Hey, remember that one game with all those snazzy guns and that Gordon Freeman guy? You know, Shoot Many Robots? Well, it's headed in a rather unexpected new direction. After beginning life as a (relatively cheap) purchasable product, it's now launching a fully standalone free-to-play PVP extension. Titled "Arena Kings," it comes with the most uncharacteristically no-frills description ever: "Arena Kings is a PvP shooter set in the same world as Shoot Many Robots." In truth, though, it sounds like Demiurge is dedicated to making this far more than a many-robot-shooting shot in the dark.
Arena Kings is set to launch with a mode called Royal Flush, which... well, just read this: "In 'Royal Flush' the Kings must murder each other to collect their crowns, and flush them down a teleporting golden toilet, naturally." Errr, OK. But wait, here's the interesting part: "New content and updates are being added to the game weekly, based on feedback received directly from players. Don’t just stay tuned to see what happens next - be a part of it!"
So it sounds impressively player-driven, though I've sent a mail asking whether that's a beta-only policy or something along the lines of, say, TF2 - i.e. continually making thunderous evolutionary strides over the course of its entire lifetime. That latter, of course, could lead to a wildly different game than the one Demiurge started with, which is - regardless of whether or not you like the outcome - one of the most exciting superpowers at PC gaming's disposal these days, I think.
If you're interested, you can sign up for the beta here. Admittedly, I never played the original Shoot Many Robots, but I definitely plan to keep an eye on this one. I've played a million arcade-style side-scrolling co-op blast-a-thons before, but I can definitely get behind the idea of a competitive F2P spin on that formula. And, of course, the growth possibilities are quite intriguing. Perhaps we'll even eventually be able to engage in a wider range of activities - for instance, Having Afternoon Tea With Many Robots or Criticizing The State Of Post-Colonial Literature With Many Robots. Or maybe we'll just get more guns. But I'm brushing up on my Joseph Conrad just in case.