August 30th, 2013 | By Tom Christiansen
The “Curse of the Indie Multiplayer Game” refers to the sorrowful situation where a game (even a good game) suffers due to the lack of players available on the games servers. Hardly anyone is buying the game because no one is playing, and no one is playing because no one else is buying the game. It is a rut that can be very difficult for a multiplayer-only title to dig itself out of, let alone a title that is supported by a small independent development team.
Gun Monkeys, a procedurally-generated online deathmatch game from Size Five Games, is in one such quagmire.
In an effort to fill up their dwindling server population, the developers have come up with an interesting solution: give players free copies of the game.
“It’s a unique solution to a frustrating situation”, said Size Five Games’ Dan Marshall. “Despite universally positive reviews, Gun Monkeys just hasn’t sold enough to keep servers perpetually-buzzing with players. It’s infuriating, but the important thing to do now is to make sure the people who have bought the game can enjoy it as intended.”
After a recent patch, players who find themselves in a game lobby all alone will have a second copy of Gun Monkeys provided to them, to gift to a friend.
“The most frequent comment in my inbox at the moment is, ‘This game is amazing, why aren’t more people playing it?’ Well, hopefully this move will bring in new interested players too, since they’ll always be able to play friends when servers are quiet. Free keys are limited per player, and it won’t generate free copies for ever, but for now it’s a fun and unusual way to combat the Curse of the Indie Multiplayer Game.”
Gun Monkeys is available now on Steam for $5.99.
Follow Dan Marshall on Twitter: @danthatSize Five Games]