Boss Key’s LawBreakers Isn’t Flying High On PC

by Jelani James
LawBreakers (PC)

Is LawBreakers on the PC dying or merely in the midst of regaining some lost footing? This is the question that needs to be asked when looking at the stats for Boss Key’s anti-gravity shooter.

As you may recall, LawBreakers arrived on the PC on Aug. 8 to what appeared to be a receptive market. There was plenty of marketing for the game beforehand and the majority of its reviews were positive, earning a score of 77 on Metacritic. Things seemed decent enough following its official release as well, with its peak amount of concurrent players peaking around 2000. Obviously, these weren’t the highest numbers, but it could do worse.

And, unfortunately, it has started to do worse — much worse.

Based on numbers from Steam Charts, what was once a decent 2000 has dwindled to a meager peak of 354 within the last 24-hour period. In fact, as of writing this, there are only 186 people playing.

So what’s going on? Perhaps it has something to do with the current payment model. Initially, LawBreakers was planned to be free-to-play, but it changed to a retail release during development. It appears that going that route might not have been the best option, especially if you consider that the highest numbers the game ever received was during its beta periods. Of course, even if that is the case, then making it free-to-play might not be the best option right now, unless BossKey is content with upsetting early adopters who put down $30 and are playing the game. There is precedent, however, such as what happened when Evolve became a f2p title on Steam.

On the other hand, LawBreakers present struggle could simply be a result of entering the scene at the wrong time. In a genre that is dominated by Overwatch (and Paladins to a lesser degree), perhaps Boss Key was too optimistic in believing it could establish a solid foothold in the market. What’s more, the fact that it borrowed Overwatch’s loot box mechanic, yet didn’t do enough on its own to lure players away from other titles, clearly hasn’t done the game any favors.

That said, even if LawBreakers is in a tough spot now, that doesn’t mean it has to stay that way (and for all we know, the PS4 version could be golden right now). There is still plenty of opportunity for the game to regain some lost footing, but it has to act now. Failing to do so would mean it would earn itself a similar status as the many MMORPG’s that have fallen prey to World of Warcraft over the years.

- This article was updated on March 8th, 2018