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!