LawBreakers didn’t deserve such an ignoble end

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Among the avalanche of trigger-happy competitive shooters, LawBreakers is an obvious homage to the twitchy, run-and-gunnners of yesteryear like Quake and Doom. Set in an over-the-top, zero-gravity arena, it encourages and demands from its players a mastery of sharpshooting and bullet-pumping. It’s a pity this may have deterred many aspiring LawBreakers players, and a double pity that the ill-fated studio is shutting down its servers in September. To be at the receiving end of a dizzying, acrobatic assault is the zenith of this breakneck shooter. There’s an artistry to be found in the sleek movements, the speeding bullets, the quick surveying of enemy positions, and the frenetic, instinctive reaction against a flurry of attacks.

Here’s one example. As a tank-like class called the Juggernaut, I was fending off throngs of gunners in one round, frantically throwing up shields while blasting a pump-action shotgun about. Then I spotted him: a stealthy figure, who slid and bounced between the walls and my shield. He wrenched a closely-guarded item from under our noses, shoved a bomb into my armor, and slunk off just as quickly and quietly as he had arrived. Like the uncomfortably prolonged pause that takes place as your life flashes before your eyes, it was two long seconds before my Juggernaut erupted, its body crumpling in the corner of the stage. I stared, mouth agape. A standing ovation must be had, even if it’s just a solitary one, and I stood on my seat, clapping so enthusiastically that my palms hurt.

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Such dazzling displays of athleticism are only some of the thrills LawBreakers offers. If you’ve played enough competitive shooters, you know that death and defeat are merely a rite of passage. Thankfully, LawBreakers brims with so much pizazz and nuance that losses don’t feel as repetitive or discouraging. Its carefully curated tension only adds to hard-won victories. It also has twists on traditional multiplayer shooter modes. Overcharge (an intense take on the traditional “Capture the Flag” mode) requires teams to steal a battery from the opposing team and fully charge it at their base to score a point. Since stolen batteries retain their charge, this gives both teams plenty of motivation to wrestle back the item and still win the match at the eleventh hour, making every round one of raw tension. Other modes such as Turf Wars, Occupy, Uplink and Blitzball aren’t that far of a stretch from the classic modes they were inspired by, but they complement and boost the game’s blistering pace just as well.

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Of course, its most iconic and lauded mechanic is its anti-gravity, which excels at giving the combat a sense of momentum. The bountiful aerial spaces have strangely been neglected by most shooters, and this is a peculiarity that developers Boss Key Productions were quick to notice. While imbuing its players with greater dexterity, aerial combat also makes skirmish a little more difficult. With ample room for both vertical and horizontal movements, there are plenty more ways for players to plot and refine their tactics. The ‘blindfire’ mechanic also keeps fights invigorating, allowing heroes to haphazardly spray bullets behind them. I’ve not seen anyone be demolished by blindfire attacks, but the maneuver feels handy as a means to propel your character mid-flight. Plus, the bigger your gun, the more force its propulsion offers. With clever use of your firearms, you can adjust and accelerate the intensity of your skyward launch.

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LawBreakers does have its issues. And in a genre dominated by the immense popularity of shooter behemoths like Overwatch and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, it simply couldn’t find its footing, plodding along with a low concurrent player rate and even dipping to below 30 in October last year. Like the equally doomed Battleborn, some have pegged the game’s dismal reception to a combination of dull classes, uninspired aesthetics and steep difficulty — issues that are, quite frankly, also prevalent even in well-received titles.

Nonetheless, these missteps are hard to overlook. LawBreakers might pulsate with boundless energy, zipping between spontaneous movements and on-the-feet strategizing, but this performance is exhilarating mostly on a mechanical level. Talking about its thrills is akin to detached discussions about the smooth handling of a weapon. The contrast between the cast’s grey personalities and their colourful capabilities is too apparent to ignore. Most of them are teeming with the same, nearly unbearable braggadocio that makes the lineup so unfortunately forgettable.

