Changes in agar.io

Having played agar.io several times a couple years ago, I was very surprised to see its popularity has been maintained (if not grown) since the last time I played. When I last played there was no revenue-generating system of payment or advertisement present in the game from what I remember. Now when I open the website in my browser, I am first faced with an image informing me that I am using an adblocker (true) and asking me to disable it, followed by a number of panels advertising new apps and games that the developer has released as well as social media widgets for sharing the game and your score. Additionally, another ad appears superimposed over everything and you must close it before reaching the widgets to log in and play. Players may now customize more elements of their “character” like the skin and name displayed on your circle as you glide around the grid-based map eating smaller dots and players. I’m interested in both the fact that so many people still play this game despite how old it is (at least to me) and also the ways in which the game has been able to create apparent revenue streams and update content in a way that maintains the engagement of players while still creating an economic profit for the developer. Despite these superficial changes, there seem to be few (if any) changes to the actual mechanics of the game (unless there are some that I missed) and I found little difference in the actual gameplay experience from when I first started playing. I find the gameplay of agar.io to be part relaxing, part competitive. I would say the game is relaxing in that the movements of the player are smooth and very simple in mechanic nature, with the player simply guiding around their circle-shaped character with the mouse. It is also competitive, with the multi-player combat incentivising to absorb smaller players in order to increase their size.

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