Dear Instinct Games Developers and any other readers that happen upon my post.
My name is Basil, I'm an avid fan of history, pre history, and pretty much a lot of other events that happened in the past. I'm also someone who spends an inordinate amount of time behind his computer because videogames offer me an escape from the stress I deal with daily, in short: I'm a gamer through and through. I haven't bought this game, nor did I know about it until two days ago, but I've learned about it in that short amount of time.
About three years ago I purchased ARK: Survival Evolved when it was in early access, and enjoyed it at the time, but soon after the issues began to grate on me, they began to weigh down the experience to torture rather than enjoyment.
I love prehistory, dinosaurs are my thing, and your game provided a fix, but it became unbearable due to your decisions in development. No optimization, unbalanced creatures, a difficulty curve steeper than the White Cliffs of Dover, and the creatures that were chosen to be added into the game (Not to mention their rather lackluster visual design) and all of these things were left unattended to.
The straw that broke the camel's back was, in the end, the DLC before release, that was the moment I became appaled with your studio and your business practices, and it saddens me every time that a developer walks straight into this pitfall.
Now you may ask: "Why did you go on that tangent about ARK?" to which I will answer that - thanks to ARK - I've got experience with the game you have released in the past, and it is ultimately relevant to ATLAS and the state it is in right now.
ATLAS, as I have been informed and as I have gathered from the promotional material and images that were provided on the store page, is an MMO involving pirates, sailing, all that fun stuff that should practically make the money for you. I mean it's a game in which the player is in control of the ship (I assume it's similar to Assassin's Creed: Black Flag, or Assassin's Creed: Rogue), that idea screams full wallets flying at your collective faces. It gave you some monetary income I assume, and some are even defending your game, but a lot of people are not.
What I mentioned above comes back to my point from before, ARK. I've collected that this game was actually a piece of ARK DownLoadable Content (DLC) that has been ported into its own independant game. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as this can often spring into fun new ideas and such, but the execution of it seems to be quite... poor to say the least. Players have waiting times up to - and sometimes over - two hours. The game performs very poorly, low framerates and high amount of server issues (especially on the public ones) and some of the assets and designs seem to have been flipped directly from your previous foray into the videogaming industry. Assetflipping is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as the execution is done well, which it appears to not be the case for ATLAS.
My last complaint is one that was relevant at the time of my retreat from ARK as well. All your games seem to hit Early Access (EA) very early and remain in it for periods longer than you personally announce them to be. Do not be afraid to construct a game for a longer amount of time, it will eventually lead to a more well-developed and polished end product, putting all your products in EA can make your audience significantly wary of your business practices, and eventually will turn people away from you entirely, which is a massive shame of course, that's a fate no developing studio deserves.
In conclusion people are lashing back against you because they believe that they are onto you now, they believe that they have found out your schemes and they won't stand for it anymore, but you can still change this. I do not wish to see your studio disappear into the void of gaming history because of bad decisions that were made. I believe both ATLAS and ARK can be improved, can be made better, if the effort is put in, pay attention to the complaints and criticism and this situation will solve itself, but otherwise I fail to see hope for your future.
I hope you've read all of this, it would endear me to know that my voice is heard.
Basil Serpent, Palaeonerd, Videogaming enthusiast, and amateur critic.