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On a superficial level, the cast’s lack of charisma and even their shape hindered combat to an extent, since everyone’s silhouette looks almost identical from afar. But beyond this lies a more troubling implication. In contrast to the bombastic personalities of the Overwatch heroes, the LawBreakers roster struggled to stand out, even with its impressive diversity. An exasperating, unhelpful tutorial also makes learning about the classes even more dubious. I skipped it out of boredom to head straight to the live matches, and I’m lucky that I still have a full scalp after all that hair-pulling frustration.

But as LawBreakers jetpacks towards its end in September, the Juggernaut in the room (LawBreakers’ ostensible similarities to Overwatch) becomes harder to ignore. With Overwatch’s massive success, many have already looked to the title as a paragon of what a hero shooter should be. However, from its outwardly colourful cast to analogous set of moves, LawBreakers’ resemblance to Blizzard’s game is mostly skin-deep. After devoting only a few hours to the game you’ll be able to see how LawBreakers is more influenced by creative director Cliff Bleszinski’s experiences with Unreal Tournament. Distinguishing the intricacies of both games takes time and commitment—which shrinks the already niche audience even more.

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There were other excuses. LawBreakers’ publisher, Nexon, said that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds may have sealed the game’s catastrophic fate. But this argument may not be entirely accurate, since PUBG Corp’s battle royale was released months before LawBreakers. However, it probably influenced Boss Key Productions’ decision to develop their own battle royale title following their unloved hero shooter. Radical Heights was a gameshow-esque battle royale drenched in as much neon as it was bugs and glitches. In reality, it was already half in a shambles when it went into “x-treme early access” on Steam. Following LawBreakers’ failure to find a substantial audience, it was clearly a last-ditch attempt by the studio to stay above water — and it fizzled out. Quickly.

Through a combination of overwhelmingly tough competition, an uninspired roster of heroes, and its reputation as a punishing, skill-based shooter, LawBreakers will soon be joining the ranks of Battleborn and Paragon, banished to the graveyard of videogames for whom Overwatch has seemingly sounded the death knell. Thing is, I don’t think I’ll be ready to let it go come September. Its penchant for pushing its players’ boundaries, as well as bearing witness to their stunning acrobatics and superhuman reflexes, has given me some of the most exciting victories and losses I’ve experienced in a video game. The much-maligned LawBreakers simply doesn’t deserve such an unceremonious end.

66 Comments

  1. mitrovarr says:

    The problem with Lawbreakers is that nobody gave it a chance because nobody else was giving it a chance.

    I mean, ever since I found out it existed, word was that it wasn’t finding an audience and would probably be stillborn. How do you recover from that as a game with an up-front price? I consider UT2004 my favorite multiplayer game of all time, and Overwatch is second. I would have been all over it if I hadn’t known it wasn’t going anywhere.

    It should have gone FTP. That would have been a better use of resources than radical heights, but even that had some promise and I’m sad that it too died so ignominously.

    • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

      I gave it a chance, when it had the free beta access period. I loved UT2004 & UT, those are both games that are comfortably sitting at 1000+ hours played, each, for me.

      But I really didn’t like Lawbreakers. I understand why a lot of people make the comparison to UT with Lawbreakers, but it Lawbreakers felt like a game that was an inferior copy of the already worst-in-franchise UT3, taking inspiration from the bad gimmicky mechanics and unsatsifying guns. My roommate and I each gave it a more than fair shake while we could, and it really was a bland, uninspiring game. It had a neat premise, but it failed to live up to it.

      • mitrovarr says:

        Glad to hear I probably didn’t miss much.

        Yeah, I don’t know what they were thinking with UT3. The movement of UT2004 was the best part and they got completely away from it. They even gave it a really stupid story, which they had managed to avoid for UT and UT2004.

        • Premium User Badge

          particlese says:

          The movement is actually fantastic, I will contest and insist. Varied, full of details that makes it fast and fluid and all that good stuff, and with nothing else quite like it, but it takes a lot of work/time/learning to get into it.

