Boss Key Productions, the studio behind the Battle Royale early access title Radical Heights, is closing up shop. The developer held a huge amount of potential initially, coming from Gear of War veteran Cliff Bleszinski and promising something of a shake-up when it came to the shooter genre. Unfortunately, initial release LawBreakers didn't have the greatest of launches and failed to find an audience.
The winding down of LawBreakers didn't come as much of a surprise, but the news that the studio was already jumping into another game did raise a few eyebrows. Nothing prepared fans for the surprise (extremely) early access launch of follow-up Radical Heights, however, with the game looking to capitalize on the craze for Battle Royale games seen by the likes of Fortnite and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.
However, Radical Heights has not done enough to keep Boss Key Productions going, as the studio's closure has now been confirmed. Taking to Twitter, Bleszinski stated that the developer is "effectively no more," before going on to briefly discuss the struggles that the studio found with its releases. Meanwhile, the servers for Radical Heights will also remain running for "the near future," although clearly the game's time is very short as well.
Bleszinski himself is going to take some time away from development, but does hope to "make something new again someday." However, the gamble taken on Boss Key Productions unfortunately has not paid off, and the studio has instead left behind two interesting but flawed games that failed to find audiences in the face of bigger releases.
Although partly Boss Key's struggles were down to bad luck or a lack of pickup from word-of-mouth play, there were also some flaws within the games themselves that made it difficult to gain attention from more established titles. In particular, Radical Heights certainly held some potential, but launched in too ropey a state to really grab players, and its steadily dropping player base seemed inevitable. Then again, going up against a money-making machine like Fortnite was always going to be a big ask.
Hopefully, the minds of Boss Key Productions will find their way back into game development soon. There were definitely some interesting ideas on show, and it would be a shame to see that disappear from the industry altogether. Unfortunately, it's not going to be happening under Boss Key Productions.
Source: Cliff Bleszinski