The creator of horror game Iron Lung says sales spike amid search for Titanic submarine "feels so wrong"

Iron Lung
(Image credit: David Szymanski)

As the search for a missing submersible touring the site of the century-old Titanic wreckage both captivates and horrifies the world, an indie developer is disturbed by a recent sales surge of his submarine-based horror game, Iron Lung.

On Sunday, the OceanGate Titan watercraft carrying five passengers left its support vessel to travel down about 12,500 feet (roughly 2.5 miles) to the ocean floor where the Titanic rests. The Titan's surface ship lost contact with the submersible about an hour and 45 minutes later, and a sweeping rescue operation has been underway since. The Titan is equipped with a four-day emergency oxygen supply, which is dwindling quickly as search and rescuers struggle to locate the vessel despite recently hearing sounds indicative of human life in the area it was last seen.

David Szymanski, the sole developer of Iron Lung, shared a graph showing a substantial uptick in units sold, which seemed to correlate with the ongoing development of the extremely harrowing situation.

"I definitely see the dark humor in this whole Titanic sub thing, it's just... like, I made Iron Lung the most nightmarish thing I could think of, and knowing real people are in that situation right now is pretty horrific, even if it was their own bad decisions," added Szymanski in a follow-up tweet. "Like all the jokes I've been seeing are hilarious but also good lord nobody should have to die like that."

Iron Lung is a terribly dread-inducing game set entirely inside a claustrophobic submarine investigating a mysterious and dangerous blood ocean decades after all known stars and habitable planets vanished from the universe. The story is being adapted for the big screen in a movie starring YouTuber Markiplier.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.