While many indie developers are struggling to find a way to deal with the problem of piracy, there is yet another equally big problem for them, obscurity. As big a problem as piracy is, it does have one thing going for it that obscurity doesn't, people actually playing the game. It is this lack of people playing that has resulted in Gun Monkeys creator Size Five Games to take a novel approach to combating it.
You see, Gun Monkeys is an online multiplayer game. It requires people to be online playing together in order to be fun. Unfortunately, not very many people were online with it which resulted in a ton of potential players being stuck in the waiting room for other people to play with.
“It’s a unique solution to a frustrating situation”, typed Size Five Games’ Dan Marshall. “Despite universally positive reviews, Gun Monkeys just hasn’t sold enough to keep servers perpetually-buzzing with players. It’s infuriating, but the important thing to do now is to make sure the people who have bought the game can enjoy it as intended.”
So what did Size Five do? They decided to give away free Steam codes if a player waits too long for someone to play with. That's right. If you can't find anyone to play with, you will get a free Steam code to give to friend so that they can get the game and play with you.
"As of the most recent update, if you’re sitting on an empty server for a few minutes, and no one comes along to play against, the game will now fling you a free Steam key for you to gift to a chum."
The goal is to get more people playing the game which in turns would increase word of mouth and result in more sales. And it seems to be working too. This update has been published in a number of media outlets (including us) and is spreading fast.
We wish Size Five Games all the best of luck in this experiment in battling obscurity and wish all those playing Gun Monkeys lots of fun.