Surgeon Simulator and I Am Bread developer Bossa Studios is taking a unique approach to the fate of its next project, Decksplash.
After a year in development, Decksplash's future will be decided by a week-long free trial on Steam. If 100,000 people play the game it will be released in Early Access. Or, if Decksplash misses its target, it is "RIP" for the project.
"Like any proud parent, we love Decksplash, but unlike deluded creators, we want to believe that you love it too," Bossa explained in a blog post. "Thus we've devised a 'first of its kind' experiment: The Splash N' Grab!
"We're releasing the game free for a week AND if 100k people download, play, and have fun, we'll instantly launch the game at the end of the free week. If not... RIP Decksplash.
"The game's future is in YOUR hands. We hope you have fun being a part of gaming history! (However it turns out - fingers crossed...)"
Decksplash is a multiplayer-focused mix of Tony Hawk's skateboarding and Splatoon-esque area control. Gameplay footage lies below:
It's because of this multiplayer-focused element, Bossa says, it is holding the week-long free trial. Decksplash needs a decent-sized multiplayer community to ensure it is fun for people play and to continue funding the game.
We've seen a few multiplayer-focused games launch and then stumble without a playerbase to sustain them; Lawbreakers and Battleborn spring to mind. In the wake of those projects failing, Bossa appears to be taking a more realistic approach to the future of its game.
We've contacted Bossa to make sure it's actually serious about this and it isn't all a marketing tactic, and have been assured that, yes, it is for real.
"We're all rooting for Decksplash to become a huge success (and we're off to a good start)," producer Marc Pick told Eurogamer, "but if that doesn't happen, the team will move on to new and different Bossa games, armed with the lessons this first of its kind Free Week experiment teaches us all. We'll continue to try new things, boldly doing what hasn't been done before, after all that's what defines our studio."
So, if you're interested in seeing Decksplash continue, here's a link to its free Steam trial.