A while back we detailed MuchDifferent's plans to set a Guinness World Record for number of FPS players online at once, via a game called Man vs. Machine that the Swedish organization built just for the occasion. So how did the challenge, which was held on January 29th, pan out? Well, it looks like we do have a new world record, with 999 players logging on to top Planetside's maximum of 399. Those wishing to secure their place ahead of time could do so with a $29.99 donation to Engineers Without Borders, though the event was free-to-play for most. Unfortunately the target of 1,000 players was missed by the tiniest of margins — we'll just have to take MuchDifferent's word for it that the servers could have handled one more person.
There won't be a second chance to test this out, though, as the game will never be made available to play again. Interestingly, the team notes that the main challenges they faced were in the design and rules of the game rather than the technical side, as heavy mid-game tweaking was needed to correct some serious balance issues. The underlying technology may be impressive, but this experiment seems to prove the importance of playtesting as much as anything — with only one shot at this, MuchDifferent's game design was essentially based on guesswork.