The last few months have been interesting for Movie Battles 2. After the incident around October that halted development completely while we picked up the pieces left behind, the only thing that was on our mind was moving forward. We wanted to show the community that has continued to support this game through hard times that something as simple as a complete loss in data and the age and decay of the engine weren't enough to keep us down, and that despite all of these hardships development would continue pushing forward.
November brought an obstacle for us to overcome: the release of Star Wars: Battlefront. We expected our numbers to drop further with the release of DICE's latest... masterpiece. We figured, it wasn't really possible to compete with another Star Wars title, especially one with the backing of a publisher like EA. Surprisingly, or unsurprisingly if you follow video game reviews made by well-known youtubers and streamers, we barely noticed a loss in population after the release of Battlefront. Guess you know you've done something right when TotalBiscuit, during a discussion on the Co-Optional podcast, compares a mod made by a collaboration of dozens of people over a 13 year period during their free time, to a Triple A title with millions of dollars in resources at their disposal.
December started off like any other month. Holiday vacation was rearing to start for a lot of people around the world, and with the the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens reminding people of good ol' MB2, we were seeing pretty expected increases in player population. We figured to be around the same spot as last year going into the release of the movie, and didn't really hold out any hope that the golden years of Movie Battles 2 would come again.
Then around the time of the Winter Sale, we started seeing a pretty abnormal increase in total concurrent players, which we could only explain as fallout from the movie release about a week prior and the dropping in price of Jedi Academy to $2.00. Then it was pointed out to us that RockPaperShotgun, following the debut of the movie, published an article listing their top 10 Star Wars PC games of all time. Jedi Academy was a respectable #9 on their list, but what drew our attention was the mention and recommendation of Movie Battles in the article. They even got the URL for the new website right! Add a Steam featured review and we got our explanation.
With all of that publicity our numbers continued steadily rising. We followed the progress as it was happening, engrossed by the phenomenon that was our total concurrent players.
December 26, 2015: Most players online were 199.
December 27, 2015: Most players online were 213.
January 1, 2016: Most players online were 315.
January 3, 2016: Most players online were 414.
In roughly a week we had gone from just under 200 concurrent players, to just over 400. That doesn't seem like a lot of people, but for a mod of a 13 year old title it's astounding.
Only two things really need to be said here, I think. To the community that has endeared with us all of these years, through the hard times and the good; thank you. And to all of you joining us in-game for the first time, welcome; we hope you enjoy playing this game as much as we have working on it. As we promised those months ago, developing will continue pushing forward, and we'll continue pushing out updates and new content hopefully for years to come.
And an added bonus, some screenshots courtesy of MaceMadunusus: