Cliff Bleszinski Quits the Gaming Industry via Twitter

Some folks seem to build their entire existence through Twitter, so perhaps the end of CliffyB’s career via the social media platform isn’t a huge surprise. However, Bleszinski appears to have indeed confirmed that he is out of the gaming business, so this certainly doesn’t seem like a hyperbolic eruption.

cliffyb's career

The entire matter kicked off when a newly-created Twitter account issued a tweet to voice their dismay that the FPS LawBreakers had not refunded their money. Bleszinski replied to the tweet directly in a pretty frustrated manner.

“I paid my employees, their 401ks, and their health care – even months after the studio folded. I didn’t take a salary myself for two years,” wrote Bleszinski. “I get you’re sad, but god, this kinda s**t is another reason I am NEVER making another game.”

When asked by GamesIndustry whether or not this was a simply heated moment or if he was genuinely finished with game dev, Bleszinski simply replied with “I’m done.”

Our Thoughts

If nothing else, this should provide some interesting fodder for Bleszinski’s current book. In all seriousness, though, we do feel bad for Bleszinski a bit. While it still seems like this is a moment of hot-headedness, it also does seem pretty earnest and conclusive.

Source: GamesIndustry

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Cliff Bleszinski’s Upcoming Book to Touch On Boss Key’s Shutdown

Cliff “CliffyB” Bleszinski has had a number of years in the games industry and has worn a lot of hats in that time. So it would certainly stand to reason that he would have a variety of stories to tell. In his upcoming book, Bleszinski has promised to talk about the Boss Key Productions closure from his point of view and has even offered a quick peek of the related chapter.

boss key productions closure

If you’ve been following CliffyB on Twitter, you already know that he’s been working on his book for a little while now, but has only written the chapter about the former game studio this past Friday. “Felt good, like that chapter in my life was finally closed,” remarked Bleszinski.

According to him, the section of the book regarding the former LawBreakers and Radical Heights studio will be in his own words, which also explains why he hasn’t taken any interviews about the matter.

In the tweet referencing the chapter, the first few paragraphs are pictured, which promise an earnest look at both the studio’s fate as well as his views on the games industry overall if the opening paragraph is any indicator:

“This is going to be a hard chapter to write, honestly, harder than my father passing, harder than my nephew dying, harder than reminiscing about meeting Lauren, harder than talking about the fall of my first marriage.”

The chapter preview also remarks that Bleszinski “hugs 85% of [his] industry peers” and refers to those peers as a Nerd Mafia. “If you f*** with one of us, you f*** with all of us,” reads part of the page.

Our Thoughts

While it’s a shame he feels only able to talk about the end of Boss Key in his own book, Mr. Bleszinski has certainly been nothing else but outspoken and eager to tell his side of the story his way. We’re certainly interested in reading his take on what happened to the studio.

Source: Twitter

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18 MMOs Shut Down in 2018…So Far

For the first three months of 2018, it looked like we might have a crisis on our hands as more games than usual were shutting down. Thankfully, in the last three months, things have slowed down significantly. With that being said, there have still been 18 MMOs shut down in 2018 so far.

 

Battle of the Immortals and War of the Immortals – January 9th

Battle of the Immortals

Perfect World Entertainment started off 2018 by announcing they were shutting down two of their older games. There was no reason given for the shutdowns, but a declining player base as the games aged is a pretty safe bet. But this actually isn’t the beginning of the PWE story, back in November they shut down Runic Games, the makers of Torchlight, Torchlight II, and Hob. At the same time they downsized Gigantic’s studio Motiga, but more on them further down.

 

Perpetuum – January 25th

perpetuum like eve online

In September 2017 the developers of Perpetuum came out and said that while they always knew it would be a niche game, it never really took off. With that in mind they ended development on the game, though kept the servers online while they looked at their options. Sadly, by mid-January, the costs of keeping Perpetuum online became too much for the developers and they were forced to shut the game down.

