Limited Time Horror Game The Flock Launches Next Week

Limited Time Horror Game The Flock Launches Next Week

The Flock: the game that dies when you do.

Online multiplayer games go stale. This is a sad and inevitable truth to our industry. It is also a truth that one Dutch development studio not only took notice of, they built their game around it.

The Flock is an asynchronous multiplayer horror game that will only be available for a limited time. The developer, Vogelsap, previously announced that the game will last for a certain number of player deaths, after which it will be withdrawn from sale. On Wednesday, Vogelsap revealed that after The Flock's servers register 215,358,979 in-game deaths, the game will be removed from sale and players that already have the game in their library will take part in the next phase, which will have a "climactic finale."

After completion, the game will permanently shutdown with no refunds.

In a Q and A blog post Wednesday the developers explained the decision to design The Flock in this way.

The developers were motivated by the desire to "convey the extinction story" in a way that players will fully experience it, as well as the desire to not see their game go stale.

"Most indie multiplayer games lose their player base within a year," the post reads. "Even heavy hitters such as Titanfall and Evolve have a fast dwindling player base. The most popular games such as League of Legends and Counter-Strike still have a somewhat anticlimactic ending of their players' experience. Because in the end at some point - and this can be after five years or two months - you'll stop playing because you either got bored of it, you've seen it all or you, or your friends have no longer time to play."

The post continues by expressing the desire to provide a "climactic finale" to the game's players.

"We want to tackle that problem, and make sure The Flock ends with a climax after which the game will be fondly remembered. Much like a lot of single player experiences where you have a huge battle or a boss fight."

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I'm still not sold on the idea...don't think I'd be willing to pay more than $5 on a game that's built specifically to die off at some point in the (likely near, if trolls be trollin' as they likely will in this game) future after purchasing it.

That and I'm not really all that comfortable with how this supports the bass-ackwards notion of "games are a service, not a product" that AAA developers are trying to tout these days.

"We want to tackle that problem, and make sure The Flock ends with a climax after which the game will be fondly remembered. Much like a lot of single player experiences where you have a huge battle or a boss fight."

Except a Single Player game doesn't delete itself from existence when you've finished playing it. If you really liked it then you can go back and replay it.

Games like LoL and CS you tend to drift in and out of even when you're no longer playing it religiously. You'll fancy playing a match every so often. Titanfall and Evolve both had very specific problems which resulted in their decline which should have surprised nobody.

Honestly I find this idea of having a literal end to the game for a multiplayer game interesting...but fundamentally dangerous. Because it is going way, WAY too far down the path of "games as a limited service" for my liking

While I find the idea interesting, I probably would not buy a game that will disappear on me. I'm sure it will appeal to some people. I honestly don't like anything that comes down to planned obsolescence, at least not for myself. My main concern would be trolls, people who play the game just to suicide as fast as possible and run the counter up. Part of me thinks that people like that can't make a serious dent in the total number of deaths, another part of me fears the shear number of people on the internet who will do that.

I am 100% confident this game will not be abused by bots, hackers, modders or plagued by DDOS attacks which cause it to end after 1 week of being live.

I am also 100% confident that this will NOT then end in the developers allowing for the game to die early with a disappointing ending, and take everyones money and then call the whole debacle a "unique experience"

I am sure everyone will be completely kind and fair to each other, and play the game in exactly the way the developers intend.

Hehe, lets stay optimistic shall we? :p

But I do hope the price point for this also makes the customers optimistic and happy... urgg.

Hmm.. so any bets as to how long this thing will be live before the meta game of 'finishing it fast' kicks in.

A perfect game for those who only want to see the world burn. Still, I think it's an interesting experiment.

The Flock for speedrun at AGDQ!

Yeah, no. Not going to buy it. At all.

I could be cynical about this, but thinking realistically I believe it'll be an interesting experience in the very least. While others may differ, it's rare for me to pick up a single-player game after the first time I've played through it. I imagine this would be more interesting for people like me, providing the finale is as interesting and climactic as a good single-player game is.

If the price is right, I wouldn't mind buying this game just to be a part of the whole experience. I can't imagine it doing well at a triple A price, but if it's for around $15-$20 for a game that'll last at least a year? I've paid more for pizzas that don't last the weekend.

Either this will blow up, won't last long and the 5$ won't be worth the short experience or so few people will play it that it'll last forever and never have the "climactic finale" they're talking about.

There's a very low chance that the number of deaths that'll shut the game down is just right, so I look forward to the game going either direction because I hate this "games as a service" bullshit.

