What’s next for Fall Guys, Online Multiplayer Game

What’s next for Fall Guys: It’s easy to get lost in the labyrinth of gaming booths and throng at London’s EGX gaming exhibition. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout’s stands don’t fade into the backdrop.

Fall Guys’ EGX presence is daunting. Developer Mediatonic has partnered with Virgin Media to host a Travelator-style challenge. Participants must sprint up a steep slope travelling in the opposite direction to win a golden paper crown. It’s like the game sans the Big Yeetus hammers.

It’s a weird experience, but perfect for Mediatonic’s jellybean gauntlet. How did a chaotic platform battle royale become a focus at a gaming convention? Joe Walsh, the principal game creator for Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, discussed the game’s success and future.

What’s next for Fall Guys: A success hangover

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout released in August 2020 and quickly captivated gamers. Fall Guys launched on Steam with 172,000 concurrent players. PS4 servers failed when the game was introduced as a free PS Plus offering.
“To see it explode up was incredible, and every day we one-upped the last,” Walsh recalls of Fall Guys’ debut. “Knowing the player numbers relieved our fears. We were scared we wouldn’t be able to get 60 people in a lobby to play a game, much alone 16 million.

The sudden influx of players shocked Mediatonic, but nothing compared to the PR tsunami that followed when big-name broadcasters and influencers joined the chaos.

“To watch pop cultural things start to happen, like TimTheTatMan smashing Twitch records to earn his first victory and Sergio Aguero scoring diving headers on Fall Ball, each day sort of one-upped the next so it was a bizarre experience to be doing from home,” Walsh says.

Fall Guys’ success wasn’t random. Mediatonic launched Animal Crossing: New Horizons when the Covid-19 outbreak prompted millions of gamers to remain home and seek refuge in wholesome games.

“We debuted during lockdown, when plenty of people were playing games and searching for stuff to do,” Walsh says. “The game was great for that time because it’s so upbeat, humorous, and colourful. It was the perfect antidote to all the bad things that happened last summer. So many individuals told us this was the game that kept them going and brought them pleasure.

“I believe that’s what makes the game successful. It’s a breath of fresh air in the gun-heavy multiplayer gaming world.

Attractive Ideas

Over a year after its release, the game still has a solid player base. Fall Guys’ unique inspiration extends beyond the game world.

Walsh: “Fall Guys was influenced by TV.” “And the game’s release coincided with Twitch’s rise. Takeshi’s Castle and Total Wipeout inspired it. Age-appropriate It’s A Knockout.

“Amazing game shows. I grew up enjoying them and have often wondered what it would be like to participate. So began Fall Guys. It’s the only game that take influence from that location, which makes it unique. I guess it’s why it’s so popular.”
The game always had roots in famous game shows. Fall Guys was originally intended to be a large-scale game show.

“We were sceptical at first. We’ve never played it “Walsh said. In the initial playtest, we played Door Dash, Tail Tag, and Fall Mountain with roughly 40 people in the London studio. I recall telling my creative director, “This will work.” We’d never played anything like that. Fall Guys has always had a gameshow-like theme of knocking out and whittling down characters.”

What's next for Fall Guys

Incredible crossovers

Fall Guys’ distinctiveness is confirmed by its many licenced crossovers with other games and movies.
The game has collaborated with My Friend Pedro, Among Us, Nier: Automata, and The Jungle Book in the last year. Big corporations mean plenty of red tape.

Walsh: “It depends on the brand.” “Because we started as an independent developer, we like indie partnerships. You call or contact the game’s creator and ask whether they want to appear in Fall Guys. And they’re speedy.

“Working with Disney on Tron and The Jungle Book is slower since there are more individuals engaged. Disney is massive. The game is great since the character may be Spelunky, Shovel Knight, Baloo, Flynn, or Quorra.”

The game remains a popular online multiplayer game on Steam, and an Xbox Series X/S version is on the way.

According to Walsh, Mediatonic may start rolling out a more involved storyline for Fall Guys”story’

Walsh says he’s thrilled to expand Fall Guys’ universe more narratively. “When we get to the winter theme, the Fall Guys are there, and then suddenly they’re in the future. It’s all been rather random since we’ve never had the time or resources to find out why.

“If you’ve watched The Truman Show, there are people in the sky in control of it, and I’m thrilled to start fiddling with that concept.”

Keeping things interesting

The squad sounds ambitious for future seasons, but changing the Fall Guys formula won’t be easy.

Walsh says it’s difficult. Because each round is distinct, it’s difficult to make large-scale adjustments to Fall Guys. We can’t turn the island like Fortnite or Warzone.

“We’re attempting to make the game more ambitious as we go. Growing the staff has given us the firepower to start strategizing.

“I suppose we can explore with numerous circular concepts. People want more Hex-A-Gone-style levels with emergent gameplay and greater agency. It’ll be fascinating to investigate it further, since we can only construct so many obstacle courses. I believe we can do so much more with a Fall Guy that we haven’t yet.”

Creativity isn’t easy. Walsh said that for every Fall Guys level that’s approved, a couple more get removed.

Walsh believes many level concepts are abandoned. “Squid Game is currently the world’s largest TV programme. It opens using Red Light Green Light, which we tried. Because we couldn’t see how it worked, we never prototyped it.

“Video games include mobility, but in real life it’s impossible to stand motionless. You put down the controller in a video game. At the time, we thought “Red Light Green Light doesn’t make sense.” Now that Squid Game is booming, I’d want to do something similar with Fall Guys.

What’s next for Fall Guys: Future-era jelly beans

What does Mediatonic’s future hold? Walsh said the independent firm is devoted to make the game the finest game possible, but it won’t rest on its laurels.

Walsh: “We’re dedicated to expanding Fall Guys and producing the World’s Greatest Game Show.” “I believe we have enough material for another year, at least. I want Fall Guys to be as long-lasting as Fortnite or Rocket League.

“We’re proud of our first year. That makes us special. Mediatonic’s ambition is to become the next Fall Guys, not a one-game company. We’re continually coming up with fresh game concepts.

“Now we have a larger staff and Fall Guys experience. When we began working on it, we’d never launched a real-time multiplayer game, much alone a physics-based platformer with 60 players, so we’ve learnt a lot that we can incorporate into future designs.”

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Phil has been an avid gamer ever since he was a kid, and he now spends most of his free time reviewing and testing video games and other forms of consumer technology. When he's not out and about in Los Santos, that is.

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