Earlier this month, Boss Key Productions launched LawBreakers, a brand new multiplayer FPS inspired by classic games like Unreal Tournament. Reception to the game has been broadly positive, but just a few weeks after it made its debut, its player count on Steam is worryingly low.
Over the last 24 hours, the peak number of concurrent Steam users playing LawBreakers dropped to 364, down from a high of 2,500 when it was first released. To put that into some context, the peak number of players in the last 24 hours for Dota 2, the most popular game on Steam, was 742,050. Looking at the FPS genre, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive garnered a high of 570,173 players in the last 24 hours.
Of course, it’s not fair to compare those titles to LawBreakers directly. Dota 2 is free-to-play, and Global Offensive has built up its audience over a number of years. Still, it has to be said Boss Key Productions’ attempt to compete with big hitters like Overwatch isn’t exactly flourishing.
There’s a big decision to be made by the studio. LawBreakers was originally announced as a free-to-play title, before this was reversed to abandon free-to-play and adopt a more traditional pricing model. Now, it might be worth letting players get into the game without laying down any cash just to flesh out its online population.
A competitive multiplayer game needs a healthy player base to survive. The lower the player count goes, the more difficult it is for the experience to build any momentum, so it is at a crucial moment for the long-term lifespan of LawBreakers. Of course, going free-to-play so soon is bound to upset its existing audience.
It’s a shame to see LawBreakers floundering, as it sets itself apart from the current crop of FPS games with throwback mechanics tempered by modern design sensibilities. Still, it just goes to show that it takes a lot more than a quality product to ensure that a game becomes a hit.
LawBreakers is available now for PC and PlayStation 4.
Source: Steam Charts