I want to tell you an anecdote. Some time ago, when the video game Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout received special costumes inspired by Doom, I shared the news in a WhatsApp group in which I talk about video games with some friends. The responses surprised me. “Fall Guys isn’t it a dead game? ” One of them asked. “Not yet, but he’s dying,” replied another.
That didn’t seem right. Game Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout occasionally since it appeared on PS Plus in August 2020. Even a few hours before writing this article, I played a few games where I had no difficulty with matchmaking. I checked Twitter and Reddit to find a community as active as ever. People keep playing and enjoying this title. Why do my friends think this game is abandoned?
What is a dead game?
Before continuing, we must define what it means for a game to be “dead”. This is a concept that applies mainly to titles focused on online multiplayer and games-as-a-service. The ‘dead games’ are those that do not have a large enough community of players, so it is not easy to join a game. It also defines those whose servers have been shut down, making it literally impossible to join multiplayer modes or take advantage of their online elements..
A good example of this is Battleborn. Since its launch, this title had difficulties to maintain a good flow of users. In recent months it was common to find an average of less than 10 people playing at the same time on Steam, which made matchmaking extremely difficult. Its creators finally decided to shut down their servers in January 2021
¿Fall Guys is it a dead or dying game?
Let’s go back to the initial anecdote. I asked my friends why they thought what Fall Guys was dead. One said that no one spoke of him anymore because he had been replaced by Among Us. Another presented me with the statistics of Steamcharts, a page that keeps track of the number of people who play on the Steam platform. At the time, the game had an average of 10,000 people playing. It is true that this is a considerably low number for a game that at its launch on Steam had around 170,000 players. However, does that mean that he is dying?
Taking into account that this is a relatively small and independent game, the number of people required to fill a game and its matching and monetization systems, a community that allows around 10,000 people playing at the same time on a single platform is quite healthy.
In fact, this number does not consider the number of people who play Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout on PS4 and PS5, which is also considerable thanks to the fact that this was a title offered at no extra cost to PS Plus subscribers.
But it is not only Fall Guys. If we search, we can find statements that games like Overwatch, Apex Legends, Fortnite, Rainbow Six, PUBG, Roblox, DOTA 2 it is included League of Legends they are dying. These are some of the most popular titles out there and can have hundreds of thousands of simultaneous players. In this video from YouTuber Raycevick, he tells how I used to enjoy titles like Red Orchestra 2 Y Titanfall 2 even though they had “only 1,000 and 2,000 players” at one point.
So where does this idea come from that such a game is ‘dead’ or ‘dying’? The answer is found, mainly, in the same culture ‘gamer’.
The myth of ‘dead games’
The obsession with Metacritic notes, the numbers of simultaneous sales and users —like the ones we see on Steamcharts— have made us see these data as if they were holy scriptures, but we don’t know how to interpret them. There are few who believe that an independent game is a failure because it does not sell a million copies at its launch. Neither do those who take the Metacritic grade as the only indicator of a work’s success. They don’t stop to think about the metrics that depend on things like the budget of a t itle, the audience it is focused on, or its monetization model.
The same goes for the number of simultaneous players. For example, it is totally normal for this number to drop dramatically during the first few weeks of a game on the market. All titles lose their novelty and others begin to replace their headlines in the press. It even happened to Cyberpunk 2077. In fact, user fluctuations in multiplayer titles are very common. They present spikes when events take place or launch new characters, then they descend again and those who say that the game is dying appear again.
The problem is that declaring a game dead has become so common on YouTube videos, forums, and social media that it is now almost a meme. A person who sees his favorite ‘streamer’ declare without much foundation that “Fortnite he’s dead ”because he took longer than usual in the match, he’s probably going to repeat this idea in his own circles, making it go viral.
Let’s go back to the case of Fall Guys. For a couple of weeks, fueled by the fact that it was offered on PS Plus, it was the king of the video game world. But that reign did not last long because of the impressive resurgence of Among Us, which replaced him in daily conversations.
Fall Guys it didn’t go anywhere. The “fever” passed and lost quite a few players as a result, but it still has a large community that supports a good matchmaking system. It is regularly updated with new content and is supported by the sale of DLCs and agreements with franchises such as Godzilla Y Doom. In addition, it has not disappeared from the list of the best-selling titles of Steam.
As you can see, this title — like many others that seem to have been forgotten by the press or whose age means that they are not mentioned very often — is still alive and well. Fall Guys It is not a dead game.
The games are alive!
A small community does not mean that a game is dead. As long as you continue to maintain the metrics that your creators care about — which can be unit sales, microtransaction earnings, or simply keeping server maintenance from becoming a significant expense — you’re not at risk.
That does not mean that that does not happen. Games like Battleborn Y Lawbreakers show that games sometimes die. In fact, it is possible that the most played titles of the moment will cease to meet the expectations of their creators in a few years and will also be forgotten. From a video game preservation point of view, that’s a big problem, but we talked about that before.
In conclusion, enjoy your favorite multiplayer titles without paying much attention to those who tell you that “that game is dead”, even if it is true that they are not as popular as they used to be.