In the first ever Permanent Alternate Reality Game, you join the ranks of The Black Watchmen, a paramilitary group dedicated to protecting the public from dangerous phenomena beyond human understanding: ritualistic murder, occult secret societies, and the paranormal, to name but a few.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (161 reviews) - 88% of the 161 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 25, 2015

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June 25

Ahnayro Launch and Sandbox Missions


We are pleased to announce that Ahnayro is now on Steam Early Access! We’ll need your feedback and support to make the game a truly excellent extension of The Black Watchmen’s Alternate Reality Game universe.

Ahnayro Steam Early Access:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/449730

As part of the launch event, the last two missions of the Ahnayro Sandbox campaign have been created. They are now available in The Black Watchmen game client in the Sandbox section. Complete the Sandbox and you’ll receive a special Steam achievement!

Thank you again for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you in the dream world of Ahnayro.

1 comments Read more

June 4

NITE Team 4 on Greenlight!


Click here to get NITE team 4 Alpha on Greenlight!

THE BLACK WATCHMEN EXPAND IT'S UNIVERSE WITH NITE TEAM 4
We are excited to announce the launch of NITE Team 4 on Greenlight! We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to launch the game in the Steam Community and get feedback on our alpha. We are also working on a special section of content in NITE Team 4 that will only be accessible to Cybertech agents in The Black Watchmen.

5 comments Read more

Reviews

“If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, The Black Watchmen is an excellent introduction to alternate reality games, successfully merging an engaging fictional world with real-world activities and challenging puzzles that are best solved collaboratively with other players.”
90/100 – Adventure Gamers

“The puzzles are clever, the storyline is engaging, and the eerie background music and creepy videos help set the stage for sinister happenings.”
5/5 – Gameinformer

About This Game

Warning:


This is not your typical game: The Black Watchmen is unlike any other game on Steam. You will have the opportunity to complete tasks unique to PARGs. You must be prepared: There is no virtual world, and you have no in-game avatar. You have an agent name, your wits, and the support of the community, that is all. The game exists in the real world, and many times during missions you will be interacting with real world entities (players, businesses, organizations, etc.). The Black Watchmen is not static; it is progressive, with a constant rollout of new content, created based on the actions of the community. Your choices as a player matter. You decide the story.

You will not be able to complete this game alone. Only with the help of the community will you be able to rise through the ranks, and become a veteran agent of The Black Watchmen.

Pricing

You are buying Season 1, which gives you access to:
  • 25 in-game missions
  • 65 puzzles to solve
  • 5 hidden missions (unlocked by obtaining “puzzle pieces” or secret answers in-game)
  • Community sandbox missions

Season 2 is an optional DLC and includes:
  • 30 in-game missions featuring an expanded narrative
  • 82 puzzles to solve
  • 5 new hidden missions

The World of The Black Watchmen


The Black Watchmen are a paramilitary group dedicated to protecting the public from dangerous phenomena beyond human understanding: ritualistic murder, occult secret societies, and paranormal activity, to name but a few.

As a global organization, The Black Watchmen offer a wide range of skills and services for covert missions anywhere in the world, on behalf of any group, corporation or government that can afford them. Often called in as a last resort, The Black Watchmen pride themselves on their discretion, strength and efficiency.

To maintain objectivity in the field, you, as an agent, are never informed of the identity of the client. You are given only mission parameters and told how to distinguish friend from foe, but the lines are often blurred…

Gameplay Overview


A traditional video game has clear parameters - it is played on a screen, within a virtual world, and exists solely within that space. A PARG (Permanent Alternate Reality Game), like The Black Watchmen, uses the real world as its game world, blurring the lines between fiction and reality, turning everyday interactions into game mechanics.

Interested in field work? During the active season, live events occur where players may have the opportunity to go out into the real world in order to investigate missions and solve puzzles as they unfold.

The Black Watchmen storyline is an evolving, user-influenced narrative. Decisions made by players will have a direct impact on the outcome of the story, so while you’re playing, you’re also influencing the direction of the game’s development.

Gameplay Features

  • Gameplay: Different missions require different skill-sets.
    • Crack ancient codes and investigate bizarre occurrences
    • Join a squadron of soldiers raiding a rupture site
    • Hack through the virtual defenses of your enemies
    • Research an occult group and uncover hidden connections
  • All Around You: The game is played using coded websites, wikis and real world references.
  • Collaboration: Embedded on as many media outlets, in as many parts of the world, as possible, many of the puzzles can only be solved by collaborating with the community.
  • Mission Hub: An interface that acts as a hub for information, mission briefings, puzzles, and more.
  • Agent Map: See the locations of your fellow agents around the world, and keep an eye out for potential location-based missions.
  • Call for Help: Ask a veteran player for help on a specific puzzle, or team up with others and tackle a mission together.

