Fan project to revive LawBreakers gets Cliff Bleszinski's backing, as he eyes the prize of somehow getting Nexon interested: 'That's what I'm hoping for'

Two LawBreaker characters face off.
(Image credit: Bosskey Studios)

Released in 2017, Lawbreakers was the first game from the now-defunct Boss Key Productions, a studio founded by Cliff Bleszinski following his departure from Epic Games. It was a high-speed, high-skill FPS that slotted neatly into the Unreal Tournament lineage but, despite being really rather good, lasted barely a year before going offline forever.

Or so it seemed. Bleszinski is an outspoken sort and, ever since Boss Key went down, has at various points teased the possibility of a Lawbreakers comeback: even saying last year that his "LA lawyer" was on the case. Sadly even LA lawyers find it difficult to get around the fact that Nexon owns the rights to the game, and there's been no official revival of the title.

But unofficially, a group of devoted fans have been working to bring the game back. The effort began in February 2021 (on Discord, at least), and was kept underground by project leader Red, lest Nexon take an interest, before breaking cover this past week for a public playtest. Set expectations appropriately: The goal is to bring back Lawbreakers as it was, but this is not a remaster and the game won't be changed or added-to in any way (Red says there's a possibility of some balancing tweaks, but they'll cross that bridge once the thing's up-and-running).

"Somehow LawBreakers is coming back," wrote an excited Bleszinski, before sharing a link to his wife streaming the game and joining the Discord. He then went on to make possibly the worst game-related joke I've ever seen: "Funny how Lawbreakers is rising from the ashes. Kinda like...a Fenix."

Quite. Back on planet Earth the playtest (now closed) seemed to go well and prove that the fan project's servers are up to the task ("it's held up beautifully"). While enthused about the chance to "battle in Zero G like in the good old days" Red does emphasise that some stuff is "either broken or does not work as intended", before encouraging their fellow Lawbreakers to "just have fun with other people living the hype!"

The project does not yet have a public release date, though does have a website. Red emphasises they're "a small team and this is insanely complex to properly do" and, while there are plans for another playtest soon, they're still looking for additional bodies on the development side to "help us make this the best possible preservation of LawBreakers."

One fan said to Bleszinski that this should show Nexon that players want the game to come back. "That's what I'm hoping for," replied Bleszinski.

Why not, I suppose. To celebrate the occasion Bleszinski did have a treat for fans, releasing two previously unseen cinematics from the game's world.

Outside of trying to revive Lawbreakers, Bleszinski's been keeping busy with a comic about dogs fighting for justice in a dystopian future, as well as penning a memoir about his time in the industry.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."