The Flock will end when 215,358,979 characters die

These days, games are criticised for having too-short a lifespan, burning out brightly then fading into obscurity. Upcoming horror game The Flock takes that idea to a new level – once a certain number of people die in-game, the program will disappear completely.

The Flock is set to launch on August 21st, and take itself offline once 215,358,979 characters have died. There are that many characters currently “living” inside the game, so once the number dwindles, that’s all folks!

The game’s developer explains that copies of The Flock will be pulled from all online retailers, so once you’re out, you’re out.

The Flock is a horror game – you play as a monster, who is chasing the Light Artifact. Once you grab and hold the Artifact, you’re essentially “it”, in a world-wide game of chasey (or Tag). Holding the Artifact makes you the Carrier – and the only person able to win the game – so everybody wants a piece of you.

However, members of the Flock are not allowed to move in the light of the Artifact, or they’ll be burned to a crisp. If they choose not to move, they’re turned (safely) into a stone statue.

Developer Vogelsap explains in a handy FAQ:

If you’ve payed attention, there’s two things that can happen to the Flock. They either die (e.g. by moving through the light) or they transform into a whole different creature called the Carrier. In both scenarios there is eventually no more Flock. If this were the real world it would mean the Flock is a tragic race doomed to extinction. We want to convey that story into our multiplayer.

Technically, the population of The Flock could increase. A player could hack the game, either adding to the number of creatures or killing more than they should (in which case, the dishonestly-lost lives will be replaced). Alternatively, Vogelsap could release the game on consoles, which would see more players and more Flock members.

The Flock launches on August 21st, exclusively for PC – if you pre-order the game now, you’ll get a second key so a mate can join you.

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