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8 Ball Pool

8 Ball Pool logo8 Ball Pool mobile logo

Released
2010
Genre
Sports
Platforms
iOS, Android, PC
Size
130mb
Age Rating
PEGI 3 PEGI 3
Supported devices
iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, PC and Android devices
Last updated
August 26th, 2014 (26/08/14)[1]
Input
Mouse
System Requirements
Adobe Flash Player
Webpage

8 Ball Pool is an online and mobile-based billiard-themed pool simulation sports game maintained and operated by Miniclip, a games company based in Switzerland, Portugal, Italy and England.[2] As of June 2015, 8 Ball Pool was ranked number one of one-hundred in Miniclip's Top 100 List.[3]

8 Ball Pool offers free content and is able to be played from any computer device and runs in any ordinary flash-enabled browser fluently. 8 Ball Pool is the largest multiplayer game of its genre, netting thousands of players daily. As of February 2013, the game had eighteen million active players.[4][note 1]

According to the header of one of Miniclip Corporate's pages, there is currently ~70 million users active on Miniclip.[5] Miniclip was additionally ranked one of the most ten valuable startups in Europe by the Business Insider.[6]

History, initial development and creation

Miniclip chronological timeline

In 2008, Miniclip released a game which would later become 8 Ball Pool, whom they fittingly christened 8 Ball Quick Fire Pool. The game was described as a "simple variation of the classic 8 Ball Pool", the primary objective being to pot as many balls as possible before the timer runs out in order to secure a high score; sinking balls would add additional time to the clock.[7] The game was complex and highly addictive and, before long it had one million active players and was dubbed "one of the most played games on Miniclip".[7]

With a successful game in their possession, Miniclip looked for ways to start shifting their entire game altogether and construct something far more addictive and fun, yet something that still utilized the controls, image and feel of the original.[7] As of October 2010, 8 Ball Pool was finally released, after Miniclip's relentless pursuit and somewhat obsessive tendency of expanding.[7]

Miniclip's growth chart

A chart depicting and portraying Miniclip's growth across early business years

The main objective of Miniclip's colossal project was to build something clean, easy to understand and user-friendly which was completely accessible from the very beginning.[7] Players would simply have to press the large "Play" button and they would instantly see themselves in the presence of an opponent: they would be in their very first match.[7] This was one of the main reasons behind Miniclip's success; nothing was hard to understand. The simplicity of it promoted popularity.[7]

The Miniclip team worked productively and collaboratively in order to make sure that the game's physics were perfect; they had to simulate the true "look" and "feel" of the real life 8 Ball Pool.[7] Miniclip even claimed that they received emails composed by professional pool players regarding how well the game was put together.[7]

Miniclip's next major step was to promote 8 Ball Pool across the confines of social media. Miniclip craved to see their game gain even more popularity - before long, they started experimenting with social media by putting some of its titles on Facebook with mixed results so, to reduce the risk, they directly ported the game.[7] The Facebook version would be released in the early Summer of 2011 and the game quickly caught up - because of this, Miniclip started to work on Facebook-exclusive features.[7]

When working on a new Facebook version of 8 Ball Pool, Miniclip decided to fully utilize the pros of Facebook. In the normal version of 8 Ball Pool, players would have to challenge their friends when their friends are online; on Facebook, however, Miniclip allowed players to simply challenge their friends regardless of the fact of whether they're online or not and instead give them a notification of the challenge.[7] The new aspect of Miniclip's 8 Ball Pool unexpectedly took an amazing turn; they "accidentally built a viral game."[7]

Later, Miniclip would give 8 Ball Pool one of its largest updates; this particular update was dubbed "the big update".[7] Miniclip staff alike claimed that "it would be wrong to make their players think that the game has spent the last two years experiencing unprecedented growth"; earlier updates started to level off.[7] Their goal was simple: add an extra layer of challenge but keep the barrier to entry low by retaining the simplicity.[7] Miniclip additionally revamped the entire look and feel of 8 Ball Pool, proclaiming that they were not removing anything, contrasting some's belief.[8]

The main way they did this was by introducing a revamped ranking system and an all-exclusive virtual currency for the game; they would use these new Pool Coins to make players pay small entry fees to matches with even bigger rewards - prizes varied from 50 to 250,000.[7] In addition, experience would be given, allowing players alike to level up to their own accord.[7] 8 Ball Pool had again become even more competitive. In order to give players something to spend their pool coins on, 8 Ball Pool added a new feature which would later become one of the most iconic aspects of 8 Ball Pool itself: they would add cues to allow players to be able to spend their pool coins on something entirely different.[7] These cues would promote competitive play and entice more and more players in. Initially, 39 cues would be released[7] but this number was increased greatly to over 130. The update was released in December of 2012 and, as of early 2013, Miniclip had doubled their amount of players.[7]

