So, how’s life on the good ship LawBreakers? About the same as it was before, although we do now have an eagle-eyed shot of the game’s Steam charts actually registering a flat zero players. Not that its seven-day high is exactly much better.
Here’s the good news for the game: It has a free weekend this weekend, along with a half-price sale running through the end of Tuesday next week. So you can try out the game for yourself and see if it sticks with you; considering the most recent negative reviews on the game have largely concerned the lack of players, it certainly can’t hurt matters.
For those of you who have been following this for a while, you may remember that Cliff Bleszinski’s most recent interview placed the blame on the game’s current state on media outlets and insisted that his team recognizes that the game’s life cycle is a marathon, rather than a sprint. We’ll see if this puts a bit more momentum in the game’s step.
Here at Massively Overpowered, we generally try to avoid cursing, but there really are no two ways to put the Cliff Bleszinski quote from his latest interview on LawBreakers’ post-launch struggles. Let’s provide the whole thing, for context:
[The gaming press is] just looking for clicks, man. They’re just looking for ad revenue. We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing, and they’re welcome to print whatever they want – but as far as I’m concerned, they can fuck off. We’re going to keep making our game for our fans.
Bleszinski stresses that the game’s struggle is simply to get its concurrent user counts high enough to make matchmaking reliably and enjoyable, with repeated statements that the studio is focused on building the community over time and engaging with them. He also claims that any perception problems are a result of people being overly negative, citing the game’s high number of positive reviews on Steam.
The latest update to LawBreakers is coming out on October 19th, and it uses the phrase “All-Star” a bit too often for anyone who has been on the internet over the past few years. But it also has a brand-new linear tutorial for players fresh to the game, so you can jump in and get a better idea of how to actually play the game. That is definitely a good thing for bolstering the game’s playerbase, but even if you’re one of the game’s existing ten fans, you’ll have reasons to enjoy the next update.
The patch brings in the ranked competitive Boss League, albeit in a “season zero” setting to test the system in actual play. There’s also a new Blitzball-themed map, a new variant on the Redfalls map, and lots of new customization items for players to unlock as rewards. Spectator mode has gotten better, cross-region queueing is enabled… you can watch a video showing off all of the new features just below, so don’t shy away if the game still has your interest.
Good news, LawBreakers fans! The game has set a new record for concurrency by reaching its unprecedented nadir of 10 players online! That’s according to PCGamesN, anyway, and we’re assuming they’re using Steam stats to come to that number, since we don’t have access to console numbers.
Ten is exactly enough players to play one match, so the game was still playable. Also, bad news; when the good news is “there were enough players to make one match happen,” you need to seriously re-index “good news.” Because there isn’t much.
Player counts did apparently spike up after the game’s most recent free weekend, but they immediately dropped right back off, despite hopes that the title would start to build up steam again. One can only hope that the concurrency numbers on console are significantly higher, because if they’re anything like the PC numbers, the future does not look bright.
Have you wanted to get a peek at LawBreakers but haven’t wanted to pony up the $30 price? Now is your chance to sneak in and see if you’d like it: The game is free to try this weekend on Steam. Massively OP’s MJ is taking advantage of the opportunity and diving into the fray. Tune in live at 6:00 p.m. for a look at life in…
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 6:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, September 30th, 2017
By most accounts, LawBreakers is having a rough go at breaking into the shooter market, with even CliffyB admitting last week that his studio “need[s] the bodies” and that the player numbers are humbling. Part of that may just be the $30 cost barrier to entry, and now that barrier is going away, at least for the weekend: In the tersest Steam post of all time, Nexon has announced a free weekend for the game beginning this Thursday, September 28th, and ending October 2nd.
Most recently, the game patched up to 1.4, which boosted health for all characters, added out-of-combat health regen, group spawning, the new Namsan map, new daily login rewards, and more matchmaking and queueing options.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Lawbreakers, Hyper Universe, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Pokemon Go, World of Tanks, DC Universe Online, Crossout, Monster Hunter World, Runes of Magic, Atlantica Online, Revelation Online, League of Legends, Crossfire, Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, Path of Exile, and Dungeon Fighter Online, all waiting for you after the break!
So what’s the key element in revitalizing the flagging player numbers for Lawbreakers? Cliff Bleszinski puts forth that part of the onus is on him to be, in his own words, “less of a dick” when interacting with people online. The game’s team is also revisiting the game’s overall marketing image and hopefully communicating more effectively what the game is about in play, which should hopefully entice more players to the game; Bleszinski repeatedly compared the process with the game to a marathon rather than a sprint.