          It’s also been f2p for the last month or two and is shutting down in September, for what that’s worth. Sadly, though, a couple pro and very good players smurfed it up at the start since the matchmaker kicks them for being too good, and that of course led again to dropping numbers. I can sympathize with their predicament since I like the game, but it sure didn’t help numbers. The smurfing has calmed down now, but with the player count flirting with double digits again, the exhilarating even matches are relatively few and far between the horribly imbalanced ones. There’s still some unique fun to be had if you’re persistent, and some of us who’ve stuck around do nerf ourselves for the good of the match, but it’s…yeah. Not sincerely recommendable to a general audience at this point.

      • Flopdong says:

        I strongly disagree. The game was very well thought out and inspired. The motion based combat was awesome, and each character truly had a wildly different playstyle. IMO this is/was a much better game to play than Overwatch.

    • Excors says:

      It seems like a downside of Steam’s choice to publish concurrent player numbers. People see a multiplayer game has a few hundred players, compare it to PUBG, then assume it’s a dead game and don’t play it. But a few hundred players might actually be perfectly adequate for the matchmaker to quickly get you into a reasonably-balanced match (depending on how sensitive the game is to skill, latency, etc), so there was no need for the game to enter that death spiral so soon – it could have found a sustainable audience if players weren’t misled by those numbers.

      Meanwhile Overwatch doesn’t publish any player numbers (beyond total number of accounts created since release), so players can only judge its liveness based on playing the game and seeing how long the queue times really are, which gives the game a much fairer chance to succeed.

      • Bucketear says:

        I tried several times throughout the games life to play, the queue times were awful a couple of weeks after launch. A couple of hundred people just wasn’t enough to keep the game going, it was DOA. Unfortunate too, because I really enjoyed it.

    • Shinard says:

      A demo with one map, one gamemode and a restricted but interesting and easy to pick up selection of characters. Fr’ instance. I know conventional wisdom is that demos are a bit of a lose-lose proposition, but with a game like Law-Breakers where you need a player base and you have a solid product it seems like a good shout. Single player games can get away (well, not fail quite as badly, at least) with people gradually realising that they’re original, interesting experiences and gaining cult classic status over time. But with a multiplayer game you need an audience right out of the gate, or you won’t have an original interesting experience within a few months. A demo seems like a good way to do that.

      Sure, Lawbreakers had free trials, but they were time-limited. So if you’re doing something else that weekend, or you don’t want to (or can’t) install 30 gig for two days, you’ll never get a chance to play it. A demo is easier to download, and can be played whenever. Plus, with how few people release demos now, it’d be a nice bit of publicity.

    • Anti-Skub says:

      I dunno man…I gave it a chance. It just wasn’t good. While it’s always sad to see people lose there job, if we could separate the game from those people then I’d disagree with the title. The game deserved the end that it got.

    • Kirudub says:

      As someone who cut his gaming teeth on Q3, I guess I’m an old fogey at 47, but damn did this game grate on my nerves, from the minute I started it up.

      Everything in the interface and gameplay screamed focus-group testing of a very specific demographic… teen males, with an almost comical amount of “fan service” thrown in. Reminded me of the Simpsons “Funzo” episode, but I wasn’t laughing.

      The obnoxious announcer voice (WTF was up with the shrieking?), the Muzak-ish attempts at DnB, etc. that made me grimace in distaste.

      Nothing wrong with designing a game based on a specific user base, but it can make for a *really* shallow experience someone who has a limited amount of time to game per day.

    • geldonyetich says:

      It’s the trouble with the entire multiplayer arena genre, whether it’s FPS or MOBA or otherwise.

      If it catches on, you’ll have players to play against, and this will instill a habit to play the game while possibly increasing its popularity via word of mouth.

