PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is one of the best games released in 2017. Despite not having been finished for most of the year, player flocked to the first-person shooter en masse.
Another game released on Steam a couple of months later is the first-person arena shooter, LawBreakers. Extremely low performance led publisher Nexon to write-off the game as a loss, blaming PUBG in the process.
LawBreakers Low Player Count
In Nexon's Q3 financial report, the video game publisher discussed the disappointing sales of the game. Revenues for the company were up 36 percent year-to-year. Earnings in North America were hurt by the poor sale of LawBreakers.
"We will not be accruing any other impairment loss pertaining to LawBreakers in the future," said Nexon chief financial officer Shiro Uemura. He revealed that the company is completely writing off the game. An impairment loss is when a decrease in an asset's value exceeds its future cash flow.
Uemura, in a call with investors, said that LawBreakers accounts for the majority of Nexon's Q3 expenses, which totaled almost $33 million. Then Uemura cites the release of PUBG as one of the reasons for the game's disastrous release.
"We had very high expectations for its launch; however, the timing of its launch turned out to be unfortunate," said Uemura in the investor call. "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."
Even though both games can be described as first-person shooters, they are nothing alike. LawBreakers can be compared to Overwatch, as they're both hero-driven shooters instead of the Battle Royale style that reigns in PUBG.
Things haven't been good for LawBreakers. Back in October, the concurrent player count dropped to 10. There were 10 players playing the game online. SteamSpy has the concurrent players for yesterday at 50. Another Overwatch competitor that failed to make any gains with gamers is Gearbox and 2K's Battleborn, which came out to mixed reviews and was overtaken by Overwatch.
Game designer Cliff Bleszinski previously criticized the MOBA aspects of games such as Overwatch.
"If Overwatch is Coke, I'd be happy to be RC Cola or Pepsi or whatever. There's room for more than one or two of these games," said Bleszinski in an interview VentureBeat. "I think our art style — everybody chased that Pixar look that Blizzard does. I'm gonna make a character-based shooter for the Call of Duty, Battlefield, Halo crowd. That's the look we're going for. I don't want to go full MOBA and have a catfish with a top hat. You've probably heard me say that before."
This isn't the first time another game has been blamed for the disappointing sales of LawBreakers. Back in September, game designer Bleszinski blamed the game being released close to "Destiny season."