LawBreakers, the “gravity-defying multiplayer FPS” from Cliff Bleszinski’s Boss Key Productions stepped fully onto the Watch List this week. The game launched on Steam in August of 2017 but despite its developer pedigree and “Mostly Positive” standings the graphs show that there just aren’t many people playing it. There have been a few spikes around new content releases but on average we’re talking a few dozen active players on any given day. Why? According to publisher Nexon’s latest earnings report it’s all due to the overwhelming popularity of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
“LawBreakers is a unique FPS developed for core users. We had very high expectations for its launch; however, 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 the first-person shooters in general and for LawBreakers.” – Shiro Uemura, Representative Director and CFO at Nexon
Uemura added quite the definitive statement on the game in the Q&A section stating, “we will not be accruing any other impairment loss pertaining to LawBreakers in the future”. I’m no business guy so I had to look up impairment loss (I’m still not 100% on it) and while it isn’t a good thing it could just mean that Nexon has adjusted its financial expectations for the game going forward, not that they’re cutting it off ASAP.
Still, these financial statements coupled with the game’s low player count should definitely raise an eyebrow over the game’s longevity. For now, LawBreakers’ holiday events are wrapping up and the game is still available to buy on both Steam and PlayStation 4. I would expect the game to stick around through its one-year anniversary in August of 2018 but after that I wouldn’t be surprised to see a “sunset” announcement.