Boss Key Productions, the studio behind online shooter Lawbreakers, is shifting focus to other projects, it announced today in a statement.
"It has been a while since we said anything about LawBreakers," it said. "With that, the past four months at Boss Key Productions has been especially trying, as we pride ourselves at being communicative and transparent."
"So here is the very real truth, which may not come as a surprise," it continued. "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."
Lawbreakers launched in August 2017 to generally favorable reviews. It had a big name attached to it, Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski. But, sales were lower than expected and it struggled to find a following. Two months after launch, its concurrent player count was reportedly near single digits. Publisher Nexon blamed popular online battle royale game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds during an earnings call in January.
"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," Nexon said during the call. "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."
Boss Key said it's considering pivoting to free-to-play, but added making that move will require a lot of planning and resources, as well as publisher support. It's unclear if Nexon will want to continue financially supporting the failing game.
"The team here has worked hard on this game over the past three and a half years and our studio is determined to give this game the second life it deserves," it said. "However, between now and then, we cannot sit idle. We will continue to support the game in its current state, but we also need to focus on other projects with fresh creative leaders. We have been working on something new and we can’t wait to share more about it! It’s a passion project that we’re in complete control of."