 

Master X Master (MXM)- January 31st

master x master free-to-play

After spending much of 2017 trying to appeal to former City of Heroes players by bringing out beloved iconic characters from the game, MXM ultimately shut down at the end of January. From the start though it seemed like a questionable proposition. It was late to the MOBA scene and trying to take an idea that had already been used by Blizzard of using iconic characters from their various games. Unfortunately for NCSoft, most of the games they focused on are practically unknown in the West and the games that are well known are controversial or downright unpopular. The exception to that is Guild Wars 2, which MXM hardly touched at all. Ultimately, NCSoft admitted that they failed to connect with players.

 

Linkrealms – January 31st

The journey for LinkRealms was a long one, though it only spent a short bit of that time on Steam. The game went into Early Access in early 2016, then it was announced the game would be free to play from October of that year. Sadly, without any money coming in, the developers couldn’t keep the game running and it had to shut down.

 

Scrolls – February 13th

Scrolls closing down

Anyone who was a fan of Scrolls knew the game was going to be shut down eventually. Perhaps what is most shocking in fact is how long it stuck around. It was announced all the way back in 2015 that Mojang wasn’t developing the game anymore and that the servers would stay online “for some time”. Well that time finally came this year, which honestly is a pretty good run for a card game that wasn’t getting any new content. Scrolls is perhaps best known as the cause of a lawsuit between Zenimax and Mojang over the use of the word ‘Scrolls’ in the name.

 

Demon’s Souls – February 28th

Demon’s Souls had a long run of almost 9 years when it was announced that the game was shutting down. The game is still playable as all the online components were completely optional, but it was an option people loved nonetheless.

 

Devilian – March 5th

Devilian Shutting Down

Devilian was a victim of its brother game’s success; that game is PUBG. Both were created by the same studio but when PUBG started to get big, Devilian started getting neglected. Trion, who were publishing Devilian in the West tried their best to work with Bluehole with no success. In the end, they decided to call it quits for the game.

 

Battleline: Steel Warfare – April 7th

Battleline

Bandai Namco’s tank shooting game went under the radar for a lot of people. In fact, the sunset wasn’t covered by any of the MMO focused gaming sites, MMOGames included. We only found out about it thanks to one of our readers who pointed it out to us, thanks Alberto Honorato! Fans didn’t take the news well on Steam and left some pretty harsh comments about the game on the sunset announcement.

 

Cabal 2 – April 18th

Cabal 2

Despite being live for around 3 years, the developers used the kind of language you usually see in sunset announcements for newer games. They said the game didn’t resonate with as many players as they’d hoped. If this were the case though, why did Cabal 2 last as long as it did, with updates, and new content even? The second reason they gave fits the narrative far better: continued operation is no longer sustainable.

 

Paragon – April 26th

Epic has been having…please forgive this…they’ve been having an epic year thanks to Fortnite. But in the middle of all their epic winning (sorry, I had to), they shut down their MOBA Paragon. Fans were, of course, disappointed and hopeful that Paragon would get bought by someone, but that wasn’t to be. Epic released Paragon Assets for free to use in Unreal Engine 4 development, these were worth $12 million.

 

Special Mention: LawBreakers/Radical Heights – May 14th

LawBreakers

Boss Key shut down in mid-May and as a result are getting an honorable mention on this list. Neither of the studios two games have actually shut down yet, however. Radical Heights, the 80s themed battle royale game with an incomplete map is still getting a peak concurrent player base of around 250-300 people every day. LawBreakers, on the other hand, is averaging 0-2 concurrent players during the week which goes up sometimes as high as 15 on the weekends. Why neither game has actually been shut off yet is anyone’s guess.

 

Echo of Soul – May 23rd

Life was never easy for Echo of Soul in the West, but they kept trying anyway. In fact, though the Echo of Soul classic servers are shutting down, the Phoenix servers are alive and well. So it isn’t really the end of Echo of Soul just yet.

 

Swordsman Online and Jade Dynasty – June 5th

Swordsman Online

Swordsman Online

Here we are once again at Perfect World Entertainment shutting down two games at once. The teams working on Swordsman Online and Jade Dynasty are being moved on to bigger and better things. Though what they are is anyone’s guess. They also said that they felt there was nowhere else for Swordsman Online to go.

