While 2017 was definitely a banner year for video games, not every highly anticipated adventure turned out to be a resounding success. As games like The Legends of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Horizon: Zero Dawn were making headlines for their soaring successes, others were more noteworthy for pulling off a belly-flop.
While 2017 offered success stories from a wide variety of games, this year's disappointments were equally varied. We've got a little bit of everything here, ranging from a beloved series that fizzled out to an indie darling that didn't quite turn out as intended. A couple of complete duds also turned up, as well as a game that we're deeming massively disappointing for nontraditional reasons.
Let's get this show on the road.
On paper, LawBreakers seemed like an easy home run. You've got Cliff Bleszinski, of Gears of War fame, and his new studio promising a hero shooter that rewards skill and offers a darker edge than you typically get out of the genre. While it would have been wiser to stick to a free-to-play model, they were charging just 30 bucks for the game with all future hero/level/mode DLC getting added in at no extra charge. Finally, the game itself was super solid. The gunplay was fast and fierce and the mobility added an interesting new spin on your typical arena-style blast-a-thons.
I'm not going to pretend that the game wasn't without its faults. The character and world designs weren't too fleshed out, the marketing was poorly targeted and there wasn't a heck of a lot of meat on the bones when LawBreakers launched. Still, the positives greatly outnumbered the negatives and we felt pretty confident that the game's quality and word of mouth would help it build some momentum.
Instead, LawBreakers landed with a resounding thud. As of this writing, today's peak number of concurrent players on Steam was just 21. It's a kind of downward spiral we figure is impossible to pull out of, and that's a real shame. LawBreakers itself wasn't a disappointing game, but its extremely fast death (which felt avoidable) certainly is.