The Disastrous Fall of Babylon’s Fall

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Triple-A game publishers have always chased the success of the industry’s latest trends, a phenomenon that inspired the creation of an exorbitant number of Grand Theft Auto clones throughout the sixth and seventh console generations. On occasion, such thinking has born good fruit, evidenced in PUBG’s quick claim to fame influencing everything from Fortnite Battle Royale to Call of Duty: Warzone. But on the flip side, pursuing popular trends runs the risk of stifling creativity and alienating players, a recipe for disaster that has taken many once-ambitious endeavors to an early grave. This Square Enix learned the hard way upon publishing Babylon’s Fall.

The online-only adventure from Bayonetta creator PlatinumGames marked one of Square Enix’s many attempts to broaden its reach in the live-service space, whose persistent revenue streams has significantly boosted many a company’s bottom line. While Babylon’s Fall seemed to feature the hallmarks of a quality service game with its proven development team and compelling gameplay mechanics, it launched with few redeeming qualities, resulting in catastrophic review scores and a rapidly dwindling player base.

Platinum maintained focus throughout the rough start, deploying and developing new content for what should’ve been a lengthy life cycle for Babylon’s Fall on PC and PlayStation. To cut its losses, Square Enix pulled the plug far earlier than anticipated, robbing developers of any chance to salvage the project. Thus, what began as Platinum bringing its signature style to the burgeoning games-as-a-service model concluded with what may go down as one of the studio’s least memorable outings.

This is the tragedy of Babylon’s Fall.


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