Is Pixonic Killing War Robots: A Five-Part Analysis

Just a day from from Halloween, and we’re right in the midst of my favorite time of the year. When the leaves turn and there’s a crisp to the air and night falls with haste instead of lethargy, life is just somehow a little more delightful.

As I was walking outside this evening, my mind cast back to a little over a year ago, when I first discovered and became enchanted by the world of War Robots. Back then it was December, the ‘Autumn chill’ having made way for genuine freezes. As I’d go out for my nightly walk around the capital, I couldn’t wait to pull out my phone and start blowing up reds, upgrading my gear, and discovering different builds.

Very often I’d play as I walked, until the cold so numbed my hands that they were unresponsive, at which point I’d finish the battle, put the phone away and thaw them out in my pockets… before starting the whole cycle all over again.

Ahh, to be young and in love, right? But what a difference a year makes.

To date on MECH*SPECTRUM (and preceding that, Gepard Diary), I have sought to highlight my experiences as a War Robots player, and understanding of the game and the way it is. Plenty of aspects of Pixonic/War Robots have caused uproar in the community, but I’ve generally felt that if someone wants to read screed and ranting, there are places a’plenty for that. Perhaps I could offer greater service to the community with a more data-driven and analytical approach.

Instead of railing against the latest frustration, I wanted to ask the important question: is this really as bad as we think?  When Pixonic has rolled out new advances in the game, I’ve gone the other way: is this really as good as we think? I’d hoped the data- however imperfect- would help us cut through the noise and make a rational, educated decision. The degree to which I’ve succeeded is not for me to decide, but for you, the reader.

However, we’d have to be living in a cave not to notice that something has fundamentally changed in the game in the past year. If for a moment I was to put down the “Jay as gamer and researcher” hat and simply focus on “Jay the gamer,” would I still fall in love with the game that I fell in love with a year ago if I only found it today?

After much consideration, I’d have an answer.

No. I’d uninstall it.

I would look at a game with nearly every competitive element monetized, with dollar amounts that increasingly beggared belief. I’d see a community in outright revolt, organizing  boycotts and one-star-review campaigns. I’d see an unbroken chain of frustration- on all sides, frankly- stretching back almost a year. In short? I’d see a hot mess.

But as it happens, the hook is firmly in mouth. I’m stuck with War Robots, because I still love the game.

It’s on that note that I’m kicking off this five-part series examining the trajectory of War Robots and Pixonic, to explore what’s gone wrong in the past year. I’ll be focusing on three main areas of concern.

The first is the credibility crisis. No matter where you go, from their official Facebook page to Facebook Groups to Reddit to the Wiki Forum, cynicism of the company is at an all-time high. While wise consumers always maintain a healthy skepticism of the things they consume, we’ll examine how the seeds of this were planted half a year ago, and the bitter fruit that’s blossomed.

Next is the lack of vision that Pixonic has exhibited with regards to their franchise product. I’ve often referred to this as the “law of unintended consequences,” and their failure to account for this has set them reeling from one unnecessary crisis after another.

Finally, I’ll be diving into the monetization model, which has left the game almost unrecognizable from what we were playing a year ago. Longtime readers will know that I have tended to be reasonably sympathetic towards a company’s need to generate revenue off a game (and have contributed no small sum myself). Here I’ll talk about my recent “straw that broke the camel’s back” moment, and how the drive to revenue could be lethally myopic.

By the same token, I am not entirely bearish about Pixonic’s ability to deliver a world-class gaming experience. There are a number of things that could feasibly do to course-correct in short order. The final article in this series is the most hopeful one, a plan for Pixonic to emerge from the annus horriblis of 2017 stronger than ever, with a game that will keep entertaining players- and generating revenue- for some time to come. What now, Pixonic? will examine how they can fix this if there is a sincere desire to do so.

As we’re a community of players, I also look forward to hearing your thoughts as we review those areas for opportunity.



25 thoughts on “Is Pixonic Killing War Robots: A Five-Part Analysis

  1. This is beautifully written. Eloquent. You’ve captured the thoughts, frustration, and gripes that have been plaguing the veteran players for months now. I can’t wait to read the rest of your articles. Hopefully Pixonic will follow suit.


  2. Dredd, I currently had a Doc Bot level 12 and saw that there was an enhancement, Doc Mk. 2, I said to myself, great, now I can make this bot stronger and faster! Boy I was Wrong, this bot is slower just like when I first got him, now I have to try to get him up to Level 12 as a Doc Mk. 2, this is a total scam!!!!


    1. I can understand your frustration Baby J, but to be fair, there were lots of posts on the WR forums and elsewhere clearly explaining how the Mk2 enhancement works. In short: before spending 500 Au to start the Mk2 process, it’s advisable that you have enough silver accumulated (and maybe gold too, to speed the process) to reach L10 Mk2. At this level, the bot is as fast and durable as the prior L12 Mk1. You’ll then reap the benefits as you upgrade to L11 and 12 Mk2.


  3. As leader of 10 clans I was proud to say we were nearly full at the last update. Since then our active membership is now half capacity.
    As I see it, the game is dying by its owners hand. Unlike an old dog that gets taken to the vet for the last time, pixonic will milk this until Battle Titans gets full release and delivers the death blow at last.


