With Cliff Bleszinski leading the team behind LawBreakers, Nexon understandably had hopes of it being a big hit multiplayer shooter. It wasn’t. It was a failure to the extent that the publisher have already written off all the money they lost on the title last quarter – $32.6M – and give the game a $0 value on their balance sheet.
So what’s to blame? Well, there’s a fair few people out there who simply dislike Bleszinski, there was the mixed messaging around it being free to play or fully paid ala Overwatch, the initial intention that it would be PC only before then announcing it for PS4…
But Nexon are pinning the blame on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, last year’s major success story. A staggering sales success all the way through Early Access, sweeping past the 25 million player mark late in 2017, means they pin LawBreaker’s failure on the lack of space it left in the FPS genre on PC. They’re completely different styles of shooter, but I can see where they’re coming from, as both would appeal to core FPS gamers.
Nexon’s Chief Financial Officer Shiro Uemura stated that “the timing of [LawBreakers’] launch turned out to be unfortunate, specifically the blockbuster PC online game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds came out right about the same time, making the market environment very tough for first-person shooters in general and for LawBreakers.”
All of which is a shame, of course, when LawBreakers was actually pretty good.