With Alpha 6 on its way and our ongoing work on new features, we feel the time for getting Worlds Adrift into Closed Beta via Steam Early Access is coming, and the date is end of April (a month or so later than we expected, but still around the corner). Getting to Closed Beta is just the start of the journey: you’ve seen how much we’ve been updating the game, and we very much intend to carry on doing so. If anything, we’ll get faster at adding new features and bugfixing following your feedback and ideas, thanks to our increased ability to reinvest into the game with the backing from Beta players.
We do want to address a specific issue, though, that we’ve mentioned before: We’ve all seen time and time again large multiplayer games suffer from not being able to handle the extra load at launch, and we really want to make sure this doesn’t happen to Worlds Adrift. These problems are inherent to the genre, but we really want to ensure the rapid influx of players coming in all at once doesn’t create queueing problems, server instability, lost progress, etc.
So our solution is straightforward: we’ll make the game available to batches of players. Once we can guarantee that current players are having a good experience, we’ll allow more players into the game with a new batch of keys. While this ensures those playing will have a smoother ride, the side-effect is that not everyone will be able to play the game on day one.
To mitigate this restriction, we’ll communicate the planned release of new keys first to you, our dedicated community, here on our forums and through the email newsletter. We’d be nowhere without you guys, so we want to make sure you’ll hear about more keys ahead of the release, with enough of a heads up to grab a copy.
We’re intending this phase, with its staggered batches, to last between three and four months, after which we’ll finally open the doors to everyone. Then we’ll reset the servers one last time and move the game out of Closed Beta – but Beta players will be able to keep special items that will not be available again after the reset. They’ll also get a bit of a headstart for being a part of the Closed Beta!
No plan ever survives the heat of battle unscathed, but this feels like the right thing to do in order to allow the best possible experience for everyone.
Henrique, Herb and the Worlds Adrift team
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