 

More to Come…

We know already that Perfect World Entertainment has at least one more game to sunset this year, Gigantic. The MOBA with fantastic art just never really took off and with the studio having been closed… well, we knew it was coming.

In addition to Gigantic, we already have shutdown dates for Runescape Classic, Runescape Legends, and Ace of Spades.

What will the rest of 2018 bring us? Only time will tell.

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MMO Money: Mobile Revenue is Breaking Records

Quarterly report season, it’s exciting and a little bit brain melting. In between it all we’ve got other business news to talk about too including esports betting and more lootbox drama. We also get a real-world example of what can happen to a company’s stock when an embargo is broken and false information is released. There’s one theme that runs throughout this article, mobile revenue is breaking records all over the place. There’s a lot of information to digest in this week’s MMO Money so grab a drink, maybe a snack too and sit back for a wild ride. It all ends with more lootbox talk from Begium, Guild Wars 2’s game director, and everyone’s favorite…EA.

 

PUBG Mobile Revenue Only 1/3 Fornite iOS Revenue

Mobile Revenue is Breaking Records

While PUBG mobile and Fortnite iOS came onto the scene at roughly the same time back in March, PUBG has only started to monetize in the last week. The revenue for that first week isn’t amazing. In fact, it’s one third the revenue Fortnite got in its first week being on iOS only. For those who don’t know, PUBG is available on both Android and iOS. Fortnite generated 3.7 million dollars its first week on mobile compared to PUBG which comes in around $1 million.

The report from Sensor Tower also states that Fortnite beat out PUBG with fewer players, 3.7 million downloads vs 22 million. But it doesn’t show how many of those 22 million downloads since launch are still active PUBG players, so this isn’t really a fair comparison to make. The 3.7 million Fortnite players would have all been active at some point in that week simply because it was the very first week, and not a couple of months later. Randy Nelson, Head of Mobile Insights at Sensor Tower attributes the differences to the means of monetization. “There’s also the possibility that the way Epic Games has structured its purchases may be giving Fortnite a leg up on its biggest competitor,” he said. “It offers limited-time costumes and set daily items that players can purchase outright, as opposed PUBG Mobile’s primary use of loot boxes that produce random (and often duplicate) items when opened by players.”

 

Activision-Blizzard Q1

They’re winning all of the money. End of story.

Overwatch Retribution Event - McCree and Reaper

Kidding…well sort of. They really are winning all the money. Activision-Blizzard had a net revenue of $1.97 billion for Q1, that’s up from $1.73 billion for Q1 2017. Net revenue from digital channels were at an all-time quarterly record of $1.46 billion. In Q1, Activision Blizzard had 374 million monthly active users, 38 million of those coming from Blizzard games. Preorders for WoW’s Battle for Azeroth expansion are ahead of where they had originally forecast.

The Overwatch League has strong viewership globally, reaching millions of people every week. As a result of the league and the upcoming playoffs, this summer there is increased engagement with the franchise. This means more people are playing and watching for longer than previously.

On the mobile side of things, King has had its highest quarterly net bookings in history. That’s money made from merchandising, products sold, licensing fees, and so on. This quarter King also had 2 of the top 10 highest-grossing titles in US mobile app stores for the 18th quarter in a row.

Generally speaking, things are great for Activision-Blizzard, so much so that they’re raising their outlook for the full year.

 

German Mobile Game Revenue Seeing Explosive Growth

Thanks to the many articles we’ve done covering the 2017 games business scene we know that mobile is still growing in a massive way and is already really dominating the gaming industry. But there’s one market in particular that is seeing massive, unexpected growth: Germany.

The German Games Industry Association reported on data from market research company GfK that in 2017, mobile gaming revenue grew faster than all of the German gaming market. Mobile gaming sales rose 21% versus the overall market which saw only 15%. Most of the revenue came from in-app purchases which totaled €481 million ($569 million). Just to put all of this in perspective, in-app purchases have more than doubled since 2014. It also doesn’t look like things are going to slow down any time soon. What this does show is that Germans are a fantastic audience for mobile games, unlike most of Europe who seem to prefer to keep a tight hold on their wallets.

