During an investor Q&A session, Nexon executives spoke bluntly about the lack of success of Cliff Bleszinski’s LawBreakers, a low-gravity FPS that came out in August.
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.
When specifically asked about “impairment loss”, CFO Shiro Uemura said, ” I would like to respond to that question. In Q3, in other expenses, impairment loss is included. And out of the total number, LawBreakers-related impairment loss actually accounts for the majority of that amount. And also, regarding impairment loss for LawBreakers, this is everything, so we will not be accruing any other impairment loss pertaining to LawBreakers in the future.”
In other words, Nexon has literally and figuratively written the game off its books. What that means for the future remains to be seen, however, it is likely the game can limp along on Steam for quite some time as “Cliffy B” has said that he’s not ready to give up on the game.
In September of last year, Bleszinski told Gamespot that launching near “Destiny season” didn’t help the game to gain an audience. In addition, he said that developing the game is a “marathon, not a sprint”.
“We’re going to keep iterating and 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.”
Will LawBreakers go free to play? Will that be enough? Can Boss Key keep things afloat on Steam and keep making it better if there’s no money to pay the developer salaries? Time will tell, but the stunning statements during the earnings call from Nexon had to hurt. However, as late as December 20th, Nexon was still vowing support. We’ll see how that goes in the coming months.