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Trombone Champ is Exploding in Popularity on Steam

Trombone Champ has become a viral success on streaming platforms like Twitch and YouTube, and the developer has confirmed it’s translating into “huge demand.” A musical game involving a trombone and no other instruments may not sound like the kind of title that would go viral in 2023, but that’s exactly what’s happened. Trombone Champ, developed by the indie team Holy Wow Studios, launched this past week and has taken the internet by storm.

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It’s difficult to tell exactly where Trombone Champ‘s viral success began, but the credit belongs entirely to Holy Wow. The studio made sure that streamers on Twitch and YouTube were given keys for the oddball musical game, trusting that all it would take is enough eyes on the game for it to become a radical success. Streamers have since played it quite a bit, sharing their favorite clips online and helping word of mouth for Trombone Champ spread. It’s taken the better part of the past week for Trombone Champ to pick up steam, but it now has a lot of momentum.

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In a recent tweet thread, Holy Wow described just what the wave of popularity has meant. According to Holy Wow, the game’s development is “mostly a one person operation” and that it’s not even their primary job. It’s going to take some time for Holy Wow to get things in order and to “deal with the huge demand” that Trombone Champ has created.

Holy Wow’s request for the community to be patient is more than understandable, yet it hasn’t meant a pause in post-launch development whatsoever. On Wednesday, Holy Wow issued Trombone Champ‘s v1.03 update, which is just the latest update for the game, not only addressing a number of technical issues that cropped up but also adding an entirely new song to the game. Three updates in less than a week and the developers aren’t even working on the game full-time. That’s dedication.

It’s easy to see why Trombone Champ has gone viral. The game is artful in the way it enables players to make funny trombone noises, yet also keeps players suspiciously close to feeling like they’re making actual music. It’s silly, but it’s also very clearly endeared to the music being played. That makes Trombone Champ as ridiculous as it is easy and enjoyable to play.

As for what comes next for Trombone Champ, it’s anyone’s guess. Holy Wow has a post-launch roadmap planning gameplay tuning, feature additions, and more songs for the music game, but that roadmap may have changed in the week since launch. Holy Wow could grow Trombone Champ to a degree the studio never planned, or work could begin on a different and even bigger project. Holy Wow has a big opportunity in front of it, and it will be exciting to see what the development team decides to do with its success.

Trombone Champ is available now on PC.

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