Stardock boss Brad Wardell reckons multiplayer strategy game Demigod will break 100,000 users before launching in Europe next Friday, 29th May.
But the April US launch has been anything but smooth and, recalls Wardell on the Stardock site, "definitely hurt the game".
The problems started when US retailer GameStop broke the street date through miscommunication, causing users to flood online over the Easter weekend when the servers weren't ready. Illegal copies of the game also caused a massive influx of unregistered players.
"Suffice to say, it wasn't a pretty picture," writes Wardell. "For the first few days, we struggled to migrate people to a different set of servers that only legitimate users had access to. This took about 48 hours.
"But during this brief window, the game was basically unplayable because you couldn't even get online - at all. We got whacked with some pretty negative first week reviews not surprisingly," he says.
NAT peer-to-peer communication problems followed, which eventually needed three weeks to really iron out. Wardell hopes Demigod can shake off bad first impressions and is optimistic about the future, at least until a "viable alternative shows up".
"My view is the difficult launch definitely hurt the game. There's no way around it," admits Wardell. "Besides upsetting a lot of people anxious for a good multiplayer game, you also have the fact that those early negative reviews are going to linger.
"Now, that said, I do think long-term the game is in good shape. First, we will be putting a lot of effort to build the online community. Scheduled games, strong team and clan support, pro tournaments, matchmaker filtering (let people filter out people they don't want to play) are all coming sooner rather than later. Those things will help immensely.
A lot of Demigod's long-term success depends, in my opinion, on whether we're able to perfect Demigod's online experience before a viable alternative shows up," he adds.
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