Nexon says sweaty FPS The Finals surpassed expectations at launch but has tailed-off badly, pledges to 'understand and address the key issues'

the finals
(Image credit: Embark Studios)

The Finals, Embark Studios' spectacular yet sweaty multiplayer FPS, is underperforming according to publisher Nexon, as it reports a broader drop in revenue and operating income.

In an earnings letter reporting its financial performance for its first quarter of 2024 (via TechRaptor), Nexon reports that its "stronger-than-expected" revenues, which derived mainly from games like EA Sports FC Online (which it publishes in China), were "partially offset primarily by lower-than-expected performance of the Finals".

Going further, the report explains that the launch of Season 2 in March resulted in "a short-lived increase in player metrics but delivered lower-than-expected retention and revenue." Consequently, Embark Studios is now working with Nexon's Live Operations team in Korea to "understand and address the key issues."

The Finals enjoyed a strong launch at the end of last year, with Nexon stating that it surpassed internal expectations. And it wasn't hard to see why: its destruction-focussed combat had huge potential, combined with deeply satisfying gunplay and fantastic movement.

But even before the game's launch, there were obvious issues. As Morgan pointed out, the heavy emphasis on teamwork didn't really gel with how differently all its character builds moved through the world, and made the chaotic combat harder to enjoy. It also felt light on content and, aside from a vague virtual tournament framing, lacked the personality of other shooters like Apex Legends and Overwatch.

Embark has tried to spice things up since launch, adding a solo mode shortly after launch (which sadly wasn't great)  and 5v5 mode inspired by TF2's Payload with Season 2 (which was great). "Man, it's really nice to have more people watching your back in The Finals—or, maybe it's just nice to have fewer people trying to kill you," wrote Morgan when he tested it back in March [LINK]. Sadly, this doesn't seem to have been sufficient to stop the game from losing players. Nexon notes in its report that Season 3 is coming in June, which is supposedly bringing a new map among other things.

As for the Nexon's broader financial results, while they may have been better than anticipated, overall revenue was still down 13% over the previous year, while net operating income was down 48% over the same period. Alongside the weaker performance of the Finals, Nexon blames "lower consumer spending, rising costs, and an anticipated one-time-loss" for the year-on-year fall". The publisher says one way it hopes to address this is via major updates to several flagship games over the next quarter, including the 21 year-old MapleStory as well as the Finals.