 

Want to learn more about the games industry in 2017 check out these articles:

2017 Online Games Financial Review
2017 Games Industry by the Numbers
2017 Games Industry Revenue

EA Celebrating Record Year

It’s good news for EA, despite all the very public lockbox drama they had throughout the last year. Game sales are actually down, but live services are picking up the slack and now make up 40% of the publisher’s income. For the full year, EA’s net revenue was up 6.2% to $5.15 billion. But the news that most people were really hoping to hear was about Anthem and EA did not disappoint, saying that Anthem is set to ship in the last month of the last quarter of the year, that gives it a launch date in March 2019. During the call, they also talked a bit about lockboxes, but we’ll go into more detail on that in the section dedicated to all things lootbox.

 

Dow Jones Reporting Problem

Dow Jones News Service broke embargo and false information was released ahead of Activision-Blizzard’s quarterly report call. This information caused Activision-Blizzard’s stock to tumble, as well as stock for EA and Take-Two. Activision-Blizzard suffered a 6.3% drop, but within a couple of hours the correct information was published and in the end, Activision-Blizzard closed down 2.3%. Afterward, Dow Jones issued a statement saying, “We regret our error as well as inadvertently breaking the embargo. We have issued a correction and are reviewing our processes.”

 

Tencent Q1

Have you had enough with all the good news yet? Well here’s some more for you. Tencent is reporting a 48% increase in revenue year on year. Most of this has been driven by mobile games and social platforms. Total revenue for the quarter was $11.69 billion with operating profit at $4.88 billion. Smartphone game revenue increased 68%. This includes both mobile games and social games on their social media platforms like QQ, which has 805.5 million active users. Facebook is at 2.2 billion, just in case you’re wondering.

On the PC gaming front, revenue remained fairly flat year on year. But with new titles expected in the coming months, Tencent has said this will change. The company also attributes the lack of significant revenue increase on more and more people making the transition to mobile gaming. Tencent is going to be responsible for releasing PUBG and Fortnite to China, assuming they get government approval. They’re also going to publish Ubisoft mobile and PC games in China. So, the future is looking bright for this monster of a company.

 

Boss Key Saga

By now you’ve almost certainly heard about the saga of Boss Key. The company shut down this week just a month after putting a new game up on Steam Early Access. If you haven’t heard all of the drama, or you haven’t seen the concept art from the games they never got to make there’s an entire article on the Boss Key saga.

 

Pearl Abyss Q1

Pearl Abyss had a record first quarter thanks to mobile games. Are you starting to see the same pattern we are? Net profits are up a massive 82.9% compared with the same period last year. Much of their success is thanks to releasing Black Desert Mobile in Korea. North America and Europe account for 56% of Black Desert Online’s game sales. Coming up, the company is working on MMOFPS Project K, casual mobile MMO Project V, and Black Desert Mobile is going to expand to more regions of the world. You can expect it to reach the West sometime next year.

 

Kakao IPO

Black Desert Online

Speaking of Black Desert Online’s performance, we need to talk about Kakao Games, the publisher of BDO in the west. They’re preparing an IPO on the KOSDAQ in Korea. If it passes the screening required, it will most likely go public by the end of this year. According to Samsung Securities, Kakao is worth an estimated $1.4 billion. In addition to BDO, they’re also responsible for publishing PUBG in Korea and developing mobile games.

 

NCSoft Q1

All of NCSoft’s games are down this quarter with the exception of Aion. Guild Wars 2, the company’s most popular game in the west saw a massive, though entirely expected drop. Q4 2017 is where all the revenue for the game’s last expansion Path of Fire was at, so while there was a 32% drop quarter on quarter, year on year there was actually a 66% increase.

During the investor call, NCSoft admitted that Blade & Soul II for mobile has been delayed until 2019 because it didn’t meet expectations. It has a new team and a redesign which is the same thing they did for Lineage Eternal.

 

Nexon Q1

Finally, we’re at the last quarterly report that has been released as of this moment, Nexon. Much like many of the companies already mentioned in this article, Nexon has a strong showing this quarter with $827 million in revenue. That’s up 21% year on year. One thing that really makes them stand out from other companies is that most of its business, 84% of it in fact, was on PC. The vast majority of Nexon’s earnings came from China (67%) and Korea (22%) while North America accounted for just 4%. Later on this year in the west we can expect to see Durango, Maplestory 2, Maplestory M, and Final Fantasy XI mobile.

