Radical Heights, the 80’s game show themed battle royale game from Boss Key Productions, has been in ‘XTREME’ Early Access for two weeks now, and it already seems like this game is doomed to be a flop.
Cliff Bleszinksi (AKA ‘Cliffy B’), co-founder of Boss Key Productions, decided to make the surprising move of chasing one of the latest trends as opposed to creating them; such an example was when he helped define modern shooters by creating the Gears of War series. In a period of a couple of days, Radical Heights, his studio’s latest creation, was announced, given a trailer, and released on April 10 in ‘XTREME’ Early Access. The ‘XTREME’ is both a nod to the game’s 80’s nature and aesthetic and references the game’s highly unpolished and glitchy nature with such notable bits of “fun” including:
- The ability to play a female character being labeled as “Coming Soon” on the character creation page. [Insert your own joke on male-dominated gaming here]
- Accidentally bypassing character creation, resulting in main menu options not being accessible.
- Certain buildings not having textures on the walls, floor, and ceiling, resulting in everything appearing to be covered in tiles.
- Very janky BMX bike physics.
- Areas with sporadic chunks of invisible wall.
The features that were fully functional and unique, such as the ability to earn and use in-game cash for advantages or the grid-based safe zone system more in line with the original Battle Royale story, don’t seem to have been able to make any long-term converts from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds or Fortnite, the titans of the battle royale genre. Information from Githyp shows that Radical Heights peaked in player count on April 11 with 12.5k players. That number has since declined by 82% to a mere 2.2k on April 24th. Prominent streamers on Twitch have brought in large crowds through this game, but that may be more attributed to their popularity as opposed to the game itself.
Githyp gives a comparison to the growth of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds:
In its second week of Early Access on Steam, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds had already doubled its launch day peak of 39k players by stealing away H1Z1: King of the Kill‘s players. PUBG‘s exponential growth each week lead it to peaking at over 3 million concurrent players less than one year later, while H1Z1 lost most of its player base. Fortnite has recently become the most popular BR game by doing the same thing to PUBG.
It would seem that Boss Key Productions’s newest game is not, in fact, the best around, and everybody is gonna bring them down.
For those with some time to kill, you can experience the jank of Radical Heights with Youtubers and Twitch streamers TieTuesday and Smight (who also hosts Arcade Pit) below: