Whether this news is indicative of the battle royale genre’s popularity, the unapologetically lackadaisical level of quality control of the Steam store, or the fact that people will play any free game is up for debate. The fact remains; Totally Accurate Battlegrounds, a spoof game of the battle royale genre, debuted to some atonishingly strong numbers.
Totally Accurate Battlegrounds, or TABG for short, first arrived to Steam on Tuesday, June 5th. Since then, Githyp has reported that the shooter landed with a peak concurrency of 20k players and arrived at the #11 spot for the most played game on the platform. To put that in perspective, that number nearly doubles the 12k debut concurrency of battle royale shooters The Darwin Project and Radical Heights.
A large part of that popularity may well be owed to TABG’s free-to-play offer, which lets those who download the game within its first 100 hours keep it for free forever. After that, the game will cost $4.99 to pay for expenses such as server cost. At the time of this writing, then, that makes TABG free for a little over a day.
Originally created as an April Fool’s joke, TABG makes no apologies for its current state. The Steam page describes the shooter as a place where “everything is silly and possibly a bit buggy” as players take control of “a bunch of physics-based weirdos”. Regardless, the Steam reviews currently stand at Very Positive overall.
It would appear that the devs at Landfall are updating things regularly according to the latest notes on its news section, too. So, y’know, go figure.
There’s a surprisingly large amount of things to mentally unpack here. On the one hand, there’s something to be said of how this game is indicative of the state of the battle royale craze and the consumer/storefront relationship of Steam. On the other hand, what’s the harm in a goofy game if people are finding it fun? Well, that harm can come in anyone with a copy of Unreal Engine to make any stupid game they like. But who is the arbiter of stupid?