In a new interview with Gamespot, Cliff Bleszinski goes into detail for his game LawBreakers, specifically regarding the low player figures for the game and what he feels were mistakes in the pre-launch aspects of the game.
Speaking candidly for the first time after the launch of his team-based shooter, Bleszinski acknowledged that he was “humbled” by the low player figures of the game. When it launched, LawBreakers seemed to be an edgier, R-rated version of other team-based shooters. However, the game’s release did not go well at all, with player figures falling off a cliff and peak concurrent players sitting at about 218 over the last day or so. While the numbers may not be 100% accurate, it is clear that the PC figures are very low.
According to Bleszinski, the PlayStation 4 version of the game isn’t in as dire of a situation. “There is a situation where players look at numbers on Steam; that doesn’t happen on PlayStation 4. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but you look at PC, [concurrent user] health versus PS4, PS4 is doing fine,” he said. “People cough up 30 bucks and hop online and they don’t overthink it. On PC there is you wanting to declare something a success or a bomb by this internet culture that loves to just observe things. But it’s like, guys, you know, the small bit [of players] that we have, we’re going to continue to iterate and engage. As we issue content drops, maybe there’s going to be sales or potential free weekends down the line, continue to fluff that CCU up.”
Despite the low turn out, Boss Key – the company Bleszinski started after he left Epic games – still has big plans when it comes to the game. The studio has announced what they call “rapid fire” updates for the game, promising more maps, features, a ranked mode called Boss League, and a new defensive class.
“It’s a marathon. Not a sprint,” said Bleszinski. “We’re going to keep iterating keep working on it. At the end of the day, I didn’t want to make the exact same archetypes that everybody else did. I wanted to make a game that was first and foremost a shooter for shooter players.”
Bleszinski hopes that LawBreakers will have a similar path to that of Warframe, another shooter that launched to low numbers but slowly scaled up due to the developers faith in the title.
“We need the bodies. We need to keep fluffing up the CCU,” Bleszinski said. “We need to do what we can to let people know this is a really sweaty palm type of experience that can hopefully lend itself to eSports. But you know, I have to keep this game alive, first and foremost. I can be very cocky and very brash on social media. And realizing that, you know, we have a fledgling player base. It’s been very humbling for me. I’m going to continue to iterate on this game, continue to add to it. And try to be less of a dick, honestly.”
The last thing Bleszinski touched on was what he would have done differently in development. claiming that his reasons for not adding conventional game modes like Team Deathmatch was to distance himself from other titles.
“I didn’t want to do the exact same stuff everybody else did. The funny thing was, making a character-based, class based shooter—even though it’s not as simple as a traditional arena shooter, it still has a lot of that kind of feel underneath it all,” he said. “In hindsight, I think it was a mistake to not ship with it. I was stubborn. I was like, ‘Ohh, everybody’s [already] done TDM.’ Even Blizzard’s like, ‘Screw it, we need to put TDM action in Overwatch.’ Fundamentally, at the end of the day, players just want to get in and shoot some stuff sometimes. That’s one of the things that I consider my strengths: I am willing to admit when I am wrong. I think people in the public eye—it would do them a great benefit to do that more often.”
Bleszinski ended the interview by promising whoever bought the game already that the company would be behind them no matter what, and with the promises that more updates are on the horizon, only time will tell where the game goes.