SA Gamer Awards 2017: Biggest Fail

Not every game in any given year can be a winner. And with the way publishers carry on, it’s not even a surprise anymore if something just completely falls flat or makes us all collectively sigh in discontent. 2017 brought the thunder with many moments where our faces got well acquainted with our palms. The extent of it was so bad that we had some heated arguments trying to decide which game deserved this prestigious award. If we didn’t expressly focus on games, the publishers would have dominated this category (can you guess which?).

However, the decision came down to which game failed the hardest this year and when we considered all of the evidence and parameters and put personal grudges aside, there was only really one contender for this coveted award. A game that failed so monumentally that it borders on being a tragedy. And that’s none other than:

LawBreakers

CliffyB, the industry’s very own showman, was rather proud of his defiant push against the evil AAA games industry. His promises were honourable and his dreams big. A hero shooter that was only $30, had no scummy DLC and was made by passionate game designers for the love of gaming. LawBreakers released to relatively good praise, a little hype on the train and at first you’d think that this shooter would compete with the likes of Overwatch.

It didn’t.

For reasons that are still a bit of a mystery, the game turned into a ghost town in record time. Looking at the Steamspy charts is a trip down Tragedy Avenue as the game’s meagre concurrent players cannot even compete with some off-brand indie titles out there. The most recent statistic, which is on the 11th of December, says that the peak concurrent players was 16. That isn’t even enough people to make a good party, let alone a much-hyped shooter that is actually fun.

The thing is, we have no bad blood towards CliffyB or even LawBreakers as a game. CliffyB’s arrogance wasn’t always welcome, but he did believe in something honourable. The reasons for the failure can be numerous. Maybe Overwatch was just too big of a competitor. Maybe the market was saturated with multiplayer-only shooters already. Maybe the world was simply just not ready for a game such as LawBreakers. Regardless, it is undoubtedly one of the biggest failures of the year.

Runner-Up: Star Wars Battlefront II
Dishonourable Mention: For Honor, FIFA on Switch, YS VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

I am way too tall, played way too many games and I love to write about what we love about games. In the end, I’m just being #Thabolicious

  • Poor Lawbreakers. Best trailer of all the games in 2017. But it plays like a generic watered down Overwatch unfortunately/

  • Dave

    Another year, another group of developers who still think they can release multiplayer only games if they’re not Valve or Blizzard. Even the mostly multiplayer games of Activision or EA know to include some form of single player. Most of the most successful multiplayer games were born organically, as a part of another game, or as a mod for a different game, which is how people got used to the gameplay and formula. It would then build enough momentum to become a game on it’s own.
    And, $30 was still too much for something that needed to sell enough to reach critical mass of playerbase quickly. $10 would have made it an easy choice.

    • The good thing here is that people voted with their wallets by not buying it. This ‘multiplayer-only’ nonsense needs to die a death. Slowly but surely devs/publishers are learning the hard way.

      • Dave

        Yeah I think the tide has definitely shifted away from multiplayer as a whole. A few years ago they were shoe-horning multiplayer into every single game, but now there are more and more games that aren’t afraid to be unashamedly single player, and many of this year’s best games have been exactly that.
        It’s also better for publishers I think, as single player games are a lot more ‘consumable’, you finish the game and move onto the next. Whereas people still spend hundreds of hours playing multiplayer games from 10 years ago, or will buy one or two annual releases and get all their multiplayer fix from that for the year.

        • I remember that Tomb Raider reboot launching with added multiplayer. Was so baffling at the time. Thankfully Rise of the Tomb Raider dropped it. That said, the one game that surprised me, with tagged on multiplayer, was the Uncharted series. The MP is actually good fun. To me that was quite surprising.

      • OneLargeBanana

        I couldn’t agree more (if only I could have upvoted your post a thousand times)

  • OneLargeBanana

    Lawbreakers was the little train that.. just… couldn’t. It was too woke for it’s own good. *tips hat to Cliffy B

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