The Finals is Falling Short of Expectations


  • The Finals fell short of Nexon’s expectations in player retention and revenue, despite an impressive start and unique gameplay elements.
  • Embark’s free-to-play shooter offers strategic team-based matches in destructible environments, but faced criticism for using text-to-speech AI for character voices.
  • Despite initial success, The Finals is working on addressing performance issues and introducing new content updates to regain momentum.

Publisher Nexon has acknowledged that The Finals is facing disappointing performance figures. Despite an impressive start, The Finals has not met the publisher’s initial expectations in terms of player retention and revenue generation.

The Finals is a free-to-play first-person shooter developed by Embark Studios, featuring team-based matches in destructible environments inspired by a fictional VR combat game show. Players select from Light, Medium, or Heavy classes with distinct abilities and equipment, encouraging strategic gameplay. The game’s dynamic elements include player-modifiable terrain, varied weather conditions, and time of day, fostering emergent strategies and interactions. The Finals offers a blend of action and strategy, attracting a significant player base.


The Finals: Weapon Tier List

Looking for the best weapons to use for the Light, Heavy, and Medium classes in The Finals? Here is a Tier List ranking all the weapons available.

Nexon’s financial letter revealed that The Finals Season 2 initially led to a surge in player metrics. However, this increase was short-lived, and the game experienced lower-than-expected retention rates and revenue. The Embark team is collaborating with Nexon’s Korea-based Live Operations team to identify and address the key issues impacting the game’s performance. Although Nexon acknowledged stronger-than-expected revenues and performance in other titles such as EA Sports FC online and Blue Archive, The Finals did not meet the anticipated targets. According to Nexon, its strategy of delivering more content updates at a faster pace and introducing a new business model has shown early progress but has not fully translated into the desired outcomes for The Finals.

The Finals’ Initial Success

Despite these challenges, there is a silver lining for Nexon as they reported an increase in Average Monthly Active Users (MAUs) in Q1, reaching 18.3 million, marking an 18% year-over-year increase and a 5% quarter-over-quarter increase. The MAUs were positively impacted by The Finals, which contributed to the consolidated MAUs rising both year-over-year and sequentially. The Finals initially garnered attention with its successful debut on Steam, attracting over 200,000 concurrent players and quickly reaching a milestone of 10 million players within two weeks.

The game’s popularity soared, eventually leading it to claim the top spot in Xbox’s “Top Free Game” rankings, surpassing established titles like Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone. However, despite its initial success, The Finals has faced criticisms, particularly regarding performance issues and the use of text-to-speech AI for character voices.

Meanwhile, Embark Studios continues to work to enhance The Finals by introducing new content updates and fixes. As the developer navigates the challenges, it remains to be seen if the game will overcome its current setbacks and regain momentum in the competitive gaming landscape.

the finals

The Finals

Framed as a game show, The Finals is a free-to-play multiplayer shooter that also supports melee combat. Embark’s FPS emphasizes destruction along with teamwork.

December 8, 2023

Embark Studios

Embark Studios


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