In a surprising turn of events, the viral indie sensation “Only Up!” has been unceremoniously delisted from the digital shelves of the Steam store. The game, which had gained notoriety for its challenging gameplay and became a streaming darling on platforms like Twitch, is now shrouded in controversy and a cloud of uncertainty.
The decision to remove “Only Up!” from Steam came after the game’s developer, known as SCKR Games, found themselves entangled in a web of accusations. It appears that allegations of using copyrighted assets and dabbling in the controversial world of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) were the proverbial straws that broke the camel’s back. In a heartfelt message to the gaming community, SCKR Games explained their reasons for this drastic move, citing the need for peace and healing from the stress that had accompanied the game’s development.
“I’m a solo developer and this game is my first experience in Gamedev, a game I did for creativity, to test myself, and where I made a lot of mistakes,” lamented SCKR Games on their Steam page. “The game has kept me under a lot of stress all these months. Now I want to put the game behind me.”
The title, at the time of writing, had vanished from the Steam store, with its name mysteriously changed to “not available.” It’s a melancholic end to what was once a thriving gaming sensation. However, curious gamers can still catch a glimpse of its legacy through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, where a cached version of the game’s listing resides.
“Only Up!” was renowned for its maddeningly difficult gameplay, which served as both its allure and its bane. Players assumed the role of Jackie, a teenager dreaming of escaping the clutches of poverty, in a game inspired by the classic tale of “Jack and the Beanstalk.” The objective was clear: climb and parkour through intricate labyrinths of pipes and towering structures, with no safety net to catch you should you fall. The stakes only got higher as you ascended, adding a thrilling tension to each leap. To aid players in their death-defying jumps, the game included a time-slowing feature for precision.
According to data reported by PCGamesN, “Only Up!” reached its zenith with up to 280,000 concurrent viewers on Twitch. A YouTube walkthrough by ‘iShowSpeed’ (Darren Jason Watkins) amassed a staggering 5.6 million views in just two months. It’s clear that this game had captivated the gaming community with its unique blend of frustration and satisfaction.
This, however, isn’t the first time “Only Up!” has found itself in hot water. SCKR Games had previously delisted the game in late June following allegations of copyright violations. A 3D artist had accused the developer of using an unlicensed Sketchfab asset—a giant girl statue—in the game, which raised concerns since the game had a price tag of $10. In an attempt to right this wrong, the infringing statue was replaced with one of Atlas, allowing the game to return to the digital storefront in early July.
But despite these ups and downs, SCKR Games is not bowing out of the gaming scene. In their message, they hinted at a new project in the works. Titled “Kith,” it promises to be a departure from “Only Up!” with a focus on realism, a different genre, and a unique cinematic flair. The developer expressed a desire to collaborate with a small team this time, aiming to enhance their skills in game design. It’s a promising note that suggests we may yet see more creative gems from this solo developer in the future.
As “Only Up!” makes its quiet exit from Steam, we’re left with a mixture of nostalgia for the game that challenged us and curiosity about what SCKR Games has in store for us next. It’s a reminder that in the ever-evolving world of indie game development, the journey is often as compelling as the destination. Thank you for the adventure, “Only Up!”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Indie Game Controversy
Q: Why was “Only Up!” removed from Steam?
A: “Only Up!” was removed from Steam due to allegations of copyright infringement and its association with NFTs, causing controversy and stress for the developer, SCKR Games.
Q: What made “Only Up!” a popular game on Twitch?
A: “Only Up!” gained popularity on Twitch thanks to its absurdly challenging gameplay and thrilling stakes, attracting up to 280,000 concurrent viewers at its peak.
Q: Has “Only Up!” faced issues before its removal from Steam?
A: Yes, the game had been delisted once before due to copyright violations related to unlicensed assets, but it returned with necessary changes.
Q: What can we expect from SCKR Games in the future?
A: SCKR Games is planning a new project called “Kith,” which will offer a different genre, cinematic elements, and a focus on realism, possibly with a small team involved.
More about Indie Game Controversy
- PCGamesN – Source of information about the removal of “Only Up!” from Steam.
- Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine – Where a cached version of the game’s Steam listing can be found.
- Twitch – The platform where “Only Up!” gained popularity with up to 280,000 concurrent viewers.
- ‘iShowSpeed’ YouTube Channel – The YouTube channel featuring a popular “Only Up!” walkthrough with 5.6 million views.
- Sketchfab – The platform where the original copyright issue with “Only Up!” arose.