LawBreakers devs step away to tease Double Dudes

Boss Key Productions are stepping back from their gravity-bending FPS LawBreakers, at least for a while, because it simply didn’t make enough money to fund the post-launch support they’d planned. That’s not surprising to hear, given that last month the multiplayer game struggled to muster 25 players online at the same time.

Boss Key mention the prospect of turning LawBreakers free-to-play but it doesn’t sound like that’s happening, or not yet at least. So, for now, they’re working on something new. They didn’t say what that is, but have followed yesterday’s announcement up by tweeting a mock magazine ad for a retro run ‘n’ gunner named Double Dudes 2: Quadruple The Dudes. That could be a joke, a hint, or literally the game they’re making. As with all of this, it’s a bit vague.

Boss Key said in yesterday’s announcement:

“The fact is LawBreakers failed to find enough of an audience to generate the funds necessary to keep it sustained in the manner we had originally planned for and anticipated. And while 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.

“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. However, between now and then, we cannot sit idle. We will continue to support the game in its current state, but we also need to focus on other projects with fresh creative leaders. We have been working on something new and we can’t wait to share more about it! It’s a passion project that we’re in complete control of.”

LawBreakers was once planned to be a free-to-play game but changed course long ago, costing £25/€40/$30 when it launched in August 2017. Player counts dropped quickly and ah, here we are. I am surprised a free-to-play backup plan wasn’t in place. This is not a rare fate for competitive multiplayer games, and to make such a fancy-lookin’ (read: expensive) one is a huge risk. Going free-to-play at least gives a game a second chance, and it’s one publishers should know the game will likely need.

I can see Boss Key’s statement as hinting at dissatisfaction with publishers Nexon, both in how they say going F2P needs “publishing planning and resources” that evidently aren’t present and in pointing out that they’re “in complete control of” their mysterious next game. But given all the vagueness, I’d not get too carried away constructing theories.

So, they would like another crack at making LawBreakers work but, for now at least, mysterious new thing. It sucks for the handful of LawBreakers players but keeping a studio going, especially one making big shiny games, is not cheap. So what is next? Boss Key today tweeted this fake magazine ad:

They don’t say it’s connected–they don’t say anything–but y’know, common sense. I wouldn’t necessarily take this to mean they’re making a pixel art platformer, mind, as this could just be a tone-setting teaser. Or they could very well be making Double Dudes 2: Quadruple The Dudes. Vagueness, vagueness, vagueness.

Ah, it’s too bad. Samuel Horti’s LawBreakers review was quite enthusiastic, but even one week after launch noted the game was already losing players.

9 Comments

  1. GoatForSale says:

    Its too bad. This game is actually quite fun and well made. Market is pretty saturated with FPS unfortunately. Also the higher paced twitch shooting has only gotten less popular over the years.

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      particlese says:

      It really is a shame, yeah. The game and its marketing, posturing, etc. has its share of problems, but what’s there to actually play can still be a ton of fun – and hard to find elsewhere, depending on one’s tastes and priorities. The various internet rage machines are a hard thing to escape from, but I still think it might have been turned around at least somewhat, had Boss Key the internal direction and/or publisher permission to respond more quickly and appropriately. (The proportion there can’t really be known unless someone speaks up despite contractual restrictions, but there are a couple hints scattered about.)

      It’ll be interesting to see what they do for their next game, given how their first outing went and what’s apparently different this time.

  2. LearningToSmile says:

    Not making LawBreakers F2P is a mind-boggling move, literally the biggest complaint leveled against the game is lack of players, a lot of people would actually gladly spend the $30 on this game if it had the possibility of sustaining a healthy player count. It has its flaws, but in F2P space there’s nothing this polished available with similar gameplay so I have no doubt it would attract a decent following.

    But I guess that ship has sailed.

    • Nolenthar says:

      Yeah, it seems they are not even sure investing into turning this game into a f2p (aka, I imagine, adding mtx everywhere they can) is worth the investment, which is, to say the least, weird.
      I always wanted to buy this game but the usual coverage of low player count definitely pushed me away.
      It’s one of those cases where one wonder if freely available stats like concurrent player is a good thing. It kinda reinforce the trends (just like twitch and co), making popular games ever more popular and unpopular games even less popular, a pattern augmentor, so to speak.
      If this game turned f2p, it probably would gain enough player for the existing playerbase to have fun. Now, would it allows the game to be financially viable ? Who can say ? Everyone and their cousin and their cousin’s friends seem stuck on the battle royale wagon nowadays, for some reasons.

    • PiiSmith says:

      If they make it F2P, I might return for the odd round. This influx of players, might make it worthwhile to play for the ones, who bought the game and really liked it. After this disaster of a launch, the could try make an effort for those people.

  3. EthZee says:

    I have to wonder what the Lawbreakers playerbase thinks of this. Has anyone told him?

    • Pulstar says:

      I don’t think this game qualifies as a base for anything except utter failure. Hubris et al.

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      particlese says:

      No need to speak – the player base has eyes reading the internet, too. From what I’ve seen, her thoughts are essentially a complete lack of surprise, plus idle speculation, continued annoyance that Nexon had the dev under a gag order for months, and amusement at the word “dude”.

    • OmgBiscuitsNomNom says:

      @EthZee: Oh no you didn’t ;D