The Castle Doctrine's Steal Real Money contest has ended, and the top-earner took home a respectable $316 for his troubles. The game itself is all about protecting your home and property so, naturally enough, the contest offered real money to those who could set up a house that best secured their in-game cash.
The conversion rate was in flux throughout the contest, and ended with $1,054 of in-game money equivalent to $1 of real prize money. According to the official site (via Polygon), Aaron Bleakley was the top earner, having held onto his $333,952 of in-game cash with a deadly design. You can see his full map along with others from the top earners at the Castle Doctrine blog. 55 participants won $10 or more, and 6 others won $100 or more. Creator Jason Rohrer says that in all he'll be paying out $2,902 in prize money. 121 players ended the contest period with at least the minimum prize amount of $1,054, earning them a dollar or more.
Rohrer also reflected on it as a promotional tool for the game. It created the second-biggest run of alpha sales in the game's history, with 795 people purchasing it in one day. He also disclosed that it cost him about $4,500 in total to run the contest, which he says is cheaper than advertising for a week on "any noteworthy website." Unlike advertising, though, it didn't "annoy innocent bystanders" and added substance to the game world. "Perhaps most importantly," he concluded, "it created an incredibly tense moment in history that I, and many members of the game's community, will never forget."