Lawbreakers publisher cites success of PUBG as partial reason for shooter's failure

Despite its positive critical response and handful of free-to-try weekends, Boss Key Productions' Lawbreakers has struggled commercially since launch last year. According to sales tracking site SteamSpy, the arena shooter's peak concurrent player count yesterday was just 50—and now publisher Nexon has discussed the game's shortcomings in its Q3 financial report. 

Within the transcript, Nexon says its overall revenues were up 36 percent year-over-year, however its earnings in North America fell short as a result of poor Lawbreakers sales. Nexon CFO Shiro Uemura says: "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." 

Uemura continues, suggesting that while the publisher had high hopes for the Cliff Bleszinski-led FPS pre-release, competition from Bluehole's battle royale megahit offset its own success. PUBG's meteoric rise has been remarkable, however it's perhaps worth noting that it launched into Steam's Early Access initiative in March, while Lawbreakers arrived several months later.

Nevertheless, Uemura adds: "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." 

Read Nexon's financial report transcript in full over here

Thanks, PCGamesN