8 Ball Pool mobile image

8 Ball Pool on a Samsung device

In July of 2012, Miniclip would start conserving more time and energy into an entirely new update. They would first open up an office in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon with one sole purpose; to provide a mobile team for 8 Ball Pool.[7] In just over two-and-a-half years, the Miniclip Mobile team which had been working closely with tablet and mobile devices had generated hundreds of millions of downloads between a selection of classic mobile titles.[7] With the infrastructure to create great mobile games already in place, it made perfect sense to bring 8 Ball Pool to mobile.[7] The Miniclip team had been thinking about releasing a mobile version of 8 Ball Pool in early 2012, but it would be until the Summer of 2012 when the Mobile Team would commence a brand new project: a mobile 8 Ball Pool.[7] They had once released a Mobile version of 8 Ball Quick Fire Pool but it never really satisfied Miniclip's needs, it would be pulled out of the App Store in early 2012.[7] They found it clear that, if they were to build another pool-related app it had to be brought to the mobile version properly.[7]

Miniclip struggled to create a mobile version of the game; pool required immense accuracy and some staff acutely doubted that it would go wrong.[7] Trying various different control mechanisms, Miniclip was avidly searching for a perfect way to create something fun and easy to play, which retained the simplicity of the computer version on a mobile device.[7] After continuous perseverance, Miniclip finally created the mobile version of the game which fitted all their needs and standards. Soon after making it, they published it to App Stores worldwide.[7]

Profit and advertising

8 Ball Pool advertisement example

An example of one of Miniclip's adverts

To support 8 Ball Pool's free content, on the computer version of 8 Ball Pool an advertisement stands aside the playing screen. This feature appears aside all other games within Miniclip's website. Most of Miniclip's money comes through by advertising, but, however, Miniclip also sells subscriptions and virtual goods, which contribute to Miniclip's profit and wealth.[9] Miniclip's existence around mobile devices has benefit them greatly. Miniclip's being on Facebook was also a gargantuan source of traffic for them; their fan page is very popular and has acquired over one million likes. On the contrary, the company is not really aiming to get big on social media, despite having an exclusive version of 8 Ball Pool for Facebook.

Instead of getting big on Facebook, Miniclip are conserving time and money into mobile games. They are mainly focusing on in-app purchases in order to accumulate more riches. On games other than 8 Ball Pool, such as Commando 2 (a shoot-em-up game again operated by Miniclip) Miniclip uses video adverts which are another source of profit. In accordance to the Business Insider, Miniclip made between twenty and thirty million euros in 2010 in revenue.[9]

Gameplay

Main Article: Game rooms

8 Ball Pool takes place in realistically-themed game rooms where the player engages in competitive multiplayer matches in order to acquire pool coins which are spent on cues and other pool gear. Each game room offers different rules, prizes and entry frees but all bare in resemblance to one another. In addition, the players can accumulate experience points which are used to level up and unlock incipient game rooms, cues and other things.

Players' avatars are shown to the top left on the homescreen and, when in battle to the side of the centre. Players can set their own targets, goals and objectives deciding which achievement to pursue first; there is no specific goal in the game other than triumphing in as many matches as possible and levelling up. When in-battle, players can interact and communicate with chat packs which allow players to contact each other using set messages, some of which including good luck, well played and sorry gotta run. In April of 2014, when Miniclip released the feature, after explaining the functions of the chat packs they added a section explaining why a free chat would not be implemented. They claimed that the idea was disputed and arose and engendered controversy and in the end was not implemented; they claimed that abusive comments could disturb players and, even if such could be reported or blocked, players could still find a workaround.[10] Players can upgrade their chat packs in order to use different messages when playing; chat packs are purchased with bucks, money slips which bare in resemblance to the American dollar - bucks are used to buy premium cues and other equipment.

New players begin their game as a "Beginner" using the Beginner Cue. New players are given the same restrictions as high-leveled elite players, with the exception of cue accessibility and game rooms. Players are also given a brief tutorial which is used to tutor the player the basics of 8 Ball Pool.

Look and feel

8 Ball Pool winning screen shot

A screen shot of a player winning in 8 Ball Pool

Most of 8 Ball Pool takes place in game rooms which simulate real-life ones. In the room, only the pool table is visible; the pool table was designed to resemble real life pool tables. Each table has cushions, six pockets, rails and a tinted cloth (the cloth conceals the baize). All pool tables are fully customizable for bucks; if not customized, the player is given a default pool table which appears differently in each different game room.

Set aside from the pool table, both the player and the opponent's cue are visible at the side of the pool table. Cues are not fully customizable, but different variants of cues and, in general different cues are available for purchase from the Pool Shop. In addition to this, the screen also displays both the player and the opponent's general statistics - their level, their name, their avatar and the amount of experience points until the next level. It also shows what type of ball they are potting and how many of them are left; to the side of each, it has the win streak. To the centre, between both of the avatars is the prize money. At the bottom of the screen is an array of potted balls, the adjustable spin ball and the Miniclip logo.

