Might not succeed like Ark has which is something I'm sure a lot of people that can connect the dots could see within the past month. I discussed how it lacks good hooks, this is a primary reason why people are leaving. It's not the stone structures or the Chinese, it's that people don't feel rewarded enough or compelled to finish through to end game
As some are saying, it's EA which is true but no excuse. They'll 100% have big sales to draw in the crowds but the numbers right now are not promising. Unless they reveal dramatic changes to breeding, MMO mechanics, huge push on magic - this game will keep moving forward but it'll never draw the huge crowds Ark has on and off throughout the years thus.
Modding community is the one thing that might save the day (again). Downside is that people are playing this game to sail vast differences which will be problematic for those developing maps.. but it could also bring incredible new opportunities we haven't seen before. There are a lot more avenues for modders to go down off the bat. The big issue is a lot of modders that invest months/years into their mod want a lot of people to use their work obviously.. if the game is doing poorly my population count, there's going to be far less incentive. The good thing though is Wildcard/Grapeshot clearly see the value in mods.. they literally built a game combing them.
Using us at test pigs without remotely testing it first in a private test environment WILL hurt the game. Say whatever you like, that it's EA, just leave if you don't like it.. whatever.. that's not my point. My point is their practices are selfharming and they don't care. They think they can pull the same stunts off they did with Ark. Statistically speaking this game is way worse off from the start than Ark was in many really important ways that matters including the ratings potential buyers see, it'd scare me away too but also the current player base is treated like shit.
They might not care too much about the population. As crazy as that sounds there is the possibility that they don't care just like Ark. I mean they care to an extent but nothing to lose sleep over. As long as people are able to play the game and their PR is decent, they're good. The target people who've never heard the game, when it goes on sale for $15 - they nab those people. By the time they figure out what the game really is about that they're playing, they've already gone well past the max time allowed for refunds by Steam. If you quit you quit, who cares. They might not be as desperate to keep us as people might think which sucks if you really want this game to work.
In short: If they REALLY want this game to succeed they'll STOP thinking they know best. They'll STOP saying they listen and respond to the community yet do things they KNOW will piss EVERYONE off. This game will not die. If you are saying that, I really think you're either A) an idiot or B) trolling. For most of us that care about the game, it's rather or not it'll end up like a Conan Exiles or an Ark. Rather you can spend years with this game playing it every day or a good couple months. Rather modders feel the need to pour months into a grand product or not. That's why the dwindling population is a huge red flag, because the reality is people might already be over Atlas. Ark had the advantage of being a first of it's kind, with a huge crowd funding mentality behind it - Atlas doesn't have that same vibe thus in order to keep that ball rolling, they'll need to not treat it like Ark and be significantly more pro-active. This is the wrong studio to hope for that, unfortunately.
Should you stop wasting time and leave or stick around? Numbers really only matter so much so I think if you like the game you should stick around. I think if you are obsessed with how popular a game is, just leave. Also, if you can't handle the fact that a lot of things we want to see may never happen and that this studio will always be the way it is now - then leave. Otherwise, stick around but being that it's so EA, take some forced breaks, make yourself only play X amount of hours during the week, etc.
I have a big feeling they'll F things up for themselves, not heed the warning signs of the community that's trying to help them. I really hope I'm wrong. The silliest of things they could easily implement, they don't. To me, that in itself says a lot.
There is such thing as too late.