Once so many players die in the asymmetrical multiplayer thriller The Flock, the game itself will die as well.
In one of the more interesting press releases we've ever received, developer Vogelsap said with each death in the game, one life will be taken from The Flock's population, thus putting the lifespan of the game into the players’ hands.
This is how it works, from our understanding: once the game is released on Steam in Q3 of this year, every time a player dies in the game, it will drop the game population. Once that population reaches zero, "the game will never be purchasable again."
Only players who have The Flock in their Steam library will then be able to partake in the yet to be announced climactic finale.
After the ending, the game will go offline permanently and no longer be playable.
To keep track of the deaths, players can look at the population countdown which will be embedded in the game’s menu. It will also be on the game's Steam store page, Vogelsap’s website and the game's sub-reddit.
If you are unfamiliar with The Flock, the Dutch Game Award winner for ‘Best Student Game’ was allowed to skip Valve's greenlight process and go straight to the store upon being ready.
In teams of three and five, users take on the roll of a “hunter lurking in the shadows.” The goal is to become the prey, which is the key to winning the game.
Each player begins as a member of the Flock, and out of nowhere on the game map, a Light Artifact will suddenly appear. The first player who touches the Light Artifact will transform into the Carrier, who then becomes the hunted. The only way of winning a match, is to survive as the Carrier while keeping the light lit or to capture objectives.
The Flock are a "tragic race" in the game doomed to extinction by being attracted to the light of the Artifact. The attraction will lead to their death or transformation into a whole other being. This concept resulted in the studio's idea of a population countdown.
“A multiplayer game can take players to incredible heights, but at some point gamers will start to play less, get disinterested and stop playing altogether,” said Jeroen Van Hasselt, the studio's creative director.
“In opposition to other multiplayer games, we want The Flock’s experience to inspire a sense of awe, to keep players eagerly anticipating what is coming next and to end with a memorable climax.”
So, in short, once The Flock is released on Steam in Q3, if you want the game you better buy it as soon as possible. The length of time the game will be available depends on the death rate of players, so it can either take years to end, or days.
To find out more on the game, visit the official website.