 

Esports

You can expect to see esports betting blossom thanks to a ruling by the US Supreme Court. They effectively overturned the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act which banned sports betting in all but a few states. The Supreme Court ruled that PAPSA violated the Tenth Amendment. What does this mean for esports betting? It means we’re going to see it a whole lot more. DraftKings have already got plans to move into betting for sports and esports.

In other esports news Quarterback Inc. has raised 2.5 million dollars in its initial seed funding round. The funding will go towards continued development and growth of Quarterback’s esports gaming platform. The seed round was back by Bitkraft Esports, Crest Capital Ventures, Deep Space Ventures, and UpWest Labs.

 

Lootboxes

Finally, we end this article as we always do with a look at what has been going on around the lootbox controversy in the last two weeks. The biggest news has been that the Belgian Gaming Commission released their full report on the controversy. The report itself is 25 pages long and in English, if you want to give it a read, but the most important thing to take from it is that they recommend criminal prosecution being initiated. Another recommendation that they give is age verification and banning the sale of games featuring loot boxes to minors. Wow.

Gamasutra posted an interview with Guild Wars 2 game director Crystin Cox from GDC that touched on the lootbox controversy that is well worth a read as she had a lot to say. She had a hard time defining what an ethical, non-painful lootbox experience might be like and she also said she hopes the government doesn’t get involved in regulation. Guild Wars 2 was specifically mentioned in a recent article here on MMOGames talking about a site that explains microtransactions for games. Guild Wars 2 has frequently been called out by players for their lootbox practices.

Lastly, as promised there is EA news to talk about. EA is adamant that lootboxes aren’t gambling at all. Why? Well, according to EA CEO Andrew Wilson, it’s because players always get a specified number of items and there’s no way to cash the items out or sell them for currency, real or virtual. This argument is a bit like Santa promising you’ll get 5 things for Christmas and on Christmas morning finding out that 3 of them are lumps of coal, one is a gum wrapper, and the other is reindeer droppings. You still got something though!

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The Saga of Boss Key Productions, Including All New Concept Art for Unannounced Titles

With the very sudden shutdown of Boss Key Productions plus the reveal of other ideas the studio had, it seems like now is the perfect time to look back at Boss Key’s rocky life. We’ll take a look all the bumps the studio had along the way as well as their triumphs. Be sure to stick with it to the end to see all new, never released concept art for games Boss Key Productions had intended to make.

It all began with Cliff Bleszinski, aka Cliffy B of Gears of War fame, deciding to take a break from game development for the first time since he was a teen in 2012. According to a 2015 interview with Destructoid, he had actually intended to retire from gaming completely at this time and on his departure from Epic Games said, “It was a combination of gamers feeling jaded, as well as working with some very talented people who were also very jaded. I could pitch the most amazing idea to anybody back when I was at Epic toward the end, and they’d be like ‘I don’t buy it.’ I don’t mean to slag anyone, but people get jaded in this business.”

 

LawBreakers

LawBreakers

On June 30, 2014, he took to Twitter to announce that he was coming out of retirement and that his next project would be unveiled in the next week. This is when LawBreakers would be announced, a team based FPS being published by Nexon. If you were to ask some people, they would say that this was Boss Key’s first mistake. Nexon doesn’t have the best reputation in the west so from the very beginning they were fighting an uphill battle with LawBreakers. It was also decided early on that it would be a Steam exclusive (though it also released on PS4) and despite the previous announcement that it would be free to play…it wasn’t.

After holding successful Alpha testing it was back into development for a little more than half a year, at which point Closed Beta began. Despite receiving positive beta reviews from all across the gaming media there weren’t many people playing in the beta. The second round of beta testing, which took place in May 2017, seems to be when the game peaked. According to SteamCharts.com, they had almost 7,500 players at their all-time concurrent peak which was reached on May 29, 2017. Even an open beta that was available for anyone with a Steam account didn’t slow down the decline that had already started. The game launched on August 8, 2017, and this seemed to have no impact at all on the decline of the game. Compare this to H1Z1 which not long ago was seeing the same decline but did actually get a boost from launching.

