In early December, Instinct Games announced a new MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game called: Atlas. Developed by the same studio behind Ark: Survival Evolved, this new game focused on being able to play as a pirate and set sail on the seas. It received initial hype due to the announcement trailer featuring detailed graphics, consistent connections with other people, and the ability to load up tens of thousands of players at once. Therefore, gamers were eager to get their hands on the game and explore a new level of gaming experience; however, it was nowhere near what was expected.
The game performed sluggishly on high-end desktop computers, having subpar graphics and a large number of bugs. It seemed like it was incredibly early in production, with the announcement trailer looking like an entirely different game. Games filled with empty promises actually have a history of happening about once a year both from well-known companies, such as Ubisoft, and small independent companies alike.
In the early 2010s, Ubisoft became associated with announcing games years before they would actually hit stores. One of the most notorious cases was Watch_Dogs, which released two years after it’s hyped up announcement. Once the game launched, it received mixed reviews from numerous critics, many of which pointed out the disparity between its initial first look and the final product. Some believe that because the game was revealed before the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the developers of Watch_Dogs predicted the consoles’ specifications were going to be much more advanced than they ended up being.
Hello Games, the creators of video game Joe Danger, also announced an extremely ambitious project called No Man’s Sky in 2014, where players would be able to explore a seemingly-infinite amount of randomized planets across the universe. It was widely anticipated due to the ambitious showcases they had, as well as an unconventional multiplayer feature. The final game, released in 2016, was underwhelming and at times buggy, and also lacked the anticipated multiplayer capabilities. Years after its launch, Hello Games has made many changes to the game to bring it closer to the original vision, now having far less bugs and the promised multiplayer aspect, but the initial bad reviews and upset within the gaming community still plagues the game today.
Games like these come out way too often for several reasons, it could be for the company to drum up hype for pre-orders, or it could be because of overestimating the hardware it will run on. When the PlayStation 3 was announced at the video game convention E3 in 2005, almost all of the games that were shown off weren’t playable to the public and were significantly more detailed than their final version. Developers overestimated the capabilities of the PS3 and showed off work-in-progress titles that really were too good to be true. With Internet communities becoming increasingly more vocal, it’ll be much harder to get away with games like these in the future. The overwhelmingly negative reception that Atlas got should be a prime example for what will happen to future productions that continue to make promises they can’t keep.
By Jason Grioua