Some hyped titles floundered harder than most this year.
What happens when a developer that just released an acclaimed single-player title decides to make a team-based multiplayer brawler? In the case of Ninja Theory, which saw strong success with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and had been acquired by Xbox Game Studios, you get Bleeding Edge. The developer clarified that it had been in development before the acquisition and the combat seemingly channeled its love for melee fights. Otherwise, given the number of multiplayer shooters and brawlers that have struggled – heroes or no – Bleeding Edge felt like it was being sent out to die. And not even launching with Xbox Game Pass could help.
No formal sales data was released but Steam player numbers painted a dismal picture. Bleeding Edge had a peak of 828 players in March 2020, which dropped to 362 in April. Among the top 20 most-played games in March on Xbox Live, it was nowhere to be seen. Ninja Theory has provided some updates in the form of new maps, Quests and new characters. But the last major update was on July 30th and the player count is as dead as can be. It’s a shame but at least the game wasn’t an utter mess at launch.