I thought Twitch couldn’t get crazier after watching a couple of fish playing Street Fighter against each other. It turns out I was wrong, because now we’re about to witness a game made exclusively for streamers.
Made by a team led by popular YouTuber creator Criken, I.C.U. is an “interactive horror game show”, which managed to get funded on Kickstarter for $50,000 in a single day. The game offers a Twitch-integrated experience in which streamers attempt to avoid monsters and traverse horror-inspired levels. While the main goal is to reach several safe zones without dying, a ruthless Twitch chat triggers nasty in-game events through a web-based voting system.
The game’s development seems to already be well underway, judging by a video featuring Sam Thorne’s ‘Strippin‘ playing through an early build on his own Twitch stream. While the video reveals a slightly uninspired level reminiscent of the oh-so-familiar Slenderman, it also shows the game’s contestant getting shrunk, pushed into a monster and made dizzy, all thanks to chat votes coming in from viewers.
With a sarcastic and benevolent announcer commenting on most in-game happenings, it’s clear that I.C.U. tries to feel like a cheesy horror show. The game will also feature episodic content with different areas, enemies and unique chat commands, which further develops the concept of a game show with separate seasons.
Some Important Questions
That being said, the Kickstarter leaves out a few important details regarding the game’s Twitch integration. While it’s mentioned that viewers can vote for in-game events using a “web user interface”, it isn’t clear if there are any special perks for non-players who have purchased a copy. We also know that participating in the chat earns you I.C.U. coins that can later be used to affect the streamer’s game instantaneously. However, all pledge tiers above $250 mention a “boosted I.C.U. coin earning rate”, which suggests that stream participation might not be entirely free.
Whatever the case, it’s clear that I.C.U. will rely heavily on viewership and public hype. And with such a niche idea, it’d certainly be interesting to see how successful the game ends up from a financial standpoint.