Babylon’s Fall came out earlier this month, and already it feels like it’s on life support. The only reason it seemed to make any splash at all amidst the current release calendar onslaught was because of just how bad it is. Now publisher Square Enix is trying to reassure fans the new worst PS5 game isn’t dead and will continue to get more post-launch updates, including NieR:Automata costumes.
“Is the continuing service in danger?” began a very oddly worded all-caps statement from the game’s Twitter account (via Axios Gaming). “No, there are no plans to reduce the scale of development on Babylon’s Fall.”
Hmmm, my “Babylon’s Fall isn’t dead” T-shirt certainly has people asking a lot of questions already answered by my shirt!
Developer PlatinumGames said all of the game’s season two content is “practically complete” and that it’s already preparing to work on season three “and beyond.” To prove that it’s committed to the long haul, the developers released a season one roadmap showing a large 1.1.0 update slated to arrive on March 22, followed by a NieR:Automata collaboration event on March 29, and additional story content coming at the end of April.
There certainly isn’t a shortage of stuff coming to the loot-based action-RPG in the near future. Among other things, the game will get a new faction, a new weapon type, and a ”gauntlet” mode. The game’s development team has also committed to fixing some of the graphical issues, and continuing to tune the weapon balance. Will any of this make a difference to the overall experience? I’m skeptical, to say the least.
Other live-service debacles, like BioWare’s Anthem and Bethesda’s Fallout 76, had some strong fundamentals to build on, so I felt like I at least had a sense of what a “fixed” version of those games might look like. I’m not getting any of that from Babylon’s Fall.
Notably, BioWare had also said it was committed to making Anthem the game it had originally promised with an eventual Anthem 2.0-like release. Instead, EA canned the whole thing just two years later.
Players on Steam don’t seem to be sticking around, either. While the game is on PS4 and PS5 as well, its PC user base appears to have gone from small to negligible. Its all-time peak concurrent player number on Valve’s storefront was 1,166 at launch. It’s now a third of that. Live-service games are appealing to publishers because they get the most devoted players to continually spend lots of money on microtransactions. I’m not sure how many players Babylon’s Fall needs to sustain its daily upkeep, let alone actually overhaul the game, but I don’t think 300 concurrents on Steam is going to cut it.