Atlas Developer Apologizes After Rocky Launch
Atlas, the pirate MMO from Studio Wildcard, debuted earlier this month on Steam Early Access. Players swarmed to the game, which would generally be considered a good thing. Unfortunately, the flood of attention highlighted some of the game’s worst problems. Connectivity issues and overloaded servers led to a multitude of customer complaints. In the wake of the poor launch, Studio Wildcard released a statement vowing to make things right.
In a Captain’s Log on Steam, the developers issued a mea culpa alongside the latest patch notes. They open with an appropriate pirate related pun—“You could say that we were off to a stormy start!”—before elaborating on the issues and what’s being done to fix them.
“The initial influx of players wanting to set sail immediately was (predictably in hindsight) larger than we anticipated and our systems got crushed until we tuned the new technical systems to handle it… The team has heavily prioritised connection and capacity resolutions, server and client-side performance updates, server and client-side crash fixes as well as tackling general gameplay bugs and balance concerns.”
The team goes on to promise daily updates to improve Atlas as well as thanking the players for expressing such great interest in the title. The team’s previous title, ARK: Survival Evolved, also took some time to reach its ideal state. Having previous MMO success provides hope that the team will get Atlas right as well.
Studio Wildcard didn’t stop there with the apology. The company’s big boss added his own statement to the post, a demonstration of sincere remorse for the shaky launch.
“Hello all, apologies for the challenging launch here!” said Studio Wildcard co-founder Jeremy Stieglitz. “Between the intensity of preparing for the release of a massively multiplayer title, and the needs to get all of the new infrastructure prepared to roll-out, we let the schedule and initial launch builds get away from us. Hunkered down in our development bunker 24/7 subsisting on Red Bulls and stale pizza, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture, which ought to start and end with communication to the players.”
After admitting to the game’s issues, Stieglitz continued with a more positive outlook towards the future. “Despite it all, I’m so happy that so many of you see the potential in what Atlas is, and are enjoying the immense scale of sandbox freedom that can readily be had in the game. As we churn through issues and continue to build out the game in the days, weeks, and months ahead, I’m looking forward to seeing what’s just over the horizon for the game and its growing community.”
You can read the team’s full statement and patch notes right here.
Putting out an apology so soon after launch isn’t all that common in gaming. It shows a legitimate concern for players and the product. It also strikes a better chord than other recent developer apologies. Kudos to Studio Wildcard for making sure Atlas players know this title will receive the attention it deserves.
Drew Weissman230 Posts
Drew is a freelance writer for DFTG. He's the former Managing Editor of Haogamers and has been published in the Chicago Tribune and The Paragon Journal. He also edited the novel Three Brightnesses and Artist Journey: Rachta Lin (2016 and 2017 editions).