Why Cliff Bleszinski's 'Get Woke, Go Broke' excuse for LawBreakers is nonsense

Cliff Bleszinski claimed that his "woke-ness" was the result of LawBreakers' failure. Here's why that is utter nonsense.

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TK-66718d ago (Edited 718d ago )

Let's first point out that the 'Get woke, go broke' logic doesnt actually work, period. Numerous games and movies that were accused of going woke have been successful and many have failed. If theres no way of accurately predicting how 'wokeness' impacts market performance then it means it's not a factor.

Also, Lawbreakers is quite possibly one of the biggest flops of this generation. It completely failed to gain an audience and theres an obvious reason for this. A shooter releasing a month before Destiny 2, and in a climate where we have Paladins and Overwatch? Any arena shooter like this was going to have a rough time capturing an audience, especially so for a new IP with no established userbase. As a sidenote, it also released close to games like Hellblade, Sonic Mania, and Mario+Rabbids which were all highly praised games which all performed well financially. This game had way too much competition and was unable to stand out in the market.

Another factor is the pricing. It actually got praised for a lower price due to not having a single player campaign, but if we really think about it this game would've had a better chance launching as a F2P title.

***Bleszinski went on to say that he was the CEO who “refused to make his female characters sexier,” and who “shoehorns diversity in his game and then smells his own smug farts in interviews.”***

Or you can just say that... Game sold bad because the characters weren't sexy enough and it was too diverse. Lol, okay.

TK-66718d ago (Edited 718d ago )

Tidy your room, bucko.

Sono421717d ago

Honestly here's the problem, it was a rather bland looking shooter that actually had a pretty high skill gap, you had characters jumping all over the place, that were all relatively small on these decent size maps with a very washed out color pallet, whether you want to admit it or not Overwatch (what this game was basically trying to compete with at the time) was successfull because of it's well designed unique charcters, all with their own unique abilities making them interesting but also all still look like they fit into the same world, and the world looked fit for them, but the players still easily stand out in those environments, it is never hard to spot a player in Overwatch.

Now yes Lawbreakers had unique characters but they were small enough to where you couldn't tell in most firefights, not to mention they didn't stand out from the maps as much as the characters do in Overwatch, now add the high skill gap and the game is very off-putting to new players. Especially when there is an already more popular/fun alternative... Overwatch. That is the main reason this game failed, but I would also add poor marketing.

CrimsonPheonix718d ago

He knows this.
He's said his politics were just "A" reason the game failed not "The" reason and he was trying to own that but the clickbait headlines took a piece and ran with it.

TK-66718d ago (Edited 718d ago )

Citing it as "A" reason is still flat out false. Thinking your female characters not being sexy enough contributed to your games failure is dumb.

TK-66717d ago

oWnInG tHe LiBs, OnE cOmMeNt At A tImE.

SyntheticForm718d ago

The game failed to win people over, but I don't think ''wokeness" had much to do with it. Wokeness certainly doesn't help things, but it's another nonsense excuse from Cliff for why his game failed.

I think what this man is trying to do is appeal to the Trump loving masses and get attention for himself. Cliff may have raised some eyebrows here, but people don't want pandering - they want good games.

I know plenty of dyed-in-the-wool conservatives who absolutely love The Last of Us despite the fact that there's some agenda pushing.

Rachel_Alucard718d ago

Female characters not being sexy wasn't the problem. But making all your characters follow the same routine in design is. Not a single character in that game looked interesting. They look like some 13 year olds overdesigned cyber ninja art come to life. Except this thing wanted to be taken seriously. Overwatch blended good character design that expressed both masculinity and femininity without being overly sexualized in nature. Thus people liked those characters more.

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XabiDaChosenOne717d ago

"Let's first point out that the 'Get woke, go broke' logic doesnt actually work, period."
Bullsh**, the new Star wars trilogy, Captain Marvel comics, Gillete, to many to site.

