The amount of players on Aliens: Fireteam Elite has dropped drastically from where it started upon launch, as thousands have abandoned the game.
A co-op game based on the terrific but terrifying Alien film franchise sounds like ideal entertainment, but unfortunately the game has shed thousands of players less than two months after its launch; while the title attracted 15,500 players at its peak popularity, now there are as few as 792 players online according to Kotaku.
How has a game that seemed so promising, as in the thrilling trailer above, struggled to keep fans engaged just a matter of weeks after its launch? There are several potential reasons for the drop-off.
For one thing there could still be continuing blowback from the poor reception of Aliens: Colonial Marines, which was received as a crushing disappointment by the fanbase upon its release in 2013 after a considerable amount of fever-pitch hype beforehand. What’s more, the critical reception of Aliens: Fireteam Elite was fairly mixed, clocking in at 69% on Metacritic for the PC version, which may have failed to win over some potential punters.
While the peak playing figures were enough to get the game into Steam’s top 100 list, that’s not a particularly impressive debut, and the above reasons could be why that was the case. But it’s the drop-off from there that has been particularly staggering, and that’s most likely to be down to either poor or derivative gameplay that has failed to keep interest compared to other popular titles.
There’s evidence for this too in the fact that users of the PC game rated it at 5.7/10 on Metacritic, with some criticising “repetitive” gameplay that certainly would explain why so few gamers are keen to play it regularly.
The Alien franchise has all the ingredients for a hit video game series, and we’ve seen flashes of its potential in titles such as Alien: Isolation; now perhaps we just need to see a little more consistency. But then again, you could say the exact same thing about the movies upon which they’re based.