The twisty, tangled, muddy mess between Nitrado, ARK: Survival Ascended publisher Snail Games, and the wider business of private server hosting continues to present itself as a Mobius strip of late-stage capitalism. An internal staff message from Nitrado CEO Raphael Strange that was leaked to Reddit makes several statements about the eruption of anger surrounding the company’s server hosting exclusivity deal and the associated $4M loan that Nitrado gave Snail Games and Studio Wildcard.
In the Slack message, Strange says that the loan is what ensured ASA would even be completed. “Without this loan, ASA would never have existed,” reads Strange’s note to employees. “We made sure that the developers of ASA would get their wages. And we were the last chance that this would happen in a reasonable time.”
The majority of the message otherwise strikes back at the rage that brought about the whole kerfuffle: Strange claims that the number of people angry at Nitrado is “disproportionate to the number of [the company’s] satisfied customers,” he argues that those who are complaining are content creators aligned with competitors or large ASE communities that haven’t used Nitrado’s services before, and he calls claims that Nitrado’s hosting charges are being marked up as a result of a monopoly “pure nonsense” made by people who “know nothing about hosting,” while arguing that the costs are indicative of the tech needs for an ASA server to run to begin with.
“As always, when it comes to money, not everyone is precise with the truth anymore,” Strange writes. “We simply have better cards in the game because of our size and reach.”