Devolver Max Pass +, Satire to the Max in Devolver’s 2021 E3 Conference
Devolver’s 2021 conference was a standout during the E3 week, featuring not only a satire on the gaming industry but also some real physical purchases for players to get their hands on, all veiled through the lens of a fake subscription-based service. Touted as Devolver Max Pass +, a play on HBO Max, Disney Plus, and Xbox Game Pass, this subscription-based service is “a groundbreaking new way to keep consumers paying for content under the warm blanket of a subscription service. A no-cost subscription service for top tier consumers that unlocks access to dozens, possibly hundreds of dozens of premium purchases available only to the most important users.”
The 2021 conference began with the idea that every conference from 2018-2020 was a pitch to the Devolver CEO, calling itself the Devolver cinematic universe. Now with Nina playing the part of a lowly marketing agent, she and the rest of the marketing team pitches the idea of Monetizing Monetization. Paying for the ability to purchase games, making a dig at the expense of Disney Plus’ choice to have viewers put in an entry fee for the service, only to pay an extra 30 dollars to watch new films as they’re released on the service. Thus, the idea of Devolver Max Pass+ is introduced, and what followed were the announcements for games and merchandise for subscribers to the theoretical subscription-based service. Here are the announced games and some physical items that were put up for sale on the Devolver Max Pass+ Site.
Trek To Yomi
Flying Wild Hog has something of their sleeve after fishing work on the wacky Shadow Warrior 3, which is set to come out later this year, and while the Lo Wang’s next foray into the FPS genre doesn’t have a solid release date, players got a look at the developer’s next title. Trek to Yomi is the story of a samurai who must keep a promise made to his dying master. In an effort to save the ones he loves, he must confront himself and all adversaries who stand in his way if he wishes to continue on his quest. A more story-centric and heavy title than the lighthearted and wild Shadow Warrior series, Flying Wild Hog delivers a true samurai epic in 2022 with Trek to Yomi.
A first-person platformer, this game sees players take on a dangerous temple rife with traps, pitfalls, and rolling boulders. However, the player isn’t alone, as they’ll be accompanied by ghosts of the players who have already traveled through the temple and ultimately met their demise. The player is also equipped with a grappling hook and whip combination, letting them reach higher areas without ruining the momentum of this gauntlet of eons-old challenges. Phantom Abyss is coming out in early access on Steam this upcoming Tuesday, the 22nd.
Devolver Max Pass Clothing
The 2021 Devolver conference continued with a word from Andrew Rosales, a marketing genius. In this segment, he pitches the idea of Devolver Max Pass clothing, showing off a fully purple suit that is emblazoned with the Devolver Max Pass+ logo. Ramblings of fashion continued throughout the presentation about whether or not players will actually pay for the said service. Players who eventually went to the Devolver Max Pass+ site found that the suit was, in fact, on sale, costing a total of 500 dollars. There are, in fact, two for sale. Rather than one, the production team for the Devolver Showcase was afraid that the actor wearing the suit was going to get chili on it during filming. However, the suit came out unscathed, and players were able to purchase the suit, with all the money being donated to Glass Embroidery, the company behind the making of the suit. Both suits were sold, and in fact, all the Devolver Max Pass+ merch sold out.
Wizard With a Gun
Following the merch was a new title from developers Galvanic Games, titled Wizard With a Gun. It’s a cooperative sandbox game in which players control wizards trying to survive in the wild, with gameplay similar in style to Don’t Starve Together. The wizards trade their Magic Wands for hand cannons as they conquer the magical wilderness and continue into the unknown, building bases to fighting the wildlife and rogue wizards. Players can increase their arcane power until it’s too much to handle, even for themselves. Wizard with a gun launches on Switch and PC in 2022.
Acid Nerve is cooking up something interesting with Death’s Door. Players step into the role of a crow, whose job in this world is to collect and reap the souls of the dead. However, things go awry for the player character when one of the souls they were taking in is stolen by a thief. This sends the player into a world that lies beyond the boundaries of death, where the characters they meet become overflown with greed and magic power since they’re well past their expiration date. This isometric hack n’ slash adventure is coming to Xbox consoles and PC on July 20th.
From the creator of Pony Island and Hex comes another game that’s going to confuse, terrify and have players on the edge of their seats. Inscryption has players sitting in a room with a character playing cards, whose they can’t see because of a mask they’re wearing. Not all is what it seems, though, as the player is actually being held captive in this cabin they know nothing about, forced to play cards with this apparent captor. However, the player can get up and mess with what’s around the table, combining deck building, playing the game invented by the captor, as well as completing escape room-styled puzzles. Inscryption will have players making sacrifices if they aim to survive entrapment from whoever, or whatever, is sitting across from them. The game is coming out sometime this year.
Devolver Tumble Time
A satirical and very real mobile game, Devolver is releasing Tumble Time out on the Apple App Store and google play sometime this year, having players solve physics-based puzzles featuring small chibi versions of characters from the catalog of Devolver titles. While this is an obvious satire of the Disney Tsum Tsum mobile game, Devolver promises fun and addicting physics-based puzzle gameplay, and all the ads that consumers could ever want because, according to the conference, “nothing is free.”
Demon Throttle is the next game from doinksoft, the minds behind the Metroidvania title GatoRoboto. The game is a top-down 8-bit shoot-em-up game with two players functionality. Players will step into the role of a vampire and a gunslinger, as a demon has slighted them both, sleeping with the gunslinger’s wife and stealing the mystical chalices from the vampire. Players will fight through several bullet hell stages and take the fight to the army of demons to save the gunslinger’s dignity and return the chalices.
The game will only be available physically through Special Reserve Games, and will not be coming to digital stores anytime soon. However, the pre-orders are still open and will continue to be open until October 13th. The game will ship in 2022 and comes in two versions: one with just the game and instruction booklet and one that’s part of the special reserve set, which comes with more art, a leather case, and more for the collectors of physical media. Demon Throttle will run players $30 for the regular copy and $40 for the special reserve copy.
Devolver Presentation on VHS
The conference finished off with the entire Devolver 2021 presentation being put on a VHS and sold. The Devolver Max Pass+ Presentation was literally put on a VHS tape and sold to a single buyer for $1000. Called the Non-F***withable Tape, or NFT for short, the tape’s inner tab has been “violently removed” to prevent the copying and recording of the tape, making the one copy of the Devolver Presentation the only copy in existence. This last announcement was an obvious dig at the NFT craze that’s been done with the 100 Thieves and other esports teams and artists throughout the world as of 2021. The $1000 that someone paid for the tape is also being donated to the Scratch Foundation, an online charity that helps kids worldwide get a head start in coding to make their own animations, games, and other artistic creations through the power of computers.
The ending of the presentation saw this pitch become a total success, and while the CEO is congratulating the marketing team for a job well done, Nina wakes up from the entire thing, finding it was only a dream.
Many fans look to the Devolver Presentation hoping that they’ll be entertained, as the 2021 Devolver conference is something that’s a breath of fresh air from the constant corporate-speak and bland announcements that companies put out during E3. While there are some standout presentations such as Microsoft and Nintendo’s, the Devolver conference always has something for fans to look forward to in the E3 season. Players who want to learn more about the games announced or want to see the Devolver Max Pass+ site, can go visit it now.