For more information read the FAQ here http://www.blackwatchmen.com/faq/.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Latest version
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Screen resolution 1280x720
    Recommended:
    • OS: Latest version
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Screen resolution 1920x1080
    Minimum:
    • OS: Latest version
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Screen resolution 1280x720
    Recommended:
    • OS: Latest version
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Screen resolution 1920x1080
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Very Positive (161 reviews)
Recently Posted
huPo
( 0.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
I'm too stupid for this game but I like the idea of it. Will try some day again if I grow some patience.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kouzas
( 2.9 hrs on record )
Posted: May 28
+
The Best Game or Reality Ever!!!!!!!!!!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Socially Exhausted
( 38.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 20
Without spoiling anything, this game (and its community) is near perfect. I'd recommend trying the demo before purchasing, just in case it isn't your type of game. It's got a learning curve, and it doesn't have the instant gratification of a FPS.

WARNING: If you're prone to paranoia or the lines between fantasy & reality being blurred, be cautious and perhaps stay away from this game.

:)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
subliminalart
( 13.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 13
This is one of the most interesting, unique, difficult, and fascinating games I have ever played. I highly recommend it for anyone who loves a mixture of puzzles, detective work, and elements that will surprise and delight you.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
FaceOfDeath
( 4.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 7
8 Hours in and Im yelling at a Japanese Hotel Manager in Tokyo. He isnt helping, but his english is good at least.

10 hours in i've learned how to call Japan effectivley, and have secured an inside Resource whom is conducting an investigation for me with no understanding of any game at all.

10/10
would yell at Japanese Hotel Manager and recruit overseas agents again.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Aezart
( 4.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 4
An Exercise in Frustration

I really wanted to like this game, but found myself increasingly frustrated. I've given up at this point. Too often you're sure you have the right answer, but it's just wrong. What's wrong about it? Who knows. You had to find three different clues to assemble your answer. Any of them could be wrong. And good luck doing actual research for you clues and trying to avoid forum posts discussing the solution. And then when you finally give up on trying to figure it out yourself and check those spoilers, you still can't figure it out.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ganbare
( 17.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 2
If you like ARGs or solving mysteries then you should definitely be playing this right now. Live missions are fun. Story missions are fun. The community is fun. The phone calls you get (if you so choose) are fun. IRC is fun. Some agents go out to locations for missions and Periscope their journey. They meet up with people and collect intel or other items to relay to the other agents to continue solving whatever puzzle there is at the moment.

You don't have to get super involved, the story missions are easily worth more than the price, but if you do get involved you will be warmly welcomed as we are always looking for more agents to help stop the summoning of mythological creatures by building paper boats and floating them in the pond for Dispatch.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
BUNDESTROJλNER // Brexit Won
( 3.5 hrs on record )
Posted: April 17
Me name is James Bond. James... Bond...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
claiminglight
( 6.2 hrs on record )
Posted: April 8
The main verdict:
TBW is billed as a spy game but the core experience is centered around googling Jeopardy facts.

Extra Info:
Some of the community events are cool-- specifically the ones that encourage unique contributions from every player. Sadly these are in the minority. Most of the events are puzzles that are presented to the community at large-- and thus, by the time you've gotten home from work and finished your laundry, the game has already been won by someone with far more time on their hands.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Flession
( 1.5 hrs on record )
Posted: March 6
First training gets you into the basics.

Second training gets you more familiar.

By the third level of training, you get to see exactly what kind of game this is going to be.

It's nice to get to stretch some mental muscles I haven't in some time.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
I'm too stupid for this game but I like the idea of it. Will try some day again if I grow some patience.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
199 of 205 people (97%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
135.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 22, 2015
ALRIGHT, TIME TO CLEAR A FEW THINGS UP

  1. This game is NOT subscription-based! Think of it more like The Walking Dead series, where you pay for a season whenever it comes out. You can play any seasons you own indefinitely.
  2. This game WILL take over your life. Like the slogan in the old ARG Majestic from EA: "It plays YOU" Will clarify later.
  3. The game on Steam is only 25% of the actual game. It takes place in real-life, on websites created specifically for the game, and on social media.
#Discussions_QuoteBlock_Author
It's an astounding epiphany to realize just how helpful every thought process can be; overanalysis, stray thoughts, daydreaming, incoherent thought produced by sleep-deprivation, they all have a place of import in the TBW Agents toolbox.

