Fall Guys came at right time for people during pandemic, lead designer says

Launching Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout in the midst of a pandemic was the uplifting relief that people needed, the game’s lead designer has said.

The award-winning title has sold more than 11 million copies on PC alone and became the most downloaded PlayStation Plus game of all time, according to British developer Mediatonic, which celebrated its 15th anniversary this year.

Joe Walsh, one of the creators of Fall Guys, told the PA news agency the game is “a thousand times bigger than anything I have personally worked on” but its sudden success in 2020 comes with “a lot of pressure”.

Fall Guys
Fall Guys recently launched its third season, which has a winter theme (Mediatonic/PA)

“I’ve always been confident that the idea would resonate well with people but, you know, we joked internally about selling 100,000 copies or 500,000 copies,” he said.

“That comes with a lot of pressure, a lot of sudden focus on the team, which has been quite tough to deal with as a development team but, you know, ultimately, this is everything we wanted for the game, was to reach a community like this and it’s really blown us away.

“Fall Guys represents our identity as a studio and really it’s the first time we’ve ever been able to put forward something which is truly ours, with the support of Devolver.”

Mr Walsh said the game’s release not only offered relief during the pandemic but also as “something cosy” after a number of “gritty, dark single-player games”.

Joe Walsh is lead game designer for Fall Guys
Joe Walsh is lead game designer for Fall Guys (Mediatonic/Joe Walsh/PA)

“I think that Fall Guys has come at the right time for a lot of people and it’s not something we really planned or, you know, it wasn’t that we suddenly rushed the game out, it just happened that the release window that we were shooting for fell within the current climate and we were heads down, just trying to get the game out anyway,” he told PA.

“We had a lot of people reach out to us and say that something this uplifting, something this funny and cute and entertaining is exactly what people needed and I think at the time, we came off a string of very high-profile, gritty dark single-player games, which I think are great, and I love, but at least personally Fall Guys was kind of what I thought the world needed at that point in terms of gaming.

“People kind of felt the same way about Animal Crossing as well at the time, it’s just something cosy somehow about Fall Guys, even though it’s crazy slapstick, very intense, it’s just you can just jump on and not stress too much about it and I think that’s exactly what was needed.”

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