Mino Monsters, an online role-playing game that could give Pokémon a run for its money, was highly popular within the gaming community. However, the developers shut down all servers a few years ago because of some major bugs.
Needless to say, the fans weren’t happy. They absolutely revered Mino Monsters. With millions of downloads, it’s safe to say that it had become the new fan-favorite of the gaming community, which is a big accomplishment in itself.
The success of the game, however, does raise one interesting question – why did they remove Mino Monsters?
Unfortunately, there is no official word from the developers since the company shut its gate some long years ago. But amid the speculation and tantrums from fans, the actual reason behind the game’s disappearance couldn’t be clearer.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the mysterious world of Mino Monsters.
What is Mino Monsters?
Are you a fan of mutating creatures that look as cuddly as they are dangerous? If so, you would certainly enjoy Mino Monsters, one of the most popular games of the previous decade.
And rightly so! Any game that could go toe-to-toe with Pokémon deserves the respect of the community. When Mino Monsters first surfaced on the internet all those years ago, critics did not have a lot of expectations from it.
After all, the game looked exactly like Pokémon! Who could compete with a video game series that had monopolized raising, breeding, and pitting magnificent creatures against each other? But against all odds, Mino Monsters managed exactly that.
To understand why let’s talk about the specifics and objectives of the game!
When Mino Monsters released their initial trailer, the hype was understandable. After all, the game was basically modeled after the legendary Pokémon series. Fortunately, it managed to create its own identity in the subsequent years.
It featured tons of bite-sized monsters and fun-loving characters. The appearance of the characters was nothing short of cute. Sure, they came with dangerous powers and you certainly wouldn’t be thrilled to meet one in real life, but they were so small!
Take Capy, for example; it was one of the most loved monsters in the game. You could find this character in the mountain area of the game after reaching level 15. The mini monster had distinctly protruding teeth on either side of his lips, making his angry face look adorable.
Other monsters like Crocoling, Grunt, and Blazel had a similar appearance. All of them were easy on the eye, with distinct powers to counter the attacking and defensive abilities of each other.
The game could go from cute and adorable to strategic and offensive pretty soon.
Overall, the inclusion of adventurous quests, interesting and adorable characters, and a wide range of mystic powers made the game pretty attractive and appealing to the mobile gaming community back in the old days.
Is Mino Monsters Still Available?
Despite the game’s immense popularity back in the day, Mino Monsters is no longer available on any platform.
The developers didn’t hand out any official statement regarding the game’s discontinuation, a fact that aggrieved many loyal fans. Despite their many requests and, in some cases, petitions, there are no signs of the game making an official reappearance in the market.
Many people were confused about the game’s sudden disappearance. The fact still holds true. Old fans from the previous decade are still surfing the internet, hoping to find an ounce of information about their once-favorite game.
But for the people who followed the rollercoaster-esque saga of Mino Monsters, the reason for the game’s early demise is pretty clear.
Finally, we’ll come to that part.
Why Was Mino Monsters Discontinued?
Mino Monsters was a relatively successful game. It recorded a total profit of around $10 million in revenue in under four years of operation. The feat was pretty impressive, considering the game’s founders were still very young and inexperienced.
But it was perhaps their inexperience that led to the untimely disappearance of the game. Mino Monsters encountered a big problem upon the release of its second update. It was a game-crashing bug.
Millions of players encountered the same problem. They couldn’t get access to the game because it kept crashing before the final load was complete. The developers undoubtedly made many efforts to fix the bug but to no avail.
Ultimately, the losses were tremendous, and so was the public backlash. The company and the developers decided to remove the game from all platforms for their own good.
In the end, it was simply a game-crashing bug that brought down one of the most popular games of the previous decade. Some Mino loyalists were baffled as to why the developers of such a comprehensive game could not hold their own against a simple bug.
Truth be told, that’s a fair question. Because the company certainly had the resources to work on bugs and glitches to appease its audience.
To understand the situation better, let’s recap the entire story of the popular game.
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Mino Monsters – In the Beginning
MinoMonsters, the company started in 2011, with a mission to become the Pokémon of role-play gaming.
It gave players the option to explore a vast map inhabited by some of the most exciting furry and powerful creatures. These monsters could go on quests and help users battle friends through multiplayer gaming.
The game had an attractive interface and even better gameplay. The concept was interesting to the users from the beginning itself. As such, the game launched as an exciting prospect in the market, primarily for iOS users, who didn’t have a lot of competent options back then.
Because of this reason, the founders of Mino Monsters, Josh Buckley and Tyler Diaz became the youngest graduates of Y Combinator, the largest start-up accelerator program in the world. The founders, at that time, were 18 years and 17 years old respectively.