In-app purchases

Main Article: In-app purchases

There is a range of in-app purchases within 8 Ball Pool as it is one of the main methods of profit for Miniclip. Set aside from leveling up, in-app purchases can be used to buy bucks which are used to buy cues and pool table modifications. In-app purchases mostly consist of:

Name Price Notes
Pool coins
12,500 pool coins £1.49
32,500 pool coins £3.99
140,000 pool coins £7.99 Special offer (2X extra pool coins)
320,000 pool coins £14.99 Special offer (2X extra pool coins)
1,000,000 pool coins £39.99 Special offer (2X extra pool coins)
2,500,000 pool coins £79.99 Special offer (2X extra pool coins)
Pool cash
10 pool cash £1.49
25 pool cash £3.99
55 pool cash £7.99
125 pool cash £14.99
400 pool cash £39.99 Special offer (45% more pool coins)
1,000 pool cash £79.99 Special offer (60% more pool coins)

Community

8 Ball Pool players represent a vast range of players from different ethnicities, cultures, nationalities and ages. The majority of players speak English to an extent. Players who speak other languages engage in tournaments and online matches with people across the rest of the world; all chat messages sent from a different language to the person they are sending it to translate to the language the person they are challenging speaks. Because of this, Miniclip has easily allowed players to communicate using a simple display of chat messages. Languages include German, French, Swedish, Japanese, Indonesian, Indian, Chinese, Hungarian and many more; this again promotes popularity, as it caters for people all across the world. 8 Ball Pool as has its own forums, where players can communicate freelance by asking for matches, by proclaiming things and by performing many other actions.

Game rules

  indicates a rule that involves the 8 ball.
  indicates a rule that involves the cue ball.
  indicates a rule that involves both the cue ball and the 8 ball.
  indicates a rule that involves neither.
  1. Potting the 8 ball results in immediate loss; once the player has potted all of their balls, they must pot the 8 ball.
      
  2. Potting the cue ball allows the opposing player to move the cue ball to their own accord and leisure.
      
  3. You are assigned to pot in a specific ball at the start of the game, depending on what variant of ball you have potted. If you potted a solid ball (a ball mostly covered in one colour) you are assigned to solids and if you pot a striped ball (a ball covered in a stripe pattern) you are assigned to pot the striped ball.
      
  4. Hitting a different variant of a ball allows the opponent to move cue ball to their own leisure even if your own variant of ball was potted when the other ball was hit.
      
  5. If the cue ball is potted with the 8 ball when the player is assigned to hit the 8 ball then they lose.
      
  6. If the player hits a different variant of ball when assigned to hit the 8 ball and they pot the 8 ball they lose.
      

Languages

Languages screen shot

A screen shot of the playable languages in 8 Ball Pool (media excludes English)[note 2]
From top left to bottom right: Spanish, French, Indian, German, Romanian, Brazilian Portuguese, Turkish, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Italian, Hungarian, Swedish, Korean and Chinese

8 Ball Pool has become a lot more diverse in previous years. As of June 2014, 9 languages were selectable; this has now been increased to 17 with the addition of Indonesian, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian, Swedish, Japanese, Korean, Indian and Chinese.[11] Miniclip has high hopes of adding new languages in the coming future; in a community update, they allowed fans to comment and suggest which language should be added to the game.

In January 2014, Miniclip added languages to mobile versions of the game. IOS users would have the 6 languages included in the Android update at the end of 2013. The next update after this would be the addition of the Russian and Turkish language.[12]

When sending messages in-game, players with a different language to the people they are playing can send messages in their own language, only to find it translated to the opponent's language when sent.[13]

Language Released
English 2011 (released with the release of the game itself)
Brazillian Portuguese December 2013[14]
French
German
Italian
Portuguese
Spanish
Japanese May 2014[15]
Korean
Russian June 2014[11]
Turkish
Indonesian Unknown
Chinese
Hungarian
Swedish
Romanian
Polish

Flag of Poland Flag of Romania Flag of Sweden Flag of China Flag of Indonesia Flag of Turkey Flag of Russia Flag of Korea Flag of Japan Flag of Spain Flag of Portugal Flag of Italy Flag of Germany Flag of France Flag of Brazil Flag of the United Kingdom

External links

Official sites and pages

Other pages

Notes and citations

  1. The amount of players daily around 8 Ball Pool is hard to keep track, as there is many different versions of the game.
  2. The image does not feature the English language as it was taken from an English-based computer. For example, if it was from a Spanish-based computer then it would not feature the Spanish language.

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