You may have seen recent posts, on social media accounts typically associated with serious multiplayer shooters, about the “skills gap” – the general disparity in ability between professional gamers and casual fans in any given game.
For competitive multiplayer games, the “skills gap” is worth obsessing over. Let’s say someone who has never played a game before could mash a few buttons and eliminate the best player on the field. It’s a low skill gap and not fun to watch. But watching a game with a high skill gap is akin to watching an Olympic sport, jaw-dropping as the pros pull off jaw-dropping ballet moves, while making them look like a piece of cake. You constantly hear a “skills gap” in high-level gaming conversations for games like Halo and Call of Duty.
But not this time. No, this time the game everyone is obsessed with is fall guys, a two-year-old platformer royale that’s getting a hell of a second wind right now, in part because it’s a delight to watch. It turns out that Fall Guys, despite its over-the-top silliness and Mario Party-inspired hijinks, seems to have a ridiculously high skill gap.
It’s not often that a game takes the world by storm twice. British studio Mediatonic first released Fall Guys for PlayStation 4 and PC in August 2020, its pastel visuals and sense of connectivity (60 players at once!) proved to be a social balm during the busiest days. dark from the pandemic. The community exploded, thanks in part to the buzz generated by an unconventional advertising campaign based on Twitch. But it was also a lot of fun: each round unfolds as a series of inventive, bite-sized mini-games that slowly whittle down the number of players until only one winner is left standing.
In March 2021, Epic Games acquired Mediatonic. Fall Guys made its way to Xbox and Switch last month. At the same time, following in the footsteps of Rocket League, another multiplayer game developed by a studio acquired by Epic following a meteoric buzz,Fall Guys has fully embraced a free-to-play model.
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Going free-to-play has been an enormous boon to Fall Guys, if you can ignore the launch day server woes. Last week, Mediatonic said Fall Guys had been played by 50 million people since its free-to-play pivot. (Some of the biggest free-to-play shooters in the world, like Fortnite and Apex Legends, to have broken records of approximately 70 million unique players per month. Estimates peg action-RPG Genshin Impact at just under 65 million.)
This brings us to Fall Guys’ nascent lack of skills. With such a large player base, some people are bound to become incredibly good at the game, far surpassing standard players. One such clip doing the rounds (7 million views and counting, so far) shows a player nailing a flawless run through one of the game’s races. It was first shared yesterday morning by modern war zonethe popular Call of Duty fan account, who joked that “Fall Guys has a higher skill gap” than Activision’s high-stakes battle royale:
The clip alone drew baffling reactions from some of the biggest names in competitive esports. “I clearly ground the wrong game [skull emoji]”, Alex “Shyway” Hopea well-known Halo analyst and esports commentator, said in a tweet. “Bruh on god no video game is more just casual wtf [face with tears of joy emoji]”, Lucky Jackthe famous esports commentator, said in a tweet.
This is just one example of a miniature attention cottage industry, where Fall Guys players share awesome gameplay clips that then rack up hundreds of thousands of views (or more). Some showed “skill jumps”, in which players use unauthorized but physically traversable paths through multiplayer stages:
Others brag about their 50-game winning streak, another form of proof that Fall Guys has a legit skill gap and isn’t based on luck:
Oh, yes, and if you still don’t believe in gaming’s sudden and undeniable second wave of domination, there’s this: clones, the ultimate seal of capitalism’s true success. Nintendo has Kirby’s Dream Buffet in the works, announced yesterday and is due out on Switch this summer. (Obviously, Kirby’s Dream Buffet development was in place long before Fall Guys moved to a free-to-play model last month.) Just this week, Stumble Games, a clone so shameless it’s linked to the sky’s DMCA, topped the iPhone charts.
Damn, I’m absolutely re-downloading Fall Guys tonight, aren’t I?
Article source https://kotaku.com/fall-guys-free-to-play-skill-gap-switch-xbox-pc-ps4-1849175024