March 30, 2023

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Why is everyone so obsessed with a game about playing?

Why is everyone so obsessed with a game about playing?

GIF: Digital Cybercherries / Kotaku

Over the past week, the gaming world has been obsessed with the coming of the indie shooter to Xbox, treating it with enthusiasm (and social media metrics like wildfire) for an upcoming AAA column. But here’s the strange part: this game is already over. It has been playable on multiple platforms for years.

You may have heard of Hypercharge: Unboxeda wave based shooter that portrays you as an action figure against a lot of other action figures – great Toy Story Positive feedback here. Developed and self-published by Digital Cybercherries, excessive It does more with less, marrying first- and third-person shooters with base-building elements in childhood-inspired environments. It’s also a multiplayer, online sports game, and in local co-op that is unfortunately rare but highly regarded.

By most accounts, excessive Very good, rated “Very Positive” (91%) on Steam. Below is a brief summary via KotakuZack Zoizen, Who wrote positively about the game two years ago:

The core gameplay loop makes you break out of your game pack and then search all over the map for tokens that you use to purchase defenses and upgrades to help protect your power plants. After a few minutes, a wave of enemies attacks. You fight them off, then you get a few more minutes to scavenge for more loot and build more defenses. It’s not a new or terribly new spin in the genre of gameplay, but what’s here is solid. The guns feel good, enemies react when you shoot them, and the action is quick and snappy.

An action character shoots a dinosaur in Hypercharge, a multiplayer game coming to Xbox.

screenshot: Digital Cybercherries

Although it was first launched as early as five years ago, excessive It saw a full release for Switch and PC in 2020. But you won’t get that right away from the game’s official feeds, which can easily be read by a casual watcher to indicate that the game isn’t out yet. On Twitter specifically, excessive Gain the kind of buzz usually reserved for big-budget games, thanks to what appears to be a brilliantly designed digital marketing strategy.

Right now, Hypercharge’s Twitter page laser-focuses on Xbox to the exclusion of the other platforms it’s playable on. The current banner photo specifically calls out “Xbox players,” urging prospective players to vaguely “sign up” for…something. (Click through, and you’ll learn It’s a newsletter.) Pinned Tweet – A post that remains on top of your Twitter account feed, regardless of the posts’ chronological order –only point to “Xbox Series S.” The bio is a call to action for Xbox players with no mention of other platforms, as in the textbooks of almost every other game that has a presence on social media; If you want links to excessive‘s steam or Nintendo eShop Storefront pages, you will first have to click on Linktree.

Videos about excessiveThe gameplay of . has become marketing pushSeemingly Released in the spring, to make a fuss about a possible Xbox release. Only this weekend One such clip It has garnered over 13 million views, thanks in part to cross-feed posts by popular game characters with a huge following, like Esports commentator Jake Lucky. (The text accompanying Lucky can also be read as excessive is an unreleased game: “These five guys are trying to create an indie game where you play as an action character in a toy store…and she’s sick.”)

This strategy – basically, treatment excessive As if it was a completely new game – which makes sense, given that the game didn’t quite take off on existing platforms. According to the Steam-Tracking Steamcharts database, excessiveMax approvals at all times Less than a thousand players. And while the official benchmarks aren’t publicly available for Nintendo storefronts, come on.

It’s unclear how much the studio anticipated the latest hype. Digital Cybercherries representatives did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.

Action figure shooting game soldiers in Hypercharge, a multiplayer game coming to Xbox.

screenshot: Digital Cybercherries

But intentionally or unintentionally, profits are apparent. Digital Cybercherries Says more than 20,000 people have signed up for last week’s newsletter. This is in addition to the videos that capture millions of views, and the relatively high level of engagement on their social media posts, which regularly garner thousands of likes. Of course, this level of attention has drawbacks unfortunately. Last week, the studio issued a statement He recalled the toxicity he received in connection with the lack of a specific release date.

Personally speaking, I may be just a jerk, but the last few weeks of fuss… totally working on me? excessive Not the kind of game I play on Switch (not enough technical horsepower) or PC (no console for me). But I’ve been playing it perfectly on Xbox – where I usually play local co-op games, and I’m just repeating how much of a bummer it is, few and far between these days.

A week ago, I thought excessive It was just another shooter. Now, it loads at the top of my “gimme gimme gimme” list. excessive widely expected for an Xbox release early next year, to me the edgeTom Warren, with the window open for the launch of Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft’s hugely popular on-demand gaming service. Let’s see if the engagement can continue until then.

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