Before I start with anything, I would like to make this clear: This game will be one of the most unique experiences you will ever have, and it will take over your life (I am saying this again for emphasis). They will make calls to you, they will send you packages, etc... If they need to contact you, they will, be it social media, e-mail, phone calls, you name it.

BUT, BEFORE YOU BACK UP, SAYING "EHH, THIS SEEMS SHADY", KEEP THIS IN MIND:

You absolutely DO NOT have to give them any info. All these things are completely optional and will not work against you if you decide to not do so. They only act to increase the immersion of the game.

You have FOUR types of Agent Levels:
  • RED is the lowest level of immersion. Interactions with red level agents will take place through the mission hub and by email.
  • ORANGE is more intense: voicemails, references to your area of operation - an aerial view of a nearby intersection, for instance - live streams from your hometown, and even live calls to, say, a phone booth at the end of your street.
  • YELLOW is the highest level of immersion conventionally available. It involves phone calls (which might come at any time of day), suspicious packages sent by mail, and real world interactions with NPCs.
  • GREEN is only open to the bravest agents. If you are selected to experience the deepest level of immersion, you must submit a full medical exam and sign a personal injury waiver - just in case any harm should come to you during your mission. Green level is not for the faint of heart, but if selected, you will remember the experience for the rest of your life.

Let me actually clarify some more on the Green Agent level. This is not one for the faint of heart. This is THE most immersion you will get out of this game. Packages in the mail, phone calls, a black van sitting outside your doorstep, really anything! Make sure you have plenty of time if you are going to do this, though. It makes you a mission-imperative agent, and the success of missions will depend on your cooperation.
#Discussions_QuoteBlock_Author
[12:03:12] <@nikel> "Isn't this somekind of illuminati witchcraft simulator?"
This game covers tons of different topics. Currently, we went over these subjects:
  • Cryptography
  • Social engineering tactics
  • Human trafficking
  • Human experimentation
  • Occult magicks
  • Photo reconstruction
  • Wiretapping
  • Goetic demons
  • Alchemy
  • Summoning rituals
  • Stopping the END OF THE FREAKING WORLD
  • How to screw around on the IRC channel instead of actually finish the missions! :D

We just reached the end of Season 1, and I am super excited for Season 2!

The live events are definitely one of the best parts of this game.

Live Missions are the thing that really make this game that much more immersive. Instead of just adding a new mission to the client, they will send either a phone call to a select few agents, or an e-mail message (usually both). It is then up to the community to do the following:
  • Figure out clues that are left in the small amount of info provided
  • Communicate effectively, figuring out solutions that would otherwise be impossible to do alone
  • Update Dispatch daily with their progress, providing them with information, pictures, or whatever they need at that time
  • Do things not just in-game, but in real life! (For example, we all had to find an iron statue, and draw a sacred sigil, aiding in the fight against some crazy cultists)
  • Meet up with other agents out in the field, or work together with non-player characters.

What I listed here is only the tip of the iceberg here, folks. In Season 2, it is bound to get even more crazy and more immersive than ever before.

SO, TO SUMMARIZE, WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS GAME?
ABSOLUTELY!

This is definitely one of the most unique gaming experiences I have ever been a part of, and I am glad to have this game in my library.

Do you like games that constantly break the norms, and keep you on your toes?

Then this game is for you.

Do you love it when games constantly keep things fresh and interesting, without too much handholding on new missions?

Then this game is for you.

Here are some words from our IRC group:

#Discussions_QuoteBlock_Author
"Got into TBW late in the season and I STILL had a blast. The Steam client is sleek and makes you feel like James Bond hacking into enemy databases. The live mission I played was incredibly fun due to the amazing community dedicated to making the game special.

#Discussions_QuoteBlock_Author
"When I close my eyes, I see ciphers"

#Discussions_QuoteBlock_Author
"If you're looking for a one-way ticket to a pysch ward, you're in luck! Just start searching for the hidden Info Pieces and you'll soon find yourself in a straitjacket"
Just for your info, the Puzzle Pieces are the hard-mode part of the missions. Hidden secondary answers to the missions you already did.

#Discussions_QuoteBlock_Author
"My favorite thing about The Black Watchmen so far is the way that the live events and real-world missions build such a sense of camraderie. It's really easy to forget (or ignore) the fact that everyone else is playing a game, just like you."

