Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout – the popular 2020-released battle royale platformer game – is going from strength to strength. Not only has the game achieved seven million units sold on Steam, but it has gained the title of most downloaded PS Plus game ever. Gaming is facing a renaissance at the moment, with more players than ever before across a range of different gaming genres from battle royale games to eSports. But why has Fall Guys been able to achieve so much, so quickly?

Why is Fall Guys So Popular?

Fall Guys is essentially a gamified version of the game show Total Wipeout, where you use your gaming abilities to work through levels by succeeding at mini-games. 60 participants can play at one time, so the game can be chaotic, which is where some critics claim it excels the most. But why has the game succeeded so much?

Interactions With The Game

How players can interact with the game is another example of why it has succeeded so much. Playable characters have been important in gaming since its advent and being able to customize those characters gives players a deeper connection to the game itself.  In-game purchases can be made through points that have been awarded to personalize the avatar you play with. Microtransactions are available for purchasing more currency (that you win by succeeding in the games) and customizing your avatar further – including as characters from other franchises, such as Half-Life and Hotline Miami.

Gameplay Style

The game also involves elements of teamwork, as well as classic mini-game tropes such as racing. Each round, more players are picked off until there is just one player standing to be crowned the victor. The ease of play combined with the excitement imbued in the gameplay is part of the reason the game has become so popular in merely one month of being available for play.

The game is essentially a classic battle royale, which appeals to those familiar with Fortnite, as well as those who are interested more in casual gaming. The casual gaming elements have been borrowed from other styles of games – such as Angry Birds and Fun Run.

Popularity of Casual Entertainment  

The range of hyper-casual games has contributed to the success of Fall Guys – in which gameplay can be over as quickly as you want it to. The game can be picked up as and when you need to fill the time with it. This comes on a wave of engagement for hyper-casual style gaming, which utilizes easy to understand gaming concepts. Our online culture has evolved to encompass picking up things for shorter amounts of time – such as a quick scroll on social media, or to watch a 5-8-minute show on Quibi. This attitude helped to prime us ready for the Fall Guys style of gaming.  

For example, hyper-casual games like Hole.io helped to show players that gaming could be done with minimal resources and using the time they had free anyway as it was all on mobile. Games such as Pokémon Go helped popularize the kind of game that requires long term engagement but in shorter, sharper bursts. Some have been collecting for the past four years but in sessions of under 10 minutes apiece.

The online casino industry also offers a range of casual gaming options, including online slots, which utilize welcome offers such as free spins, which will give you extra chances to play to warm up to the game. Moreover, Minecraft’s Hunger Games-style gameplay was a forerunner to the way Fall Guys can be played with many other people, knocking opponents out of the game to reign supreme.

As the game is so new – it came out on 4 August 2020 – we can’t anticipate how popular it may be. It could have longevity or it could be a flash in the pan and quickly lose steam. The accolades it is achieving so far in the gaming world are promising. The game will also likely influence the next wave of games being developed, especially as each successful title tells games developers exactly what audiences want to play. The microtransactions element specifically could help usher in a new era of gaming that involves a different format when it comes to paying real money.