Stardock announced its new political strategy/simulation game today, The Political Machine 2020. The PC strategy game allows players to choose a candidate and run for President against either a computer opponent or a candidate controlled by another person over the Internet.
Candidates include the current Democratic front-runners including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, as well as Internet favorites such as Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard. Republican candidates include Donald Trump, George W. Bush and Mitt Romney. Players can also design their own candidates to take on the campaign trail to win the hearts and minds of American voters.
“This game takes politics and brings them to players in a way that is fun and interesting,” said Stardock CEO Brad Wardell. “We use current data to model the US and voters in the game. The game emulates some of the unexpected things a candidate might have to deal with — natural disasters, national tragedies, economic crises — and immerses the player right in the middle of the insanity.”
The game now features unique ideology trees for the candidates. This allows each candidate to play very differently from one another.
“During the game, candidates will visit Town Halls which give them ideology points,” said Wardell. “They can then spend these points on owning certain issues. For instance, Bernie Sanders has ‘Medicare for All’ as an issue he can own, while Donald Trump uses points to purchase the ‘Build the Wall’ issue.”
Each issue is modeled on a per state basis with their voter support based on polling data to allow for an accurate simulation of how those issues will play out in different states.
“Since the object of the game is to win 270 electoral votes, players have to focus on winning the electoral college, which means paying attention to what issues voters care about in swing states. What plays well in Texas or California might hurt you in Ohio or Florida,” said Wardell.
Previous editions of The Political Machine have predicted the winner of nearly every state since 2004 with the exception of the 2016 edition, which was infamously patched due to it predicting Donald Trump would win Wisconsin.
“The game relies heavily on simulating voter enthusiasm, minority turn-out, and what political issues are most important in a given state,” said Wardell. “Sometimes the results surprise us, such as in the 2016 edition where the game was projecting Donald Trump to beat Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin. We assumed we had a bug and patched it but it turned out, the underlying model was working. Turn-out is key.”
The 2020 edition is a complete rewrite of the game with vastly improved graphics and a more sophisticated simulation that combines polling data, voter enthusiasm, and the most recent US census results to deliver a game that is both fun to play for casual players, and realistic enough for political wonks.
The Political Machine 2020 will be released this Spring. Visit www.politicalmachine.com to learn more or wishlist it on Steam today.