Diablo creator and Blizzard North co-founder David Brevik is a big fan of the viral bullet hell game Vampire Survivors, which quickly took over Steam and simultaneously fueled Brevik’s plans to make his own smaller games. and more greedy.
Vampire Survivors is a lite rogue-like where you cleave through thousands of ghouls, goblins, bats, and other monsters using only the power of WASD – and some Castlevania-esque weapons that you automatically collect, upgrade, and fire when you move around. I immediately hooked when I tried it last Februaryand since launching in December 2021, it has racked up over 71,000 overwhelmingly positive reviews on Steam while still in early access, the majority of which have been pouring in over the past two months.
Brevik thinks the runaway success of Vampire Survivors is fully deserved. Speaking to GamesRadar+, he explains that he first discovered the game through his Twitch and Discord community, which he and his wife have been building for over five years.
“Some people started talking about it and that’s how I discovered the game,” he says. “They seemed to be having a great time. I was curious so I went to Steam and when I saw the reviews and the price I thought I’d give it a try. I didn’t even know much about the game at that time. indicate.”
“I’ve played it a lot more than other things I’ve played lately,” he continues. “I wouldn’t say I’ve put in as many hours as other people I know, but it’s been my most played game over the last few months. I just don’t have a lot of time for them. games right now. I’ve really enjoyed my playing time and I keep going back and playing more.”
Solo Developer Pumice continues to update Vampire Survivors with new items, secrets, and playable characters that keep its simple formula from becoming stale. Brevik believes that its popularity is also due to its accessibility and dynamism thanks to its streamlined gameplay loop.
“I would say it’s closer to mobile design than anything else,” he says, pointing to the game Archero for reference. “The actual mechanics are great. Every race is different; infinite replayability, short sessions, what people call ‘rogue-like’ progression (progress, die, upgrade your account, repeat). The controls are great because you just need to focus on a few things. Removing the shot and going from a twin-stick shooter to a passive shooter dodge-fest is different. Plus, it’s a really inclusive control system and allows players with disabilities to play too. And because it’s so simple, it’s easy to understand, you don’t need any tutorials.”
In a Tweeter, Brevik pointed out that, like Among Us, Vampire Survivors have benefited immensely from the exposure generated by YouTubers and Twitch streamers. Many of gaming’s biggest content creators have played the game, and over the past few weeks in particular, Vampire Survivors has become a popular choice among Japanese YouTubers and Vtubers – including YouTube’s biggest Vtuber, Hololive’s Gawr Gura — which helped take his word-of-mouth virality to new regions and new fans.
Vampire Survivors is easy to get into, hard to put down, and extremely cheap – just $3 at full price and $2.69 during its frequent sales. Brevik says he was interested in making smaller games around that scale and price, and Vampire Survivors has become another encouraging example of this type of project well above its weight.
“I currently have multiple jobs, so I don’t have time to do a big project on my own, but I thought something smaller might be possible,” says Brevik. “I realize that Vampire Survivors is an outlier and there are a lot of low cost games that are never watched, but it’s an interesting way to bring attention to a project. It’s hard to stand out on Steam with hundreds of games released It’s also a fact that the average game on Steam fetches around $1,500 lifetime, so don’t expect much.
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