In what doesn’t come as any real surprise to anyone, Boss Key Productions’ LawBreakers is ceasing active development. A statement posted today on the Boss Key website gave fans the heads-up, while also providing some curious verbiage that we’ll try to break down.
The statement gets off to a great start:
“It has been a while since we said anything about LawBreakers. With that, the past four months at Boss Key Productions has been especially trying, as we pride ourselves at being communicative and transparent.”
“We haven’t communicated for four months, but we pride ourselves on our communication.” OK, sure.
“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.”
No argument there. The game’s population, according to SteamCharts, has been abysmal, spending most of its time hovering in the single digits, and topping out at 26 over the past two months.
“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.”
They’ve got a publisher (Nexon), but they’re apparently not willing to give Boss Key any planning or resources to carry out a F2P transition — which seems like it wouldn’t take much. The game already has Stash Drops, a.k.a. loot boxes, so why not just remove the price tag, get some bodies in the game, and let them buy those boxes to earn some money? What’s the downside, especially if you’re going to keep the servers going anyway? Maybe Boss Key really couldn’t wrap their brains around a good free-to-play system.
While Boss Key didn’t completely rule out the game returning to the limelight — “determined to give this game the second life it deserves” — it also admitted to working on a new game, which is “a passion project that we’re in complete control of.” That last bit makes you wonder what role Nexon might have played in all the LawBreakers drama. In any case, it doesn’t look like the two companies will be working together going forward.