TK-66717d ago (Edited 717d ago )

My god you're ignorant. The Star Wars trilogy has been extremely profitable. If you consider 4 billion at the box office to be evidence of 'get woke, go broke' you're a special level of dumbass.

Captain Marvel comic? How about the movie? That was hugely successful so once more you've failed to prove a correlation. We'll add Black Panther too while we're at it.

I assume you're referencing the Gillette ad? You finally named a failure worth noticing. My response? Nike Kappernick ad. But I'm just going to point to the Nike Kapernick ad and Nike's 6 billion in profit.

I know 'get woke, go broke' is a trendy thing you can send to your twitter pals, but I'm a bigger fan of 'facts dont care about your feelings'. For every failure you find I can cite a huge success in response. There's no correlation in it determining success or failure, and that's a fact.

Hungryalpaca717d ago


You’re the ignorant one here dude.

Star Wars is not anywhere near as profitable as it was or should be.

Once adjusted for inflation, TLJ and TROS made FAR LESS that any other main line movies. They failed to garner an audience.

You still think 1b at the box office is impressive? When nearly every Disney movies does over a billion?

Star Wars should be pulling in TFA levels each entry. TROS made less than half what TFA did. This is a first in the franchise.

4 billion dollars in 5 movies, very expensive movies. That’s not very good for the most profitable franchise in history.

Ffs with inflation adjustments most Star Wars movies made nearly 2 billion at the box office. TROS limped past 1 over the period of a month.

People hate the new movies bud.

Learn how to look into this topic before spouting garbage.

I bet you also believe ESB was considered “controversial” when it released, despite playing in theatres for 3 years, making over 2B after inflation, still having block sized line ups months later etc.

Disney fucked yo Star Wars. It’s a fact. TROS also holds the record for HIGHEST audience drop off of any movie of that caliber.

TK-66717d ago (Edited 717d ago )


"Star Wars is not anywhere near as profitable as it was or should be."

And yet you cant actually offer evidence that it under-performed due to being 'woke'. I'm waiting for the evidence. Provide it.

"Disney fucked yo Star Wars. It’s a fact. TROS also holds the record for HIGHEST audience drop off of any movie of that caliber."

Provide evidence for how that was caused by the movies being and woke, and not JJ Abrams being a shit writer. Also, this may shock you but that's a higher box office performance than the prequel trilogy.

Also, if this is an argument of quality I'm really not interested in discussing how bad the prequel movies are. Or is your midichlorian count too low to grasp what my argument actually was?

rainslacker717d ago (Edited 717d ago )

Probably a more accurate phrase would be "Go Woke, lose market potential".

You are right there is no way to accurately measure this statistically, but there are enough high profile instances of major franchises that go to into these things, which should really do much better than they do, not doing so well.

There may be other factors involved, but since many of those other factors could, and often are overlooked without a "controversy" surrounding them, it's safe to say that going woke only helps to increase the hostility that may exist towards a product or piece of media.

I think in general, the "going woke" of the media forms themselves causes a distraction to what the actual product is, and its wearing thin, and it's not even something unique enough to talk about when using it as a selling point of said media or product.

To date, there has been no correlation to say that going woke improves the sales of anything, so your argument does go both ways. Show me all these publishers reporting their statistics about how many more females, people of different races, and how people of different sexual orientations are now buying and playing these games, or games in general. Some of those stats are available through platform tracking statistics, with the only exception being sexual orientation, and that stat would have to be gained from survey, but it's a stat that has no historical data for context.

But these publishers aren't providing that, and given that the gaming industry loves to use anecdotal data to support whatever thing they decide is what will make them more money, I think that makes for a strong case that this going woke stuff isn't having the strong positive effect they're hoping for, and that most of it is more social posturing for the ego's of the devs or pubs.

