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This Game Only Took Weeks To Lose Its Playerbase

Co-op PvE games have been growing in popularity for years, and when "Aliens: Fireteam Elite" was released back in August it seemed to have all the makings of another hit. It combines the iconic horde of rampaging Xenomorphs from the "Alien" franchise with the kind of cooperative, action-foreword gameplay seen in games like "Left for Dead" that usually kills it on Steam. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to have been the case. The game had about 15,000 players at launch, but has been steadily losing steam. Now — only seven weeks after the game's initial release — it is averaging less than 1,000 players.

"Aliens: Fireteam Elite" isn't the first game to lose almost all of its playerbase within a few months, but it didn't seem doomed from the start. Gamesindustry.biz reported that it topped the charts in UK sales on the first week of its release and most of the reviews were well above average. Even now, the game enjoys a "Very Positive" fan rating on Steam. So, where did all the players go? It seems that there have been numerous factors in the new "Alien" IP's downfall, but it primarily comes down to three things: repetitive gameplay, insufficient updates, and the release of "Back 4 Blood."

Players got over Aliens: Fireteam Elite quickly

Some of the problems with "Aliens: Fireteam Elite" were apparent from the very beginning. Critics from IGN, Tom's Guide, and Game Rant all found that while the game's mechanics and concept were initially fun, the levels quickly began to feel repetitive and drawn out. That can be a real problem when it comes to the longevity of a title that depends on making players want to continue round after round. Starting without much content would be fine if there were continuous updates adding new equipment to collect and new levels to play, but "Fireteam Elite" hasn't seen a major update since early September. This leaves players without much reason to keep coming back once they've seen what the game has to offer.

The final nail in the coffin seems to come from another game, however. "Back 4 Blood" is the game "Left 4 Dead" fans have been waiting for, and it's been taking over the charts ever since its beta. "Back 4 Blood" is likely responsible for siphoning away a significant portion of the "Fireteam Elite" player base. Both games are both horror-themed, first-person shooter, survival co-op games after all, and the smooth, innovative gameplay in "Back for Blood" impressed gamers and critics alike in a way "Aliens: Fireteam Elite" never quite managed. Perhaps "Aliens: Fireteam Elite" has a major update hidden up its sleeve which will manage to win some of its players back, but it doesn't seem likely at the moment.