As LawBreakers Struggles Continue, Dev Working On New Game
Boss Key Productions shares what's next.
Despite proving to be an enjoyable arena shooter, LawBreakers has not turned out to be the success its developer hoped for. With the game struggling to attract players, developer Boss Key Productions has finally commented on what both it and the game's future holds.
In a message on its official website, Boss Key admitted that it hasn't spoken about the game in some time, describing the last four months as "especially trying, as we pride ourselves at being communicative and transparent."
"So here is the very real truth, which may not come as a surprise," it said. "The fact is LawBreakers failed to find enough of an audience to generate the funds necessary to keep it sustained in the manner we had originally planned for and anticipated. And while a pivot to free-to-play may seem like [the] easiest change to make, a change of this magnitude takes publishing planning and resources to do it."
While this sounds like the preface for Boss Key announcing that it is ending support for the game, the studio says it's "determined to give this game the second life it deserves." Due to the need to keep the company afloat, though, this won't be its sole focus moving forward.
"[B]etween now and then, we cannot sit idle," the message said. "We will continue to support the game in its current state, but we also need to focus on other projects with fresh creative leaders. We have been working on something new and we can't wait to share more about it! It's a passion project that we're in complete control of."
LawBreakers is an arena shooter in the mold of something like Unreal Tournament or Quake but with a class-based system. It was the first game released by Boss Key, the studio founded by Cliff Bleszinski, the ex-Epic Games developer best known for his work on Unreal Tournament and Gears of War. The game debuted on PC and PS4 last August and immediately struggled to grab much of audience, with its playerbase quickly dwindling. Bleszinski has spoken out on his desire to save the game, though fellow co-founder Arjan Brussee left the studio to return to Epic.
Arena shooters are a sub-genre that hasn't seen many games released in recent years, which seemingly left open a niche for LawBreakers to exploit. However, its struggles may have been at least partially due to the overwhelming success of PUBG, according to publisher Nexon. In an earnings report, the company said, "The timing of its launch turned out to be unfortunate, specifically the blockbuster PC online game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds came out right about the same time, making the market environment very tough for first-person shooters in general and for LawBreakers."
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