Will Winn Games — an independent developer founded by Michigan State University (MSU) faculty, students, and alumni — announced today the much-anticipated release date for its swashbuckling 12-player action-arcade game Plunder Panic. Rival pirate crews will battle for supremacy on the high seas in this frantic multiplayer game on September 17, 2021, when it launches on Steam for PC. Plunder Panic will additionally launch on consoles in early 2022.
Inspired by classic SNES games, Plunder Panic blends retro graphics, arcadey action, and a boatload of online (and offline) gameplay modes and options to shiver even the most hardened pirates’ timbers. Two teams of up to six players must go all hands on deck and face off against each other, utilizing a variety of weapons, enchanted items, and power-ups. Quick, round-based matches begin as rival teams anchor their ships on the same island. Only the scurviest dogs will prevail once the action starts, with victory within reach if the rival team loses either too much of their gold, their ship gets scuttled, or if their precious captain takes a trip to Davy Jones’ locker. It’s up to teams to decide on an offensive or defensive approach!
Key Features of Plunder Panic:
- Pirate Panic — Fast-paced action-arcade gameplay with elements of platforming, combat, and strategic play.
- Multiplayer Mode Madness — Supporting local and online play with up to 12-players (including AI), Plunder Panic features several exciting game modes: Free Play, Tournament, Conquest, Ranked and Unranked, and Captain vs. Captain 1v1. Players can invite friends to private lobbies and also go into Matchmaking.
- Claim Victory — Multiple win conditions offer pirate crews different gameplay strategies. Teams can coordinate to either collect enough gold, sink an enemy ship with cannons or a rowboat of TNT, or defeat the enemy captain.
- Modify-arrs — Matches can be customized with up to six modifiers at once which change up the game rules dramatically. Randomized Captains per round? No captains at all? What about all pirates having a pair of never-ending Seagull Wings? Anything and everything can happen!
- Items Galore — Chaotic items that can be wielded by players can drop into a match at any time. From weapons such as the Blunderbuss, Molotov cocktails, and dynamite to stat-boosting rum barrels and enchanted idols; even squid can be used as weapons (the Kraken doesn’t take kindly to this, though).
- Pretty Pixels — A charming retro pixel-art aesthetic by lead artist Andrew Bonczyk (currently with Bungie and formerly Insomniac Games).
“Following several successful showings at various trade shows over the last couple of years, it’s a dream come true to turn the Plunder Panic prototype into a full-fledged multi-platform game,” said Will Jeffery, Will Winn Games co-founder and MSU alumni. “While commercializing Plunder Panic is an important milestone for Will Winn Games, it is just the first step. We have a robust plan to grow a vibrant, profitable game studio in the mid-Michigan area, offering on-the-job, real-world, industry experience for students and employment opportunities for alumni.”
“MSU and Spartan Innovations has been an essential partner in the development of Plunder Panic and launch of Will Winn Games,” said Brian Winn, Will Winn Games co-founder and MSU professor. “Plunder Panic was developed by an excellent team of talented student employees from MSU’s Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab. We’re collectively so incredibly excited to bring Plunder Panic to the masses starting with the Steam release in September.”
A prototype of Plunder Panic previously premiered at multiple trade shows, including IndieCade 2017, where it won the Audience Choice Award. Plunder Panic was also a finalist in the SXSW 2018 Gaming Pitch Competition and an official selection for the PAX East 2018 Showcase. Thanks to educational and financial resources provided by Michigan State University’s Spartan Innovations and Red Cedar Ventures, Will Winn Games was formed by Brian Winn (Director of the Games for Entertainment and Learning Lab at MSU) and Will Jeffery (MSU alumni and former Walt Disney Imagineer). Additional members of the Will Winn team include individuals with credits from Bungie and Insomniac Games. Will Winn Games licensed Plunder Panic from the university to make it into a full game release for PC and home consoles.
Plunder Panic releases on Steam in Early Access for PC on September 17, 2021 — just in time for National Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19 — and can be wishlisted today at https://store.steampowered.com/app/1455900/Plunder_Panic. The game will also release on PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch in Q1 2022.