We need the bodies. We need to keep fluffing up the CCU. We need to do what we can to let people know this is a really sweaty palm type of experience that can hopefully lend itself to e-sports. But you know, I have to keep this game alive, first and foremost.
He also states that the player numbers have been humbling, but that the game’s PlayStation 4 user base is doing fine. (The interviewer notes that matchmaking attempts on the console were unsuccessful over multiple attempts, but the tests in question were in Australia, which could be the culprit.) Check out the full interview if you’re interested in seeing whether the game can turn both is image and its player numbers around.
If you’re a big fan of Lawbreakers, don’t be dissuaded by the game’s tiny player numbers on Steam; there’s plans in the wings! The development team released a new roadmap to fans detailing a new map (Namsan) and a new onboarding experience to help players understand how to play the game right out of the gate. There are also new Skirmishes coming, which are new temporary map modes that give players new ways to play the game in the short term.
Further out, players can look forward to another new map, the game’s first post-launch class being added to the game, and the inclusion of the game’s competitive ranked league. The roadmap ends by reassuring players not to worry about those small user counts, which is of course totally reassuring and means that everything will probably be all right.
Lawbreakers seems to be turning into another one of those sad reminders that even renowned game designers have their failures from time to time.
The magic touch of Cliff Bleszinski (Unreal Tournament, Gears of War) hasn’t been enough to save this online shooter. Lawbreakers pretty much limped out of the gate and hasn’t been improving its numbers since release last month. In fact, VG247 notes that the game’s Steam Chart shows that the title has crashed from a peak of 7,482 players during testing to a mere few hundred gamers on any given day.
Keeping a critical mass going is important for PvP shooters, so it’s obvious that something needs to be done to bolster the population. One possible approach would be to make the game free-to-play and look at other revenue streams instead of box sales.
On the plus side, the game did get a shot of free publicity with a recent Penny Arcade comic strip, so there is that. It’s also possible that the PlayStation 4 numbers are much higher and capable of sustaining the game if PC cannot.
When one looks at a gravity-challenged game like Lawbreakers, one cannot help but wonder when the devs will add an update where your characters will have to fight a “nausea” meter while spinning and flipping through the air like some demented carnival ride.
No nausea meter yet, but the team did put out a small post-launch patch last week that adjusted downward (read: nerfed) some abilities that turned out to be a wee bit overpowered. These include the Harrier’s Convergence skill and the Wraith’s Wasp Sting. Gunslingers also felt the nerf bat pretty hard, but they did get a new mechanic that grants them a warp charge for every omega headshot. We assume that if you play the game, you’ll understand the words in the previous sentence.
Lawbreakers has been struggling with low numbers and rankings ever since the shooter’s launch several weeks ago. Boss Key CEO Cliff Bleszinski recently said that streaming the game during testing hurt its prospects.
Hey, kids! Want to read a big long interview with Cliff Bleszinski about launching LawBreakers? Because you probably shouldn’t read it if you’re an actual kid. There’s a lot of swearing and one anti-government rant in there about having to get your car inspected. But there is some useful information therein, like how Bleszinski thinks that streaming the LawBreakers alpha testing was a mistake that gave people the wrong impression. He also thinks that the title’s initial poor numbers are a reflection of the game in a live state is more about a marathon than a sprint, that the numbers will come naturally over time.
Bleszinski goes on to state that the game is meant to appeal to core shooter audiences rather than having what he describes as “kiddy bumpers” and an aesthetic moving away from what he refers to as “Anna and Elsa running around killing the zombies.” If you don’t mind a lot of swearing, by all means, check out the full interview.
If you’ve been following The Exiled for a bit, you know the game has been struggling to reach a large enough audience to sustain itself. Let’s hope that the game’s new limited-lives survival mode provides exactly that; the testing will be running all month for about three hours a day, forcing players to try the game in a different way. Here’s hoping!
The week has also seen one launch and one launch date; LawBreakers has officially launched (and run into some problems), while Tree of Life has announced its impending launch on August 17th.
You want more beta news? Now you’re just getting greedy. But fine.
Well, that was fun. If you’re not ready to say goodbye to this weekly feature just yet, please, feel free to run an inquisitive finger over the list we have down below while noting any games which have changed their status in the comments. Or letting us know if a link doesn’t work. Hey, we’re happy just to let you chat about your current betas. Flexibility.