Unless you haven’t logged onto the internet recently, then you’ve probably noticed that a demonic waterfowl is everywhere right now. Even Chrissy Teigen is talking about Untitled Goose Game. The memes have been nonstop — really, these jokes have arguably the highlight of the web of late. And now we’ve got proof of the Goose’s domination: it is #1 on the Nintendo Switch best-sellers and digital downloads in the US.
Given that Link’s Awakening is still fairly new and selling pretty well around the globe, Untitled Goose Game’s rise through the ranks is doubly notable here. This is an indie game made by a studio with four people in it. The whole thing started as a joke. Well, now the whole world is in on it.
Perhaps the Goose’s dominion shouldn’t be a surprise: as we’ve argued before, being an asshole is a potent power fantasy. But, more than that, Untitled Goose Game is a title that is easily legible to anyone who looks at it. Birds are assholes. This we know. Slapstick comedy is universal, and it’s especially good for YouTube videos, Twitch streams, and reaction clips. Anecdotally, I’ve spoken to a number of people who say they’ve introduced non-gamers and children to Untitled Goose Game, and in every case, these newbies were able to pick the game up with ease. The humor, strong internet presence, and accessibility have all come together to form a perfect storm for virality. Goose game has broken into the mainstream with gusto.
While developers House House declined to share specific sales numbers with Polygon, fans are already imagining potential follow-ups and DLC for the Goose. Many are rallying to see the orange-beaked menace to show up in Smash Bros. But if nothing else, I hope we can all agree on one thing: HONK.
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