Cliff Bleszinski’s Boss Key Studios is responsible for the excellent online multiplayer shooter LawBreakers, and despite the fact that it’s a formidable Overwatch foil, its player numbers have been dwindling ever since its initial launch. Most recently, according to SteamSpy, the peak concurrent number of players stood at a crippling 191.
For a game that just released only months ago, these kinds of numbers represent a frustratingly low player base that simply isn’t sustainable at this point. While currently it appears that it’s just the PC version of the game that’s affected, it can’t spell out good things for the shooter.
Bleszinski himself, in addition to comments in the past that referred to LawBreakers‘ post-release life cycle as a “marathon, not a sprint,” has suggested that perhaps he should be “less of a dick” when it comes to his online interactions with others. Speaking to GameSpot during a recent interview, Bleszinski states that his first priority is keeping his game alive.
“I can be very cocky and very brash on social media. And realising 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.”
Cliff has always been known as a bit of a boisterous and cocky personality from his time in the industry, and it seems to me reviving LawBreakers from the near-death experience it seems to be brushing against at the moment needs more than just a change in personality from a developer who the public probably doesn’t even pay attention to, but a shift in tone when it comes to social media may not hurt.
The game itself has suffered from “me too” syndrome in an already cluttered industry, and while it’s a strong title on its own, it’s not as instantly recognizable and memorable as games like Overwatch and the matchmaking and server issues it ran with out of the gate on PC and PlayStation 4 certainly didn’t help matters.
Perhaps an overhaul is necessary to get players coming back to see what it is LawBreakers still has to offer, with changes made in-game beyond what Cliff believes to be the public perception of his brand. Both couldn’t hurt, but one can’t help but assess that the issue goes a lot deeper than comments made by a developer who’s more than earned his stripes over the years.