Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League's Steam numbers have dwindled into the low hundreds, placing it side-by-side with Gotham Knights

Suicide Squad Kill the Justice League screenshot of Deadshot
(Image credit: Rocksteady)

I confess, I have not set my eyes on Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League's Steam numbers for a while. I've been predominantly busy with Shadow of the Erdtree and, today, Final Fantasy 14.

Rocksteady's ill-fated live service shooter had mostly slipped my mind and, with fellow PC Gamer writer Morgan Park's assertion that it was, against all odds, a harmless bit of middle-of-the-road fun, I'd at least assumed it would've garnered a modest but tidy audience. Too humble to make up for a $200 million loss, sure, but enough to keep its gears running.

Jeez, though. Things are a lot worse than I imagined.

Looking at the stats SteamDB over the past 3 months, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League has endured a steady decline from a still-not-great 2,700 players in March. By the end of April, only 170 people were playing it on Steam. This rose to about 500 again in May with the advent of Season 1, Episode 2, but soon returned to numbers that're almost hamlet-sized. At the time of writing, its 24-hour peak is 210 players. That's around the same as Gotham Knights right now, a similar faux pa that came out two whole years beforehand.

(Image credit: SteamDB)

I'll be honest: aside from huge, blow-out successes that are clearly noteworthy by any metric such as Helldivers 2 and, puzzlingly, Banana, I don't like uncritically rattling off Steam numbers as some proof of gloom and doom. So in the interest of fairness, here's some obvious caveats.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is a multi-platform game. It's out on PS5, Xbox Series X and S. It's also available on the Epic Games Store. Not every single person playing the game will be playing it on Steam, and it's likely the overall numbers are not as bad.

That being said, considering that aforementioned $200 million loss, I think we can assume things are going poorly. The game stopped giving its "weekly" developer updates last month, the final post being from May 31.

Heading over to the Discord, the community's atmosphere seems more like a wake than a village. "Hate to be that guy, but is it a good idea to get back into the game?" one player asks. "Simple answer is no," a fellow squadder replies. Another player later remarks, with the air of a violinist on the Titanic: "Enjoy the ride till it's over."

Listen, I have all sorts of critical feelings about what this game meant in terms of the industry. I think Rocksteady's move away from what it's good at and into doomed, five-years-too-late live service nonsense was just as frustrating as our own Robin Valentine made it out to be. In a year and change of terrible, ongoing layoffs, it was another reminder that the desire to strike gold will always crush decent studios full of capable people into fine dust. It isn't enough to make good, well-selling games, the line has to go up and up and up.

As a game, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is endemic of the kind of bland, corporate optimism of "we can make a Fortnite, probably!" that callously puts talented individuals out of work. Although, in fairness, the same report that highlighted that $200 million loss also laid blame at the feet of the studio's co-founders, who left before the thing even launched.

But at the same time—man, is that rough. Just because I don't like a person, doesn't mean I want to see them suffer, and the same thing is true here.

I also don't want the game that does exist—all the art assets, the voice performances, and the writing, no matter how controversially received—to simply vanish off the face of the earth because someone decided it needed to be just like Destiny. A game doesn't have to be good to be worth preserving. Luckily, it should be getting an offline mode, and you can also currently get it for about 30% of the original asking price. A betting man would say it'll be getting cheaper in the years to come.

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.