LawBreakers' numbers were never great, but they've been in steady decline for the two months since it was first released. That's despite a free weekend, multiple updates, and studio head Cliff Bleszinski's hope that numbers will eventually increase.
That free weekend did see numbers spike to around 1,000 concurrent players, but after that they dropped off almost immediately, and yesterday they dropped to a peak of 84, seeing the game drop below 100 for the first time. As of around an hour before time of writing, there were 15 people playing the game.
The game has largely positive Steam reviews, but patch 1.4 has proved unpopular, and a combination of negative recent feedback and the inevitability of matchmatchmaking times means that LawBreakers might very well have run its course.
Update August 11, 2017: As we reported in our original story a couple of daysago, LawBreakers' PC launch has been pretty disappointing, despite critical praise. It has fewer players than Battleborn did at launch, and it's ranking lower on Steam than a random CPU overclocking program.
BossKey studio head Cliff Bleszinski isn't worried, though - he's convinced those numbers will pick up as word spreads.
"It's a marathon not a sprint," Bleszinski tells Eurogamer. "I'd rather be the underhyped game that slowly ramps up into something that people adore than something that comes out with way too much hype that there's a backlash for, which is why I think the Steam reviews are so positive."
Bleszinski points to League of Legends as a reference. The biggest game in the world right now started its life as a mod for Warcraft 3. Now it's this global phemomenon. He'd rather keep supporting the game than just churn out a sequel, too.
"It's one of those things," Bleszinski continues, "we're not doing the traditional pop of what triple-A is. We're feeling out this new space, much like Hellblade is, for what for lack of a better term is double-A. That flash-in-the-pan pop, to be frank, comes from those traditional publicly based publisher companies that are addicted to their earnings on Wall St, and that works for many of them - for your Activisions and EAs - but we're trying to forge a new model here, which is the tortoise versus the hare."
We've had Phil playing the FPS - here's the PCGamesN LawBreakers review-in-progress.
Original Story August 9, 2017: Despite getting decent reviews, gravity-bending FPS LawBreakers is struggling to keep an active player base just days after release. It failed to launch within the top 100 games on Steam, and even Battleborn, the poster child of launch flops, had higher player numbers at this point in its life.
According to GITHYP, the final release for LawBreakers saw a whopping 60% reduction over its initial beta player count. Launch night saw only a peak of 3k players, which is pretty bad when compared to Battleborn’s 12k.
Unfortunately it doesn’t look like it was just a rough start, as since then the numbers have only gone down. Daily lows are already dropping to below 1,000 players, and the peaks are also going down as the days go by. Tuesday, the day after launch, saw a reduction of 300 people, giving a peak of only 2.7k.
For most players, this might not be too big of an issue in the short-term, as 1,000 is more than enough to find at least one match going at any given moment. In the long-term, though, it doesn’t bode well for continued support, as that number is almost definitely going to fall even lower without some major work from developers Boss Key.
Considering Battleborn performed better than LawBreakers and still went free-to-play, maybe the future for Boss Key’s shooter is already set in stone? After all, the game was initially meant to be free-to-play before an early change to being a premium title.