I will try to make a comment without choosing sides.
I understand the company side. I also have a small game studio here in Brazil, and I've been struggling for a long time to try to get somewhere. I understand that when we make a product available to customers it becomes vulnerable to all types of criticism.
If I take into account your current product, the Atlas game, we can see the size of this game's ambition. He doesn't have a single defined audience, he has many defined audiences. The feature of this game goes beyond a simple survival game, it has a little bit of several game genres.
Being such a broad product, covering so many types of audiences is clearly a double-edged sword. You earn in quantity of target audience, you gain in quantity of members in a community and of course you gain in quantity of sales.
On the other hand, you get an absurd responsibility, I'm not just talking about the number of people, the responsibility is mainly with diversity. Diversity of the target audience, which, as we have seen, are many. They are people who like PVP games, people who like PVE games, people who like to raise animals, cultivate their farms, who like adventure and hunt for treasures or else who simply like to battle and create chaos. The responsibility of a game that put all these types of people in one place is to keep as many of them satisfied as possible.
I'm a game developer, I'm an entrepreneur and being both at the same time I feel the pain that you took for yourself when you decided to create this game. You need to keep everyone satisfied, you need to keep their satisfaction out of the game, with a heterogeneous community. In addition, they need to maintain the health of the studio, the staff. Anyway. I really understand. Perhaps not in your magnetism but partially.
The company behind the Atlas game, already has experience in this segment. With the ARK game, this should make things easier, because the ARK game has a lot of similarity to gender, target audience and mainly community. From a commercial point of view, the team behind Atlas must already have enough experience not to make the same and exact mistakes already made in the ARK game.
More is not what I have witnessed since I decided to play this game. Speaking now from the client and player point of view. I was also an ARK player, I am well aware of the problems already faced by the ARK gaming community. So I will be very punctual and point you in the right direction for your failure in both games!
1 - You, as a company, do not know how to take care of the gaming community. Understand that a criticism can be reversed with a simple answer. The Community is made up of people and deep down what matters to people is to know that they are not alone. It is knowing that there are employees listening to them and mainly that their criticisms are being evaluated.
Remember the following: If someone is taking the time to write for you, it is because they care. That person stopped everything he was doing to take the time to talk to you. This is no small thing. That person pays the game, that person influences the other person. That person, that single person being quantified as a unit, is important.
2- You like the game. Atlas:
You need to understand once and for all that the people who are playing, those who are enjoying the time of their lives in the ATLAS world, are people of different genres. You need to learn to understand the gender difference that this game consists of and you must understand that this must be the person who will define your success or failure. The discussion you need to focus on is not whether the game is PVP, PVE or whether it is to farm or raise animals, etc. The discussion is: How can I balance all this mechanics so that everyone feels at ease.
You will never be able to please everyone, but being halfway there, balancing things out is great. This means that they are trending, learning from their mistakes and evolving. The community of players watches, absorbs and, oddly enough, they seem to understand!
3 - Transparency. Everyone knows that the game is having difficulties, it is incredible to see that we are still here with all the problems of the company and also with the game. But we're here, right? This must be taken into account. This means that it is important to share the truth with the community. I can play a game that is struggling to stay active. I can't pay more or play more of my life in a game I don't know in the future. When your problems became problems in the community, you automatically gained new problems, the obligation to share solutions with everyone. I know it is difficult, but the world has never been easy.
Finishing: Advice: Take care of the community, be transparent with us and, mainly, respond. We have wonderful ideas for the game, we play it every day, so give it to us as a test player. Evaluate our opinions and put our advice into practice. You will not gain anything by closing your eyes and doing crazy things that reach the ceiling. You obviously have a huge need to identify the problems in the game, but that is not a problem, because we are here, we are identifying them for you. You just need to swallow your pride and use all the information obtained through our gaming experience to improve it. This is Community! GoodLoock!