Beyond the Wire

People like to complain about Red Dead Online being dead, but people are actually still playing it; there’s just not been a legitimate game update in a year now. For Beyond the Wire, the opposite is true: The game is being updated regularly (the most recent update was in May), but no one is actually playing it.

And when I say “no one is actually playing it,” I’m not talking about a meagre-but-dedicated base of like 20,000 players who routinely log in — I’m saying there aren’t enough players at peak hours to fill a single game lobby.

I did get to play the game a little bit over the 4th of July weekend, when there were about 20 people online, but if you’re not logging in during peak hours, you’re just going to run around in a completely empty game map.

If you think I’m exaggerating, the 30-day average number of players was 11.5.

Beyond the Wire

Considering a full lobby in Beyond the Wire holds 100 players, this is a huge problem. The game is still in Early Access, so things could always turn around, but as is, publisher Offworld Industries needs to do something major to keep this thing alive.

What can be done?

For one, the obvious choice here seems to be making this free-to-play. Add a cosmetics pack for, say, $20, and let folks buy into that if they want to support the game financially. Obviously, that’s not exactly what developer Redstone wants for the game, but it seems like it would be preferable to logging into a multiplayer-only game to see that there are 0 active players in every lobby.

Additionally, the buy-in is a little steep at $34.99. While the game does feel pretty polished (at least from the little bit I was actually able to play it), it’s also unfinished. I think a lot of folks are waiting to buy in until either the game launches into a proper full release, or that price comes down to around the $15-20 mark.

Beyond the Wire

It’s a shame, really, because Beyond the Wire seems like it’s probably super fun. Even though I only played in a lobby of about 20 people, I could imagine how much more alive the game would feel with five times the player count. I often gaze at it longingly in my Steam library before I remember that there are barely enough active players to fill a football team, let alone a 100-person lobby.

But multiplayer-only is a sword that cuts both ways. Without an active player base to support it, that blade comes back and slices the game until it bleeds — metaphorically speaking, I mean…

I do hope Beyond the Wire can blossom into something special, because it has a lot of potential. I just think that drastic action needs to be taken to save this thing, because it seems like its breathing its last breath as it bleeds out in a muddy trench somewhere in France…

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x