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Viral game Content Warning hits 200,000 concurrent players

Content Warning was claimed by millions of players during its free April Fools' Day window.
content warning steam concurrents

To celebrate April Fools’ Day 2024, Landfall Publishing revealed a fun surprise: a co-op horror game called Content Warning, which was free to claim for a full 24 hours. While the game was seemingly designed to be a light-hearted parody of games like Phasmophobia and Lethal Company, it’s had such rampant success since launch that it may be the next big viral hit.

In the 24-hour window that Content Warning was free to claim on Steam, around 6 million players grabbed it. While not all of them actually made time to play it, the game still hit a peak player count of 204,439 on launch day, making it a near-instant success.

Landfall Publishing won’t profit from the many free copies given away, but the move has driven strong interest in the title. Making Content Warning free for a limited time has immediately drawn attention to the game from streamers, influencers, and media, while also giving the game a higher profile than it may have otherwise had.

Read: Lethal Company devs warn of “scam” mobile game

Beyond its unique April Fools’ Day marketing hook, Content Warning has enjoyed sustained success over the past two days for its tongue-in-cheek approach to co-op horror, and its streaming potential. In the game, you are an amateur filmmaker who travels to another planet, and must then record any horrors you encounter.

With each loop, you run into new monsters and scares, making it replayable, and consistently surprising. Games that continuously hit the top of the streaming charts tend to be multiplayer co-op games with that sense of shock and awe, and it appears Content Warning understands the needed ingredients well.

In addition to moreish gameplay, the title has a cute aesthetic – but its monsters are fairly spooky, making it an eclectic mix of wholesome and scary. It’s the sort of approach that made Poppy’s Playtime and Five Nights At Freddy’s so endearing to younger audiences.

As of writing, Content Warning has a positive rating on Steam, with many reviews praising its silly tone, rewarding and fun gameplay, and its multiplayer potential. While the game may have started life as a fun joke, it appears it may well exceed all expectations. Whether it can sustain interest into the future is another matter, but for now, it appears Landfall Publishing’s April Fools’ Day celebration has worked a treat.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.