LawBreakers, the new multiplayer shooter from former Gears of War designer Cliff Bleszinski, launched this week on PC and PS4. The game promises fast-paced, ‘gravity defying combat’ that isn’t afraid to get bloody and includes plenty of curse-words too.
But unfortunately for all of the hype and the promotion, which included giving some of YouTube’s most influential content creators hands-on time with the game at E3, LawBreakers has failed to make much of an impact. According to GitHyp, on launch night the game peaked at just 3,000 concurrent players on Steam, which is 60% lower than the peak of 7,000 players that it got during its most recent beta testing round. Since launch, the game has now dropped to around 1,000 concurrent players.
If correct, the data suggests LawBreakers launched outside of Steam’s top 100 most played games. It also means that the game fared much worse than Battleborn, another multiplayer shooter that hasn’t exactly stormed the charts. Battleborn got to #19 on Steam’s top 100 and at its peak, reached 12,000 players. Battleborn wasn’t considered a success, only making LawBreakers‘ launch look that much worse.
As for what led to LawBreakers’ poor numbers, there are a few factors at play here, including unfortunate timing. Not only does LawBreakers arrive right as the Overwatch Summer Games 2017 is beginning, but Blizzard also revealed a new Overwatch map and game mode this week as well.
LawBreakers developer Boss Key had previously said that its game can co-exist with Overwatch. Given that the latter has totally stolen the spotlight from the new game this week, it seems that Boss Key may have been too optimistic.
Another significant factor is that LawBreakers launched with serious technical issues that seem to have been present from the beta. Prior to a patch designed to fix the problem on PS4, LawBreakers suffered from stuttering regardless of a players’ Internet connection. This is obviously unacceptable for any shooter that relies on lightning-fast reflexes, but considering there was a beta, players are especially frustrated that it launched with this issue at all.
It’s unclear whether Boss Key is looking at the low player count and is planning big changes as a result. Multiplayer games like Rainbow Six Siege have managed to get back on track without ditching their entry fee but as Boss Key did consider making LawBreakers a free to play game at one point, that could be a possible step further down the road.
LawBreakers is out now on PC and PS4.