Nexon, the publisher of Cliff Bleszinski and Boss Key’s LawBreakers, has written off the poorly selling title as a loss. They attribute the commercial failure of the game to launching right around the same time that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds launched on the PC. “We will not be accruing any other impairment loss pertaining to LawBreakers in the future,” Nexon CFO Shiro Uemura said in an investor call. Impairment loss is defined as a “decrease in an asset’s net carrying value that exceeds the future undisclosed cash flow it should generate…Impairment occurs when a company sells or abandons an asset that is no longer beneficial.” What this means is that Nexon has completely written off LawBreakers on its balance sheet and does not see it as a beneficial asset any longer.
Uemura went on to offer additional details, saying that LawBreakers accounted for the majority of their Q3 expenses that totled $32.6 million.
Our results in North America in the third quarter were below our outlook, mainly due to the sales from LawBreakers being below our expectations. LawBreakers is a unique FPS developed for core users. We had very high expectations for its launch; however, the timing of its 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.
Note that comments from Nexon do not necessarily represent the views from Cliff Bleszinski or anyone at Boss Key productions. Nexon may see PUBG as an easy way to explain the failure of LawBreakers to investors, but there were a number of other things that factored in to the game’s commercial failure. LawBreakers definitely didn’t hit the market at the right time or place. While we and many other critics enjoyed the game, it’s obvious that a perfect storm of factors played its part in making sure that Boss Key’s hero shooter didn’t meet expected projections.