Press release:
East Lansing, MI (September 17, 2021).
The US-based indie games developer Will Winn Games (which is founded by Michigan State University faculty, students, and alumni) today announced that their much-anticipated 12-player pirate-themed action arcade game “Plunder Panic” is now available via Steam Early Access.

Celebrate National Talk Like a Pirate Day all weekend by mopping the deck with your foes’ ugly mugs!

Get ready to flip those eye-patches and head into battle with up to 12 players (locally or online) in this retro-styled arcade beat-em-up that pits pixelated pirates vs. pirates in quick, round-based matches.

With enough weapons, items, modes, and “modify-arrs” to fill the biggest deep-sea treasure chest, Plunder Panic is the perfect game to cement friendships and foster rivalries!

“It’s been a long journey getting Plunder Panic ready to “set sail” on Steam, and we couldn’t be more proud of our game,” said Will Jeffery, Will Winn Games co-founder and MSU alumni.

“It’s extremely exciting to finally pull the trigger and invite players to experience something we’ve poured our hearts and souls into.”

“Watching Plunder Panic grow from a project initially developed by the extraordinary team of talented student employees from MSU’s Games for Entertainment and Learning (GEL) Lab into a full-fledged Steam release with full online multiplayer support has been remarkably satisfying,” said Brian Winn, Will Winn Games co-founder and MSU professor.

“This title is something we’re all very proud of, and we hope players from all the seven seas will have a blast playing.”

Taking inspiration from the games of old where players would crowd the couch and duke it out on the living room TV screen, Plunder Panic blends gorgeous pixel graphics with modern gameplay elements. 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.

Matches begin as rival teams anchor their ships on opposite sides of the same island. Of course, the sea isn’t big enough for both teams and neither are the islands; only one crew can claim victory by plundering enough gold into their treasure chest, scuttling the other crew’s ship, or defeating the rival crew’s captain. Teamwork makes the dreamwork, so crews must work together as a single hook-handed unit to win the day and get their hands on that sweet, sweet booty or end up in Davy Jones’ locker.

Key Features of Plunder Panic (not all features will be available on launch day and will release during the game’s Early Access period):

Pirate Brawlin’ — Fast-paced action-arcade gameplay with elements of platforming, combat, and strategic play

Play With Friends and Foes — Supporting local and online play with up to 12-players (including AI). Players can invite friends to their couch or connect online through private lobbies. Online matchmaking with friends and foes will be added in a post-launch update.

Become the Pirate King — 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!

Swords, Explosives, and… Squids? — 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).

Multiplayer Mode Madness — Plunder Panic will feature several exciting game modes coming in a post-launch update, including Free Play, Tournament, Conquest, Ranked and Unranked, and Captain vs. Captain 1v1

A Visual Treasure — A charming retro pixel-art aesthetic with adorable lil’ pirates and beautiful themed arenas

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 of Indie MEGABOOTH at PAX East 2018.

Thanks to resources provided by Michigan State University Foundations 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 Plunder Panic crew include individuals with credits from Insomniac Games, Rockstar Games, Blizzard Entertainment, and Bungie. Will Winn Games licensed Plunder Panic from the university to make it into a full game release for PC and home consoles.

Plunder Panic is now available for PC via Steam Early Access for a reduced price of $9.99 (a 50% discount of the full release price) — just in time for National Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19. The game will also release on PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch in Q1 2022.

To learn more about Plunder Panic, visit plunderpanic.com to sign-up for the newsletter and join the game’s official Discord server. Fans can also follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Will Winn Games
Will Winn Games Inc. is a new East Lansing-based game studio launched out of the Michigan State University Game Development Program, Spartan Innovations, and Red Cedar Ventures. The mission of the company is to design, develop, and market compelling multiplayer video game experiences.

A prototype of the studio’s premier title Plunder Panic has already received multiple accolades including finalist in the SXSW 2018 Gaming Pitch Competition, Audience Choice Award winner at IndieCade 2017, and was an official selection of the Indie MEGABOOTH at PAX East 2018. Plunder Panic officially launches on PC this September via Steam Early Access and on consoles in Q1 2022. For more information about Will Winn Games, please visit https://willwinn.games.

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Jonas “O.J” Ek
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @TheGamingGround

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