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Genital Jousting has sold 354,139 copies so far. Which is a lot of penises.
When it launched in Early Access in late 2016, Genital Jousting became a viral sensation—Gang Beasts with wangs. Seemingly everybody on YouTube made a video about, even us. Doing the rounds on social media paid off when Steam sales came round.
"A lot of the sales did come in Early Access," says creative director Evan Greenwood, "and a lot of that was during things like the Christmas sale which Steam included us in and things like that. I think there might have been a Valentine's bump."
"We did a big Valentine's Day special," confirms programmer Robbie Fraser. "We wanted to do a two-for-one package and Steam wouldn't give it to us. We ended up doing 50% off instead, which is not quite the same thing."
Success wasn't a sure thing for Genital Jousting. After wrapping up work on Broforce, Free Lives reached out to Valve to make sure that a game about penises that have buttholes would be acceptable for their platform. Though one of Valve's reps confirmed it would, they remained cautious at first.
"Initially Steam did not promote it in certain places because of its adult nature," says Greenwood. "They were waiting for some sort of backlash, they weren't sure what would happen themselves. They didn't receive a backlash and the game maybe was better than they expected, it received relatively good reviews, that kind of thing. The Steam user reviews people were happy, they weren't up in arms saying, 'This is a pile of garbage'. And so Steam kind of made it up to us by including us in Christmas sales and that kind of thing."
For about a year during Genital Jousting's time in Early Access, Free Lives went dark. They were working on something special for the final launch—a singleplayer mode for their silly-physics party game, an ambitious linear narrative that took its fumblecore mechanics and used them to tell a story about modern manhood. It was an unexpected addition, to say the least. At the time I compared it to The Stanley Parable, only you're a penis. But even with that major addition appearing out of nowhere Genital Jousting's final release didn't equal the success it enjoyed during Early Access.
"We assumed it would have another round of virality," says Fraser, "and be like a whole 'nother new thing that people hadn't seen and it could be as big as like the first time they saw anything about Genital Jousting."
"So that didn't happen," adds Greenwood, "and it actually went the way that anyone with some business sense and a head on their shoulders would have expected, which was it performed about as well as the initial launch."
He's quick to add that they don't consider this a failure. Adding a singleplayer story to their game may not have doubled its already impressive sales, but that's not the only measure of its worth. "We're really proud of it and we've had a lot of really strong, positive response," Greenwood says. "I think people are playing it but it's kind of hard to tell. It doesn't YouTube the same way and it can't be on Twitch."
Genital Jousting is among the games banned from Twitch due to its sexual content, and while it's still allowed on YouTube, it's become less visible there thanks to changes in their algorithm. "It hasn't had the same virality as we experienced the first time. We don't know how much of that is because of increased strictness on YouTube's part. Delisting videos for any kind of sexual content was a thing that had started almost before two weeks before the final launch of Genital Jousting and we don't know how much effect that had, if any."
Releasing the Early Access version of their game when they did was a fortuitous bit of timing, giving it a chance at spreading across the internet it wouldn't have if they'd done it today. As for what's next, they describe Free Lives as being in an experimental mode at the moment, working on various prototypes as well as continuing work on Gorn, their VR gladiator game. "Gorn's continuing," says Greenwood. "There may be an update to Broforce. We're seeing if we still enjoy making bits of Broforce, maybe a bit more of a taste for it after a narrative experience. Maybe some dumb action, maybe that would be enjoyable."
The old quote is wrong: neither death nor taxes are, it seems to me, as terrifyingly certain as the Steam Summer Sale. Yes, once more we can add to the heap that is our backlog by buying games for, what, five quid, on average? But there are so many to choose from that it’s easy to get flustered, so who better than the staff of RPS to hand-pick the best ones for your consideration (rhetorical question; do not answer)?
Check out the full list below for a mix of games that should suit all pockets and tastes.
You know what Genital Jousting is, yeah? It's the multiplayer game where everyone looks like a wobbling penis graffiti drawn by a 10-year-old boy. Those penises also have buttholes, and these weird dickbutt things chase each other around a variety of different multiplayer modes. It's a surprisingly fun beers-on-the-couch party game that went from Early Access to full release this year.
And with the full release, it gained a single-player story mode. Which was not something people were crying out for. If there was suddenly a single-player story mode in Vermintide, I'd be excited. Overwatch, yeah, why not. The game about cartoon wangs, though?
What's even stranger is that it's good.
You are John, an ordinary penis who works in an office and worries about his approaching high school reunion. You play through his stress dreams and work life and the dates he goes on, all using the deliberately clumsy controls of Genital Jousting. You might be late for work and trying to get to your desk unnoticed or ask out Barbara in the middle of a meeting, and at some point your testicles are going to get in the way, the physics will go haywire and a fire extinguisher and a cactus will probably fall on someone.