Talking to Eurogamer about the game, CliffyB expressed that there were a number of things he would have changed if he could. One of the biggest being the streaming of the Alpha which gave players a poor first impression of the game.

Another issue, which Bleszinski himself addressed in a September 2017 interview with Gamespot was his personality. During that interview, he stated, “I can be very cocky and very brash on social media. And realizing that, you know, we have a fledgling player base. It’s been very humbling for me. I’m going to continue to iterate on this game, continue to add to it. And try to be less of a dick, honestly.”

By the end of October though CliffyB seemed to have completely forgotten this. In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz talked about the games press, “They’re 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.”

That quote was a direct reaction to the news that by October of 2017 the game had dropped down to having just 10 concurrent players online. That was the point at which exactly one match could be played since the game is made up of two teams of 5 players. This, along with every other step the game had taken along the way, was covered closely by games media, though it was his opinion that games press were especially keen on reporting every failure his game had. By the end of 2017 Boss Key’s Co-founder, Arjan Brussee had announced that he would be returning to Epic Games to work on a secret project.

In April 2018, Boss Key announced that they were moving on from LawBreakers to develop a passion project. LawBreakers remains online still and as of now, you can still buy it on Steam. In the last 48 hours, the game has had a peak of 25 concurrent players, 7 of those 48 hours have had no players at all.

 

Radical Heights

The previously mentioned passion project was 80s-inspired Battle Royale game Radical Heights. The game was released free to play and in Early Access. Unfortunately, the game received mixed reviews from the very start. It was a game that was clearly still in development. It’s littered with bugs and has limited customization options, which includes a lack of female characters. As for player numbers, Radical Heights never saw much success there. Their peak concurrent was at 12,314 and that number dropped very quickly.

As player numbers dropped they teased what they were working on next, which included female characters and jumping through windows but, just days later Bleszinski was once again bringing negative media attention to his studio. He took to Twitter claiming that Epic Games was poaching his staff.

At this point, it seemed like he was blaming Epic Games for at least some of Radical Heights’ lack of success. On May 4th Radical Heights got a patch which added in a new scanner device along with a number of cosmetic items.

Just 10 days later Cliff Bleszinski took to Twitter to announce that Boss Key Productions was shutting down and he would be taking a step back from the industry for a while. During this time rumors were circulating that Bleszinski had taken to Twitter with the news before telling his employees. This has never been confirmed however and seems to be based on this tweet.

A very interesting article on Variety talks about how Radical Heights started out as an idea for a Prison game with trust playing an important part.

 

What Could Have Been

All of this now brings us to what could have been. Last night, Bleszinski took to Twitter to show off art assets and ideas for other games that Boss Key never had the chance to make.

The first game is Dragonflies, which was described as “ninja/samurai in airships riding dragons fighting zombies with friends in a PVE “feudalpunk” setting on floating islands.” There’s a whole lot of information packed in there. The idea of a feudalpunk game where you’re riding dragons sounds amazing. Not sure I’m sold on the zombies though. The concept art for the game, made by Shawn Lin is AMAZING.

 

The next game was Donuts which is basically “Mario Kart on water with animals in VR.” As someone who spent many summers of my youth tubing down the Sacramento River, this sounds like an amazing concept.

 

And finally, there was DogWalkers, a multiplayer VR mech shooter where players would man different parts of a giant fighting vehicle. I’m imagining Pacific Rim meets Bridge Crew. The concept art for this game is awe inspiring.

 

There is of course still the chance for any of these games, including Radical Heights and LawBreakers, to become something great in the future. For now, Radical Heights will continue to run, when it will be shut down isn’t known yet. There’s also no word on LawBreakers’ future.

The three games that we’ve now seen concept art for could very well get picked up but, with Cliff Bleszinski comes a lot of baggage and a lot of burned bridges. As possible as it is that some studio will be interested in these games, it’s equally possible that none will because of the baggage attached.

