A joke's a joke, and the RPS manifesto is ambivalent about jokes, but now Totally Accurate Battlegrounds is getting serious. The battle royale FPS which started as an April Fool's joke by Clustertruck developers LandFall Games, a Plunkbut with wonky physics, has switched from being free to costing $5, and now LandFall plan to spruce it up a little. Totally Accurate Battlegrounds racked up over three million downloads in its first four days, see, and remains one of the most-played games on Steam - with more players in-game now than once-mighty royaler H1Z1.
LandFall launched Totally Accurate Battlegrounds on June 6th, riffing on their upcoming Totally Accurate Battle Simulator and the hit genre du jour, and gave it away free for the first four days. It... did well. Very well. It peaked at around 30,000 players online, pushing it into the upper echelons of the most-played games on Steam, ahead of several serious, long-in-development Plunkbuts.
"We never expected this late April Fools' game to get more than three million downloads in the span of four days and the reception has been amazing," LandFall said in yesterday's announcement. "We're working hard on making the servers even more stable, matchmaking and implementing anti-cheat measures, we hope you enjoy the game for what it is in the meantime."
A new patch today tentatively ups the player limit to 50 too.
It's actually pretty fun! Yeah, it has goofy physics to giggle at, but I've also quite enjoyed a few rounds - and even just larking about with all the guns in its singleplayer shooting range. You can dual-wield mixed weapons, it has some daffy guns, rounds start by launching like a cannonball from a flying truck, and the circle shrinking the map is a pleasingly terrifying series of monoliths raining down from the sky. It was initially almost impossible to get into a round but after several patches, it seems fine, making matches in mere seconds. For free, yeah, I got my money's worth.
I'm sure LandFall hoped Tabs would get attention they could funnel towards Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, but I doubt they imagined anything like this. They initially hadn't planned to keep working on the game after launch, but now say "seeing the huge response from players we would love to update the game further."
Totally Accurate Battlegrounds is now on Steam for £4/€4/$5. Why not free forever? Because running servers costs money. Would I recommend paying for it? If you like Plunking and have a few mates who fancy arcade-y antics and don't mind jank, sure.
LandFall do note that they are "still working on the server issues" and recommend that prospective purchasers might want to wait and see how it shakes out.