These events are narrated by a toffee-voiced lady in the most arch way imaginable, and if the chaos of struggling to get through normal situations while being a penis is like a NSFW reinterpretation of Octodad, the narrative elements are more like The Stanley Parable with dick jokes. Sometimes all you're doing is walking down a hallway—well, wriggling down a hallway, leaving a trail of damp residue that's the most disgusting thing in a pretty gross game—while being told about John's existential struggles.
When John does experience temporary triumph it's punctuated by an underwhelming burst of confetti spurting out of him.
All this takes place in a world where everyone's a wang, men and women both, and where those wangs have butts that are also apparently their mouths. One of the first things you do in the tutorial is eat an apple with your butt, and after that you have to brush your teeth by jamming a toothbrush up there. I don't know if anyone's thought through the fine details of this schlong-based alternate reality and how it came to be this way; "does Genital Jousting have lore" is not something I thought I'd find myself Googling today.
Anyway, the whole thing can be wrapped up in under two hours and you will probably laugh more than once in that time. I wouldn't rush to buy Genital Jousting just for this, and even the online stuff is only worth it at peak times when the servers are full, but while the real attraction of Genital Jousting is obviously playing with your friends it's nice that there's a way to experience being a penis on your own.
(There's a bit at the end where you simultaneously control your best friend Sam, who is green, well-adjusted, and uncircumcised, and you might need a friend for that, but I managed to get through it steering both of them at once.)
Everyone loves a good dick joke, but Broforce studio Free Lives’ Genital Jousting is something else. It’s bizarrely visceral and meaty in a way that comedy schlongs rarely are. It feels a world away from the twirling phalluses of Mount Your Friends, with meat slapping against meat with uncanny gusto, accompanied by some quite unsettling Foley work.
Free Lives realize this, to some degree, and have attempted to put fears to rest and defuse some difficult questions with an extensive Q&A. It’s a complex, thorny thing and one I’m not especially willing to deep-dive into. What’s less complex is that the game has left early access and properly launched, including a solo story mode, as unusual as that sounds.
Genital Jousting, developer Free Lives' delightfully puerile multiplayer cock-'em-up, has finally released on PC after 14 months in Early Access development.
For those unfamiliar with Genital Jousting, it's described as an "online and local multiplayer party game about flaccid penises and wiggly anuses". Consider yourself warned.
Last time I spent a few happy hours Genital Jousting, the focus was undoubtedly on its hilariously raucous Classic and Party modes. Here, up to eight human-controlled wangs can battle it out across a surprisingly diverse range of maps and mini-games (with names like Double Delight, Obstacle Intercourse, and Weiner Round Up) for ultimate sausage supremacy, usually by frantically attempting to consensually penetrate their peers.
Genital Jousting, the "multiplayer party game about flaccid penises and wiggly anuses", will release out of Early Access on January 18. That's good news if you're into amusing party games, and it's also good news if you're into video games about genitals. But it's even better news for Australians who have longed to play this dick-oriented video game, because it'll finally become available there.
You see, back when the game launched on Steam in 2016, publisher Devolver Digital announced that it wouldn't bother submitting the game to Australia's notoriously finicky classification board. As someone who lives in Australia and has witnessed the whims of that board firsthand, I'm pretty sure the game wouldn't have had a problem getting a rating. But given Devolver's experience with Hotline Miami 2, they're probably wary of wasting time and money with the organisation.
But they've gone and done it anyway, which is good, because now you no longer need to break the law to play the penis combat sim in Australia. The publisher made the announcement on Twitter earlier today, accompanied by a nice animated gif of penises fighting in a blow up pool. It's worth keeping in mind also, that once it launches out of Early Access tomorrow, it'll get a price increase.
Is Genital Jousting worth playing? All reports point to yes, though I haven't done so yet. Here's a nice video of the PC Gamer team playing it back in 2016.
For the uninitiated: Genital Jousting is a party game about inserting cartoon penises into cartoon buttholes (on the cartoon penises) and occasionally some other things. With that out of the way, onto the news: Genital Jousting is leaving Steam Early Access and officially launching on Thursday, January 18, publisher Devolver Digital announced today.
While the game's Steam page still says "there are no current plans to change the price" after Early Access, Devolver Digital confirmed in their tweet that "the price will go up." At the time of writing, Genital Jousting is $5.
We got our first look at Genital Jousting in late 2016 when Tim, Bo and Tom gave its party mode the old college try and found it surprisingly involved. (Genital Jousting developer Free Lives also made the fabulous Broforce, for the record. They know their camp.) It's received significant updates since then, like the Date Night modes released last year, which added the option to walk a wiener dog as a wiener.
Evidently, the full game will include "a new narrative story mode," according to Devolver Digital. I shudder to think.