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Boss Key Productions Closes its Doors

Earlier today, Cliff Bleszinski announced on Twitter that Boss Key Productions will be shutting down after LawBreakers failed to live up to expectations. The studio’s recent take on the Battle Royale genre, Radical Heights, was a last-ditch effort to save the studio that was ‘too little too late,’ according to Bleszinksi.

Cliff B Boss Key Productions Closes

 

Boss Key Productions is best known for the hero shooter LawBreakers that was a massive flop in terms of popularity. While the game had good production value, there were never more than a few thousand concurrent users and it had less than 100 peak players three months after its release in August, 2017.

Although more popular than LawBreakers, Radical Heights was still in ‘extreme early access,’ it received mixed reviews and was free-to-play. It also followed the same trend as LawBreakers by trying to chase another saturated genre that’s currently dominated by PUBG and Fortnite.

Cliff Bleszinksi stated that he will be taking some time off to reflect but hopes to eventually return to the industry to make games again.

 

Our Thoughts

Having personally played LawBreakers, it wasn’t a bad game, but it tried to enter the tail end of the ‘hero shooter’ phenomenon. Most fans of the genre had already solidified their games of choice by then, mostly dominated by Overwatch and Paladins, and having an upfront cost made it more difficult to give LawBreakers a chance. It’s rather surprising that LawBreakers didn’t attempt to go free-to-play before Boss Key decided to shutdown.

Source: Twitter

Articles Related to Boss Key Productions

Nexon is Writing Off LawBreakers
LawBreakers Concurrent Player Count Hits New Lows
Cliff Bleszinski Teases a Possible Radical Heights Xbox One

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LawBreakers State of the Game Statement Released

There’s no denying the fact that LawBreakers wasn’t a success, Boss Key, the studio behind the game even agree. Today they released a statement about the state of the game and what the studio is working on right now.

To begin with, they acknowledge that LawBreakers didn’t get enough of an audience necessary to keep the game going the way they had imagined. Following the statement up by saying “…a pivot to free-to-play may seem like easiest change to make, a change of this magnitude takes publishing planning and resources to do it.” Followed by, “The team here has worked hard on this game over the past three and a half years and our studio is determined to give this game the second life it deserves.” Which seems to suggest that LawBreakers will be going free to play.

LawBreakers

However, the transition to free to play isn’t a quick or easy one and the studio must continue working. This means working on a new project. They also state that this project is a passion project they are in complete control of and that they’re working with fresh creative leaders. Suggesting that CliffyB may be leaving or taking on a less creative role within the studio.

What does all of this mean? It means that LawBreakers isn’t going anywhere just yet and in time we will hear all about their plans for making the game free to play. The studio is obviously dedicated to the game and wants to see it succeed despite the troubles the game has had. It also means that we’ll be seeing at least one game from them in the future, possibly more. MMOGames will be watching the situation closely and as soon as more information is known about the free to play transition or any new games you can be sure we’ll be writing about it.

 

Source: Official Site

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LawBreakers Studio COO and Co-Founder Heads to Epic Games

Boss Key Productions’ COO and co-founder Arjan Brussee has announced his move to leave the LawBreakers developer he helped found with Cliff Bleszinski. The announcement appears to be an amicable split between the two devs as well as an undoubted shake-up in the studio’s leadership.

lawbreakers developer

A tweet this past Friday from Brussee announced the move, lauding his return to Epic Games after 20 years as well as announcing the studio is working on some form of “exciting secret project”.

Cliff Bleszinski posted his own tweet about the move, which seems to suggest that Brusee’s decision was met without any major resistance. “He is not only a brilliant person but also a dear friend and I wish him well in his future endeavors,” reads CliffyB’s tweet. “Onward and upward – still makin’ games here!”

As for LawBreakers itself, the most recent news from the online FPS is a hotfix to patch 2.1, a self-described “iterative update” which added quality-of-life features such as Boss League UI fixes, collision and exploit fixes on the Gateway Blitzball map, and other minor tweaks.

Our Thoughts

So one could certainly see this news in two different ways: either this is just the state of game dev and generally no big deal, or a potential red flag that hints at more deep-seeded problems. How do you interpret this news? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Sources: Twitter 1, 2 via Gamespot

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