      However, if it doesn’t catch on, there’s a lack of players to play with, and it doesn’t take many times of booting up the game and finding nobody to play with before you never bother booting it up ever again. The word of mouth becomes, “Game is dead” and that’s a potential drag in the game’s ability to garner popularity.

      To some extent, a developer can partly safeguard themselves by adding effective bot opponents, so even if there’s a lack of players you can still play, and only the really competitive players will be bothered they’re not playing against other players.

      However, programming good FPS bots is a significant investment of manhours that many developers opt to skip, so they end up operating without a safety net. A cursory google search reveals Lawbreakers was one such game.

  2. gabrielonuris says:

    How Lawbreakers has 44 concurrent players, while PUBG has more than 410,000, says a lot about the actual state of the gaming market for me.

  3. Michael Fogg says:

    Feels as though nobody cared if they lived or died

    • Babymech says:

      Ouch – that’s unnecessarily harsh. I would agree, unfortunately, that most of their effort was completely wasted, and now I wouldn’t be surprised if they were out of work and down. It’s too bad, because they put a lot of action in our lives, so you’d think that would be a sure fire golden future… but it couldn’t even start. Oh well.

  4. Babymech says:

    No billion dollar franchise deserves to go out that way.

  5. terves says:

    Expecting people to fork over 30 bucks for a multiplayer shooter made by an unknown indie studio was what killed it. Practically nobody bought it and its’ abysmal initial player counts doomed it to laughing stock status and no amount of free weekends could save it from being thought of as ‘that game nobody plays’. Whether it would have flourished if it had been a f2p title from the start is anyone’s guess but charging an up-front fee meant they were setting themselves up for failure.

    • mitrovarr says:

      This, exactly. No matter how good a game like this is, it’s all for naught if a whole lot of other people don’t buy it. And most of the potential buyers were skeptical this would occur, and that skepticism fed on itself and doomed the game.

    • simontifik says:

      Didn’t seem to stop the tens of millions of people who forked over 30 bucks for PUBG and it wasn’t even finished.

      • Bucketear says:

        Arena shooters are a saturated market. PUBG’s only real competition was H1Z1 at the time, and that isn’t really saying much.

    • El_Buhdai says:

      There are plenty of reasons being discussed as to why Lawbreakers failed, but this one is the most ridiculous. PUBG is literally a $30 game from an indie studio, but unlike Lawbreakers, it was released unfinished, broken, arguably completely unoptimized, ugly, and almost game-breakingly broken. Yet you gamers decided it was worth $700+ million dollars, GOTY, and 2 million concurrent players, so your excuse can’t be used. The strangeness of gamers sometimes makes me ashamed to be one.

  6. zulnam says:

    No it was pretty mediocre. Maybe if blezinski would’ve focused less on making a “billion dollar franchise” and “driving his lamborghini” and more on actually making a good game, it would’ve at least survived on scraps like R6Siege for a while until it improved.

    But oh no one less multiplayer first person hero based shooter with lootboxes how the world weeps.

    • Linkblade says:

      But oh no one less multiplayer first person hero based shooter with lootboxes how the world weeps.
      I laughed at that. But Lawbreakers stood out by its movement a good chunk.

  7. Peksisarvinen says:

    Here’s a million dollar idea for all game developers and publishers out there: how about you, okay, make an FPS that, okay, has like a SINGLE PLAYER CAMPAIGN, right, that actual effort was put into? Like, you could play the game ALONE, without other people?

    I know that sounds crazy, but hear me out. Then, even people who don’t care enough about could buy the game for just the single player, and possibly get into the multiplayer afterwards? Some people like to play games that AREN’T just lottery coupon simulators in which you have to listen to a bunch of whiny preteens shout into their mousepad company headsets. You know, games like Fortnite, PUBG or Overwatch.

    And if you want to get REALLY crazy, make the game MODDABLE, right, so maybe players can make their own game modes, maps and the like.

    I mean is this an entirely obsolete concept at this point? Do developers not know that games like CS, TF, DOTA, PUBG, Day-Z etc. were ALL born from* MODS to games that had actual SINGLE-PLAYER CAMPAIGNS, on top of their own multiplayer modes?

