Devolver Digital, the publishers of such brash games as Hotline Miami and Broforce, have announced that they’re publishing Scum [official site], a multiplayer open-world survival game headed to Steam Early Access in 2017. That doesn’t seem like Devolver’s style, given that they’ve traditionally blazed their own path and inspired imitators rather than the other way around, but hey! There’s an edgy twist, of course: you play convicts fighting each other for the delight of audiences. It’s being made by Gas Guzzlers developers Gamepires with Serious Sam gang Croteam. As much as I like Croteam, this is… ah, anyway, here’s all we know for now.
The official announcement blurb explains:
“Scum evolves the multiplayer open world survival game with unprecedented levels of character customization, control, and progression where knowledge and skills are the ultimate weapons for long-term survival. Players will balance base level needs with knowledge-based skills to manage everything from nourishment, metabolic rate, and body mass to weapons proficiency, combat style, and security systems hacking. Dominate the island with your skills, cunning, and strategies to achieve higher levels of game and receive powerful gifts from corporate sponsors and, if you happen to slip up and die, get resurrected by the show’s producers with all your valuable skills still intact.”
So you’ll have a lot more stats than usual. Good?
That’s enough grumpin’ out of you, missy. I do think there is space for multiplayer open-world survival games (MOWSGs, we call ’em – though The Committee did consider rebranding the genre ‘survival multiplayer open-world games’ for the cooler SMOWGs) to do new and exciting things. I do think there are opportunities to find new audiences and stop scrapping for the attention of the same players. I don’t know if Scum will do that. As we saw with the MOBA rush a few years back, a new genre can rise and latecomers can establish themselves even when the top dogs are clearly decided – but most games fail to find enough players and fade away or die.
I don’t know why you’d announce an expensive new MOWSG in 2016 – unless, say, you already had a name on the scene. But Devolver aren’t fools. Maybe Scum is all that and a bag of chips, for all I know.