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Why Did Fall Guys Go Free-to-Play? An In-Depth Look

Hey friend! If you‘ve gotten into gaming recently, you may have noticed the colorful chaos that is Fall Guys. This wacky battle royale party game was everywhere when it launched in 2020. But over time, interest started to fade.

So why is Fall Guys suddenly free now? Did it flop?

Well, going free-to-play has actually revived the game! In this post, we’ll explore why Fall Guys made the switch and what it means for the future. Grab your crown, and let’s dive in!

Fall Guys Got Lost in the Shuffle

When it burst onto the scene, Fall Guys seemed to take over the world. The game sold over 11 million copies on PC and PlayStation in just one month. Everyone wanted to join in the zany fun!

But the honeymoon phase couldn‘t last forever. After a few months, the player base started shrinking rapidly. According to Steam charts, the peak player count looked like this:

  • August 2020: Over 60,000
  • October 2020: Around 25,000
  • June 2022: Less than 3,500

What happened? A few factors led to Fall Guys losing traction:

  • Lack of new content – After Season 2 launched, updates became infrequent. With nothing new to do, the game got repetitive.

  • Cheaters ran amok – Hacking into the game was rampant during the first year. This understandably drove away honest players.

  • Tough competition – Juggernaut games like Fortnite and Among Us stole a lot of attention. Streamers and friends moved onto the next big thing.

Suddenly, Fall Guys went from hot new title to “dead game.” But the developers at Mediatonic refused to give up on their little jelly bean people!

Free-to-Play Was the Lifeline Fall Guys Needed

In June 2022, Mediatonic announced that Fall Guys would shift to a free-to-play model. This was the boost it desperately needed:

  • Within 48 hours, over 20 million new players flooded in!

  • The concurrent player count is now regularly over 150,000 — a whopping 4,200% increase!

What drove these staggering results? Going free-to-play gave new players zero barrier to entry. Anyone who was even slightly curious could download and dive in immediately.

And we know people love free games. According to analyst Daniel Ahmad, 80% of PC gaming revenue now comes from free-to-play titles. Mediatonic smartly aligned with this trend to revive their player base.

Fall Guys Adopted the Games as a Service Model

With no more sales revenue, how would Fall Guys make money as a free title? They took a page from other successful games like Fortnite and went with the “Games as a Service” (GaaS) model.

This approach works by continually releasing new content and encouraging players to keep engaged long-term. Ongoing spending and seasonal Battle Passes become the revenue driver.

Here’s how it works in Fall Guys:

  • The Season 1 Battle Pass is free to all players
  • The Premium Season Pass costs 950 Show Bucks ($10 worth)
  • Complete challenges to earn costumes and customize your bean!
  • Direct purchase cosmetic DLC packs for real money
  • No pay-to-win mechanics or gameplay advantages

Players are incentivized to keep playing to unlock new goodies. And invested players can choose to purchase premium currency. It’s a win-win!

In 2021 alone, Fortnite generated over $5 billion with this GaaS structure. Fall Guys is hoping to replicate even a fraction of that success.

Expanding to More Platforms Was a Game Changer

When it first launched, Fall Guys was only available on PlayStation and PC. But as part of the shift to free-to-play, they expanded to Xbox and Nintendo Switch as well!

Releasing on these new platforms opened the floodgates to millions of new potential players. And Fall Guys implemented full cross-play and cross-progression across all systems. This unified approach makes it easy to squad up with friends no matter what console they use.

Accessibility was key. According to Mediatonic’s Creative Director, “We want to make sure that whether you’re a Nintendo Switch player, a PC player, or an Xbox console player – everyone can play together.” It’s a smart strategy for growth!

Efforts to Revive Fall Guys Are Paying Off

In a lot of ways, going free-to-play was Medatonic‘s hail Mary pass to get Fall Guys back in the game. They knew the charming gameplay still had untapped potential. The updates leading up to the switch showed they were committed to delivering new content consistently.

And so far, the efforts seem to be working! Just look at these stats:

  • Over 50 million players tried the game in the first 2 weeks after going free
  • Active peak player count is up over 4000%

Mediatonic called this a “new era” for Fall Guys. They plan to keep supporting it with regular level additions, features, and costumes. If they can sustain players‘ interest long-term, Fall Guys may once again cement itself as a heavy hitter!

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, going free-to-play accomplished exactly what Mediatonic hoped. By removing the $20 price tag, millions of new players flooded in to give Fall Guys a try.

Adopting the Games as a Service model provides a framework to keep delivering fresh content. And releasing on Xbox and Nintendo Switch made the chaos even more accessible.

Of course, only time will tell if Fall Guys can sustain this momentum. But for now, the playful battle royale underdog is back in the game!

I don‘t know about you, but I‘m excited to see where Fall Guys goes from here. Now if you‘ll excuse me, I have some races to win! Let me know in the comments if you decide to dive into the wackiness. I‘ll see you on the courses, my bean-loving friend!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.