Punch Club
A screenshot from Punch Club.Tiny Build Games

Update: Tiny Build Games have gone back on their initial plan to withhold the game's sale, apologising for their messaging in a Steam Community post and stating that the game will be released on 25 January or whenever Twitch beats the game before that date. This plan was not included in the press release sent to IBTimes UK that served as the basis of this story.

The game should be beaten over the next few days however. At the time of writing this update the game is at 65% completion.

Original story: Publisher Tiny Build Games has taken the bizarre measure to withhold its indie boxing management sim Punch Club from sale until the game has been beaten by Twitch users. The publicity stunt has drawn inspiration from the Twitch Plays Pokémon phenomenon in 2014, which saw thousands of Twitch commenters input commands for the game to then follow.

Punch Club was first revealed in the summer of 2015 and is set to be released on PC through Steam and on iOS sometime after. The Twitch page reads: "Of course, it might all go horribly wrong. What if Twitch users don't work well together? What if they don't train hard enough? What if they don't punch enough ninja crocodiles in the face? Maybe we'll just never get to launch the game. That would be a bummer, but hey, we're willing to take that risk. For science."

Of course it will release the game eventually no matter what and so long as the amount of Twitch users remains low, there's a good chance it will be completed. At the time of writing, there are around 700 active viewers with a total viewership of over 6,500.

Twitch Plays Pokémon was played by tens of thousands of people at once, adopting various modes of tackling the strange concept during its lengthy one. Often it would be a barrage of commands taken in by the game whenever it was next ready to accept one, then a timed-voting method for each command was introduced, followed by a method that allowed users to switch between the two methods, called democracy and chaos.

It took 16 full days for the game to be completed. The bizarre social experiment captured the industry's attention, providing a lot of fun, many genuinely tense moments and even a strange cult. Attempts to replicate its success have failed since then but various incarnations of Twitch Plays are still active today, including Punch Club.

Twitch Plays Punch Club has adopted a vote-based method (the easiest method to ensure completion) and is offering free Steam codes in the comments section for every successful fight. As it stands, the game is 31% completed.

Punch Club is a management sim/RPG developed by LazyBearGames that sees the player character eat, train and travel to various locations across town as they embark on a career in boxing. We played and quite enjoyed our brief time with the game back at EGX in September.

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