Just been thinking a bit more about this...

What, exactly, is the incentive to NOT hack, exploit and abuse in this game? In something like CSGO you get banned and so can't go on their servers, thus effectively losing the money you spent on the steam account as a whole which at the very least is one copy of CSGO. In LoL you lose the money and, more importantly, time invested into your account.

But when a game is planned to become obsolete? Where's the incentive? There's no "if you do this you can never play the game on this account again!" fear (however effective that may be) because that was always going to happen eventually ANYWAY.

Instead of ending permanently they should have the game come back online once every year does that sound good ?

Hmm... I like experimenting with new concepts. I guess I can burn $5 on this to see how it all goes down.

I believe it was Dante who coined the phrase "Flock off". I expressed my concerns over a dubious limited time game before.

You know, when I first heard it I thought it was some sort of game where all of the players are in one city and everyone is hunting down the light carrier(s), so that you had this sort of massive flock gameplay and the city was a terrifying experience as the last remaining organisms you trampled around chasing after these massive beams of light in a huge city...

But no, it's just some sort of multiplayer deathmatch mode from Star Wars Jedi Knight. Remember that one, where you all fought over the lightsaber?

One day the cod and wow servers will go down and never come back...

I guess this is just taking that to its logical conclusion; Planned obsolescence is nothing new after all.

Lightspeaker:
"We want to tackle that problem, and make sure The Flock ends with a climax after which the game will be fondly remembered. Much like a lot of single player experiences where you have a huge battle or a boss fight."

Except a Single Player game doesn't delete itself from existence when you've finished playing it. If you really liked it then you can go back and replay it.

Games like LoL and CS you tend to drift in and out of even when you're no longer playing it religiously. You'll fancy playing a match every so often. Titanfall and Evolve both had very specific problems which resulted in their decline which should have surprised nobody.

Honestly I find this idea of having a literal end to the game for a multiplayer game interesting...but fundamentally dangerous. Because it is going way, WAY too far down the path of "games as a limited service" for my liking

I thought Evolve died because you needed a spreadsheet to find which store to buy it from.

RaikuFA:

Lightspeaker:
"We want to tackle that problem, and make sure The Flock ends with a climax after which the game will be fondly remembered. Much like a lot of single player experiences where you have a huge battle or a boss fight."

Except a Single Player game doesn't delete itself from existence when you've finished playing it. If you really liked it then you can go back and replay it.

Games like LoL and CS you tend to drift in and out of even when you're no longer playing it religiously. You'll fancy playing a match every so often. Titanfall and Evolve both had very specific problems which resulted in their decline which should have surprised nobody.

Honestly I find this idea of having a literal end to the game for a multiplayer game interesting...but fundamentally dangerous. Because it is going way, WAY too far down the path of "games as a limited service" for my liking

I thought Evolve died because you needed a spreadsheet to find which store to buy it from.

Seriously? The tech shop I work at has, like, a billion copies (give or take six) that we honestly cannot sell off. They're just sitting there, taking up a third of our rack space, selling a copy every couple of weeks or so.

lacktheknack:

RaikuFA:

Lightspeaker:
"We want to tackle that problem, and make sure The Flock ends with a climax after which the game will be fondly remembered. Much like a lot of single player experiences where you have a huge battle or a boss fight."

Except a Single Player game doesn't delete itself from existence when you've finished playing it. If you really liked it then you can go back and replay it.

Games like LoL and CS you tend to drift in and out of even when you're no longer playing it religiously. You'll fancy playing a match every so often. Titanfall and Evolve both had very specific problems which resulted in their decline which should have surprised nobody.

Honestly I find this idea of having a literal end to the game for a multiplayer game interesting...but fundamentally dangerous. Because it is going way, WAY too far down the path of "games as a limited service" for my liking

I thought Evolve died because you needed a spreadsheet to find which store to buy it from.

Seriously? The tech shop I work at has, like, a billion copies (give or take six) that we honestly cannot sell off. They're just sitting there, taking up a third of our rack space, selling a copy every couple of weeks or so.

Pretty sure RaikuFA is referring to the fact that there were ridiculous amounts of different launch editions, all with their own bonuses and available from different retailers. There were FOUR Digital versions alone.

That was part of the problem. Another part was (apparently, I never bought it) because there was relatively little content there anyway (a la Titanfall). And another was the simple problem of balance in online multiplayer games. Specifically if ANY member of the Hunter team didn't know what they were doing then it would severely screw over the entire team because each member is so specialised.

 

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