Devolver Announce Scum, Croteam’s Survive ‘Em Up

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.


  1. zxcasdqwecat says:


  2. RaveTurned says:

    “Lads, I’ve got an idea for a multiplayer open-world survival game.”
    “You mean that genre where scarcity and paranoia push everyone towards being total dicks to each other?”
    “My idea is that in the game lore, the player characters are *already* total dicks.”

    • Kollega says:

      Pretty much this. Another sociopath simulator on the pile, ladies and gents and others. Oh how I wish that this one, being from Croteam, would be a genre parody.

  3. Bostec says:

    A online open world survival multiplayer coming to Steam early access? Well stone me! I just fell off my chair…. in a sleep induced coma. No doubt they we add zombies down the line oh and loot boxes.

    • G-Lord says:

      Sadly, that was my reaction as well. Got so excited when I read Croteam, but the disappointment followed quickly…

  4. SirRoderick says:

    Only reason I want to see more is Devolver’s track record for interesting things.

    • TeePee says:

      Exactly this. Devolver tend not to get involved with bland, cookie-cutter stuff, and I’ve always found their games interesting, if not always my cup of tea.

      Whilst MOWSGs are getting ten-a-penny these days, I can live with it, because presumably someone’s going to get it right eventually, and on that day we’ll have one hell of a game on our hands.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Yeah. The only reason to even give this the time of day is the people involved.

    • The Algerian says:

      I agree.

      Though one thing is definetly going to make or break the game for me: the damage model. If it’s yet another game in which you have to empty a whole assault rifle mag on someone before he goes down, pass.

  5. GameCat says:

    “I do think there is space for multiplayer open-world survival games to do new and exciting things.”

    Like getting out of early access?

  6. Ethaor says:

    “Multiplayer open world survival game” and “unprecedented” don’t go well in the same sentence.

    Then again, to me LoL & Dota 2 offer the exact same experience, yet they both have a ginormous crowd.

    • Optimaximal says:

      But surely that’s down to location and access to market? LoL isn’t on Steam, DOTA2 isn’t off Steam, for example.

      Early Access Survival games, however, use Steam almost exclusively, alongside the Nudey Visual Novels.

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Except all the VNs on Steam have the nudey bits taken out do they not?

  7. Harlander says:

    I always thought Valerie Solanas’ The SCUM Manifesto had promise as the backstory for a game.

    • mouton says:

      wooo, fighting for your life in a genocidal-feminist dystopia!

  8. Catchcart says:

    Please don’t put the words SCUM and CROTEAM next to each other. My brain gets them in a tangle.

  9. Kefren says:

    “if you happen to slip up and die, get resurrected by the show’s producers with all your valuable skills still intact.”

    Which immediately destroys tension and immersion for me. When even death is just a minor inconvenience, why fear it? Imagine Alien, but where each character, on dying, can “Pzzzt!” and suddenly reappear as happy as before. I doubt it would have the same effect.

    • Horg says:

      I think the implication is you lose your gear but keep your character progression. It sounds like a good compromise between ‘lose nothing’ and ‘lose everything’, both of which have some major problems. Lose everything and you might just give up when you die, or be incentivised to avoid player contact entirely. Lose nothing and death is a minor inconvenience that entirely undermines the point of the survival genre. Retaining your character side progression while still providing a significant death penalty seems like a sensible compromise.

      • Kefren says:

        Though there is also the option of not having character progression (unlocked stats/skills), only human skill improvement (you get better by playing and learning). Or the system in the other game like this, where you die and you are out of the “game” – only one winner allowed, though you can just join a new game immediately (different character, presumably).

  10. Kefren says:

    I hope they don’t include a greenhouse in the arena.

  11. Anti-Skub says:

    “There’s an edgy twist, of course: you play convicts fighting each other for the delight of audiences.”

    How is that a twist?

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      The Borderer says:

      Do you get to play as Ray Winstone?

      • Cederic says:

        Yeah, a game called Scum really should be a closed world, and the only crafting should involve a sock and a pool table.

  12. Kowie says:

    For the love of god i hope they don’t get greedy and include a pve mode unless its a co-op game built from the ground up. MP survival games rarely work out it always ends up giving the game a extra bad reputation when it inevitably fails to reach pvers high expectations.

  13. Darth Gangrel says:

    Croteam, where’s Serious Sam 4 or ANYTHING other than a MP-focused game?

    • LionsPhil says:

      That’s…what? Their last big thing was The Talos Principle, which wasn’t multiplayer at all, I think. Yet Serious Sam is arguably at its best when played through in co-op.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        I’m not accusing Croteam for being too focused on MP games, I’m just generally sick of hearing about everyone and their grandmom doing one. They don’t even seem to add anything to that genre, but since I’m uninterested in MP games I wouldn’t play them even if they were all different. So, yeah, I just wanted to rant and complain.

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Talos Principle also started out as an aspect of a new Sam game until they realized they could make a new game out of the mechanics.

    • JonasKyratzes says:

      SS4 is Croteam’s main project right now!

    • Croteamovac says:

      We just wanna be done with SS The Last Hope, and then we are full on SS4. SCUM is mainly Gamepires project with us helping them with assets here and there.
      No worries!

  14. zulnam says:

    Oh boy hot dang, ANOTHER open world survival game.

    For a minute there i almost went into relapse.

  15. nimbulan says:

    I expected better from you, Croteam (and Devolver for that matter.)

  16. WJonathan says:

    That screenshot immediately brought Rockstar’s Manhunt to mind. Another psycho-murder simulator I have no interest in.

  17. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of edge-lords suddenly cried out in excitement and were suddenly validated.