It didn’t take long for Fall Guys to become perhaps the most significant video game release of the summer. In just a matter of weeks, Mediatonic’s whimsical obstacle racing game has pushed itself into the forefront on Twitch.
The game’s light-hearted tone filled with bright colors and party-style modes give viewers and gamers a welcoming embrace. That’s juxtaposed by the cutthroat way Fall Guys determines its winners with the last man standing.
Similar to the battle royale genre that’s become massively popular among content creators over the past three or more years starting with titles like PUBG and H1Z1, Mediatonic has successfully marketed what’s on its surface a fun-filled party game by appealing to Twitch and social media culture.
Popularity on Twitch can be derived from a number of ingredients, but Fall Guys is giving content creators something that’s simple and allows them to tell a story.
The battle royale genre at its core has always been simple: If you’re the last person to survive, you win. At the same time, the game modes in Fall Guys are designed to be so simple that a child can figure it out. This allows players to focus on the interplayer dynamics of the game, like griefing.
For a game to be popular on Twitch, it doesn’t require a bunch of bells and whistles. In fact, the simpler the game is, the more room there is for a streamer to make personality-driven content.
Meanwhile, the Fall Guys social media accounts have interacted with streamers in a way that not many game developers do.
TimTheTatman had a notoriously difficult grind to get his first Fall Guys win. It took more than 10 hours of airtime on stream before Tim finally won a game, and by the time he did earn a crown, Tim reached a personal record for viewership that eclipsed 300,000 viewers.
But that record doesn’t get broken the way that it did without the Fall Guys Twitter account. Playing up Tim’s inability to succeed, the Fall Guys Twitter repeatedly made jokes at TimTheTatman’s expense during his drought that spanned multiple streams.
Day after day, Tim’s viewership climbed higher and higher as he failed to win games of Fall Guys. The reactions and emotions that he expressed surely played a factor in his massive audience, but the role that the Fall Guys social media team played can’t be understated.
Shortly after Tim’s first Fall Guys victory, which took an embarrassingly long time, Mediatonic made another marketing play on social media and Twitch that helped boost the game’s popularity.
Posting on social media, Fall Guys announced that it was giving one account a special in-game skin, but they couldn’t tell anyone who it was other than calling that person “The Fallen One” and “statistically the best.”
That person was DrLupo.
While Lupo didn’t generate nearly the same level of viewership as TimTheTatman did while the Fall Guys social media account was picking on him, his viewership was nothing to scoff at. On the day he was given the skin, he averaged more than 31,000 viewers, according to Twitch stat tracker SullyGnome, the most he’s had since June 20.
With many developers paying people to play their game through sponsored streams, Fall Guys has found a way to elevate its social media efforts and give a more organic approach to growing its audience and reach through Twitch.
Though there’s no guarantee that Fall Guys will be an established, top-tier content category on Twitch long-term, Mediatonic’s marketing efforts through the platform have already helped them sell more than 7 million copies of Fall Guys on Steam.
As developers continue to experiment with how to best use Twitch, content creators, and social media to promote a new title, Fall Guys has found a way to strike the perfect balance in a way that’s helped give it mass appeal.