, the 2017 video game that saw Cliff “cliffyb” Bleszinski (, ) come out of game-design retirement, has admitted defeat in the competitive online-shooter fray.
A Thursday announcement from developer Boss Key Productions confirmed that the game will only be “supported in its current state,” meaning that it will no longer receive major content updates and perhaps not even minor tuning ones.
The news also included a confirmation that the developer will not convert the $29.99 game to a free-to-play product. “While a pivot to free-to-play may seem like the easiest change to make, a change of this magnitude takes publishing planning and resources to do it,” the developer wrote.
Within weeks of its August launch, ‘ low concurrent player counts became a hot topic among gaming outlets. That number’s maximum dropped below 200 by the end of August and below 30 by the end of October. Though the game stood out with an emphasis on high-speed action and anti-gravity maneuvers, its mix of confusing classes, generic art direction, and brutal difficulty made it a tough sell—which was only exacerbated by the game’s apparent similarities to the gargantuan Blizzard shooter . Bleszinski himself criticized the idea of his high-speed game ever working on consoles… before the game was eventually confirmed to receive a simultaneous launch on PlayStation 4.
Thursday’s news followed nearly four months of official silence from the developer. The silence began with the team admitting in December that it was not in an “advantageous position” to deliver many of the promises from its ambitious “Q4 roadmap,” which would have included another character class for players to pick from.
That December update mentioned “internal adjustments” at the studio meant to “unlock new possibilities” in 2018, and Thursday’s update seems to clarify the vague hint: “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.”
Boss Key’s specific mention of “control” appears to put some blame for Lawbreakers’ demise on its publisher, Nexon Entertainment. The additional mention of “fresh creative leaders” could mean someone other than Bleszinski will lead whatever’s next from Boss Key. Bleszinski mostly remained mum after the news was revealed, other than to confirm to a fan that he is still indeed working at the studio.