Thanks to the digital age, we’ve seen game developers release projects that are much more experimental in nature, especially in the indie space, where they’re free to take even more risk. The Flock from Netherlands-based indie developer Vogelsap has potential to be one of the most controversial and risky indie games ever made.
The reason being is not due to having a polarizing art style or complicated game mechanics, but rather the fact that everyone that purchases The Flock will eventually no longer be able to play the game. After the game launches in Q3 of this year exclusively for PC, the community will be given a set population, and each in-game death will work to deplete that population. Once The Flock‘s population count reaches zero, the game will no longer be available for purchase.
Furthermore, the game will have a “climactic finale” that will include player involvement in some form, but the developers are being coy on the details about what that might entail. Once the finale has concluded, even those that have purchased the game will no longer be able to play it, because at that point, The Flock will go offline forever.
The Flock is an asymmetric multiplayer title with a horror bent. Players begin a match as one of the titular Flock monsters, all attracted to the light of a mysterious object known as the Artifact. Once one of the players reaches the Artifact, they transform into another being, and at that point, it is their goal to hunt down the remaining Flock to win the game.
Asymmetrical multiplayer is all the rage these days thanks to games like Evolve, but the staying power of such titles is unproven, with the player base of Evolve dropping radically since launch. This could explain The Flock‘s short lifespan. Perhaps the developers are not confident enough in their game’s longevity, and so by creating a sense of urgency to play it by having it only available for a limited time, they hope to pull in more sales than they would have otherwise obtained. However, it remains to be seen how players will react to the prospect of buying a game with an expiration date.
The Flock isn’t the only asymmetric multiplayer horror game that has been announced lately. An asymmetric Friday the 13th multiplayer game is set to release later this year, along with a similar horror based multiplayer game based on slasher movies, Slasher Vol 1: Summer Camp.
Those intrigued by The Flock‘s premise that will be in Germany next month will have a chance to play it before its planned Q3 release date, as the game will be playable on the show floor at the annual Gamescom event from August 5th to August 9th.
The Flock will release in Q3 of this year, exclusively for PC. After the player population reaches zero and the finale has been played, the game will go offline permanently.