After Y Combinator’s backing, the market expected huge things from the duo. And they provided exactly that for quite some time.
The Big Update
Mino Monsters’ second update came in 2013 when the company was already doing well. The v2.0 of the iOS game got an even better reception. The update was a bold move from the developers.
It harbored many changes, doing away with the extremely popular quests to shift the game’s focus to one-on-one battles. In this regard, the game became increasingly like Pokémon. The changes got a mixed reception.
While some users loved the idea of a more multiplayer-centric approach, others complained about the removal of quests, an integral part of the earlier update. Despite the complaints, the game continued with the developers’ vision.
Because of the removal of quests, the game didn’t require as many engineers. So, Buckley started reducing the staff and hiring fresh ones to start on a new page. On the other hand, Diaz left the company to focus on other ventures.
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The Financial Success
Despite the slight hiccups, MinoMonster’s v2.0 update was a successful move. The rebranding of the game allowed Mino Monsters to progress forward in terms of the user base. Within a year of the new update, the game had already gained 2.5 million new downloads.
After that, Mino Monsters got in the list of the top 50 grossing applications in Apple’s App Store. At one point, the revenue of the company because of the game doubled in a single week. On another note, the revenue grew 1000%, all because of the bold new update.
Buckley further revealed that following the latest update, the game’s revenue reached millions in 2013. However, his ambition was larger. He wanted the Mino Monsters to become a reputable brand.
And how did he plan on achieving that? By taking funds from new investors, of course!
A New Investor – Where Things Went Wrong
By 2015, Mino Monsters had acquired around $10 million in revenue. The role-playing game also recorded more than 7 million downloads on App Store, a tremendous feat for an iPhone game back then.
Buckley, the remaining owner of the company, however, wanted to cash in further on the growing demand of young gamers. For that, he wanted to establish a brand, quite like Angry Birds.
He started planning with Hollywood agencies to take Mino Monsters to television and even discussed a film project for his game. But all of these operations would require a lot of funds, and Buckley was willing to raise them.
In 2015, he raised $2 million in funding from a consortium led by Andreessen Horowitz. The other venture capitalists included SparkLabs Global, Ace & Company, and so on.
The funding marked a new era for the game. Buckley decided to rebrand his entire company. Previously famous as MinoMonsters, the company changed its name to Mino Games, to become more memorable and distinguished in the eye of users.
Among other big changes was the plan to unveil Mino Monsters 2: Evolution. It had been ages since Mino Games was cashing in on their first big invention. Buckley thought it was finally time to introduce the second part of the game.
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Mino Monsters 2: Evolution or Devolution?
On October 8, 2015, Mino Games announced the inauguration of Mino Monsters 2: Evolution. The game’s opening stages went smoothly.
To give you an idea, the company earned a whopping $1.7 million in revenue in just one month after releasing the second part of the game. The $2.2 million funding from the venture capitalists seemed to work perfectly well. Buckley also enthusiastically laid down big plans for future expansions in 2016.
It seemed like all was going well for the company. However, that’s when the trouble began.
The game-crashing bug hit the company like a train wreck. After a while, tweets started flooding in, with users reporting that their game kept crashing during different stages of playing. For some, it crashed in the middle of battles. Others didn’t even make it past the loading screen.
It seemed like a real crisis had struck the game that had a perfect trajectory to date. At that time, Mino Monsters did not have enough engineers to deal with the spectacle. Remember the massive staff downsizing back in 2013? The company still hadn’t reinforced the gaping holes.
As such, the company’s final months were spent calling desperately on social media for game client engineers to come in and fix the issues. Looking at the frequency of such posts, it seems like their attempts were unsuccessful.
The company couldn’t fix the game-crashing bug. So, it only made sense to cease all operations indefinitely.
Unfortunately, that ‘indefinitely’ is most likely going to be perpetual.
Can We Play Mino Monsters Somehow?
In 2020, there were some rumors that certain Redditors had found a way to play Mino Monsters again.
So, where is Mino Monsters available, if at all?
There is a Reddit thread that details how users can play the earlier versions of Mino Monsters again, one that involved quests and not multiplayer battles (as there are no running servers to support online gaming).
For some users, the thread worked as a perfect solution. Others faced slight problems but were still satisfied with the outcome.
By 2015, it seemed like there is no stopping Buckley and his prized invention, Mino Monsters. However, a single game-crashing bug brought down the entire company.
If nothing, Mino Games’ tale is the perfect lesson to demonstrate the importance of engineers and the backend staff that support the existence of online games.