Video Name Game: A Psycho Peak?
Welcome to Mount Massive Asylum!
When it comes to America’s highest city, Leadville has been featured on a variety of creative platforms. There was the 1960 Broadway hit musical, The Unsinkable Molly Brown. There is a solid set-list of tunes that have The Leadville Connection which should be in every local’s device. And the list of books that pay tribute to The Cloud City could pack its own aisle in the local stacks.
But move over you page-turning, theater-going songwriters because there is another genre in the mix. And this one has not only been seen – but played – by millions. So as news spread about the next version of the iconic video game, Mount Massive Asylum was being released in 2022, it was time to check-in during visiting hours to find out more about this international sensation named after a peak seen daily in Leadville Today.
Exactly what was the origin to this Outlast game series about “an asylum located within the remote mountains of Lake County in Colorado, USA?” What was the inspiration behind the creative minds that developed a game about an investigative journalist who navigates a dilapidated psychiatric hospital in Leadville, Colorado that is overrun by homicidal patients? Yes, it is that specific, which is why it is coming up on Leadville-based search engines.
In full disclosure, along with a note for the sensitive reader, this creative connection to Leadville is a bit on the edgier side. But don’t let reviews like “most likely to make you faint” video game honors scare you. And the idea that Mount Massive Asylum “is not an experiment in how games can be scary, it’s an exemplification,” may frighten some, remember, it’s just a game, or as gaming-industry leader, GameSpot stated in its review:
“Outlast isn’t really a game of skill, and as it turns out, that makes sense. You’re not a cop or a soldier or a genetically enhanced superhero. You’re just a reporter. And as a reporter, you don’t possess many skills with which you can fend off the hulking brutes, knife-wielding stalkers, and other homicidal maniacs who lurk in the halls of the dilapidated Mount Massive Asylum. You can’t shoot them, or punch them, or rip pipes from the walls to clobber them with. You can only run and hide.”
The Official Trailer: Mount Massive Asylum
The Local Spin
The idea that Leadville would be featured as the location of a hospital for the criminally insane can be viewed through a comical lens even if it is a bit on the dark side. To read the game’s description that the mountain community has been taken over by “variants,” seems a bit ironic considering what was happened in the shadows of the true Mount Massive in recent years. Maybe the game’s producers knew that when the video was released, back on September 4, 2013.
But it was the unique fence design around the virtual hospital that caught a young Leadville gamer’s attention and brought he brought up the Leadville Connection during a suds session at The Scarlet last fall. However initial research discovered that the development team refers to a recently closed asylum in Buffalo NY as their inspiration, although there are certainly hints of Old Saint Vincent in some of the game’s graphics. And many campfire horror stories told around late-night campfires concerning the groans and moans associated with the building where many souls were lost and – ironically – was erected in the same year as the NY facility mimicked in the Mount Massive Asylum video game.
Certainly from a community branding and image perspective, it will be interesting to see what Red Barrels has in store for the third installment, set to be released in 2022.
And if trends for the New Year are any indication these storytelling vessels will not only explode in popularity with competitive online engagement around the world, but the big arena sporting events based on these games will rise as well. Picture a packed stadium that used to be bathed in orange and blue now cueing up the opening scene from Mount Massive Asylum as the top gamers sit center stage ready to take on the variants in Leadville. For smaller sporting venues that have been challenged with declining in-person fan attendance and shifting ticket buyers, this could very well be the future. A lot sooner than you think.
Of course, this original LT story will take on a life of their own, with readers sharing what they know. The post will likely be updated or linked especially as the developers come forward and state their Leadville Connection. In the meantime, readers can hit them up on their social platforms here:
The Developers: Red Barrels
So who are the developers and owners of the Mount Massive Asylum video game? And what can Lake County look forward to with the release in 2022?
According to their website, Red Barrels is the independent video game studio behind the Outlast series. Based in Montreal, Red Barrel’s mission is to create unforgettable experiences that leave the player’s blood running cold. Red Barrels Inc. is a Canadian video game developer based in Montreal. The company was founded by Philippe Morin, David Chateauneuf and Hugo Dallaire in 2011.
But as of today, the public relations pros have not responded to several of Leadville Today’s media inquiries regarding why they chose Lake County, Colorado as the home to The Mount Massive Asylum for the Criminally Insane? And LT’s nudges on social media have gone unanswered concerning why a small quiet mountain community would be picked for the setting of the horror videogame Outlast and its sequel Outlast: Whistleblower. But as the popular video game company gets ready to release its next round in the series in 2022, it’s worth asking some questions.
Hey gamers, Red Barrels is hiring for multiple positions!
Mount Massive Asylum: The Timeline
Thanks to Wikipedia for the background!
- Outlast was released for Microsoft Windows on September 4, 2013, PlayStation 4 on February 4, 2014 and for Xbox One on June 19, 2014. Linux and OS X versions were later released on March 31, 2015. A Nintendo Switch version titled Outlast: Bundle of Terror was released in February 2018.
- Outlast received generally positive reviews, with praise for its atmosphere, horror elements, and gameplay. As of October 2016, the game has sold 4 million copies. As of May 2018, the whole series has sold 15 million copies.
- A sequel, Outlast 2, was released on April 25, 2017, while a third installment, The Outlast Trials, is set to be released in 2022.
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Name The Bear Contest Winner(s) Announced
Polaris. It is such a strong, true-north name that two people submitted the same entry in the recent Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad’s “Name the Bear” contest. The new friendly, fuzzy employee has been a great addition to this year’s extended winter season – the first time since 1937 for the scenic train ride.
“Polaris has been a popular addition to our crew!” said Kirstin Ayers, LCSR President. “The guests just love him; he’s making our first season for The Holiday Express™ extra special!”
While some backcountry recreationists will no doubt think of the snow machine manufacturers when they hear the name, it’s origin can be found thousands of years before then and high up in the heavens above. In fact, the North Star – or Polaris – is famous for holding nearly still in the sky while the entire northern sky moves around it. An anchor, so to speak. And in times such as these, that’s a good thing.
“We received a lot of great names,” said Ayers regarding the contest which officially kicked off on November 1. “We particularly enjoyed all of the suggestions from Leadville students,” she added referring to the possible polar bear names that were submitted through their teachers from the local school district.
In full disclosure, Ayers explained that the winning name was submitted by TWO entrants: John Hartman and Jeff Giroux. In the end, the team of judges decided to award two top prizes which will include a gift basket from the Leadville Railroad’s historic depot’s gift shop and a family pack of four tickets for the 2022-23 season.
A photo of the winners with Polaris The Bear will be released soon. LT will share that when it becomes available.
Until then, why not meet Polaris for yourself and take a ride on one of The Holiday Express special rides which continue through January 15. And with the new year comes a new deal with a 10% discount being offered on the 4:30 p.m. afternoon rides when using the code HN22 at checkout when you purchase your tickets on the Leadville Railroad’s website.
Climb on board the Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad at the historic depot located at 326 East 7th Street in Leadville, CO 80461 Phone at 719-486-3936 or 866-386-3936.