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An idea to get additional revenues: custom challenges paid by ads

With the new pricing for the Google API that grew a lot, it's been clear Geoguessr has to find more revenues. The latest updates focused on pro users (unskippable ads when not logged in, pro leagues, daily challenges showing pro users only...) confirms it. And it's not a surprise when you see how abuse Google went with the new prices.

I think you could get more revenues with a new simple functionality: custom challenges.

Currently, if someone wants to create a custom challenge (with only 5 hand-picked places), he has to get Pro and create a map with those 5 locations. I think creating a map just for a challenge is overkill. It fills the game with maps with no replayability.

Instead, why not just make a challenge creator, where the user can pick 5 locations, set a timer and generate a challenge link? Then it would be shared like any regular challenge link when you create a challenge from any map.

And instead of walling it behind a Pro account (which will drive away many people), just put it behind a unskippable ad, like the ones that appears between each round while playing without an account. This way, people can finally create custom challenges quickly and you will get more advertising revenues. Since challenges save the locations according to your API, it won't take more disk than any regular challenge, unlike custom maps that are heavier.

I know this idea of a challenge creator was already suggested multiple times but it never happened (map editor was introduced instead) and with the new financial aspect I though it would be worth making it now.

Thanks for reading.


  • To clarify, because after reading myself I think it's not clear: the ad thing is only for the challenge creator, when he wants to create a challenge: he will access the editor only after watching an ad. Players that will use the challenge link won't have any ad (expect the regular in-game ads), they will just need an account like for any challenge.
  • Great idea, Mapper. I expect this to be implemented in 2020.
  • Hi,

    Thanks for the suggestion, I just want to let you (and everyone reading) know that we do read all post/emails that we get but we simply don't have time to answer all of them right away..

    My objection to the challenge-creator is that if you pick the locations you won't be able to play it yourself, so you can create a challenge and send it to a friend sure, but you won't compete with them. Creating a challenge from an existing map you can both play, and if you spend time building a map it's great that others can play it as well I think.

    With that said, it's not a bad idea, a quick-challenge-mode without having to create/save/publish a map..


  • Hi,

    Well the point is not to play it but to create a challenge to show other players specific locations. Many people want to do that and have to create a map just for 5 locations they will know anyway. For example I know someone who does challenges for streamers and he ended up with hundreds of maps just for that. Sure other plays could play those maps but let's be honest, the game is filled with so many maps already, what are the odds someone will play them? I bet 90% of played maps are from new or popular categories, and the search system is not that efficient.

    And it's probable that more people are willing to watch some ads and create a challenge than paying pro and create a map.
  • I see. We're going to prioritise to fix a map rating system (popular/new) and fix the search first. Thanks for the input!

    We've added a delete button to the map edit-page now at least so it's possible to get rid of old maps.

  • There is a small problem with the delete map button: it is displayed when you create a new map that was never saved before, which of courses creates an error when trying to use it since the map is not yet created. Also the layout is broken. Otherwise with existing maps everything works correctly.
  • Another example where a challenge creator would be useful:

    He has to create maps just for 5 locations, when just a challenge would be enough.

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