Muse Games vs Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy wreaked havok on the East Coast in late October, hitting New York City on October 29th. The new airship battle game (that will get a review here shortly) Guns of Icarus Online was slotted to release the same day. Now, the informed among you may realize that it did actually release – but their office was without power. How did this happen?

An epic adventure, really.

One of their employees, Conrad, braved the flooded, unlit city streets on a bicycle to recover the game from the darkened offices. After sneaking in a side door and convincing the on-duty security guard that he was legit, he took a server and a monitor and went to Bubbles’ place (via busses, which were running again). Computer set up, they launched the game.

But that’s not all.

One thing that Guns of Icarus Online has is the microtransaction store for cosmetic items for your character – hats, jackets, etc, all in the awesome steampunk style. In-store right now, they have two hats (one male, one female) where all the proceeds will go to hurricane relief.

So the takeaway: after braving the hurricane to launch their game on time, the guys over at Muse Games are now sending proceeds to help others who may not have been so lucky. That’s pretty much just awesome.

Now, I’m not saying that you should put yourself in harms way for the sake of your craft – but the fact that this Conrad fellow did is refreshing. I mean, let’s face it. A lot of the AAA games have passionate people on-board, but they can easily be drowned out by suits or bad managers; people who tell them that they should make a new ending because the audience didn’t like it, or people who backpedal by saying that even though we said this game would be awesome, it sucked, but the next game will be awesome. That’s what makes this moment so restorative of my faith in the games industry: a person put himself in harms way so that the game wouldn’t be released late. Guns of Icarus is a labour of love – and that’s really great to see.