This weekend some merry madmen and I got together for 48 hours of gaming in a basement loaded with gaming treasures. We played a ton of nostalgic multiplayer games from our youth: Quake, Quake III, Unreal Tournament, StarCraft, Warcraft II, the list went on and on. When we weren't matching each other to the death, we tried some more recent titles like Niddhog and Hidden in Plain Sight, tried some team gaming with Heroes of the Storm, and a few rounds of the card game Exploding Kittens.
All in all the experience was incredible. The only down side? A stunning lack of massive co-op games. There were about a dozen people at the gathering, so while Dathmtach and Team Deathmatch were certainly options, it seemed that there are no co-op games that cater to more than 4-5 players at a time.
This, I think, is fucking bullshit. As any gamer can tell you, stress levels can get high playing multiplayer. People are generally better behaved in person than when they're online, spewing toxic bile and homophobia at each other, but the stress is still there. People don't like to lose. I for one don't like to be so good at beating someone I consider a friend that he gets frustrated at it. There were times during Unreal Tournament where I actively avoided engaging certian opponents just so they wouldn't feel like they couldn't make any progress or be engaged in the game as anything but a soft target for those of us who have better aim or have memorized the locations of the best weapons.
It seems like there is an opportunity here, a niche that has yet to be truly filled. My friends and I spent the weekend pondering over a good co-op game we could all bring to the table and we couldn't think of a one. I remind you that we're all crazy-dedicated gamers. That panoramic picture I posted at the top of this post? It doesn't begin to describe the sheer number of games and consoles sitting on proud display in our host's mancave. That picture of the laughing Duck Hunt Dog? He's surrounded by Amiibos. Dozens of them. Boxed and unboxed. A king's treasure. That's a dedicated collector. No less than two IT geeks were at the gathering, and between the lot of us we had more than a thousand games to pick from.
A thousand. From Steam to GOG, Nintendo and Xbox and Playstation, video games and board games and friggin' Agar.io... we tried to find something the lot of us could play as massive co-op team. We couldn't. It was a sore spot on an otherwise fantastic weekend. We're already planning another for late 2015, and one of the caveats was that we find a co-op game we can all enjoy as a team.
Is this niche too specialized? Do companies not see the point in catering to groups larger than a four-door sedan carpool? I want to know.
So. Destructoid. We need a game for twelve-plus co-op gamers. I'd prefer one where we're not fighting online opponents: as you can imagine twelve gamers in a single home can be a strain on bandwidth even though our connection was really quite impressive and almost flawless. I'd like something based on fighitng NPC's or bots, legions of foes and only the Dirty Dozen can do the job. Something that requires teamwork so some of our more... Leroy Jenkinesque players don't go rushing off in pursuit of glory only to earn a Viking Crewcut.