"I really didn't think about it becoming as successful as it is. I made it just as a weekend project. It was a way to pass some time," he told CNBC in a phone interview from Italy.
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The game is frustrating judging by the responses to it on social media, but is feeding the appetite of those in search of the next addictive hit. Cirulli said out of the 100 million games played, only 1 percent has won.
Other games such as Candy Crush, made by U.K. company King which priced its IPO at $22.50 a share on Wednesday, and Flappy Bird, which was recently axed by its creator, have generated a massive base of players.
The next 'Flappy Bird'?
Analysts believe 2048's appeal lies in its simplicity.
"The growth is really impressive. I think just two weeks in, it could be the next Flappy Bird," Heloise Thomson, gaming analyst at Enders Analysis, said in a phone interview.
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"When you create a game like Flappy Bird, you create an impossible obstacle and people want to rise to the challenge. It is a great model to have for the game. 2048 has the same kind of feeling, it is elegant and an impossible challenge."
2048 is a free game that can be played on a web browser. Cirulli said his version was based on a previous game called 1024 which had a similar concept. An unofficial smartphone app has popped up which the Italian said he had no affiliation with.