ANYWAY, I hope you consider adding this game to your collection. It is one of the best experiences I have ever been a part of, and I hope to see you soon in-game!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
213 of 227 people (94%) found this review helpful
16 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 15, 2015
Gave a negative review because one aspect of the game wasn't working. The devs saw my review and fixed it in 1 day.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
200 of 248 people (81%) found this review helpful
22 people found this review funny
Recommended
9.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 26, 2015
Long story short, this isn't a game for you if you don't plan to give out your cell phone number, actual address, and from what I've researched, most of your time in order to experience all of the game's content.

If that is something you're into, however, then this is probably going to be quite the experience.

The idea behind the game's mechanics is very interesting. It teaches you to think outside the box, analyze details carefully, and especially do your homework and deeper research into the subject in mind. For example, for one scenario, I had like ten tabs open just to research this one point. The sense of reward and accomplishment also in completing the hard task of figuring out the answer to an investigation is just too good.

And then, there comes the moment where you have to give out your information. Oh dear. In order to truly rise above the ranks and reach the top (so to speak,) you'll need to give out information such as your phone number, address, and to quote the game, "You may be contacted via phone calls, at all hours of the day or night, receive packages from the mail, and experience real world interactions with our assets in the field." Now, let me go ahead and say that this is not required in order to experience the game. But if you expect to fully complete the game without giving this information out, good luck with that. I know someone who's actually been basically traumatized by this experience, but that's a story for another time that I wish to keep out of this. I understand that some are much more comfortable in giving out this information, and by all means that's A-OK. But personally, that is not something I'm doing any time soon. After all, this is the very nature of a game that's permanent alternate-reality.

To conclude, some of the game's puzzles (Being the few I've tried, hah,) are excellently thought out and I absolutely love them. The fact that I have to give my personal information out in order to get a full 100%, however, I don't. While I wouldn't personally recommend the game to people like myself, I would absolutely recommend it to others in a heartbeat. The experience doesn't look like any other. Its the type of game you would play if you were unemployed so you can say that you work for a private contractor who specializes in information collection and go through the effort and time of an actual job.
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146 of 174 people (84%) found this review helpful
11 people found this review funny
Recommended
11.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 26, 2015
I am a fan of this game already. But i will try and keep this review un-biased as i can...

I think first you need to understand something about this game. This is not just a puzzle game. I can imagine the developers had a hard time deciding what they would describe this as, genre wise. And how to market a game on Steam that is more than a computer game.

Because thats what you have here. Something that breaks down the fourth wall. Not break through, it gets rid of it. you step off the stage as a person, as you. Or at least you if you were in a different reality. Its a game that expects you to put some real work into it. By using real life resources such as search engines, and even websites generated for the game. real websites. Not websites shown by some in-game UI. A real website that you access through your browser of choice.
This game asks you bring skills to it or at least learn them.
There is even an aspect (which is optional. See below) that requires you to get out of your chair and head into the world.

Lets look at that last aspect for a moment. As it is probably the only one i can see being somewhat controversial. There is an aspect to this game that seeks to turn it into a LARP (Live Action Role-Play) like experience. Understand that it is optional. But it is where this becomes a hobby in itself rather than just a game.
You may, if you so wish, provide your phone/mobile/cell number. And if you wish to go one step further, your address. By doing this you are immersing yourself in the game world. You can receive phone calls giving you clues to new or existing mysteries. Or a package in the mail that holds some object that is part of a current mystery or is something new. All in the style of an X-files like conspiracy theory narrative.

And this game does have a narrative of sorts. As i stated it is a little like a LARP. There is an on-going player driven story. What you and others as players do in the game world has consequence. It affects what happens next.

Community is a very big part of this game. Whether you go the full immersion route or not. You all play as a group working together towards a common goal.

I feel this is a game that needs to be experienced to truly appreciate what it is. I just found a new hobby. And all I did was buy an Early Access game. I or anyone else can try and describe this until blue in the face. But I don’t think it can be described. Words don’t do this game justice.

Anyway, this review is long enough.

Look, the small answer to whether you should get this is simple:
If you read the description, watched the trailers, and found you were intrigued. I say give it a shot. At worst you will play through the first episode, get some entertainment through the puzzles and then move on. At best; you will be hooked. And you will participate in something you most likely have never experienced that is a work of genius. Something that, as a gamer, you will have fond memories of in the future.

I hope to see you in-game.
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287 of 378 people (76%) found this review helpful
20 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 26, 2015
If you would value your real life time not being interrupted, and your right to not have to disclose your personal information, then do not buy this game. If that type of stuff doesn't matter to you, then go ahead, it looks like it could have been a fun game. For me, I have no time to allocate to an advanced form of LARPing.

Edit: Personal information includes email, phone number just to go from lowest clearance to the next clearance level.

