After “Goose Goose Duck,” a social deduction game produced by Gaggle Studios, became popular in China, its server crashed repeatedly and the firm had to halt service to carry out maintenance. On January 11, the developer posted a message in the Steam community for the game, saying that maintenance is progressing smoothly now and denying rumors that the game has been acquired or distributed by Tencent.
Goose Goose Duck was released for free download on the Steam platform in October 2021, and its average amount of users remained at around 10,000. The game is based on a rich identity system in which players are mainly divided into three camps – good people, neutral people and killers. The conditions for victory of good people and killers are the same as those in traditional werewolf games, while the neutral team needs to meet some special conditions in order to win. For example, vultures need to eat two or three corpses to win, while dull birds must find ways to get people to vote and kick themselves out.
These unique designs have not been enough to support the game’s popularity in China. What has really driven its success is the rich clipped videos and livestreaming materials. In October last year and even earlier, various top livestream anchors were playing this game. In December, professional players livestreaming the game promoted its further spread.
On January 2, the number of online players of Goose Goose Duck exceeded 470,000, causing the server to crash that night. After that, players poured into major social platforms to search for the game, and the next day, it appeared on the trending topics list compiled by Weibo and Bilibili.
Judging from an announcement issued by the development team, it can be seen that the popularity of the game in China caught them off guard. Gaggle Studios was founded in 2020, and the size of the company is between 11 and 50 people. The studio focuses primarily on social games, and its official website shows that besides Goose Goose Duck, it has also launched online escape games.
Limited by the game server, if Chinese players want to log in to Goose Goose Duck, a game accelerator is essential. When the server crashed many times in early January, the development team announced continuously that the number of gamers exceeded expectations and the team was working hard to solve the problem. In addition, they revealed in December last year that the game had been attacked by hackers.
Income and user retention are the keys to determining how long the game life will be. In mid-December, 2022, Gaggle Studios announced cooperation with Xiaoheihe, a game accelerator in China, to solve the recharge problem of local players. Seizing the opportunity of the Chinese market and launching a mobile version is the next plan for Gaggle Studios. It is actively looking for cooperative companies and publishers in China, but has not signed any agreements yet.
Goose Goose Duck has attracted the attention of many domestic manufacturers. According to enterprise information query platform Qichacha, the domestic trademark of Goose Goose Duck has been applied for registration by Wuhan Mingyou Network Technology Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wuhan Weipai Network Technology Co., Ltd., which has developed and operated many products, such as Snake Battle.