Boss Key Productions, the video game developer behind LawBreakers and Radical Heights, is “effectively no more”, its co-founder Cliff Bleszinski announced via Twitter on Monday. Bleszinski cited a lack of strong player base for LawBreakers, and the pivot to battle royale genre with Radical Heights not being enough to save the studio.
In an accompanying image that contained a note, Bleszinski wrote: “Four years ago I set out to make a world class video game studio and I hired some of the best talent in the video game industry. They worked tirelessly to produce quality products and, while we had our ups and downs, I’d like to think we had fun doing it.”
“LawBreakers was a great game that unfortunately failed to gain traction, and, in a last ditch attempt we scrambled to do our take on the huge battle royale genre with Radical Heights which was well received, however, it was too little too late,” he added.
LawBreakers released in August 2017 on PC and PS4 to favourable reviews, but it sold poorly and rapidly lost the little player base it had, with the publisher Nexon blaming the explosive rise of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which ate into every first-person shooter on the market.
Boss Key stopped working on LawBreakers, and moved on to the battle royale genre, bringing some new some ideas with the 1980s-themed Radical Heights. But the game was poorly received and described as a cash-in, to capitalise on the growing popularity of battle royale thanks to Battlegrounds, and Fortnite.
Though Boss Key is shutting down, servers for Radical Heights will “remain up for the near future”, Bleszinski said. He added that he’ll be taking some time off to reflect and “focus on myself and family as well as my Aussie, Teddy, who is slowly fading from us.”
Bleszinski began his career in the 90s at Epic Games, working on Unreal and Gears of War franchises. He left Epic in 2012 to take a break, and co-founded Boss Key with Arjan Brussee in 2014.