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Is Fall Guys a Dead Game – The Rise and Fall of a Meme Game

Is Fall Guys a Dead Game - gameplay image
Image: Mediatonic

There is a prevailing narrative right now that Fall Guys is a dead game. However, is this really true? Fall Guys has just been bought by Epic Games, would Epic Games really buy a “dead game”? One of the theories behind the dead game story is that the release of Among Us killed it. Here we look at the hard data to see what’s really going on and answer the question of is Fall Guys a dead game.

Is Fall Guys a Dead Game – A Look at the Data

The best place to start when looking at this is by taking a look at the hard data and the competition that Fall Guys faces from similar competition.

Competition with Among Us

SteamDB is an amazing resource for looking at the data behind games. You can look at everything from historical Steam prices, for every game, to the full history of player numbers. As a caveat, it should be noted however that the data on player numbers here is purely for users on Steam.

The data does not capture the information for players on different devices. Therefore, we can expect numbers to be a little higher across all platforms. However, the general trend in usage should be the same.

Fall Guys is currently also playable on the PS4, whilst Among Us is also playable on mobile, Switch, and Xbox One. Below we chart the peak concurrent player numbers per day for Fall Guys and Among Us, on Steam, since June 2020. Fall Guys was released in August 2020.

Is Fall Guys a Dead Game - The Player Data

From the graph, it can be seen that both games enjoyed a huge rise in players from the time that Fall Guys was launched. Fall Guys hit a peak of 172,213 players on 22 August 2020 but has been on a steady decline since then. It is not clear that this is down to Among Us.

Both games saw their daily player numbers increasing simultaneously. However, Among Us saw this trend continue for a longer period of time. It reached a peak of 447,476 players on 26 September 2020 and now has been decreasing ever since.

The likelihood is that the better relative performance of Among Us had more to do with price difference rather than direct competition for players.

Adjusting for the price difference

In USD, Among Us is currently priced at $4.99 whereas Fall Guys is priced at $19.99. Therefore, Among Us costs just 25% of the Fall Guys price! In the below graph, One Chilled Gamer has adjusted player numbers, for Fall Guys, by the relative price difference.

Indeed, now that both games have settled at a steady number of players, there does appear to be a direct relationship between players and price. In fact, at its peak, Fall Guys could be considered to have been much more successful than Among Us on a price-adjusted basis.

Player numbers adjusted for the price difference vs Among Us

It is clear from this that it is not Among Us that has impacted Fall Guys player numbers. Both are performing in line on a price-adjusted basis. However, player numbers have still dropped to very low numbers.

This is rather just the normal trend for a “meme game”. A meteoric rise followed by a steady decline to a more normal player base.

The Future of Fall Guys

Despite the fall in player numbers, there are clearly many in the industry who rate this game highly. Fall Guys recently recieved 4 nominations in the Bafta Games, and was acquired by Epic Games. Most interesting is the acquisition, Epic Games must see a bright furture for this game.

They are no stranger to success with the hugely popular Fortnite. Additionally, they acquired Rocket League in May 2019 which may give some signals for their plans with Fall Guys.

Unfortunately, the Fall Guys release to Xbox and Switch was delayed. However, there are rumors the Fall Guys Switch and Xbox release date will be confirmed at Gamescom.

The Experience of Rocket League

On release, Rocket League was not really a meme game in the same way that Fall Guys was. However, there is no doubt that it was a very popular game. In contrast, its player base increased steadily to around an average max of 60,000 concurrent players a day.

It remained at this level for about 3 years until the acquisition by Epic Games in May 2019. From this date, numbers climbed gradually again to about 70,000 max concurrent players a day. This was driven by a number of improvements to the game following the tie-up with Epic Games.

However, the real game-changer came on 23 September 2020 when the game became free to play. This is represented by the shaded area in the graph below and it is easy to see that the player numbers immediately jumped.

Rocket league player numbers

What this means for Fall Guys

Epic Games will have bought Fall Guys as they believe it has a big future. Indeed, the game is perfectly fitted to the free-to-play model seen in Fortnite and Rocket League. Such a move would likely see an immediate jump in players as shown with Rocket League.

Obviously, this would see a monetization move for the game, with a larger emphasis on paid player customization. However, I suspect this would prove very popular amongst new players.

Any change is unlikely to happen any time soon either. It took over a year for Rocket League to go free to play from the date of acquisition. Watch this space. Fall Guys is not dead yet.

Update – Fall Guys going Free to Play

As predicted in our analysis above, Fall Guys is going Free to Play. Indeed, the timescales almost exactly aligned with the approach Epic Games took with Rocket League. Get Fall Guys Free from the 21st of June 2022.

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