What it comes down to is that gamers, for decades, haven't really cared about representation on the level it's being approached now. Male games would play as female. I never heard much talk about gamers not wanting homosexual relationships in games until it became a talking point. People of different races and social backgrounds all played games with characters that were different than them. Maybe some didn't partake beause they didn't feel represented, but if those people that came in saying we needed this to get them to play, it makes you wonder if they're gamers, or need to be validated in other ways, which is more a sign of depression or narcissism than healthy self-esteem.

717d ago
TK-66717d ago (Edited 717d ago )

"To date, there has been no correlation to say that going woke improves the sales of anything, so your argument does go both ways."

Except that's exactly what I said. Theres no correlation of wokeness determining success or failure. Some perform well, and some flop; being woke doesnt seem to play a role. But in terms of games I'm afraid I will be able to cite far more examples of successful games than you will failures.

starchild717d ago


The fact that "woke" products sometimes succeed and sometimes fail is not proof that "wokeness" doesn't affect sales. That's poor logic. It could simply be that other factors are important too.

rainslacker716d ago

I think as of now, it's too anecdotal, and some things are still successful even though they're "woke". However, there are instances where the "wokeness" likely had an effect on it not being as successful as it could be. GhostBusters reboot, Modern Warfare, the most recent Star Wars(although there were many things wrong with that movie).

What I do believe though is that due to the way things are playing out, more people are becoming defensive about this inclusion, and being turned off of products due to the attention that the creators are trying to garner from being inclusive.

It's why I think a good product will sell itself, and that going on social media to laud oneself for being progressive when most people don't care either way. What I don't think is happening is that these products are getting people to partake in them if they weren't interested before, but that's mostly because I think to date, most people didn't care either way. And I believe that is true across all forms of media.

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savedsynner717d ago

Well, yeah there are alot of examples of going woke directly correlated to bad business outcomes. It's not a hard and fast rule and if your business can thrive catering specifically to super PC people, then it's probably a good biz decision but super PC people are a very loud minority of the country that doesn't always = sales.

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Smokehouse718d ago

It’s not nonsense. It’s easy to see why he would take it that way. Is it hard to believe that someone who likes his games would stop following him for crying about random activist shit. Not well meaning charity stuff but hot air platitude shit. I mean if that’s what he wants to do that’s his business. He can make whatever he wants.

I can’t speak for the game or it’s failures because I never had an interest but he has made some great games. Gears 1 online got me back into gaming actually. He lost his following that would have supported him after his failed game because he went political. Thats why most companies try to stay out of politics on a vocal level. That’s the price of activism, you’re saying your message at the cost of alienating half of your consumer base. There is nothing wrong with sexy women or 13 different bathrooms. Half of those people don’t give a shit and dropped him, it could be true. They just want cool games and characters.

LucasRuinedChildhood718d ago (Edited 718d ago )

It actually is nonsense though. Cliff is bullshitting harder than Hillary Clinton when asked why she lost in 2016. It's revisionist history and he's pushing the blame away from himself onto others because the failure of Lawbreakers and Radical Heights (2 games in a row which makes up a large part of his legacy) hurts his ego. Nobody said that the game was "woke" or "SJW" when it came out and there's no explicitly woke content in the game.

Cliff is suffering some fairly extreme cognitive dissonance because Overwatch was the "woke" game and it won.
The comparisons to OW weren't fair but Cliff couldn't stop inviting this comparison which may be the biggest reason for the game's failure. He didn't let the Lawbreakers become it's own thing. "If Overwatch is Coke, then LawBreakers can be Pepsi."

On the surface, Lawbreakers was OW's less eye-catching, more generic cousin (map design, character design, dimmer colour palette, etc) which is why you probably didn't pay any attention to it. "can’t speak for the game or it’s failures because I never had an interest ..."

Like the game itself, the gender-neutral bathrooms story gained little traction. The story also came out a year before the game's release. We can safely say that most people who played the beta but didn't care enough to buy the full game probably didn't see this story.

Other real reasons for why the game failed:
- the game wasn't released on Xbox so many Gears fans couldn't play it.
- Cliff switched the game from free-to-play to premium mid-development.

