Unknown Worlds recently updated Subnautica, an underwater, emergent, survival game for PC. It’s available right now on Steam’s Early Access platform. You can pick up a digital copy of the game at this very moment, if you want. However, the developers are concerned with something a bit more important: is the game good and are they going about the Early Access phase in a pro-consumer manner?
In a recent press release, Unknown Worlds aimed to beseech games media to provide feedback on their current progress with Subnautica. They wanted to know if they’re on the right path and – more importantly – if they were doing right by customers.
According to the press notice, they write…
“Many of you see more games per day than we can possibly imagine. You know what a good game looks like, and what a corker looks like. We would love to know what you think of Subnautica’s Early Access release so far: Particularly, whether we are doing right by Steam Early Access customers in light of some recent headlines about the program.”
“Recent headlines” refer to the fallout over games like H1Z1, which happened to get caught in a whirlwind of controversy over the perceived “pay-to-win” aspect of the game’s airdrops. Before H1Z1 there was also the issue of Dead State, where DoubleBear Productions was hammered over censoring negative feedback, as pointed out on the Kotaku In Action thread. Before that was the issue with The Stomping Grounds, an exceptionally promising game that saw the developers go dark, which eventually caused the game to have sales brought to cessation, as reported by PC Gamer.
Unknown Worlds, the developers behind popular core titles like Natural Selection 2, appears to be going in the opposite direction of anti-consumer antics that put a lot of other developers in hot water.
In the press notice, they offered questions and interviews with Subnautica’s game director Charlie Cleveland, and encouraged games media to be constructively critical to help the game grow in the right area. They also made sure that links to the latest developer diary were also available, which you can view below.
It’s mentioned in the press notice that the team is fairly happy with the feedback they’re receiving so far, and that comments via the feedback tool, Early Access platform and on their own forums have, so far, been mostly positive. It is true. Out of the 185 user reviews, only five rank as negative. Very impressive.
I like that the devs have courted criticism from the games media. I would love to give some hands-on feedback if I had time, because the game looks really, really fun. But for now, I’m kind of stuck spending a lot of time cleaning up some other people’s mess. When this is all over, I’ll definitely give the game a test run.