Boss Key Productions, the developers behind Lawbreakers and Radical Heights, are closing their doors today, citing the latter game’s failure to gain traction.
Cliff Bleszinski, one of Boss Key’s co-founders and one of the developers behind Gears of War, announced the studio’s closure via Twitter, as well as his own break from creating video games to focus on his family. “Four years ago I set out to make a world class video game studio and I hired some of the best talent in the videogame industry,” said Bleszinski. “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.”
When I wrote on the release of Radical Heights last month, I expressed my skepticism at its success. As battle royale style game, similar to Player Unknown’s: Battleground and Fortnite, it was unfortunately released April 10th, when both games were well established titans of their genre. While Radical Heights was well received, there simply wasn’t any room left for another battle royale game at this point in time. According to Steam Charts, the average amount of players over the past month is 1660.
It’s certainly sad to see Boss Key Productions go: they were a studio founded by a legend of the industry that had incredible potential. While Cliff's work with Gears of War is considered foundational for many shooters today, the two main titles released by Boss Key Productions just missed the timing window that many blockbusters hit. Both games were published into massively oversaturated markets, and neither ended up holding a massive audience. It’s even worse to see Cliff step away from developing for a while. It's all we can hope that if comes back to the industry, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with that's overdue for a hit.