Nier Automata Developer PlatinumGames’ Latest RPG Drops to 8 Simultaneous Players on Steam
In brief: Square Enix is known for creating and publishing some pretty amazing games. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy was a surprising gem, and both the Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest franchises seem to be knocking it out of the park with each new release. Unfortunately, even a publisher of Square’s caliber is capable of doing its part in a bad game every now and then. The latest action RPG published by Square Enix, Babylon’s Fall, has performed horribly on Steam.
To be clear, Square Enix is regularly “disappointed” by the performance of their published works, even if the said games actually did very well. The publisher is known for having unreasonably high expectations of releases. Unfortunately, even with that in mind, Babylon’s Fall is not going well. It might be better on console, but on Steam, it hit a pathetic 8 concurrent players during the evening of April 12. Since the title wasn’t released until March 3rd, that’s not a great sign.
It’s common for player numbers to decline after the first few weeks of a game’s release, but not to this extent. Even PlatinumGames’ previous work, Nier Automata, maintains an average concurrent player count of 1,464 in the past 30 days — which is five year after launch. By contrast, Babylon’s Fall averages about 138 concurrent players, with regular dips into the double digits.
So, what exactly is wrong with Babylon’s Fall? According to reviewers, the issues lie in the game’s nonexistent difficulty, dull level design, and a strange oil-paint-like filter that negatively impacts graphics fidelity. The game’s main saving grace, according to reviewers, seems to be the combat, but even that apparently doesn’t “bloom” until late game.
Fans of Nier Automata probably expected better from PlatinumGames this time around. An action RPG for 1 to 4 players with the depth of Nier, but a fresh setting and unique aesthetic? Even I would have reason to check that out, despite never having played a Nier game. Unfortunately, as we’ve learned repeatedly over the years, games don’t always come out the way they should. Babylon’s Fall seems to be another victim of this trend.
That said, PlatinumGames is committed to doing good through its players. According to a tweet published in March, the developer is already working on Season 2 and 3 of the game’s content, and improvements are in the works to address player feedback. Will this turn into a new “No Man’s Sky” situation? With the game currently on “Most Negative” recent reviews, it’s hard to say. However, anything is possible and we hope PlatinumGames can change things, both for itself and for its players.
If you’d like to give the game a try, it’s on sale right now for $41.99, down from $59.99 on Steam. That deal ends on April 27, so you still have some time to take advantage of it if you want. Alternatively, you can try the free demo, which requires you to link a Square Enix account to play.