LawBreakers, the first-person shooter from Cliff “CliffyB” Bleszinski, flopped so hard that it killed another game.
LawBreakers had a rough, short life. While the game wasn’t terrible, garnering a rating of 76% on Metacritic (and earning a solid 7.0 from us here at EGM), it utterly failed to gain traction, culminating in a depressing average of just four players online at any given time between February and May of this year. While the game is still online (for a little while, at least), its failure killed studio Boss Key Productions—and, apparently, an entirely unrelated game.
The Amazing Eternals was supposed to be Warframe developer Digital Extremes’ next game. Announced in August 2017, the game—modeled on a Jumanji-style board game—would have been a retro-pulp-inspired hero and card-based shooter with a sort of science fiction, spaghetti Western feel. The game never made it far, though, because it was cancelled only two months later in October 2017.
What happened during that time period? LawBreakers. LawBreakers launched on August 8th, 2017, and even then it was clear that the game wasn’t going to do as well as CliffyB had hoped. Digital Extremes saw the warning signs, and pulled back.
“A lot of things were converging at the same time then and what we realized was that it was the right game at the wrong time,” Meredith Braun, VP of publishing, told PCGamesN. “The competitive landscape at that time was pretty hefty. We just saw LawBreakers not do so great, and it was a fantastic game, so that was sad. That happened right when we were starting our closed beta for Amazing Eternals.”
At the same time, the Plains of Eidolon expansion released, and a ton of players returned to Warframe. Digital Extremes suddenly had to split its attention between a suddenly popular game, and a new one that would be trying to sail through the rough waters that had just sunk LawBreakers.
“We weren’t seeing the traction we had hoped for in the closed beta, and weighing that against the success of Plains of Eidolon it just made good business sense to pour those resources back into Warframe,” Braun said.
Thus, The Amazing Eternals was cancelled, and efforts to boost Warframe were redoubled. Since Warframe made it onto Steam’s best-seller lists following this year’s Steam Summer Sale, it seems that decision paid off for Digital Extremes. While the team doesn’t have any definitely plans to return to The Amazing Eternals, renewed success means it might still happen someday, when the time is right.
“I think we’ll try again,” said Braun. “But I don’t know when.”
As for LawBreakers, it’s still limping on, but not for much longer. Now that Boss Key Productions is no more, support for the game will stop in September.