    *Were born from, and boosted the sales of those base games by about a 10000%.

    • April March says:

      I agree with mods. But suggesting that devs that want to make a multiplayer game should add a single-player mode is apalling advice. A dev shouldn’t take away man-hours from what is almost certainly a small pool to make a mode that half the fan base will not touch and the other half will spend all their time is, not filling servers. Not to mention that a single player mode has no chance of competing with a game made from the ground up to be a single player game, unless you have an Activision-sized team.

      • Peksisarvinen says:

        Well it’s a good thing that isn’t what I was suggesting, then. I was suggesting they make a single player FPS that has a multiplayer component in it, not the other way around.

      • Linkblade says:

        Single player campaign is very important! Most players these days are impatient and want a feeling of success quickly, because they are used to it by other games these days. So what happens if the only option for a newcomer to play the game is jumping into multiplayer where everyone is better than you because they already have spent much more hours training into it? They die humiliatingly, are frustrated and quit. That’s how you lose them. The single player campaign though lets them train their skills with easy bots, getting a feeling of success, joyful moments of victory which gives them the will to hold on to that game, learning stuff and eventually hopping into multiplayer. Like UT2004 did it with its career “you’re the captain of the team and are awesome” campaign is the right way. Also UT2004 did advertising really good.

    • Linkblade says:

      You’re so right! Single player campaign is the start up drug that makes new players addicted and then dare to hop into multiplayer.
      If you want a moddable AFPS with a single player campaign, play TOXIKK. It has UT2004 movement, modern graphics, is very polished and has a whole lot of custom maps made by the community. The community is small but dedicated. I’m part of it having spent 100+ hours in it. Give it a try, it has a free version.

    • wackazoa says:

      Im a single player kind of person. I grew up on JRPG on consoles and RTS on PC. However, to say that “PEOPLE WANT TO PLAY SINGLE PLAYER” is kind of dumb. To say it that way is to imply that everyone wants single player, which just isnt true.

      According to Steam Charts, the top 4 games being played are games that dont have single player. At the current hour that is 1.5 million people who are all in for multiplayer. And thats not even counting the biggest game in the world at current, Fortnite.

      Say it what it is, you want single player (I want single player). Not “The PEOPLE”. Developers will make money with or without single player. Most games are gonna live or die by luck anyway. If any game is good and comes out at the right time and gets lucky (see Fortnite) then it will be a smash hit. There are lots of great games, single player or not, that just didnt have luck on their side and didnt sell.

      Lawbreakers was just unlucky.

      Edit: Also Call of Duty just recently got rid of the campaign in their game, because according to them people didnt play it.

    • Babymech says:

      “Here’s a million dollar idea for all game developers and publishers out there: how about you, okay,” try not to make a million dollars and instead make some stuff that a few gamers will like very much and not pay a lot of money for. Here’s an idea for you: minimum wage, and maybe I’ll like your games.

  8. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    Yeah, Lawbreakers has been some of the most fun I’ve had in gaming. It deserved way better, despite having its fair share of things to struggle against, and of course despite the unfair ones.

    As a tangential comment to the developers and publishers of the world who read my comment for some unfathomable reason: at some point, please allow your game to run at least local matches without a connection to your silly online servers, even if you don’t explicitly include a single player mode. Your game will not be a roaring success/failure/meh forever – even as a “service”, if that’s what you’re into – and perpetual access to a game by its lingering fans will earn you some splendid word of mouth, which can be handy if you happen to stick around for longer than your game.

    • April March says:

      Hear hear!

      Devs nowadays are real control freaks when it comes to servers.

      • mitrovarr says:

        It’s the microtransactions. It’s hard to get them to work well with a game that allows totally private servers.

        Plus, DRM. Even loads of old games from the past had a master server that had to be up to play them, to verify your cd key.

