August 12, 2016
One of the biggest trends is social gaming, the practice of teaming up with friends and strangers to engage in an experience that involves real people working with or against each other. One of the most prominent, earlier examples of social gaming is World of Warcraft – a game that was once extremely popular which is now on the decline due to newer games. Taking market share away from World of Warcraft are a series of new social games, including the strategy game Town of Salem.
Town of Salem, a game of murder, deception, lying and mob hysteria, is a browser-based game that challenges players on their ability to convincingly lie as well as detect when other players are lying. Players are divided into categories: Serial Killers, Neutrals, Mafia, Arsonists, and Town, with 7 to 15 players in each game. The goal of the Town Members is to hunt down the Mafia and the other bad guys before they attack the Town Members. The twist is that you don’t know who is a villain and who is a Town member. While the Mafia seeks to discreetly kill the other players, the Town members must identify the Mafia and vote them guilty before it’s too late.
So far, the game’s success has been remarkable, with over 800,000 monthly active users and 4 million registered users. The game’s success is magnified by the fact that it was created only two years ago.
When asked about the foundation of their success, CEO Josh Brittain said:
“BlankMediaGames has been successful because we focus on creating unique social experiences through gaming. Our product offers users a social experience they can’t find with any other game and that’s why they keep coming back for more. Town of Salem is all about social deduction, manipulation and deceit. Discovering how good you might be at lying and tricking other players online activates parts of your brain that other games just aren’t focused on.”
The game is unique. This isn’t just another first person shooter or your typical race car game that many new companies continuously try to re-emulate. Town of Salem brings a breath of fresh air to the gaming world, and users are recognizing it. The ability to interact with other users in a collaborative or deceitful way is something that players can’t get in other games.
In spreading the word, Town of Salem as established a presence on YouTube, Twitch and are even holding a pre-release party for their card game. They have rented out the Artisan Hotel in Las Vegas for a 1 night pre-release party on the 29th of August. They have been getting ready for the event by giving away rooms and tickets to Kickstarter backers and selling tickets for those that didn’t participate in the Kickstarter. They will be playing prototypes of the game and giving out swag, autographs and more to event goers. The event will be covered by several news outlets, and is expected to attract even more users.
The founders, Josh Brittain and Blake Burns, only 27 years old, have already ported the game from the web and Steam to tablets and are planning a phone release soon.
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