of the InstLife fanbase.
It also shows the growing problem of fanbase influence on creators, putting an increase of pressure upon content creation with a level of expectation no developer can ever hope of realistically achieving. They are just as human as the angry keyboard warrior cursing their existence. I imagine reading the poor response to this news is quite the downer for Daniel and Jonathan.
BitLife is currently available for free download on iOS and Google Play. InstLife is available on Google Play for a limited time. Give them both a go.