  9. LordxMugen says:

    If Cliffy B wanted to make a good (and different) Hero arena shooter, why not rip off his own design of Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict? It had great maps. Good and balanced loadouts. Different “classes” of characters. And First and Third Person aerial combat with floaty double jumps and nice melee attacks. And NOBODY was making a version of that design ANYWHERE! Why not make that instead of Lawbreakers?

  10. NZLion says:

    Probably my biggest issue with the game was how LUDICROUSLY imbalanced the game was in favour of the light class with the knives.
    I forget what they were called but goddamn.

    The classes weren’t just boring and indistinct. Most of them weren’t worth playing if the knife woman was in the match

  11. DrJ3RK says:

    There is a really simple solution to this problem, but devs (or at least publishers are scared to death of it. Include a mo—rfu—-g dedicated server module for the game. Let people set up their own LAN games, or host their own internet servers. But no, publishers want to have full control, they want to be able to cram microtransactions and loot-boxes down your throat, we wouldn’t want server admins to have to actually administrate their own servers. This is what is wrong with nearly every shooter that comes out now. If you want ranked games, then yes, play on company servers. Otherwise, let people form their own groups, hunt down their own servers, or play with their friends. It would vastly prolong a game’s worth, and you’d have little cult-followings long after the company servers go dark.

    This game would last long past September if users could still… …play it.

    • Linkblade says:

      TOXIKK features player hosted dedicated servers. All stuff of custom content like mods, maps, skins, bot settings, etc. can be setup. Give it a try, it has a free version.

      • DrJ3RK says:

        I had actually forgotten about this game. I liked the way they were going during development, but forgot about it afterwards. I’ll give it a try sometime. If I remember correctly, it was a bit more UT than Quake (I’m more of a Quake guy) but you know, at this point, something new that I can pop up a server for, and play on the LAN at home with either my kids or some friends would be pretty nice I think.

        I just don’t see what the issue is really about including this functionality in shooters these days. They can still sell things in game, just like any other Steam game. They can still run their own ranked servers for the people that play like that. Why limit the people who’d rather run their own at home though? I just don’t see what they have to lose there. I guess they lose the people that they force to play on their own servers now that were on the fence about dedicated vs. company-run servers, but you’d think that the good will from pleasing the fans might outweigh that.

        Or just set up a very flexible non-dedicate setup like Borderlands. Sure that’s co-op only, but the game type doesn’t need to dictate the network code. I can set up an internet game, a LAN game, private or public, invite or direct connect, or even invite through Steam. It provides everything needed to play any way the user wants to play. For a competitive game, simply add some ranked, hosted servers to that mix, and you have an instantly approachable setup that works for anyone.

    • BattleMage says:

      The lack of LAN multiplayer and dedicated servers is the reason I bought nearly no shooters during the last years. One exception being TOXIKK because it’s free to try and anybody with the free version can join maps hosted by someone with the full version.

      Whenever I see “Online multiplayer” without LAN and dedicated servers my mind just changes that to “pay money for something you won’t be able to play in the future”

  12. po says:

    When are developers/publishers going to get it into their thick heads, that if the market is saturated with a certain type of game, releasing yet another in the same genre is just plain stupid?

    Unless you happen to be one of the largest studios in the business, with the resources to produce something that can draw players away from what they are already familiar with, you are simply not going to out-advertise and out-polish the big names in the industry.

    Having big name devs in a new, small studio won’t cut it either, because no matter how up their own asses confident of their own ability they may be, they weren’t solely responsible for the success of their previous projects, and a lot of the time their overconfidence just leads people to want them to fail.

    And yes, like a lot of people have said already, right now, with most of the F/TPS games being PvP, it’s the right time to do something different, namely single player campaign, perhaps with a co-op mode.

    That doesn’t mean you can’t add a PvP mode later, it just means you want to sell copies based on the idea that players will still have something to show for it, even if the game isn’t a huge success, the studio fails, and support has to end. That very high possibility of failing to compete in an over-saturated market, and potential purchases ending up as a total waste of money, is going to seriously put people off buying your game. Single player doesn’t have that problem.

