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Anyone who’s spent any time on Twitch in the last few weeks, you’ll likely have seen a new game at the top of the game rankings: Only Up. The game appeared seemingly overnight and garnered massive amounts of views — at the time of writing, it’s in the top 10 games on Twitch, ahead of recent releases like Final Fantasy 16 and Diablo 4.

For a game with basically no presence prior to a couple weeks ago, it does seem to have a very interesting and somewhat controversial story behind it. We’ve dug through forums and discussion pages to get to the bottom of what the game is, where it came from, and why it’s got such a big following.

Here’s everything you need to know about Only Up.

What is Only Up?

Only Up is a “rage game” developed by SCKR Games, a self-professed indie developer that we know next to nothing about. The developer has just about a thousand followers on Twitter, only follows 15 accounts, and only popped up in the days before the game was released.

The game itself is a vertical 3D platformer, where players are tasked with climbing a challenging tower. The smallest mistake can take you back to the bottom, which makes for a lot of frustrating moments — and people like seeing their favorite streamer get frustrated. It’s a lot like Getting Over It, another climbing rage game released in 2017 and developed by Australian developer Bennett Foddy, although it looks significantly less polished than Getting Over It.

Why was Only Up removed from Steam?

Only Up was briefly removed from Steam for a day or so, and while we don’t have an official reason for the removal, we can probably guess. According to a few threads on Reddit and the game’s official discussion pages, the game was updated to replace one of the assets, a statue of a large girl, which many believe to have been a stolen asset.

While claims of stolen assets are unverified, the game does use a number of cheap assets from the Unreal Engine Marketplace, and reportedly used sound effects and images that were definitely not legally licensed. Forum-goers have described hearing the fanfare theme from Final Fantasy 7, sounds from the Minecraft caves, and some Nintendo sounds. It also reportedly contained the house from the Pixar movie Up, which Disney probably would not have been happy about.

Does Only Up have NFTs?

One of the weirdest aspects of Only Up is its use of NFTs, crypto jpegs that companies like Square Enix think are the future but definitely aren’t. While you can’t buy, sell, or earn NFTs in Only Up, images associated with NFTs do feature pretty heavily in the game.

A number of assets in the game are plastered over with Goblintown NFTs, including the main character’s shirt, which features one of the images. Goblintown NFTs became popular because they were free to mint, but hit right as the NFT market was collapsing. They’ve bounced back since, with some Goblintown NFTs selling for up to $16k, but they’re still jpegs tied to a bit of code so they’re still not worth that much.

So why are they in Only Up? Nobody’s really sure. Maybe Goblintown paid for a promotion, maybe SCKR Games is just a big fan of the project. It’s not really possible to say for sure, since any information on this game and what goes on behind the scenes is near impossible to come by. All we know is that the NFTs, like most NFTs, are incredibly ugly. At least they don’t have any effect on the gameplay.