The downfall of Fall Guys


Kaelyn Savard

The seemingly promising video game release of Fall Guys is out shined by the popularity of its competitor, Among Us.

Alex Jannone and Ethan Sequeira

Mediatonic’s Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout found its five seconds of fame in the fall of 2020 after being initially released in August of the same year. With many customers being stuck inside the house due to COVID-19, it seemed like the perfect time for the game developers to release their next project. The battle-royale type game took the internet by storm, managing to destroy the gaming market with 2 million sales on PC by the end of the first week. The future of Mediatonic was looking bright as the fanbase anticipated the release of the game’s second season. However, the guys were not the only thing falling as summer turned to autumn. The developers were soon faced with a rapid decline in sales as the fanbase directed their attention to other upcoming indie games. Although the project was short-lived, the rise and fall of Fall Guys will always be a story of a legacy that started on one fateful day.

On August 4 of 2020, the small game developing company known as Mediatonic released their newest project, known as Fall Guys on PlayStation 4 and Steam. The video game proposed an interesting spin on the battle-royale (or last man standing) genre, and could even be interpreted as a hybrid racing game. With a very animated and cartoon-like graphic style, the game appealed to people of all ages, which aided the growth of the project throughout the month of August. 

The game summons the player into a virtual world alongside 59 opponents and requires them to dodge colorful and zany obstacles as they race to the finish line. After surviving a series of rounds, a select few of the original 60 players advance to the final task. In this last round, the remaining contenders race to the top of Fall Mountain to seek the golden crown. The first player that is able to reach the crown wins the game and will receive the satisfaction of victory over a pool of 59 opponents.

The project was receiving attention throughout a multitude of platforms, but a large portion of the early fame came from Twitch, an online service meant for broadcasting and viewing games. It was also heavily prevalent on YouTube where popular content creators such as PewDiePie and FlightReacts advertised the game to their audience. There was a lot to be satisfied with for Mediatonic as the game had reached an all-time high in players. By the end of August, Sony announced that Fall Guys had reached numbers one and four for the top charts on the PlayStation Store for Europe and the United States, respectively. Unfortunately, as the timeless saying goes, the bigger they are the harder they fall.  

A chart depicting Fall Guys ranking on the Playstation Store of the US and Europe. Credit: Playstation.Blog.

So how did an upcoming game that achieved historic PlayStation Plus downloads crumble so quickly? The most logical explanation would be due to the explosion in popularity of another indie game from InnerSloth known as Among Us. In just the month of September, when Fall Guys lost 46.26% of their player base, Among Us was simultaneously increasing their player base by 708.66%. Fall Guys barely survived the next few months as their player base continued to decline, while Among Us persevered and rapidly increased their fanbase during the same time period. InnerSloth seemed to have struck gold with their project, and the unprecedented numbers are most likely what led to the downfall of Mediatonic’s creation.

Foothill students witnessed the rise and fall of the project firsthand. Chase Nielsen ‘22 noted that “It was a pretty well-known game for a while, and then it lost its hype all of a sudden and was kinda forgotten about.” Niyam Reddy ‘22 agreed with Chase’s sentiment and added that “fall guys took the back seat and faded away.” Reddy also acknowledged the game’s fun multiplayer aspect, and explained that “Fall guys was just a fun game to play with friends.”

Ryan Medina ‘22 argued that Fall Guys consisted of too much repetition, and added that “even with updates it didn’t change that much, allowing games like Among Us to come in and take over.” Medina referred to Among Us as a party game, most likely due to the fact that the project allows 10 friends to participate in the game together, while Fall Guys only allows parties of 4. 

In the month of November, Among Us has been faced with a 35% decline in the fanbase, possibly hinting at an unfortunate demise of Fall Guys’ successor. This data begs the question: What will be the next superstar indie game that steals the throne of what came before?

What do you think?