Smokehouse717d ago

It’s not the game that was “woke” it was him. He was on twitter spouting his nonsense and people got tired of it. I have no trouble believing that people who have followed him dropped him because he got political. Lawbreakers failed for whatever reason but he lost his followers because he alienated half of his fan base. That was his choice and he recognizes that so it’s not nonsense. It might not be why lawbreakers sucked but that’s why nobody cares what he does anymore.

rainslacker717d ago (Edited 717d ago )

I don't think it was so much his "nonsense" on social media. It was more that with the development of his game, he didn't publish it on a platform where most of his fans resided. CliffyB thought that because he was a well known developer, with his own fan base, that that was enough to get people to buy his game. About all it was enough for was to get him more attention for his game. That kind of attention would be a godsend to any other indie dev trying to get their game to sell. Even when he alienated the Xbox fan base, that wouldn't have been a problem, except he didn't still sell the game to that fan base.

He fell into the same mistake a lot of big developers that go indie do. They think their name alone is enough to sell a game. It really isn't. The devs that go this route more often than not end up a victim of their own success, because they go too big on the scope of their game, spend too much money to develop it, and even if they make a good game, fail to do what they could do with a huge publisher or developer, with the backing of millions of dollars.

Basically they forget that even rock stars need the people they work with to make it big, and CliffyB had the support of Epic, it's huge marketing team, and what amounts to some of the best developers and designers on the planet.

Couple that with alienating a fan base, or not selling to them, and its a recipe for failure.

ShadowWolf712717d ago

I can promise it's not.

This is literally the first I even heard about Cliff getting political, and even moreso for most of the General Public; they don't follow these devs on social media, let alone give a rat's backside what they tweet about on their personal Twitter accounts. Sure, SOME do, but it's a definite minority.

The game flopped because it looked and played like generic crap. It released in a crowded genre against games that looked and played far better, and released against stff competition. That's it.

Besides, you wanna talk "woke"? Overwatch. Direct competitor. Blizzard goes out of their way to make characters gay even by retcon and then blasts it all over not just their social media, but the game's internal lore, merch for the game, comics based on the game, official press releases to news orgs even outside gaming, etc. Practically dislocate a shoulder to pat themselves on the back for it.

The game was, and continues to be, massively successful despite this with a very active player base to this very day, despite this "wokeness". Why? Because the game is designed well, the characters mostly have good/appealing designs, the gameplay is considered fun, tight, addictive, etc. by those who play it. It's almost as if people at large don't really care about that so long as the game is good.

And the things finally hurting Blizzard? Not "going woke", but rather bad company decisions, taking shortcuts in game design in Warcraft III as well as their policies regarding it, their piss poor handling of the BlitzChung situation, the Diablo mobile sitch, etc. All to do with company policies and questionable game and design choices. Nothing to do with being "woke". So no, "Get Woke, Go Broke" is nothing more than an angry Redditor slogan, and very often holds no real weight in why something failed with the public at large.

Smokehouse717d ago (Edited 717d ago )

He is at the center of his personal twitter account lol. The “majority” of whatever you’re talking about is irrelevant. He got political and lost his fan base. That’s why it’s not nonsense for him to feel that way. It is nonsense to blame that for lawbreakers perfeormance. It has nothing to do with Blizzard getting political halfway through overwatch life cycle. When he started shedding his followers it made him realize why getting political is usually a detriment to a business. Giving one example of a success is an exception to the rule.

ShadowWolf712717d ago (Edited 717d ago )

lol there is no "rule"

TLOU, for example. People accused Uncharted 4 and Lost Legacy of it.

They still sold, and very well.

People care a lot more about the quality of these games than they do the social politics of the people who make them, end of story.

Smokehouse717d ago (Edited 717d ago )

Bullshit there is no rule lol. Most companies avoid politics for a reason. Because you alienate your consumer base. “Some people accused somebody of something” doesn’t negate the rule. The 4th uncharted game and TLOU selling well proves what exactly? That most companies avoiding politics is somehow not a factor? Adding a token gay into a game isn’t politics. Banning players for supporting a free Hong Kong is. I won’t buy blizzard games because of that, I couldn’t care less about their ovetwatch lore either.

