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Early access title Atlas makes a splash with rough launch

Players are still trying to get reliable access to the pirate game

Atlas - A player fires upon a ghostly vessel. Studio Wildcard / Grapeshot Games

Atlas hasn’t been out in the world for very long, and the open-world pirate MMO is still struggling to find its sea legs. The game launched to much fanfare: the number one game on Twitch, a trending Twitter hashtag, and lots of hype. It’s easy to see why; the title offers an Eve Online-style sense of progression, mixed with hearty pirate adventure and a massive map to explore.

Unfortunately, the game itself is struggling to meet the demand. Steam is showing that I’ve spent 15 hours playing Atlas, but I have yet to even see a glimpse of this remarkable new world.

While streamers and influencers were granted early access to the title on a split server that would not carry progress over to the main launch, most players had to wait until the title’s launch on Dec. 22 to dig in. This came after a series of delays in a two-week period. The title was meant to launch on Dec. 13, which was delayed until Dec. 19, and then finally Dec. 21.

Going live wasn’t quite enough, as the servers were slammed with the rush of pirates hoping to build their ships and explore this new world. The official Atlas Twitter account has been keeping players updated with new patches and attempts to stabilize the servers.

Jatheish Karunakaran, lead community manager and live producer at Grapeshot Games, wrote a statement on launch day that read, “I know our communication (or lack thereof) is pretty shit right now. Everyone at the studio is working hard on delivering Atlas so we can give you the best experience when the game is finally available on Steam Early Access.”

Despite mounting discontent on social media, Karunakaran wrote: ”The excitement you’re feeling about the project is not misguided. ATLAS has the potential to be the GOAT.” He added, “Fuck the ETAs and don’t wait around. Get some sleep. Spend time with your family. Watch a movie. Do whatever you want. [...] As soon as I get wind of any changes, I will let you know.”

Players are now starting to be able to access Atlas, but the experience is still laden with lag, errors, and other obstructions. Early Steam reviews have been overwhelmingly negative, with most players slamming the game for its rocky launch. We’ll continue to attempt to sail the seas and record our first impressions in this massive early access title.

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