    And again, as has already been said, PvP/multiplayer that isn’t held hostage by the studio, is another selling point in a dubious contender.

    Lastly, for a smaller studio with limited resources, giving the players a server executable, and either mod tools or the means to make them, can take a huge burden off the studio to produce content, by crowdsourcing that. Look at early PvP games like Quake/Unreal Tournament/Battlefield/etc. They came with a small number of official PvP maps/game types, but the players produced far more, increasing the value of the base game.

    When nobody can take away what you have paid for, or your ability to build on top of it, you are more likely to pay for it.

    • SeCuLa says:

      Yeah exactly my point.

      If you can be strong enough to take on OW, you can be strong enough to take the potential fall.

    • mitrovarr says:

      Having a single-player campaign doesn’t guarantee survival, though. It didn’t save Battleborn.

    • Moraven says:

      April 2014 – Boss Key was formed
      July 2014 – Nexon announced it will publish Boss Key’s first game, ‘Project Bluestreak’, a F2P shooter
      November 2014 – Overwatch was revealed, with a playable demo at BlizzCon and other events
      August 2015 – Lawbreakers Official annoucement and gameplay reveal
      September 2015 – Overwatch Closed beta
      March 2016 – After a long period of silence, Lawbreakers reveals it will no longer be F2P at GDC “Surrounded by 800lb Gorillas! Standing Up to the Competition”. For some reason Boss Key related F2P PC games to using F2P mobile games energy systems. Quotes rampant negativity to F2P from the core gaming audience. Revamp of the art and ‘identity’ (which after release, identity was a major complaint). Talks about avoiding faceplanting at release with small audience.

      May 2016 – Overwatch is released (and Battleborn, Paladins around that time).
      March 2017 – Lawbreakers closed beta.
      May 2017 – Overwatch 1st Anniversary. Free weekends. $20 off sales. ($20 for base edition on PC). Surpasses 30m players.
      Lawbreakers revealed for PS4. $30 price. Loot boxes.
      June 2017 – PC open beta. Release date announced for August. $30 price. “None of this $60 multiplayer-only bulls***” (Overwatch was $40 on PC, $60 on console and is already on sale for cheaper than Lawbreakers)
      August 2017 – Lawbreakers launches. Has performance issues on PS4 (fixed month later).

      They could go get out of the shadow of Overwatch and took to long to release. Also did not help Overwatch was on sale often and there was constant free weekends. Surprised Nexon did not stick to F2P as most of their published content is F2P. I think everyone figured since Blizzard was getting $40-$60 + loot boxes, they could pull it off also.

      Lawbreakers was in early development when Overwatch was revealed. Maybe it was a new UT at first then Nexon wanted their own Overwatch.

      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        An additional tidbit according to one of the devs: LB was originally more like OW early in development, but upon OW being announced, they decided to shift their game and tone* to what LB became at release to try to avoid being squashed. Possibly a mistake in hindsight, given that Paladins apparently did okay despite being closer to OW, but there are loads of other pieces to the puzzle which could have made it work out either way.

        *I’m being a little general/vague right here because it was said by the dev’s mouth (not typed and searchable) and I don’t recall the exact details…

  13. Massenstein says:

    This sounds like something I might have loved as a mechanic in a single player game.

    • Flopdong says:

      This game definitely has potential for an amazing single player game. It would be difficult though. Each character’s movement style is so different that they would all need their own campaign. Or the maps would have to be REALLY well designed to accommodate each characters unique playstyle.

      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        Yeah, it’d definitely be a big and/or tough one to design. Would have loved to have seen them try if they had gotten the opportunity and mandate to, though.

