The Weekly Raid: Failure To Launch - A Tale of LawBreakers and SkySaga

With the lackluster launch of LawBreakers earlier this month and the announcement that SkySaga would be ceasing development, we felt it was time to return to the topic of extended, public development cycles.

In an interview with Eurogamer, Cliff Bleszinski of Boss Key Productions said that he regrets allowing the alpha test to be streamed because it "deflated some of the expectations, and we have to work three times as hard to win people back based on that perception."

I agree with him on that point, but not just because people judged an unfinished product. Just seeing streamers play the game sort of fills the appetite in my opinion. A game has to be truly amazing to get people to actually play it themselves after watching a streamer play it and move on. Especially if the game comes out a year after said streamers had moved on.

SkySaga fell into a similar trap. I recall playing, heck even enjoying SkySaga when I first played it back in 2015. It was in Alpha testing back then. And it was still in Alpha testing when the publisher, Smilegate refused to fund the game any further in August 2017.

Its always going to be a balancing act between letting players get involved in the development process and 'wowing' them. Too many small studios today have veered too far in one direction. More studios should seek to emulate games like Destiny 2 which only revealed itself a month or so before beta, with a launch following soon after. If we hear about, read about, see gameplay for something year after year, we lose hype. Or at least I think that's how people feel. Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts below!

Lifelong gamer always looking for the next virtual adventure. I'm still waiting for the next big MMORPG. Until then, you can find me hopping between multiple games.

  • It's pretty crazy that Skysaga spent 3 years in various stages of Alpha. I remember Alpha, Alpha 2, Alpha 3, and after that i stopped opening their emails. They got all the way up to ALPHA 9. Can't spend forever in development need to spend something on launch and advertising too. Clearly Smilegate was fed up with the slow progress and pulled funding.

    IMO your release date from announcement/teaser trailers shouldn't be too far. Hype will die down by the time your game launches if its YEARS and YEARS away after multiple PLAYABLE alphas/tests.

  • TianlanSha

    I briefly tried Skysaga for about 30 minutes and quit. It's just a Minecraft game, nothing more to it.

    I also sort of followed the events with Lawbreakers and I think the bad reputation is because the creator said some stupid things, also the game that was supposed to be F2P became B2P, then again it wasn't very original so all those factors contribute to its downfall.

    They will probably make Lawbreakers F2P.