Forgive the long post, but it seems there have been major changes in how 11 bit has decided to inform the general public as to what they're working on for this game.
Frostpunk is almost a year old. Just over a month after it was released, they announced a roadmap for development in 2018 and largely stuck to it. The descriptions in that roadmap weren't highly specific but rather were generally descriptive of what they were working on. It worked out well; as gamers we had a general idea of what to expect, but not everything was given away so we could remain excited for the future. Even outside the initial release, 2018 was a great year for the game, with new scenarios, game modes, and other additions. Not only that, they were up and front about what they were planning. Occasionally, like with the Mac release, they failed to deliver, but they were appreciatively up front about that and tempered disappointment with reason. They handled those failures openly and responsibly.
This year has been different. We've been given no roadmap. About a month ago they released a teaser, and kept that up two weeks later with another, culminating in a final one two weeks after that. Scouting through those clues was fantastic. The community was able to determine a little of what the teasers meant – that an announcement was going to be made on April 12th, and speculation was abound as to what the announcement was. Potential new downloadable content was speculated. It was a widely accepted idea, as New content teaser! is what is posted and stickied on reddit right now, and there were discussions of additional content in your investors meeting earlier this year.
While they didn't exactly promise it to us, the idea of new content was promising. What we received fell short of that. A console release is not new content. The announcement itself came with some fun and exciting easter eggs like hidden steam codes, but after that excitement settles we get to digest the core of the announcement. Whether we as the community misdirected ourselves or they as the developers did, that announcement came as a disappointment to many of us who already own the game. There is no new content, not in this announcement at least. It was not a "New Content teaser!" as some thought it was, it was a new platform teaser. Hope falls when these speculations aren't realized.
There have been good things about 2019 in terms of their communication strategy, but there have also been inadequacies. The lack of a roadmap is first and foremost problematic, because no matter what they release, our speculation leads to disappointment at what could have been. Having a roadmap is a great way to steer expectations so they're not far off the mark. The hunt with the teasers was great, but that should be in addition to the roadmap, not a replacement. In general, more communication is better than less, and they were much better at communicating last year than they have been thus far this year. The less they communicate, the more we're left to speculate, and the more discontent will rise.
I understand that releasing the game to new platforms is a great way to increase the player base, and they'll likely gain more faithful followers. However, If they are to remain a great developer or make Frostpunk a great franchise, they need to keep enticing their existing players, too, and they need to do it responsibly. They need to give us a reason to put new faith in them.
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