  4. Pix….. This is a huge opportunity for the floodgates of fresh spring water to be POORED on your flower beds. Please engage in dialogue with us….. These are some of the wr community’s concerns, and everyone is at a different level but there are several core issues that all would like fixed. The iOS server is your cash cow I have both android and iOS so I’ve seen both sides, “respectfully” iOS server should not have LAGG issues, joining a squad issue, in-game reconnection issues like we have been being how much were investing….. That by it self is such a foul taste to many of us, the ability to have smooth game play, and even more so now with the Korean bots that have the ability to slip behind you in a blink of an eye…..

    Personally some things make no sense to me such as ancile sheilds, they need to be leveled to gain hp so that’s time and silver to achieve a maxed ancile, so why are we not getting hp by taking that sheild down? Leo’s with an ancile/aphid combo the aphid on the right shoulder when fired with the red button hits the ancile and not the target so I have to individually fire them off.

    There are a few other things but superficial in respect to what’s above. Thank you for your attention pix…….


  5. The only problem I had with Pixonicc is that they thought of long term players as dumb fools and idiots who’d fall for whatever they would do to the game. Maybe a year down the line what they did today would be OKAY for most players because that would have been a slow gradual game evolution. But they jumped a year too soon and showed utter disrespect towards the players and received likewise treatment.

    I think they deserve every bit of it.


  6. Yeah the games a gonna! I stopped playing b4 the Halloween event. I logged on spent 4000 gold on the new roll game and got nothing. I have since deleted the game and I have played since launch. New players will keep them going for a while but essentially this game is dead. Greedy companies like pix have to learn the hard way.
    I will never play a pix game again no matter what it is they have pissed me off that badly.
    I recommend that you all do the same. Put them in the gutter where they belong!
    Protest by moving on and finding something new.

    No point yelling anymore this has been going on for months. Move on guys and gals.
    Regards “Captain Cj”


  7. The harsh reality is that people are greedy, Pixonic is aware that there are many people who enjoy their game, as a result they have extorted money from people in hopes of creating more revenue for themselves. Instead of a smaller yet much more stable rate of growth, they are essentially ready to go bust. I will never spend a dollar on the game, and when an alternative game comes out, I will be gone like the wind.


  8. “Straw that broke the camel’s back”. Lemme guess. MKll. Up until that point it sucked, but it wasn’t anything that couldn’t be addressed. Nerf dash, go back to the 3 main currencies, etc.
    News flash Pix, this ain’t dungeons and dragons. This is PVP. IE COMPETITIVE. You’re taking away the biggest aspect of your own game.


  9. The only way they can save it now is to make it subscription based and remove the need to buy these overly expensive upgrades. They will then fund the business from a regular income source. They are currently gambling with their own future, foolish.


  10. A few months back I wrote an email. I would be happy to post if anyone would like to see it. In this email, I was trying to get my account un-suspended because apparently I had committed some type of “foul play”. Needless to say, I was slightly more than p#@@*d because, without a single second of investigation or ounce of energy expended, in an effort to see if there was any truth to my alleged, “foul play”, I was instantly placed on suspension. Ridiculous as this was, it is not even my main point of this post. During my exchange with a couple of the pixonic team members, (once I finally received a reply, 4 days and 7 emails later), I mentioned a few ideas that I thought might get their attention and possibly get my wrongfully suspended account back into good standing. I basically described in detail a few new bots and a weapon that I thought would be a good addition to the game. I received one reply apologizing for my account being suspended while also giving a stern warning that next time it would be for life if I were banned…. In addition it went on to say that they thought my ideas for the new bots were great and they would certainly bring these ideas to their higher ups…. Well, guess what was included the very next week in the mail notification\youtube clip titled “what’s next”. Well you guessed it. The bots were precisely what I had described in my email which is great, except the same day I had spent my second $100 Google play card that week on keys. which ultimately, wound up winning me a total of Jack s#!@… Now I offered these ideas not for recognition but instead because I thought they would be a fun bot to play in the game. However when a lightening bolt hit me carrying the message, “you will never afford this bot you jack a$$”. I have been a little bent that I never even got a tip of the hat mention or one of these bots, complementary so I could at least experience it or something… Anyways, sorry for the rant but thanks for reading… – Reed (duKUNTer)
    P.s. sorry about the grammar and punctuation. I was homeschooled…


  11. (Waggin’ here) Well Jay, sadly you’ve nailed it. I’ve been playing about the same amount of time as you and can relate. Esp.the part about being so excited and pulling out your phone. I remember doing the same thing back in the beginning (while waiting for my wife to check out at the super market of all places). And it was SO much fun for the first several months.Then slowly the wheels began to fall off. During this past summer I felt that surely PIX was listening and would find a way to put this thing back on the rails. Evidently something else ($$$) is now in play. Looking forward to your insights.


  12. Thanks for sharing! Love your site. Lots of good stuff. Even tho I started last August, I know the feeling. I’m not a gamer but this one caught me. I’m addicted. Even with all the pros, I still love the game!!!


  13. Pix doesn’t care about anything other than making that money which is why they largely ignore us. I am sure that hey know full well that what they are doing is wrong. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the only way we can win this battle is not to play and in my mind, the game is all but dead.


    1. I am starting to think Dredd gave up on the game and his series of articles. Since he wrote this article it has become shamelessly worse with MK2 and the Shocktrain. And he admitted not playing the game much.

      So many content creators for War Robots have left, but this one surprises me because Dredd had been a Pixonic apologist for quite some time.

      Oh well.


  14. I never saw another article in this series. I guess you just quit playing and didn’t bother to say anything further ? And to think that when I first started playing this game in 2016 I actually bought into a lot of what you were saying … oh well.


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