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Ninja, G2 Esports, and others get Fall Guys skins after pledging $1 million

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout’s “Battle of the Brands” charity competition is over, and four new skins will come to the battle royale game based on the highest bidder: A team of Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, G2 Esports, Aim Lab, and Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson.

All four winners banded together Monday, August 31, and pledged to donate more than $1 million to SpecialEffect, a U.K. charity that specializes in increasing accessibility for disabled gamers around the world.

SpecialEffect posted a series of thank you tweets in response to the gesture, writing, “This incredible donation will be invaluable in making up our funding shortfall due to COVID-19. We’ll be able to continue an uninterrupted service to create new gaming opportunities for disabled people everywhere.”

The charity drive began over two weeks ago when developer Mediatonic decided to turn Twitter engagement from brands asking for skins into a competition. Within a week of bidding, Ninja quickly became one of the front runners by pledging $420,000.69 to SpecialEffect. The popular streamer upped the ante earlier by joining forces with three other bidders right before the bidding challenge closed.

Shortly after Ninja made the announcement, Mediatonic ended the competition and declared them the winners via the Fall Guys’ Twitter account. The tweet calls the quartet “probably the spiciest team up since The Avengers??????”


THE WINNERS ARE:@G2esports @Ninja @AimLab @MrBeastYT

With a combined donation of $1,000,000 for @SpecialEffect

Probably the spiciest team up since The Avengers??????

— Fall Guys ???? (@FallGuysGame) August 31, 2020

Mediatonic confirmed that all four members of the winning effort will receive an in-game costume. The studio says that the game’s artists will collaborate with each winner on their skin. All four participants already shared design concepts, including a Ninja costume sporting his signature blue hair. Mister Beast’s design includes a photo of his face pasted on top of a pink skin.

The two-week bidding war saw many companies stepping up to pledge money. Among the most notable names were Digital Extremes, representing its looter-shooter Warframe, and Tushy, a bidet company that proposed a unique, peach-themed costume.

Mediatonic did not give a timetable for when the new costumes might make their way into the game. The studio is currently prepping for Fall Guys’ medieval-themed second season, which was recently revealed at GamesCom.

Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
How Fall Guys went from playground whimsy to the summer’s smash hit
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Inspiration for one of the summer’s hottest games came from the simplest of places: The playground.
While spending time with his children in parks and playgrounds, Rob Jackson, the lead artist on Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, imagined the silly chaos of hordes of kids bouncing off slides and through monkey bars.
The thought helped him craft the game’s colorful levels and its unathletic but try-hard bean characters, a term the game’s creators did not coin but acknowledge. The Fall Guys model is simple but gripping. The player controls the "bean," which is designed to look like sweets, through a vivid obstacle course, trying to make it through to the next round. The last bean standing wins.
“The character is specifically designed to be the least appropriate to be participating in the game he’s in,” Jackson told Digital Trends. “They have maximum motivation but minimum physical capabilities, but they never give up. They always keep going.”
There are other inspirational touchstones as well. Ice cream, candy, stickers, vinyl characters, and even course-driven game shows like Takeshi’s Castle and Wipeout all played a part in forming the game’s aesthetic.
There wasn’t an aha moment at developer Mediatonic’s headquarters when pitching the game, but the team did have a sense of what they wanted to create, Jackson says.
They wanted it to feel bright and colorful, safe and silly, but also chaotic and loose. They wanted the contrast of a game where a player needed to have some skill but also knew that at any moment something could go wrong.

Making it to the finish line
To meet the game’s deadline, there were crunch issues, the developers said, complicated by quarantines. Launch day was especially chaotic. Too many people wanted to play, and the servers couldn’t keep up. The team of 48 scrambled. The game’s official Twitter account pleaded for patience, and unruly gamers took to Steam to review-bomb the game. Other gamers positive-bombed it back.
“Everyone watched the numbers with stunned amazement," Jackson says.
A week after its launch, it sold 2 million copies on Steam and accrued 23 million hours watched on Twitch, according to numbers provided by Mediatonic. For the week of August 17, Fall Guys was the No. 1 overall game throughout Twitch and YouTube, beating goliaths like Fortnite, League of Legends, and Call of Duty.
The game was featured as a free game for PS Plus members, and although Mediatonic won’t discuss sales on that platform, all signs point to a successful launch there as well.
Piers Harding-Rolls, a gaming analyst at Ampere Analysis, says it’s the way the game expertly joins chaos and color. The team at Mediatonic took the playground and candy inspiration and gave players of all age a real change behind the fun visuals.
“It combines many elements of the most popular games that are available today in a unique package. It is both familiar, drawing on other types of entertainment, for example, Wipeout. [It's] social, easy to play, and competitive,” Harding-Rolls says.
A big part of the appeal is character customization. Players can change outfits, patterns, colors, and gestures. Options include versions of popular video game characters like Gordon from Half-Life, or seemingly random costumes like a pineapple. Gamers use in-game currency, Kudos and Crowns, to purchase these aesthetics. Therein lies another draw. Kudos is awarded after each playthrough, or show, based on how well you competed. Crowns, however, are only given to winners with a few thrown in as leveling-up rewards. This also keeps the player coming back for more rounds.
“The gameplay has some depth and strategy to it, so longer-term players will continue to find it engaging,” Harding-Rolls says.

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The item, called Big Yeetus, is a hammer that randomly spawns to whack players around the level. The second season of Fall Guys begins next month and will feature a medieval theme. But the developers hinted that Big Yeetus will start to appear in the first season still underway -- and no one knows exactly when.

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Various PlayStation Twitter accounts announced the accolade on Wednesday morning, posting, "As of today, Fall Guys is the most downloaded PS Plus game of all time on a global basis."

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