Boss Key shutters after Radical Heights, LawBreakers fizzle

Boss Key is closing down following the struggles of LawBreakers and Radical Heights, though the latter will apparently remain playable for now. Cliff Bleszinski broke the news on Twitter.

LawBreakers, the Nexon/Boss Key collab shooter, launched last summer after a lengthy development period that saw at least one reboot of the game’s mechanics. The in-your-face marketing for the game (remember the #skilledaf hashtag they tried to get going?) didn’t go over with gamers, who at the time were infatuated with the booming PUBG. The game’s concurrency numbers were tiny, and when press covered that, CliffyB famously said that “as far as [he was] concerned, [the press] can fuck off.” By December, half of the team had left the studio, including one of its co-founders, and Nexon indicated by January that it had effectively written off the game as a loss.

And then in April, Boss Key had conceded defeat, saying that it was moving on to other projects and hinting that it was working on a passion project, which turned out to be a Running Man-esque battle royale game called Radical Heights. It, too, stumbled into early access with low numbers and fresh claims from CliffyB that Epic Games was poaching his staff. The game’s last big update was less than two weeks ago, and now, that might just be its last.

Source: Twitter
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๐™ณ๐š˜๐š๐šœ ๐š๐š˜๐š—'๐š ๐š”๐š—๐š˜๐š  ๐š’๐š'๐šœ ๐š—๐š˜๐š ๐š‹๐šŠ๐šŒ๐š˜๐š—.ยฎ
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๐™ณ๐š˜๐š๐šœ ๐š๐š˜๐š—'๐š ๐š”๐š—๐š˜๐š  ๐š’๐š'๐šœ ๐š—๐š˜๐š ๐š‹๐šŠ๐šŒ๐š˜๐š—.ยฎ

Haha, some of these devs are starting to sound like accused #metoo pigs faking “humbled by this experience” .

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Daedalus Machina

This should be appropriate for this moment.

Maybe CliffyB can join John Romero in sharing some of that humble pie and learning what it is like to insult ex-employees for leaving a sinking ship and getting rightly-criticized for doing so. [He has an] unprofessional attitude towards both his fellow developers and to his customers (gamers) as a whole.

(Edited by mod.)

Mewmew
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Mewmew

While I would not be surprised to see a quickly made “me too” Battle Royale copy fail, I really don’t think you can say a game has failed when it’s so early on in Early Access. I mean it doesn’t even have female avatars yet. The game is so early on in Early Access, many people don’t even look at games this early on, it seems a bit too soon to give up on it.

I’m sorry his dog is dying (I assume it’s a dog he means by Aussie) but we all have to go on with life when our pets pass. I’m not trying to be cold, I love my cats more than anything and it hurts more to lose them than when my actual human relatives die, but pets don’t live long compared to us and we have to continue to deal with the other things in life as we lose them. Especially when you have a business and people that count on you for their salary.

Our pets are very much extremely important but when they naturally get old and start fading with age we can’t really put all of our other responsibilities on hold because of it. Or at least most of us can’t afford to. I guess if you were independently rich or had other people who could take care of everything for you, you could. But it sounds like he’s giving up on a lot.

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Sorenthaz

It wasn’t a ‘me too’ BR copy though. It had its own unique spin on things and had its own unique systems as well. There were folks who legitimately found it more enjoyable and fun than Fortnite/H1Z1/PUBG because the game didn’t take itself so seriously and they enjoyed the heavy 80’s action hero stuff. The bikes pretty much added a Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater element to the game and they were going to toss in skateboards eventually as well.

Game definitely needed more time, but apparently they were bleeding money at that point.

Doesn’t help that Radical Heights had a stupidly generous F2P model where you didn’t really need to pay much for anything, and you could obtain most cosmetics simply through playing the game.

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kgptzac

Lots of arrogance from that statement, and not enough apologies for leading one game into failure and consequently doomed the next. Hopefully this guy doesn’t get into a decision making position in his next game, because it will be the first reason many people won’t be playing it.

creepywhistle
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creepywhistle

The writing was on the wall, just had to connect it all:

– BossKey only admits Lawbreakers is dead just days before releasing RH to early access. Mislead players all that time.
– Lawbreakers steam page and forums didn’t bother posting the announcement at all, price remains the same. Like The Culling, zero effort after abandoning the game.
– Statement reads “we pride ourselves at being communicative and transparent.” but won’t admit they dropped Lawbreakers to focus on RH way back in November.

