Bless Unleashed: One Month Later
When I did my first video on Bless Unleashed’s population numbers roughly a month ago, I was genuinely surprised to see the game peaking as high as it was in terms of concurrent players. 30,000, 40,000, spiking all the way up to 76,377 several weeks ago.
For a new MMO, especially given who was in charge of developing it and publishing it and their history with Bless Online, I couldn’t fathom how they’d made as large a wave as they had.
I decided to stream over 20 hours of Bless over the next week as I was curious to see what about the game made it as popular as it was. And while I don’t think the game ultimately ended up being anything revolutionary, I could see that it ended up being somewhat of a basic, yet traditional MMO. And that isn’t something to knock.
Yet I pointed out that much like PSO2 New Genesis and Swords of Legends Online before it, Bless Unleashed would go on to lose at least half their active players over the course of the first month.
It’s only natural. It happens to most MMOs. People play through the content that is currently available, they proceed to get bored, and move on.
Yet there were players that would ardently debate that opinion, claiming Bless Unleashed would break the MMORPG genre–that it would provide the genre its “next big hit.”
And I know at this moment some of you are sitting there, jaw agape, wondering what these guys must be on, and you know what? They’re just fans of the game. There’s nothing wrong with wanting your game to succeed.
Now fast forward a month. Bless Unleashed is currently averaging approximately 30,000 concurrent players per day, with the active concurrent players dropping day after day, from 35,000 earlier this week to just over 30,000 today. Once again, this game was averaging 76,377 active concurrent players just last month.
As I’m too dumb to do an exact calculation, I went ahead and ran this through a percentage calculator. This was an exact drop of 60.3%. Yes, over 60%. Meaning that likely within the next week, the game will have lost 2 out of every 3 players.
But don’t misconstrue these numbers – these aren’t active monthly numbers, and they definitely aren’t proof that players have permanently quit the game.
What these numbers signify, rather, are merely players that no longer log in daily. There are plenty of players that have achieved max level, farmed gear, and ultimately left – there’s no denying that.
But at the same time, much like in WoW or Final Fantasy XIV, there are a multitude of players that are merely logging in weekly to run whatever weekly activities they have. Dungeons, raids.
So these numbers are going to be a little skewed. But they are nevertheless proof of where the playerbase is headed. We’re seeing a steady decline of several thousand concurrent players being logged in per week, and that is only going to continue to trend downwards.
Bless just rolled out their latest update on September 15th – earlier this week, specifically, which introduced not only the level 42 Twisted Void Spider Queen field boss, but the Nightspire – Caverns of Wrath dungeon for players over level 35.
Yup. I mean it’s an update. Sure, not the scale of update we’re used to out of things like Final Fantasy XIV or Black Desert – with the former introducing hours of new narrative, dungeons, extreme trials, savage raids or the latter introducing new classes, entire areas or features.
But if Swords of Legends Online is anything to go off of, introducing a dungeon here and there really isn’t going to do much to revitalize the population, let alone breathe new life into it.
I’m not complaining though. Again, an update is an update and it’s good to see Bless Unleashed pushing out content for players to consume.
But going off of the population numbers, when the update actually rolled out on September 15th, the playerbase didn’t spike at all. In fact, the 15th saw less players logged in concurrently than the day before it – the day before the update even rolled out. And the day after saw an even steeper decline.
Evidently the playerbase didn’t think much of the update, or at the very least, it didn’t pique player interest enough to warrant players log in to test the content out.
I did notice though over on their Steam page that the Founder’s Packs – you know, the packs that players could purchase before the game went live to support the game, to acquire unique goodies players wouldn’t be able to after the game launched.. are available to purchase right now.
The Ultimate Founder’s Pack for $80, Exalted Founder’s Pack for $40 and Deluxe Founder’s Pack for $20. However as of September 16th, Neowiz went and introduced 2 whole new packs to purchase, the Frontier Pack for $30 and the New Frontier Pack for $60.
I took a look at what they both included, things like premium currency, a mount, premium benefits, a title, in-game gold, an outfit. Pretty basic stuff – things you might expect out of a pack like this.
Granted, these packs have both been negatively reviewed due to players not receiving the items after purchasing the packs, but I don’t see why Neowiz would devote time and resources into such subpar packs. I get they want more money but come on.. players are waiting for more content, not new packs to burn $60 on.
But they’re not required, and they’re solely up to the player to purchase so in the grand scheme of things there’s really nothing to complain about unless you purchase them yourself.
Looking at reviews for the game over on Steam, I see that it’s at 51% positive. I’m aware initially players bombarded the game with negative reviews. It made sense, there were thousands of people that refused to support Neowiz or the Bless IP, and that hatred was 100% warranted.
But those people are long-gone, and looking at reviews over the last 2 weeks alone, we see that there have still been more negative reviews left than positive. More players are finding fault with the game than those that are finding success with it.
Looking through reviews I have an understanding of why. The first 20 or 30 levels are more of an introductory look at the game. They hook you by providing you with a semblance of a traditional MMO experience.
But the further you progress into the game, the more glaringly obvious the issues become.
Sure, the game has some solid graphics, the combat can be fun and the world bosses are an incredibly fun experience to get to engage, but coupled with the poor UI, the supposed poor economic design, the very obvious predatory inventory system and the lack of communication and transparency with the developers and publisher… negative reviews are continuing to come in faster than positive.
Again, like I’ve stated many times in the past, I have my issues with Neowiz. They tried to contact me quite underhandedly to remove a Bless video I did talking negatively about their game.
They scammed hundreds of thousands of players out of millions of dollars. These two things alone were reason enough for me to never actively touch anything they ever develop or publish in the future.
But for people that didn’t know, or didn’t care about that this game wasn’t bad. In my opinion the game itself, at its core isn’t a bad game. It’s not good, but it’s simple, and traditional, and that’s what the market is looking for, evidently.
I can see Bless Unleashed is on the road to quite the significant decline over the next month or two, where both PSO2 New Genesis and Swords of Legends Online lost over 80% of their active players within the first 3 months, I assure you Bless Unleashed will as well.
It’s only a matter of time until this happens, and the trajectory looks to be aligning quite closely with what I perceive to be the expected result 2 months from now.
Only time will tell I guess, but I might check in again 2 months from now and update everyone with whether I accurately gauged it or not.