LawBreakers, the hero shooter from Cliff Bleszinski, was not the hit that developer Boss Key nor publisher Nexon was looking for. It failed to attract a big player base, and, despite significant efforts from Boss Key to fluff up the player count, it remains to be seen if that happened. Data from Steam suggests that the player base is still very small.
In Nexon’s latest earnings report, the company discussed how LawBreakers came up short commercially and suggested that PUBG had something to do with it. “Our results in North America in the third quarter were below our outlook, mainly due to the sales from LawBreakers being below our expectations,” Nexon said in its report, which was spotted and reported on by PCGamesN. “LawBreakers is a unique FPS developed for core users. We had very high expectations for its launch.”
LawBreakers was released in July on PS4 and PC, which was not long after PUBG hit the scene on Early Access. Regarding LawBreakers’ release window, Nexon said, “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.”
Perhaps more notably, Nexon CFO Shiro Uemura said in the earnings report that “we will not be accruing any other impairment loss pertaining to LawBreakers in the future.” As explained by PCGamesN, an “impairment loss” is when the decrease in an asset’s value is greater than the money it should be making in the future. In essence, it sounds like Nexon is taking its loss on LawBreakers and moving on. We don’t know how much Nexon might have lost on LawBreakers, but the company said its impairment loss made up “the majority” of its expenses during the quarter, which totalled $ 32.6 million.
Boss Key has said it is considering bringing the game to Xbox One and potentially Nintendo Switch after that, but no announcements have been made.