Auckland gaming studio launches severe weather event in survival game hours before being flooded

Computer survival game Icarus launched an in-weather event hours before the Auckland floods.
Computer survival game Icarus launched an in-weather event hours before the Auckland floods. Photo credit: Metservice/ Icarus

Auckland gaming studio RocketWerkz is having to mop up in more ways than one after an unprecedented deluge flooded the city on Friday.

The company launched the survival game 'Icarus' on the gaming platform Steam in December last year. In it, players join seven teammates in the role of a prospector, dropping from space onto an alien planet and doing whatever it takes to survive. The planet – nicknamed Icarus – has become violent and savage after a failed attempt at terraforming.

However, on Friday - just hours ahead of the devastating floods - the game launched an update which centred on weather forecasting, giving players more of an insight into the in-game's "upcoming weather patterns" as well as adding "more variety to the severity of storms you will experience."

Feedback to the storms has been swift, with one saying, "I love the game but HATED the update. Constant flash, wind, electrical storms every two minutes isn't fun at all."

The gaming company's now shared the irony that while players were impacted by fictional weather systems, the studio itself had been badly hit by the real-life weather system that has struck New Zealand.

"One of the most enjoyable parts of the week for our team is seeing reactions from both fans in Discord and content creators on YouTube. This week we definitely got the message that the storms were too much," it said on Twitter.

"Typically we would address this much sooner in a hotfix, but as you may be aware immediately following the update's release Auckland, where our studio is based, experienced an entire season's worth of rainfall in a few hours and severe flooding (the irony is not lost on us) and much of the team is now working from home (as weather warning are still in place) or taking time off to clean up."

The developers have now promised to fix the weather system in the game in a patch being released on Friday.

Icarus has proved to be incredibly popular online with both fans and reviewers singing its praises. It's garnered positive reviews, with the likes of Screenrant declaring it "incredibly promising." 

"Not only is its premise totally unique, but it sets up an ambitious future with an ever-expanding universe filled with new biomes, threats, lore and more," their review said.