Helldivers 2 Is An Exception In Live Service Genre, Says Gears Creator

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Most Live-Service Projects Are Bound To Fail!

Story Highlight
  • Cliff Bleszinski claims titles like Helldivers 2 are an exception to the live-service rule.
  • He believes that live service games need great marketing to become popular.
  • Live service games need to go viral to become successful, as per the developer.

Live service games are either a hit or a miss since various titles, like the recently launched Suicide Squad, are quick to lose steam shortly after launch.

The creator of Gears of War, Cliff Bleszinski, has also made two live services, both of which failed, causing him to shut down his studio. While talking about live service games, Cliff Bleszinski says that titles like Helldivers 2 and Palworld are an exception.

Why it matters: Helldivers has already crossed over 3 million sales in under a month. Similarly, Palworld has reached over 25 million players, already becoming the most successful release of the year.

Palworld Screenshot via Pocketpair

During a recent interview with PCGamesN, Cliff Bleszinski talked about the struggle of developing live service games. He believes that a game doesn’t only need good gameplay but also needs to go viral to become successful.

“It’s so hard to make a live-service game. If the game dies, and the servers go dark, the game is just gone.”

-Cliff Bleszinski 

When he was asked about releases like Helldivers 2 and Palworld, which have become the most successful titles of the year despite little hype initially, Cliff Bleszinski said that both of the games have achieved these results due to their viral growth.

He believes that the key to becoming successful is going viral or spending half of the money on marketing to make the game popular.

“If you’re not on the front page of Twitch, you’re dead in the water.”

-Cliff Bleszinski 

Proving this point, both games have found a notable following on platforms like TikTok, Twitch, and Twitter. The Gears of War creator says that if a project takes $100 million to develop, an additional 50% of that budget is needed for the marketing.

However, virality on social media can effectively serve as its own form of marketing from the audience.

Helldivers 2
Helldivers 2 Screenshot via Arrowhead Game Studios

While we agree with the Gears of War creator, we believe another important factor is the pricing of the game. Both Helldivers 2 and Palworld are available for half the price of a typical AAA release, making them more appealing.

Still, even such massive games can experience drop-offs in player counts. Palworld recently lost around 85% of its players, making it one of the biggest drops in Steam history. However, both games still have hundreds of thousands of active players.

Nonetheless, many teams are still unable to nail a successful live-service recipe. Only a few gaming giants can boast live-service titles that can be considered a huge deal, while the rest struggle to translate their ideas to an evolving Games-as-a-Service model.

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