The Flock will be removed from sale if players die too much

Either the best or the worst idea ever

Indie multiplayer games are notoriously difficult to keep alive. Shattered Horizon, Lead & Gold, Cult of the Wind, Super Monday Night Combat, the list just goes on and on of games that have been pretty fantastic, only to eventually run out of people playing them.

So, it’s equal parts interesting and worrying to see upcoming asymmetrical multiplayer The Flock’s plans for launch. The game will only be available for as long as players in it can stay alive. With each death a player suffers, a life will be taken away from a collective population countdown.

Once those lives reach zero, the game will be removed from sale. According to developer Vogelsap, the game will never be available for purchase again once it hits zero, meaning only those who bought the game beforehand will be able to play.

After the game has been removed from sale, the developers are promising for there to be a “climactic finale”, which we don’t know much about at the moment. After this finale, the game will shut down. The servers will go offline, and no one will be able to play The Flock any more.

A part of me can understand why they’re doing this. The developers seem aware of the fate so many indie multiplayers have, and would rather pull the plug with a bang than let it die a slow death.

But even with this taken into consideration, who’d want to buy a multiplayer game that they know might only be open for a few months? I’m personally fascinated by how this is going to play out.

This is either a very smart or astonishingly stupid thing, and I can’t figure out which. I guess we’ll find out a bit after The Flock launches on Steam sometime in Q3 2015.

So, would you be willing to buy into an experience that, while doomed to a set life span, promises to be a unique experience?

Joe Parlock