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PlayStation 4 Exclusivity WAS A Mistake Says Lawbreakers’ Cliffy B

Cliff Bleszinski speaks out about the spectacular and unfortunate failure of the hero shooter, Lawbreakers, released on PS4 and PC in 2017.

Cliff Bleszinski of Epic and Boss Key Productions concedes PS4 console exclusivity for the failed multiplayer shooter, LawBreakers, was a mistake. Released in 2017, LawBreakers was a high-profile title, considering its pedigree. Known by his nickname, "Cliffy B," Bleszinski is best known for his time with Epic Games, working on such titles as Jazz Jackrabbit, Unreal, and Gears of War. Hopes were high LawBreakers would be the next big multiplayer shooter from a developer known for great things in the genre, but things didn't quite work out that way.

While the game earned strong reviews from most outlets, LawBreakers failed to attract much of an audience, and the game was unceremoniously shut down in 2018, and Boss Key Productions was shut down for good. Over the years, industry analysts have examined the reasons behind the failure of LawBreakers, from its competitive release window and unexciting art style to its fast-paced gameplay with a high skill ceiling, catering to hardcore audiences over more casual players.

Related: Best Free-to-Play Games on PS4

Ever since the dissolution of Boss Key Productions, Cliffy B has been active on Twitter, discussing his work in the video game industry over the years, among other things, including his in-progress memoirs and his current career as a Broadway producer. He recently Tweeted about the unreleased PlayStation 3 version of Gears of War, and, since the discussion focused on Sony's machines, he went on to state that putting LawBreakers on PlayStation 4 over Xbox One was a mistake.

It's not entirely certain if he feels LawBreakers would have been better off as an Xbox One console exclusive, or if exclusivity at all hurt the game. Either way, console exclusivity for a multiplayer-only game inherently limits the audience for said game. Especially in the days before cross-platform play, multiplayer titles needed a large player base to sustain themselves and justify their existence. As history ultimately revealed, LawBreakers was not able to survive in the marketplace to which it released.

Had LawBreakers released on Xbox One, as well as PlayStation 4, it may have been able to find a following on Microsoft's system. Exclusivity is a tricky thing. First-party developers use their high-profile exclusive games to sell consoles and show off the power of their home hardware. Meanwhile, some exclusive titles are able to thrive on a console where it fills a void that is otherwise lacking. However, sometimes an exclusive title can get lost in the shuffle, buried under similar games, and dismissed out of hand. This is likely what happened with LawBreakers. While there are many factors that likely play into the game's commercial failure, perhaps it was simply the wrong game at the wrong time on the wrong platform. Either way, Cliffy B promises to explain everything in his upcoming memoirs, though nobody knows when that story might be published.

Next: No, The Xbox One X Cyberpunk 2077 Limited Edition Doesn't Cost Thousands

Source: Cliff Bleszinski

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