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Free giveaway gambit pays off for Steam’s newest co-op horror darling

Co-op horror game Content Warning has reached a million sales despite letting more than six million players claim it as a free game.

Giving away more than six million copies of your new horror game for free is certainly a bold move, but it looks to have paid off big for developer Landfall Games. Following in the footsteps of Phasmophobia, and most recently Lethal Company, Content Warning is the latest success story in the co-op horror space, and the developer of the new Steam game reveals that it’s already hit a huge sales milestone despite its massive free game giveaway.

“Bring out the party poopers [sic],” Landfall Games writes in a post to X (formerly Twitter). “Content Warning has now sold a million copies on top of the 6.6 million players that got the game for free. Thank you all so much for liking our scary little game.” That’s an impressive milestone to hit for any game, but especially so for one that had already given away so many copies during the brief 24-hour window where it was a free Steam game.

If you haven’t been on Twitch, YouTube, or TikTok in the past two weeks and completely missed the explosion in popularity of this new co-op horror game, the delightfully meta (and now rather fitting) idea is that it’s all about trying to go viral with your friends. Delving into the monochrome depths of the monstrosity-infested Old World, you’ll grab footage of terrifying SCP-style creatures, film cursed relics, and get back to the surface before your oxygen and battery runs out.

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Presuming you manage to survive and make it back out with your footage intact, you can upload it to the game’s Spooktube social media platform and watch the advertising money roll in. The more you get on camera, the more views you’ll rack up, and the more money you’ll make to ensure your next expedition gets even better results. It’s a simple concept, and a fun twist on a tried and tested formula that works incredibly well.

If you missed the free sale, you’ll have to pay $7.99/£6.69 to pick up Content Warning for yourself – but you’ve likely already got quite a few friends who own it, so you should be able to put a group together in no time. I was curious to see whether the strategy of handing out so many free copies to encourage players to spread the word to their friends would pay off, and it seems that it has.

Content Warning - Banner image celebrating "One million copies sold" and featuring the bright-face helmets of the horror game.

While the million sales so far is a fair way short of the six million free copies given out, the attention Landfall Games earned from the stunt is impossible to ignore. The team adds, “And yes, we have some fun updates and fixes on the way for you all,” so stay tuned for all of those as they arrive.

Ready to shoot some spooky clips of your own? Then be sure to study up on all Content Warning monsters and how to beat them before heading down into the Old World, and check out the best Content Warning mods for plenty of essential upgrades to make it even more fun.

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