Naked War was the first indie game developed by veteran video game designers The Pickford Brothers, and was originally released by Zee-3 in 2006 to critical acclaim.
The game is a fun, turn-based strategy game for two players. Turns are short, five-minute chunks of gameplay, swapped between players via the Naked War servers, allowing players to play the game in coffee-break sized chunks whenever convenient, without the need for their opponent to be online at the same time.
“We first switched the game servers on five years ago for alpha testing, and they've been running without interruption ever since, which we're incredibly proud of," said Co-Designer and Zee-3 Managing Director Ste Pickford.
"Naked War was the first server-based game we'd ever written, so we were a bit nervous about making sure the service was always available. I half expected the server code to fall over after a few weeks! Keeping it up and running for five years isn't bad going really, for a little indie like us, especially when a lot of big commercial games switch their servers off after only 18 months," he continued.
"It's rotten that so many online games are effectively lost forever once their servers are switched off. The video game industry doesn't always do a very good job of preserving its heritage, and the biggest publishers are some of the worst offenders in this regard. We think it's important to keep online games alive," he concluded.
Naked War launched with an innovative 'pay to play' model, where subscribers purchased Challenge Credits to initiate new games. In 2008 the game switched to a limited free play mode for new players, with infinite Challenge Credits for existing subscribers. Today the game has been made even 'freer', with both the game, infinite Challenge Credits, all server statistics completely unlocked for all new and existing players.
"We're incredibly proud of Naked War, we think it's probably the best designed game we've ever made,” said Co-Designer and Lead Programmer John Pickford.
"We're no longer charging anyone to play, but we're still committed to keeping the servers up and running for as long as we can, and making the game available to anyone who wants to play it - newcomers and existing players alike," he continued.
"We plan to make a sequel to the game at some point in the future - the game would be perfect for Facebook or one of the console messaging systems - but in the meantime we decided that we should let anybody play the existing PC version of Naked War just as it is," he concluded.
The Pickford Brothers are currently completing their first iOS game, Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint, due for release on iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch in Q1 2011.
Naked War Facts for editors:
Metacritic score of 84
Game servers running since Jan 2006
Switched to limited free mode December 2008
Made completely free to play January 2011
Links and resources:
Naked War press pack (logos, screenshots, etc):
Naked War website (for media, testimonials, reviews, game download, screenshots etc.):
Zee-3 website (for all Zee-3 products, press centre, etc.):
The Pickford Brothers website (for background, history, softography, blogs and archives):
Ste Pickford - firstname.lastname@example.org