POPULATION ZERO: what went wrong on launch day?

Errors and stability issues in the game led to a wave of negative reviews and ratings from players,which developer Enplex Games clearly still hasn’t recovered from according to an article penned by publishing producer and video content producer Dimitry Muratov.

Muratov said that upon analyzing the situation they figured out that the launch problems all boiled down to three crucial mistakes:

  • multiple DLC packages
  • an overly-aggressive marketing campaign prior to Early Access
  • missing MMO features, specifically the lack of a friend and grouping system.

“On May 5, we pushed the “Release into Early Access” button, and from that moment all hell broke loose.

[. . .] The first reviews of the game that came in an hour or two after we launched were devastating. We were thinking we’d be in the Mixed category, though some of us dreamt of Mostly Positive, but Overwhelmingly Negative reviews were pouring in — by the time we were at 100 reviews, our rating was at 11%. In about an hour, Steam’s algorithm kicked us out of featured games, and in five to ten hours we were out of the picture entirely.

We were devastated, and we lost time while we were trying to figure out what was going on. Today we have the full picture — or at least we think that we do.”

But the Studio continued to roll out updates and fixes. The Studio also published a road map.Muratov also added “Population Zero currently has a small but very active fanbase. Concurrent users are low, but it doesn’t really matter right now as we made the game to be a single-player experience if you wish it to be. At this point we got our ratings back on track — as of this writing we’re at 46%, and we mostly get positive reviews now. Even though the sales are slow and new reviews are scarce, the rating is only trending upwards.”.”

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