Submarine Horror Game Iron Lung Sees Sales Spike During Titanic Sub Search

Submarine Horror Game Iron Lung Sees Sales Spike During Titanic Sub Search

As the search continues for the missing OceanGate submarine at the site of the Titanic wreck, indie submarine horror game Iron Lung has seen a spike in Steam sales, much to the horror of sole developer David Szymanski.

The OceanGate Titan submersible has been missing since Sunday when it began the 12,500 foot (3.81km) descent to the ocean floor to view the Titanic wreck. At the time, it was carrying five passengers, including the founder of OceanGate, with passengers footing a $250,000 USD ($AU367K) bill to nab a ‘seat’ on the cramped sub, steered with what looks to be an old gaming controller.

Authorities and volunteer teams have been working around the clock to try and locate the missing watercraft and rescue those inside — but with the Titan only equipped with a four-day emergency supply of oxygen, time for a successful rescue is slipping away.

The story has gone viral on the internet, with well-wishers and meme-makers alike obsessively posting, checking news sites, and talking about the Titanic situation. In addition, it seems, gamers have decided to practice radical empathy by playing a video game where you man a claustrophobic submarine nicknamed the “Iron Lung” and navigate an ocean made of blood, all while photographing what’s down below. 

Szymanski shared a tweet showing the massive spike in sales of Iron Lung over the last couple of days, saying it felt “so wrong.” In a follow-up Tweet, he said that he “definitely [sees] the dark humour 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.” He went on to add, “Like all the jokes I’ve been seeing are hilarious, but also good lord, nobody should have to die like that.”

As per the Steam listing for Iron Lung, you must navigate in “an aging submarine cobbled together from rusty space station parts…and try to finish before the sub collapses around you… or you’re discovered by whatever lurks in the blood.” Clearly, the game has struck a chord with those fascinated by the Titanic submersible search and want to know what it would feel like to be in the same boat (sub).

At the time of writing, the Titan has yet to be located. However, recent reports show that underwater sounds have been detected, and rescue efforts are being re-focused in the hopes of finding the passengers quickly.

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