Fall Guys' Free Fall: Is Mediatonic Resuscitating a 'Dead' Game? by@faizan4it

Fall Guys' Free Fall: Is Mediatonic Resuscitating a 'Dead' Game?

Faizan Raza HackerNoon profile picture

Faizan Raza

I love HN authors, publishing, and talking incessantly about AI, Tech,Startup,Blockchain & etc.

Back in 2020, the highly competitive battle royales space was swamped with path-breaking games like Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone. These games cornered the majority of the market size and were really intense. Amidst all this, Fall Guys made its debut in the market as a game with a comic show setting.

The game emerged as a breath of fresh air and quickly garnered the market. What worked for the game was that it was free on PlayStation Plus for PS4 players. As a result, it smashed records and emerged as the most popular PlayStation Plus game in history. As if it was not enough, the game sold over 7 million copies on Steam and witnessed more than 500,000 viewers on Twitch during its launch day.

But, since then, it has been a downward slide for the game. From an all-time high of 172,026 concurrent players on Steam in August of 2020, Fall Guys has barely managed to hold on to 6,119 average players in February of 2022. As per The Lost Gamer, the number increased in March ’22 as the counter was up to 8,092 average players, though the increase wasn’t significant enough in comparison to the user base of its competitors.

So, what went wrong?

After its initial surge, a plethora of issues went sideways for the game. Developed by Mediatonic and published by Devolver Digital, Fall Guys’ early technical issues played spoilsport for the game. The biggest issue was the developer failed to crack the whip on cheaters. Exploiting these technical issues, hackers were glaringly winning without any effort which, in turn, dampened the momentum for actual real enthusiasts.

Another issue plaguing Fall Guys’ was the lack of depth, which essentially killed the replayability of the game.

Later, the novelty of the game also wore off, leaving many straddled with a game that was initially fun, but, turned stale after a while.

This is reflected in the fact that Fall Guys settles at number 78 on the list of most watched games on Twitch in March of 2022. From a peak of 709K viewers on Twitch, Fall Guys now barely manages 3.2K viewers.

While it may seem all doom and gloom for the game, Fall Guys seems far away from being a ‘dead’ game. The game probably has a higher number of players on PlayStation, where it is free. These numbers are despite the fact that the game is only available on just two platforms - PlayStation and PC.

Meanwhile, efforts are underway to shore up numbers. In February of 2022, developer Mediatonic assured its fans that Xbox and Switch ports of the game were still in development and could be launched soon. This could help increase its broad appeal and help attract more gamers to 'Fall Guys.'

This also comes on the heels of acquisition of Fall Guys' parent company, Mediatonic, by Epic Games back in March of 2021. While many have called the game 'dead', the acquisition of the company points to a different story.

Epic Games has a solid portfolio and many have pointed out that the gaming company would not pointlessly invest in something. What prompted it is unknown but the move has kept many wide awake as to what Epic Games could have in store for Fall Guys.

Meanwhile, Fall Guys has already made its mobile debut. While the mobile game has already been unveiled in China, it is yet to be available for its Western counterparts. Bringing a mobile game online could actually prove to be a gamechanger for the company, which is currently marred by lower numbers and tumbling engagement.

Many people have theorised the end of the game but, interestingly, many others would give a limb to have 3K concurrent users on Steam. Despite a small subset, the game has done exceptionally well and add to that, technical glitches haven't made things any easier.

The renewed focus by Mediatonic will likely enable the developer to make a major pivot towards being a big player in the industry and to make the game a better experience.

A 2021 report by Store Intelligence had estimated that the top eight titles in the mobile games category had amassed $1 Billion worldwide across App Store and Google Play.

With a huge market on the horizon and an ongoing internal churn, the outlook seems positive for Fall Guys. But, whether Mediatonic will continue the momentum or will they fall with a thud, only time will tell.

Faizan Raza HackerNoon profile picture
by Faizan Raza @faizan4it.I love HN authors, publishing, and talking incessantly about AI, Tech,Startup,Blockchain & etc.
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