ShadowWolf712717d ago

Those games selling well rather succinctly proves that, despite Gamer Bros insisting they "went Woke" with those entires, people still bought them.

The tiny minority of vocal online gamers being mad about something doesn't quite impact things the way you think they do.

And FYI, if you think companies are avoiding politics... lmao go outside once in a while.

Smokehouse717d ago

Anyone who uses the word woke in a serious fashion shouldn’t be taken seriously anyways. How are those games “woke”? Lost Legacy is my second favorite uncharted game. There is nothing political about any of those games lol. “Hey there was a gay in one and a black chick, so woke”.

Cliff was an activist about law being put in place in his state and you’re right that nobody cares about politics, that’s precisely why they shut him off. Nobody cares what he thinks anymore because of that, no because lawbreakers sucked.

Yes companies avoid politics lol. The vast majority of them. Maybe you should leave your bubble. They might donate to a campaign here or there but they aren’t vocal activists for law or policy. Even chick filla was shamed out of its religious views. Blizzard can lose a large chunk of their base and still be okay. Smaller indie games like cliffs get rail roaded. He’s right to think he lost is following because of politics, he’s wrong to think that’s why his game sucked.

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Logyoof718d ago (Edited 718d ago )

Bro shooters and SJW pandering just don't go together; it's what he failed to realize. That crowd of people don't buy games, they only complain about politics regarding them.

On top of not being a great game. Recipe for disaster.

Kingdroopy2018718d ago

Wrong. I love violent games and i was tired of seeing only white guys in video games.

AnubisG718d ago

But that's not racist at all huh?

Gazondaily718d ago (Edited 718d ago )

Why is that racist anubis? King is just saying that he wants some diversity in his games.

AnubisG718d ago


Saying that you are tired of seeing a certain race in any sort of entertainment would be considered a racist thing to say....unless of course if it's said about white people because for some strange reason that is ok to say and not racist at all and you just proved it. Also, there is plenty of diversity in video games maybe you and king should look harder if you don't see it.

TK-66718d ago


Saying you're tired of seeing games disproportionately represent white men is not racist. You've made a leap in logic and assumed @Kingdroopy2018 said it due to a specific dislike of white people.

RazzerRedux717d ago (Edited 717d ago )

So you want to be able to kill minorities and women? lol....kidding.

Seriously.....since we are speaking anecdotally when I play games I rarely make note of the "race" of the pixels in front of me. I just don't care.

annoyedgamer717d ago (Edited 717d ago )

Last I checked Gears 1 has hispanic and black guys in the main group.

What it didnt have was women and thats what this is all about, taking mens spaces and destroying it.

ShadowWolf712717d ago


"Men's Spaces"

I'm sorry you feel that your sacred treehouse has been violated by cooties, bro.

AnubisG717d ago


No, that is not it. King plainly said that he is tired of white people in video games. That is a racist ststement. If I said that I'm tired of black people in the NBA, people would automatically call me a racist and rightly so.

There is plenty of diversity in video games. There are plenty of black, hispanic and asian video game chatacters. Saying that you are tired of white people in video games IS racist and a hateful thing to say. No one will change my mind on this.

I had enough of this racism towards white people and had enough of people having this double standard. Racism is racism. If we want to get rid of it than we can't be ok with racism agains one group and not the other.

Personally, I don't give a rats behind what color the chatacter is I'm playing with as long as the game is good but apparently it is very important to some and it shouldn't be.

If I see comments like this in the future, I will call them out as racism is NOT ok. Yes, racism towards white people isn't ok either.

TK-66717d ago (Edited 717d ago )


Draw a better analogy. Sports Athletes =/= fictional characters.

"There is plenty of diversity in video games. There are plenty of black, hispanic and asian video game chatacters."

