Nobody is surprised by the data: ‘Fall Guys‘ is the multiplayer phenomenon of the summer. After Playstation 4 has practically shelved its catalog with two thoughtful, serious, visually exquisite games like ‘ The Last of Us Part 2 ‘ and ‘ Ghost of Tsushima ‘, players turn their full attention to an almost philosophically opposite title: a simple, accessible battle-royale , proudly goofy. ‘Fall Guys’ ranked under top games this summer
The figures that the distributor Devolver Digital has made public are not to be taken lightly: in less than a week, the Mediatonic title has sold two million copies on Steam , has seen it pass through its servers (or rather, “fall “over its infinite cliffs) to sixty million players (one and a half million in its first 24 hours) and their games have been broadcast on Twitch for a cumulative time of twenty-three million hours. The game will be simple like very few successful titles we have seen lately, but there is certainly something behind its acceptance.
At the moment, the game is on an unstoppable rise, and it does not look like it will stop in the coming days: on the statistics website related to the streaming platform TwitchTracker , ‘Fall Guys’ is in second place in the ranking of games , surpassed only (with just ten thousand more viewers) by ‘League of Legends’ . That is to say, it is above, in number of spectators, colossi such as ‘ Fortnite ‘, ‘ Call of Duty: Modern Warfare ‘ or ‘GTA V’.
In fact, the success has been so overwhelming that on August 7, for example, Mediatonic had to temporarily withdraw the game to do a few tweaks. Quite simply, ‘Fall Guys’ were not prepared for the flood of players that the servers were receiving in such a short time , and while they increased the capacity of the same, they warned that players could find problems in matchmaking.
‘Fall Guys’ ranked under top games this summer. Although the game is not a free-to-play in the style of so many battle-royale (it is not a battle-royale to use either), Devolver saw the potential of the title and allowed Playstation Plus to give it away to its subscribers during the month of August and from the same day that the game went on sale to the general public . It is a tactic that was successfully carried out in the ‘Rocket League’ ( before going free-to-play ). That has guaranteed an avalanche of users who have fattened their first figures very notoriously. On Steam it costs € 19.99, but that has not been an impediment for the concurrent figures to be comparable to those of PS4 users.
What does ‘Fall Guys’ have that everyone dazzles?
It may be commonplace that the simplicity and accessibility of ‘Fall Guys’ is what has made it such a success, but perhaps that is underestimating a hidden sophistication . Sophistication that betrays internal rules of the study when designing the levels that led them to self-impose that the rules of each level should be able to be summarized with only three words. It’s a kind of sophistication that, as tasters of retro classics know , are too often overlooked by devotees of high-tech displays or cutting-edge graphics.
Possibly, that “something else” that transcends a mere apparent extreme simplicity is in the most obvious details. For example, that the clear inspiration of the game is in the fixed contests style ‘Takeshi’s Castle’ (what in Spain we knew for years as ‘Yellow Humor’) , the recent ‘Wipeout’ or, under more serious codes, fitness demonstrations extreme like ‘Ultimate Beastmaster’ and company. Here the garish colors of the former are recognizable, the aesthetics of a bouncy castle and oversized toys, the blows that hurt but not much, and the simple mechanics of a schoolyard race and for everyone else.
‘Fall Guys’ is a self-aware game. Their costumes, a merely cosmetic addition, include nods to other video games such as’ Half-Life ‘, and at Mediatonic they know that thongs among crowds are one of the secrets that have made not only more refined games such as’ Fortnite ‘ , but also to the party games of a lifetime. Something of the philosophy of getting together a lot of friends to play the goose with the controller is in this game, although in this case, the friends are 60 and the goose are at a distance.
Because underneath that apparent surface gloss there are quite a few thoughtful decisions. For example, that there are 60 simultaneous players and not the most common number of 100. ‘Fall Guys’ ranked under top games this summer. According to the creators of the game told Forbes , 100 were too many and everything became too chaotic, and on the other hand the noise is such that a race between 60 and more it gives the player the feeling of a lot of people competing . This reduction of runners did not affect the feverish appearance of the game, but it allowed sharpening the technical section.
The immediacy that takes the games to around ten minutes is what makes there less immersion than in a ‘Fortnite’ map, for example, but at the same time, that the game needs many more different levels. This variety, without a doubt, is another of the secrets of the success of the game: races where speed prevails and others that are pure skill, or where luck plays a primary role . Obstacle races or ‘You carry it’ games in teams. Succeeding in one level of ‘Fall Guys’ does not imply guarantees in all the others, and not even in the same one if it is repeated. That unpredictability not only stretches the life of the game no matter how elemental its mechanics, but also gives newbies confidence: everyone has the same possibilities here.
And now? Without a doubt, the great challenge of ‘Fall Guys’, as with all games of this type, is to keep its audience interested. To do this, you will need to build new game maps almost continuously, and offer them to your players consistently and clearly, perhaps for a limited time at certain times of the day. They would also do well not to give in to the temptation to turn appearance enhancements into a luxurious store for those who have cash to spare to thrive on free-to-play . And, of course, not become a free-to-play … paid.
In any case, that (and the Battle Pass style to advance in the game, with too many shadows and doubts at the moment) are aspects that we will understand in all their magnitude and qualify as the weeks go by. For now, ‘Fall Guys’ is a deserved success and a pleasant rest for the warrior jaded by twilight epics . Because sometimes all it takes is some good, classic, hard-hitting bullshit.