Pirate MMO ‘Atlas’ frustrates gamers and streamers with launch delays

Atlas, the pirate-themed, open-world survival MMO that was announced at The Game Awards 2018, is causing confusion and frustration among gamers and streamers due to a series of launch delays.

Atlas, from the studio behind ARK: Survival Evolved, was supposed to launch on December 13. It generated a lot of hype due to its comparisons to Rare’s Sea of Thieves, with its reveal trailer at The Game Awards featuring pirate ships, naval combat, and mythical creatures.

Unfortunately, Atlas has been delayed a few times since then. On December 19, tens of thousands of viewers were watching a countdown timer on a Twitch livestream in anticipation of the Atlas release, but once the clock hit zero, nothing happened. Studio Wildcard, under the name Grapeshot Games, then said that the game was again delayed.

The studio scrambled to get Atlas out in one way or another, and decided to launch a “special branch” of the game specifically for content creators on December 21. Progress in playing this version of Atlas would not be saved, which is not something that streamers would be excited about.

In a “what do you expect?” moment, Studio Wildcard again delayed the launch of Atlas for streamers.

Several hours later, the studio was finally able to push out the Streamer Branch of Atlas, allowing content creators to finally start streaming on Twitch and giving gamers their first real look of the MMO. Studio Wildcard then moved on to working on the Early Access version, which will open up Atlas to the rest of the community.

Delays have become a normal part of video game development, as studios often decide to hold back the release of their projects to make sure that they are complete and working properly. However, the successive delays of Atlas have resulted in massive frustration for gamers because of how Studio Wildcard has handled them.

Instead of promising just days of delays and then failing to meet the promised dates several times, it might have been better if the studio pushed back the Atlas launch until after the holidays to give the developers ample time to complete the project. With Atlas already drawing criticism before its launch, the pirate MMO may already be sunk before it has even set sail.

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