Then provide data to back the claim up.

"I had enough of this racism towards white people and had enough of people having this double standard. Racism is racism. If we want to get rid of it than we can't be ok with racism agains one group and not the other."

Sorry, but white people in most western countries do not face the same level of racism as Blacks, Hispanics, Indians and Arabs do. I can see you're very offended, but on the basis that you've said you wont ever change your view on this, I'm going to tell you that you need to grow a pair and stop being a snowflake.

"If I see comments like this in the future, I will call them out as racism is NOT ok. "

Fighting for social justice from you're basement with internet comments? Quite the SJW arent you XD

DonkeyWalrus717d ago

If you're tired of seeing only white guys in games, maybe you should play some more games. Because there have been plenty of great games over the years that feature non white / non male main characters. Have you been living under a rock? Or are you just a pathetic liar?

starchild717d ago

Well, move to a country that wasn't founded by whites and where whites aren't the main demographic then. Your comment sounds racist. Are you going to live in Japan and then complain that most of the entertainment revolves around the tastes and perspectives of Japanese people?

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717d ago
sle7enn718d ago

The dude is seriously full of crap. I once met him at a random convention and he’s literally the most egotistical person I've ever met. With a “hey look at me” type of vibe. Makes me laugh everytime I see an article about him or his lame excuses.

HylianMigz718d ago

his twitter bio used to say “washed up dude bro” but i see he took that bit out

annoyedgamer717d ago (Edited 717d ago )

Yea..hes just out saying stuff to get attention again, wont be suprised to see he has a new game in the works to now that he's got everyine arguing.

rainslacker717d ago

Wierd, I met him a couple times at game developer conferences, and while I would say he certainly has a sense of bravado that comes with success, he was quite engaging and spent time to discuss game design and offer suggestions or feedback on games that I was working on. I wouldn't say he's humble by any stretch of the imagination, and yeah, his ego is certainly apparent in social media, but maybe you misjudged ego for confidence? He is capable as a dev. He does have talent. He is entitled to his opinion.

About the only thing I don't like about him is the way he sometimes rubs the community the wrong way, with the way he says things, but a lot of those things he says aren't wrong. What he said about being woke is wrong, but in general, he's usually right about industry or game design matters.

Kingdroopy2018718d ago

it appears to me that "Woke" means not enough white guys being featured?
My question is what exactly is wrong with diversity? There are more than just white males who play video games.

AnubisG718d ago

Nothing is wrong with diversity if it's done for the right reasons and not purely for diversity sake.

But, you are tired of white people so don't know what to tell you....

RyuKaiser718d ago

"i was tired of seeing only white guys in video games". That's what he said. He said ONLY White People. You're a liar.

This is a valid complaint. If they want to see other races, by all means. How boring would D&D be if the only race were humans?

AnubisG717d ago (Edited 717d ago )


What exactly am I lying about? I said the he is tired of white people which he did say.

I also said that there is absolutely nothing wrong with diversity at all. It is all welcomed.

I just pointed out his racism against white people as he singled out the white race and called it tiresome to see in video games.

I never once said that only white people should be in every video game or D&D for that mater.

Stop making up stuff!

annoyedgamer717d ago

I cant remember the last time I played a game with only "white people" in it. It was always men of different races. Gears 1 included.

AnubisG717d ago

Apparently, a single white person is too much for some in video games and racism towards white people is ok it looks like. And I'm the bad guy here for pointing it out. Yeah, we got to this point

rainslacker717d ago

I don't recall this game being too woke. Only controversy I remember is that thing about the bathroom stalls, which was more in response to an issue that was going on here in North Carolina(where he and I live) about bathrooms allowing transgendered people to use the one that matched their personal identity. Was a big thing here with a particular state senator making a big fuss.

Otherwise, I don't recall any controversy surrounding it that made the rounds in a big way, and his own personal stuff along these lines was never attached to the game that I recall. Just stuff he tweeted about on his personal twitter.

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