We accidentally “leaked” an early Boet Fighter proof-of-concept gameplay clip. It went insanely viral!
It wasn’t intended to ever face the public. Heck, it wasn’t even intended as an actual promo clip. But a few hours later, the secret of our game was out, and getting tens of thousands of views… a day!
Right at the very start of the (then secret) Boet Fighter project, in August 2018 or so, my Boet Fighter co-founder and Head of Art and Animation, Louis Du Pisani – busy waiting for renders at the time – decided to be his diligent, proactive self and set up the usual social-account suspects for the brand. Insta, Facebook and the like. Just so we have them locked down and on standby.
Having set up the pages, he decided to populate them with the basics – a cover and profile pic, a description (which I took care of) and – because we had it – a 15-odd second gameplay proof-of-concept animation, because it was there, and it was new, and we were all very excited about seeing things move and come to life for the first time. I mean, why not, right?
What Lou didn’t realise was that, since he’d last set up a Facebook page, it seems to have defaulted to automatically publishing once you save, unless you tell it not to. That, or he did so by accident. So, thinking it was all claimed and set up for a future date, some months away at least, our Lou put his phone away and carried on with his life. For a short while…
Then the notifications started. And then, they went insane. Media were clambering to reach us, websites wanted interviews, radio stations wanted to know if it was a real game or a parody once-off clip. Friends were phoning. People were sending the clip to us, unaware that it had anything to do with us.
By the end of the day, we were close to 10k views (on Facebook only, mind you). By the end of the week, we’d racked up almost 150k. We lost count after a while, but by south African standards, with literally no promotion – paid or otherwise – it was genuinely massive. As would the response to, and demand for, almost all further Boet Fighter social content be to come, especially the video stuff.
And so it was that our fledgling game idea was announced, an urgent, ongoing (and if we may say so, now sort of legendary) social media campaign was born, and an ongoing, seemingly endless series of deadlines got a whole lot more real.
And that, friends, is the story of how an up-coming, independent, very small South African video game called Boet Fighter went very viral. Loooong before we were ready for it to.
Boet Fighter is:
– Louis Du Pisani: Founder and Head of Art and Animation
– Gord Laws: Co-founder and Head of Writing and Voice
– Niekie van Niekerk: Co-founder and Head of Dev
– Steve Pinto: Executive Producer