A little-known indie game under the name Geneshift has reached the 10th place on the list of most played games in the history of Steam. There is nothing we love more when a small studio or an individual developer, which is actually the case here, succeed. The problem is that this position hasn’t come the natural way, but it was the combination of excellent marketing and, unfortunately, bots.
If you take a look at Steam Charts, you will notice Geneshift among the top records with more than 213,000 concurrent gamers playing it. If you compare it to the current list of peak players, that would place the game in the fourth position ahead of GTA V and Monster Hunter: World. It is impressive statistics if you keep in mind that just one guy made this title.
The story behind Geneshift
Here is the story behind it – the author named Ben is an active participant in Reddit discussions. During one of the debates, he pointed out that somebody should make a game featuring Battle Royale sessions that do not last more than two minutes. The community dared him to do just that and he listened!
Once he had the mode ready, he wanted to promote it by allowing everyone to download it for free during the first couple of days. The promotion of Reddit garnered great results and Ben could be satisfied. However, this is when someone figured out that you can play Geneshift for free and earn trading cards, which could then be sold on Steam.
The whole problem occurred because Geneshift is otherwise a premium game (pay to play), which are the only ones allowed to have sellable trading cards. During the promotion, the title was offered for free and cheaters utilized bots to try and earn money. However, Valve soon noticed that something weird is going on and turned off the feature.
Not only the player number went down, but some players were angered because they lost their cards earned fair and square. This resulted in some negative feedback, but nobody can deny Ben that his game made the top 10 list.
If you want, you can try the limited access demo of Geneshift or use the Steam’s winter sale and purchase the game on discount. It is a fun BR inspired by Grand Theft Auto 2 and not that bad game at all. They say every type of publicity is good publicity, so we are hoping that the game will benefit from this.