Whatever happened to Population Zero?

No news is not good news in MMO land.

    
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Whatever happened to Population Zero?

A month ago, we checked in on Population Zero, a survival MMORPG that hit early access back in May. It was a rocky launch, and I think it’s fair to say that literally everyone made the obvious jokes as the game’s population did indeed eventually drop down to zero. In August, we noted that the team behind the game, Enplex, had fallen almost completely silent on Steam, social media, and the game’s own website; the only commentary from staff came from early August quotes from a developer, who said Enplex “hope[d] to add an alternate mode with more days between wipes” but that a “non-wipe version [would] take more time” and that they had “no information on the future patch at this time.”

“August will be a very light month for the game,” the dev told players on Discord. “In terms of content I mean.”

That was true for August, but it’s also turned out to be true for September as well. The team hasn’t tweeted or facebooked in two months. Ditto for Steam updates. Five people are playing the game as I type this, and as MMO Fallout’s Connor noticed, the Enplex website has been down for quite a while (though the game’s site is still up, it also hasn’t seen as much as a hiya since mid-July). The subreddit is a wasteland, and the Discord… well, the Discord is actually where concerned players continue to congregate and share theories about what’s going on with the company and the game they purchased. The current rumor (thanks Rogerio for the link!) is that the team has been moved off the project and is still hunting for a new patron or publisher, but again, since nobody from Enplex has piped up since the beginning of August, that’s not confirmed.

Perhaps the most surprising thing is that reviews are only “mixed” on Steam, though that seems to have a lot more to do with apathy and poor sales in the last couple of months than with anything else. We’re still crossing fingers that something comes of the game in the end, but… if you can still get a refund and haven’t yet, now’s probably the time. See you back here in another month?

Source: Steam

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Rodrigo Dias Costa

I don’t even have a problem with the wipe… the game’s performance is just bad. Nothing I’ve tried seemed to fix the framerate issue, and it was dropping on weird periods, like sometimes when I reach a place with less NPCs or mobs, not more. I can’t even imagine how bad would it become with actual players running around…

The weird thing is the game wasn’t like that when I tried the beta. I’m not surprised to see the player numbers evaporate.

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angrakhan

Sounds like the game has achieved it’s own namesake. How prophetic of them. No one saw that coming…

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EmberStar

I won a copy of this from a MOP promotion. I downloaded it, and then never actually played it. The whole thing about the map wiping everything and doing a mandatory unstoppable reset every few days just murders my desire to even try it, even in the “single player” mode. I’m not a great builder, but I do value my gaming time at least a little. And spending time and effort to create something that I know is going to be destroyed, over and over… nope. I just can’t do it.

Between that and the game now being possibly completely dead… I suppose I should probably just uninstall it and get a few gigabytes of hard drive space back.

Tizmah
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Tizmah

Yeah I like Roguelikes, but the time invested has to be much shorter than a week lol. Of course, even most Roguelikes allow you to carry some stuff over to feel like you are at least progressing.

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Rogerio

The developers team was disbanded and development of the game seems to have stopped…
I loved the game, it was very good, its a shame.

Source:

Enplex Games: после запуска Population Zero команда стала меньше

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kody

Considering Enplex is a Moscow-based studio, a lot of those positive reviews that are allowing the game to remain in mixed territory are likely fake. It’s pretty common practice for Russian game developers to pay schills to post fake positive reviews of their games. I’d be curious to know the percentage of positive reviews that come from either “received product for free” or “redeemed code” posters. Those are likely all fake.

Edit: As expected, if narrowed to just Steam purchases the reviews drop to mostly negative.

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silverlock

Thanks for that info I’ll make sure to use that when I look at games in the future.