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TinyBuild locks its latest game behind a 'Twitch Plays' wall

TinyBuild is taking blatant cues from 2014 phenomenon Twitch Plays Pokemon by refusing to release its latest game, Lazy Bear Games' Punch Club, until the game is successfully beaten on Twitch.

Publisher TinyBuild is taking cues from 2014 phenomenon Twitch Plays Pokemon by choosing only to release Lazy Bear Games' Punch Club when the game is successfully beaten on Twitch.

The Twitch Plays Punch Club stunt is the latest in a string of notable Twitch chat-based experiments inspired by the remarkable success of Twitch Plays Pokemon, which saw thousands of viewers playing an emulated version of the game simultaneously via chat commands parsed by a script and fed into the game.

Many developers took game design inspiration from the phenomenon, which Twitch itself encouraged. Now TinyBuild (working in conjunction with Twitch) is using it to promote one of its games, an interesting choice in light of the fact that the publisher is also accepting pre-orders for the game on Steam.

The stunt seems to have frustrated some folks who pre-ordered the game (the "Twitch Plays..." games tend to take a long time to complete due to the general input chaos they engender), driving TinyBuild to clarify the promotion in a blog post and promise to release the game by January 25th if it hasn't yet been completed on Twitch.

It's also worth noting that some of our earlier reporting on the 2014 Twitch Plays Pokemon phenomenon was done by former Gamasutra editor Mike Rose, who has since sallied off to join TinyBuild.

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