Is 'ATLAS' Dead? Disappointing Launch, Glitches and Broken Promises Upset Community

When the trailer for ATLAS debuted at The Game Awards in early December, players were losing their minds. Grapeshot Games, famous for the dinosaur farming simulator ARK: Survival Evolved , dropped the trailer out of nowhere. It teased epic sea battles, fights with mythical beasts and the kind of pirate adventure gamers have only dreamed of. Sea of Thieves promised to let players feel like Jack Sparrow on the open seas and instead delivered a monotonous experience without any swashbuckling charm.

ATLAS got off to a rocky start, with Grapeshot pushing its launch back multiple times; that's generally a sign of trouble. When the game finally released to players willing to fork over the $24.99, they were left with disappointment. Player customization was limited,though you could make random body parts larger to look like a haemonculus. Glitches and bugs were everywhere, with monsters phasing out of the environment or being impossible to kill.

The epic battles promised in the trailer were nowhere to be seen, replaced with a bare-bones version of a sea-inspired ARK . Players actually found that by pressing different buttons on the menu, they could access an ARK menu screen that mentions an "ocean" tile set. This lead to rumors online that ATLAS was supposed to be an expansion pack for ARK, but was repurposed into its own game.

Steam users who purchased the game can get a refund, even if they've played for more than two hours. Reddit user Corrupt3dz sent in a ticket to Valve, and after a few automated denials managed to find a customer support representative willing to give his money back. It's unclear if other users were able to get refunds, but the reddit community massively upvoted the post.

Is ATLAS Dead?

If you read the comments on reddit and discord, you' think ATLAS was a massive failure. With glitches, poor company communication and one of the most disappointing launches since No Man's Sky , it's no wonder that this is the community's impression. The pirate-adventure was in the Steam top 10 charts for the first few days, but has now disappeared from the chart. Steam reviews are overwhelmingly negative, with players shouting about how they fell for the hype.

There are still a lot of players exploring the world of ATLAS. According to SteamCharts, there are over 48,000 users currently logged into the game, with an average of around 36,000 since launch. For a game that's been panned by critics and vocal redditors, there are still a lot of people playing the game. The game is in Early Access, a term thrown around by developers who plan on releasing an unfinished product. Those that bought in expected to see bugs and problems, while the internet carrions saw a chance to rip apart something new.

On Twitch, streamers have been playing ATLAS non-stop. For a brief period after launch, it was the most-watched game on the platform, but is now sitting at number four. Huge content creators like Shroud and Forsen have been playing the game to their tens of thousands of viewers, making it even more popular. They might be enjoying it because it is janky and hard to understand, but they are still playing it. Clips of Forsen dealing with stream snipers (who don't really want to keep playing) have shot up to the top of the LivestreamFails subreddit, giving the game even more coverage.

ATLAS had a rocky launch, but there's no way you can say the game is dead. The game doesn't live up to th the pirate shanty dream of sailing the seven seas, but there's still a core player base that hasn't given up just yet.