Welp, it looks like Cliff Blezinski’s answer to Overwatch has not gone well. Call it marketing, call it uninspired artstyle, but Bossy Key Productions’s LawBreakers just couldn’t keep up with the competitive FPS genre. Turns out, steamcharts recorded a fat player count of zero.
Now, I have high respect for Cliff. I grew up playing Jazz Jackrabbit, I loved Shadow Complex and Bulletstorm is just grossly underrated. Yet sadly, I can’t get into his latest venture. It just can’t compare to Blizzard’s polished simplicity of Overwatch. Blizzard has cemented itself as a poster-boy of how to successfully do free-to-play games (yet not some competitive esports).
Some blame Boss Key Productions for the lack of marketing and coverage that LawBreakers didn’t have. To be honest, Overwatch released first (by a year), and that’s one part of where LawBreakers went wrong. I think the other part is that ‘CliffyB’ may have underestimated modern multiplayer shooters. After many years of doing epic single-player campaigns, Boss Key may not have realized the industry has shifted in terms of what sells.
Multiplayer-wise, simplicity is key. Blizzard understood this when they wanted to dip their lootbox into the MOBA genre. The first thing they did was drop items completely. Simplified. This made it not only more accessible but also more appealing to watch as perhaps it’s easier to follow. Bethesda saw the history of incredibly deep RPG’s and simplified almost all the mechanics, and that made it a critical and commercial success. Not only did LawBreakers fail in both those regards, at the end of the day it had no hook. Even Blezinski admits that it’s not a very accessible game.
Regardless, I truly hope Cliff’s next project has more success. Talented as he is, perhaps his new company needs to do more research and industry analysis before jumping into a new genre he hasn’t touched in years.
Do you still even play LawBreakers? If you do, sound off below!