I warned BossKey on the RH subreddit to prove me wrong and not pull a Daybreak, but the staff responses pretty much convinced me it was going to end badly. Most responses to criticism before EA launch was basically deflection and requesting they (the critic) would try the game out anyway.

Constant dishonesty and now looking for pity. None from me.

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Arsin Halfmoon

The only sad thing in this post is that his dog’s dying.

velimirius
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velimirius

the “me too” didnt work even tho he was spinning it like he is reinventing the industry, hopefully he wont be making another game.

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Sorenthaz

What the Patch Notes for Patch 3 would have looked like from Ron. Would have been out May 21st. from radicalheights

And here’s the Patch 3 that would’ve come out in a week. Squads, deployable cover, dynamite footballs, new twists on the ‘gameshow’ stuff… new cosmetics even.

And obviously they had female character models in the work too, they already showed concept art for it.

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Daedalus Machina

Female character models/animations should NEVER be an OPTIONAL ‘feature’ in an online game. Period. It is inexcusably lazy and short-sighted. I’m still laughing a bit at the whole ‘what could have been’ posts that CliffyB has been whining about since he became responsible for several people losing their jobs/livelihoods after his deliberately crashed the sinking ship on yet another iceburg.

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Sorenthaz

Female character models were in the works and they were focused on getting the bare minimum out while expanding on it as they could, considering they apparently only had 5 weeks left of operating costs.

Also I’d like to have what you’re smoking if you think he deliberately crashed a studio.

Good lord I know you folks love to hate the guy but that is quite the stretch.

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Sorenthaz

https://clips.twitch.tv/CogentAnimatedMangoMikeHogu

https://clips.twitch.tv/RelatedSpunkyConsoleDendiFace

https://clips.twitch.tv/SillyHelplessDelicataBigBrother

Stuff like this is why it sucks quite a bit. Rob (Rurikar22) was even streaming with the above dev last night and there was excitement over what was coming to the game soon enough. Watching the hopefulness of last night to suddenly seeing him depressed over the sudden announcement earlier today is heartbreaking.

While Radical Heights didn’t gain huge traction right away (let’s be real: which Battle Royale did? H1Z1 didn’t, PUBG didn’t, Fortnite didn’t; all of them took a few months or longer to really explode) it did get some devoted folks who were creating content around it. Now that’s all pretty much getting flushed down the drain. Most folks didn’t give this game a chance because they memed about Lawbreakers or got all fussy and held Internet grudges over some things Cliff said. But the game was enjoyable and showed promise to offer a different feel and take on Battle Royales than what H1Z1/PUBG/Fortnite currently offer; it was a game that didn’t take itself super seriously and wasn’t choked by a hardcore competitive crowd or whatever.

Folks are gonna love to be smug with satisfaction over seeing Cliff Bleszinksi fail, but people lost jobs over it and there was a genuine passion for the game for those who were developing it + creating content for it. So this sucks because it’s a game that barely got a chance thanks to Lawbreakers’ failure. It had a lot of great ideas planned on the pipeline but all of that had to get shut down, and the only ones laughing are the folks who want to meme and get some twisted joy over one dude failing to lead a company.

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Nathan Aldana

See, my thing is. I’m sad for the devs. But I dont think Radical Heights ever had a chance because in the state it launched in the general sentiment I saw on the internet was “CliffyB is trying to grab for the fortnite cash before he misses the money train like he did with Lawbreakers”.

No offense, but when you launch with what is 90% stock assets over a skeleton that might be something great later, you cant seriously tell me they werent making a horrific gamble.

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kgptzac

Don’t write off the way your boss does stuff with your customers as something supposed to be unrelated to your career success. I don’t know much about you compare to your boss, so I can only wish you good luck on your next job where your new boss isn’t a detriment to your success.

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Utakata

I gotta feeling that this may have something to do with the lofty cheeze sandwiches being developed that where doomed to fail than anything. My thoughts to those who are most effected by this though. I wish them the best of luck finding work in something much more stable, grounded and meaningful.