999-player FPS match held for Guinness World Record attempt

Nearly 1,000 players zapped, fragged, and spawned their way into the record books this weekend by logging on with developer MuchDifferent to play the biggest online FPS game in video game history. It wasn't pretty — and it's still not 100% official — but if you've ever wondered what a 999-person fragfest would look like, here's it is:

The Guinness World Record attempt was announced back in March 2011 by network technology firm Pikkotekk. At the time, Pikkotekk frontman Christian Lönnholm pitched a game that would support 1,000 simultaneous players in a rudimentary “Robots Vs Tanks” match, using the Unity engine and the company's Pikko architecture to manage the ambitious task. Fast forward to this past weekend, and it looks like Lönnholm's vision paid off. Mostly.

“We never managed to get the full thousand though, because of the inherent unpredictability of the Internet with players constantly timing out and logging out. But it's ok,” wrote Lönnholm, now CEO of MuchDifferent, explaining, “With 999 players, we still managed to raise the unofficial PlanetSide record with 600 players. For about two hours, people could experience a smooth massive game experience.”

Lönnholm admitted that the game (renamed “Man Vs. Machine) was affected by ongoing balance issues, but that the real achievement was getting all players in one game with zero penalties to its overall performance.

The attempt is still in the process of receiving official Guinness World Records approval, however MuchDifferent is confident their FPS experiment will make next year's edition.

Matt Bradford wrote news and features here at GamesRadar+ until 2016. Since then he's gone on to work with the Guinness World Records, acting as writer and researcher for the annual Gamer's Edition series of books, and has worked as an editor, technical writer, and voice actor. Matt is now a freelance journalist and editor, generating copy across a multitude of industries.