  14. Linkblade says:

    I’d like everyone being sad about this game to check out TOXIKK. It may be what you want from a fast-paced AFPS. Single player campaign, player hosted dedicated servers with full mods/maps/bots setup freedom, LAN support, player-created content via Steam Workshop, etc.
    I’m sorry if anyone is offended by this suggestion.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      Don’t be! To the contrary, thank you for making the suggestion. I’ve actually been interested in trying Toxikk to varying degrees since it came out, but I somehow totally missed (or forgot by the time I was ready to try it) that it had single-player, mods, central server independence, …

      I’ll add it to my short list of arena-ish shooters I intend to try now that Lawbreakers is actually going to die.

      • Premium User Badge

        particlese says:

        Hmm, just watched a few trailers, and it looks a lot slower than I remember, but it is the one I was thinking of with the interesting-looking movement and vehicles and things.

    • Flopdong says:

      TOXIKK is fun, but I feel like it’s more of a UT replacement than a replacement for this game. It’s been awhile since I played, but I don’t remember anyone having jetpacks or grappling hooks.

      IMO, Lawbreakers is really special for it’s movement. Each character had a different style, and you had to treat the map differently depending on who you were playing as. The guy that could walljump was a nightmare in corridors, the grappling hook lady could traverse around the outside of the map, etc. It was awesome

  15. MeFirst says:

    I played the beta and the version they released. The game deserved to die in my book. Not because the concept itself was bad, but the game was just lackluster in all areas. The game felt like a F2P game in all areas and it was just boring.

  16. Freud says:

    The name CliffyB doesn’t sell games in 2018 and having cool dudes with attitude doesn’t either.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      They really should have just made all the characters dour, muscular-athletic humans and dressed them in green and brown camo. Maybe gray, too, if you’re feeling saucy.

      Less sarcastically, yeah, all the Breaker characters are pretty miserable, except for the robot. The Law ones are much more cheery, with the robot taking most of the cake again. Seems to me, though, that gameplay is the primary reason one would or would not play a particular team arena shooter, but I am a robot myself, so…

  17. Avioto says:

    Solid shooter that deserved a better fate. Never understood why they didn’t go the F2P route. At some point I was just playing with the same people every evening which was a lot of fun, it was basically like playing on someone’s rented dedicated server (which is a feature that would’ve really helped this game).

    • Flopdong says:

      I completely agree that their matchmaking system was their biggest downfall. Not that it was broken or anything, but I would love to fire up a dedicated server and play a few games with just my friends. It would be a phenomenal LAN game.
      When the player count dropped, it started taking 20 minutes or more just to find a game and that always sucks. As I get older, I have less and less time for games, and waiting for 10 minutes or more in a lobby is just not something I am willing to do anymore.

  18. Turkey says:

    I’ll never understand why Clifford B broke off from Epic just to make the kind of games that Epic make.

    • Flopdong says:

      He broke off to make the kinds of games Epic used to make. Ever since Gears of War, epic has produced blander and blander games IMO. Fortnite is actually a refreshing change for the studio.

  19. PiiSmith says:

    IMHO it should have gone F2P and would have been moderately successful.
    I partially (The sports ball mode was stupid.) liked what I saw in the Beta. But it was not enough for me to warrant a buy, but I would have played it as a F2P.

  20. BaronKreight says:

    I think it totally deserved it. Mirage Arcane Warfare didn’t deserve its end. The article shouldve been about that game.

  21. Moraven says:

    Just saw Digital Extremees (Warframe) canceled their hero shooter (which was in beta), quoting Lawbreakers failure to built an audience. Renewed interest in Warframe also has them reinvesting more into that game.

  22. Kyle700 says:

    Lawbreakers sucked. it had bad combat, it was just a poorly thought out game. It was not fun toi play, even if it seemed like it should have been. Quake Champions is far better.

  23. eeguest says:

    Exactly my thoughts. And I played both.

  24. montorsi says:

    I can’t be the only one greatly amused that none of the art in this column came from the game itself, which tells you all you need to know about Lawbreakers. Calling it determinedly mediocre would be a compliment of the highest order.

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