Edit 2: Previously had "and home/mailing address" after phone number in first Edit. Changed due to additional information as per Santiak.
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A developer has responded on Nov 27, 2015 @ 4:33pm
(view response)
168 of 220 people (76%) found this review helpful
209 people found this review funny
Recommended
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 28, 2015
If you're good at finding sauce for hentai, you already know how to play BlackWatch.
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220 of 314 people (70%) found this review helpful
383 people found this review funny
Recommended
8.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 25, 2015
Look, you need to read this. You don't know what you're going to get into here.
The first few weeks I was fine. Just testing a beta client.
I got to know some guys, chatted it up in irc. Normal stuff. Mailing teeth to the NSA.
Well then I noticed something was up.

The mailman comes each day at 2pm. Always on time. Until he didn't
He started arriving a little earlier everyday. 1:47, 1:43, 1:40. At first I thought nothing was wrong. Maybe the normal guy was out sick or on vacation. But the pattern. I can see all the hidden patterns now thanks to my time with the Black Watchmen. The government is on to me, they know what I'm doing at 4 in the morning. And they are using who I trust most, the man who delivers my Amazon packages, because I'm a cheap ♥♥♥ and get the slow shipping. I don't know how much time is left, but I've found the truth and the government knows.

Now it's me or the mailman. I will not be silenced.
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65 of 82 people (79%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
13.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 30, 2015
An extremely interesting game for those of you who like to research and play a game in the real world. It's a Permanent Alternate Reality game - meaning that to advance in the game, you have to do things that require you to do it on the internet, or even, if you're brave, in real life. You have to use your brain, social engineering and research. You learn many things on the way - it's extremely fun, I just planned a Mission Impossible infiltration yesterday.

It's also very spooky since it includes secret organizations such as the Knights Templar or Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. You sometimes have to infiltrate and decode the things sent to them/by them - and it somehow manages to make you feel as if you were actually doing it - extremely realistic.

If you do decide to buy the game, never look at the things you see in the game generally. They all often require thinking outside of the box and you have to brainstorm to find out what they mean. Tell me if you decide to play - I've finished the game all by myself in twelve hours. I'll help you out.

If you buy it now until the end of the September, you'll get Season Two for free. I highly recommend it.

EDIT1: The game doesn't end when you finish the missions it throws at you. I just received emails with even more things to decode and research - it's going to be a long-term relationship between me and this game. If you finish it like me, look at your email - there's bound to be something there from Division 66 that requires you and your skills.
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54 of 65 people (83%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
Recommended
35.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 30, 2015
Common misconceptions that people seem to have about this game:

1) 'This game requires you to put in personal information in order to play'

The only thing this game requires is your email. You CAN, but DO NOT HAVE TO, put in your phone number, and address. This puts you in a pool of people who can, but will not necessarily, be contacted by the game with special clues.

2) 'The devs are screwing people by asking for $35 up front. I mean, the game is only in early access, they only have 6 "missions" actually finished!'

This game works somewhat like a TV series or a Telltale Games game. The content is episodic in nature. 3-4 missions are released every 2 weeks. The "early access" bit is misleading, as all content for the game is pretty much finished, save for the pieces of the plot that the players can impact. The game will be off early access after the first two weeks, assuming that there are no technical problems with the game. As for the price, the developers put the price at $35 based on the ideal of paying $1/1 hour that you can get out of the game. Of course, this is only an estimate, and those gifted with a high intelligence may find that they are completing the game faster than this. This price will drop as the season progresses, because some of the content, such as the live missions, will no longer be avaliable. If you only want to play this game for the puzzles, without any of the community content, I suggest waiting for the price to drop.

3) ‘Full enjoyment of this game can be achieved without too much effort.’

This is a part of the game some people dislike. The truth of the matter is that this game will require a lot of attention to get the full experience out of it. The 19 missions that the game will have on steam can be completed at your own pace, but other content such as the live missions MUST BE DONE in real time. In other words, if you aren’t keeping up to date with the community, you’ll probably miss out on stuff. One of the major selling points of this game is the community that surrounds it. If you don’t like this, that’s ok. It just means this game probably isn’t for you.

TL;DR: You should probably read up on everything that you should expect, and will be expected of you, before buying this game. It is a unique experience that many other games on Steam cannot provide, but that experience may not be for everyone. Be sure you know what you’re getting into.

EDIT 1: The developers of the game just announced 5 more missions for the first season at no additional cost to those who have and will buy the game. For those with doubts as to the motivations of the developers, this should be a good sign.

EDIT 2: Season 2 announced. WOOOO!!!!
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