Atlas, the latest game from Ark: Survival Evolved creator Studio Wildcard, has a reputation that unfortunately precedes it. Launched in early access just ahead of Christmas, the pirate-based MMO has suffered under the weight of overworked servers, game-breaking lag and bugs aplenty. And after a week of complaints and disappointment from once-excited players, the developers are finally offering an apology.
“You could say that we were off to a stormy start!” begins a lengthy post on Atlas’ Steam community page, focused largely on patch notes. “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.”
Things take on a discordantly cheerful tone from there; the Atlas team maintains an optimistic outlook, saying they have worked on the connectivity errors since launch, and will continue to update server performance, institute crash fixes and work on rebalancing the overall game.
But stabilizing the servers is the highest priority for Studio Wildcard. Atlas’ most recent release comes with a new version of the server, according to them, and “is already showing significant improvement in server stability; however, there is still more to come!
“Our number one priority at the moment is tackling the stability, connection, and data issues, and we will make significant progress over the coming days ahead.”
We cited all of the above in our early impressions of the game, which we still found compelling enough to play more than two dozen hours. Disconnections still abound, and te game also struck us as old-fashioned and unpolished. Such is the nature of early access, say the developers.
Beyond that, players took issue with the lack of communication from the studio as they struggled to get themselves afloat over the holidays. This post is an apology for that silence, which the team pinned on being on blackout in its “development bunker.”
“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,” reads a note from the “captain,” co-founder Jeremy Stieglitz. “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.”
From here on out, expect more updates to the game and acknowledgment from the studio. Atlas continues to trudge ahead; it’s on sale at Steam right now for $24.99, 17 percent off the usual price.