Goat Simulator is a pretty silly game, but there’s no denying that it delivers on exactly what the name promises. The player takes control of an average, everyday goat and blunders around a small town doing average, everyday goat things, such as headbutting protesters, licking lampposts and harnessing demonic powers through blood sacrifices.
It’s also a terribly broken game, but not in the way that would require a patch to fix it. Coffee Stain Studios’ policy is to remove any game-breaking bugs but to leave everything else in – including the many crazy physics glitches. While there are plenty of secrets already waiting to be found in the small game world, there are even more unique goat experiences on the horizon.
In a blog post over at Gamasutra, Coffee Stain’s game designer and PR manager Armin Ibrisagic announced that all of the upcoming updates and additional content for Goat Simulator will be completely free, and went into detail as to why the studio decided to approach it that way. The main reason he gave was simply, “It’s nice.” Fostering trust amongst customers and building a solid reputation for respecting the game’s user base is, Ibrisagic believes, a key to promoting Goat Simulator through word of mouth. “A good relationship with players,” he writes, “is the best long-term investment you can make.”
Probably the best example of this model being a success is Minecraft, which is constantly being updated for free and has sold over 35 million copies across all platforms, thanks to its ever-evolving gameplay. Even if Goat Simulator never quite manages to reach those heights, the promise of free additional content will likely be an important factor in persuading consumers to shell out $10 for the original game. Let’s not forget that the game and its designers fully support mods, which also adds to the endless content potential and welcome-mat approach to community creativity.
It’s unlikely that we’ll see Coffee Stain’s approach catching on in the AAA market, where “monetization” is the ultimate watchword, but for indie developers the promise to continue delivering even after the money is in the bank could be the key to succeeding in a very competitive market.
Patch 1.1 for Goat Simulator will include a new playable map featuring a ferris wheel that can be overloaded using car batteries, new achievements, better optimization, additional playable goat characters and local splitscreen multiplayer. You can suggest future content for Goat Simulator over at Coffee Stain Studios’ official blog.
Goat Simulator is available now on PC.