first noticed by VGC NewsSteamCharts shows that the worldwide concurrent player count on PC for Babylon’s Fall, the live service game from Square Enix and Platinum Games, dropped to just one player on Tuesday night, before settling at its more typical but still anemic 20-50 concurrent players.
Player counts aren’t everything to a game’s health. They ebb and flow, with inevitable spikes in the release or release of an expansion and contractions during dry spells of new content. That said, it’s alarming to see a live service game from a long-established publisher and a popular developer reach such a critical level just two months after release.
As the VGC points out, frequent “dead game” contenders Marvel’s Avengers and Outriders managed to keep audiences several times the size of Babylon’s Fall. It’s unclear how the game is faring on PlayStation and Xbox, but I doubt it will be much better given Babylon’s Fall’s frosty reception.
Inside PC gamer review, Anne-Marie Coyle stated that “Babylon’s Fall crumbles under the weight of bland design, repetitive gameplay, and prioritizing paywalls over players”. Babylon’s Fall’s poor reception, coupled with a lack of marketing or word of mouth, helps put its current situation into perspective.
At the end of March, Platinum insisted that “there are no plans to scale development down on Babylon’s Fall. The content up to the end of Season 2 is mostly complete and we’ve started work on Season 3 and beyond.” However, it’s hard to imagine development going on for much longer if the team can’t turn this situation around.
Square Enix made headlines last week as abandoned its North American studios and propertieswith the company claiming that the move “enables the launch of new businesses, moving forward with investments in fields such as blockchain, AI and cloud”.
In turn, the CEO of Platinum publicly stated that the studio will switch to live service games in the future, unlike single-player character action games that put you on the map. The disastrous launch of Babylon’s Fall could bring the company to a halt before committing to its fullest, however.