Another Letter to the Players from Scopely G.M. Albert Wei
After another terrible war weekend full of glitches, bugs and lock-outs, Scopely G.M. Albert Wei decided the best way to keep players happy was to issue another letter to the players about the problems that were experienced during the most recent war.
Scopely staff announced over the weekend that Albert would be issuing a letter to the players to explain what went wrong and how they plan to fix it. After the staff informed the players of this plan, they started to look for letter on Monday, because no one expects the G.M. to have to pull weekend hours. But after Monday came and went, and then Tuesday, players started to get very angry and continued to rage about the complete lack of respect they receive from Scopely. Finally on Wednesday evening the letter was released, after several days of being completely ignored. Aside from the initial announcement about releasing a letter, and a handful of vague replies on a couple of other topics from forum staff, and issuing mass bans without cause or warnings, as well as blocks and deleted comments from players standing up to Scopely, players were left in the dark. Many players were still locked out during this time and many players still are. Here is the letter from Albert Wei.
" We understand that this weekend was very frustrating for a number of our players, and we’re disappointed that the experience was not what we wanted you to have. After looking into all of the challenges, I want to give you an update of what happened and what we did to address the issues.
- Queuing - We received reports of Issues queuing for war which in turn caused trouble for players as they joined wars. After investigating the issue, we discovered that the problem stemmed from a fix originally deployed to help with Cross-Region War queues. At 8:00 pm PDT on Friday we were able to correct the issue, returning queues to normal.
- Game reloads - at 10:15 pm PDT on Friday 7/21 some players encountered constant reloads of the game. We discovered that the issue was related to our Roster Cap increase change for players that was applied on Friday evening. We identified and fixed this issue at 10:50 pm PDT and put measures in place to remove it.
- Chat connection issues - at 5 am PDT on Saturday 7/22 some players experienced various issues with chat (e.g. history not appearing). While we’re still investigating this issue, we believe that this was a function of the constant game reloads from the night before which put much more burden on our servers. This was resolved in the game at 9:30 am PDT, but we will continue to diagnose and resolve this issue fully.
- War rewards - We heard that players were unhappy with the strength of the rank rewards and the difficult milestone levels for the War. We agree that we could have done a better job here. Moving forward, we will be changing our reward process to vet each event reward structure more rigorously.
The team and I take each of these issues very seriously, and we are working to make certain that the next War runs without incident. More importantly, the issues we’ve encountered in the last few weeks remind us how detailed and careful we need to be in ensuring that only the highest quality code goes into production, especially as changes to the game can lead to knock-on effects elsewhere. As an outcome of this weekend, we have already implemented processes to more diligently test these types of changes moving forward.
As we look ahead to the newest feature that these processes applies to, I also wanted to take a moment to update everyone on the progress of Character Ascendance. We launched the feature in beta last week and it’s been really exciting to see it in action. We really appreciate all of the constructive feedback we’ve gotten so far, and look forward to more of it as we continue to test over the next few days. Those insights have been an integral part of shaping our global release, which is coming very soon.
To help address some of the questions you may still have about Ascendance and how it will affect the game’s balance, Dash and Joe, the game designers, will be posting an in depth article on our in-game blog and on the forum. Look out for it at the end of this week.
We really appreciate you being a part of this community and especially for your patience through these issues with Faction War and Region War.
Albert, GM of Walking Dead: Road to Survival "
I am sure this letter looks wonderful to anyone that is not involved with the game each and every day, but to the players, this was appalling. This letter completely ignored the majority of issues and only mention a couple of the issues that players encountered over the weekend. The issue that they speak of was a situation where all players were kicked from the game and locked out for a couple of hours. And they included misinformation making it seem as if it only lasted a short time rather than the few hours that it lasted in reality.
Of course these were issues that the players were happy to have information about, and are down to earth enough to understand that coding issues and glitches happen sometimes. The topics that Albert spoke of do not seem to be something that was because of negligence. And players were somewhat satisfied with the minimal compensation they received, although Scopely undercut the players from what they truly deserved, no one was making a stink about it.
But what about everything else? This is a question that everyone is still asking, and this is the question that is still being ignored by Scopely support. No one is willing to speak of all the problems players encountered, what players are still being forced to deal with. These problems haven't even been acknowledged, let alone solved. There were so many more problems this weekend after their initial fix and after they sent out the blanket compensation that everyone received. There are people who suffered greatly, missed out on the entire war, lost money due to attempting a purchase during the glitching and never receiving what they paid for. In- game support responses are circulating showing that they refuse to admit there are issues, they do not care what the players experience, and they do not want to hear about it. They will not be reissuing the coins that people lost and some messages go on to blame the player entirely.
The True Meaning
For anyone thinking that this latest letter is just their attempt to keep their promise of a "player first attitude" and "better communication", you are wrong. It is obvious that these letters were not actually meant for the player community. If the communication was meant for the community, it would not have taken 5 days to provide. If they were really serious about having better communication it would be an everyday thing, not just when there are issues. Why would players be ignored for days on end just to receive a letter that didn't even talk about the major concerns?
If their intentions were to build a stronger, more informed community by opening a line of communication with respect for the players, why would they spend all day, every day ignoring them?
- Fun Fact: Scopely employees banned more people from the forums than they issued responses last week.
*These are just the bans, this doesn't include all of the deleted treads and posts that they deleted because they didn't like the subject matter relating to their ignorance and deception.
Now to get to the point of who this letter was truly written for. This is simple, it was for the Scopely investors and a tool from their PR people to "show" everyone how great they are doing with living up to their promises of communicating with their players. There is no doubt that was the intention with this letter. Now that their customer neglect, poor company management, rushed and bugged content and horrible customer support have been brought out into the light by the players who are sick of it all, they have to reassure everyone that they are doing what they need to keep the money flowing.
But it is all just a sham. More and more customers are going on a spending strike every day, more players are refusing their cut and paste responses and so many more players are just quitting altogether. They haven't fixed anything, they are just making it worse every single day with more ignorance, neglect and outright disrespect towards the people who make their paychecks possible, the players.
These are the people the letter was meant for:
- Brendan Iribe - CEO of Oculus VR
- David Dorman - Former CEO of AT&T
- Zander Lurie - EVP of Media at GoPro
- Bryant Stibel - Bryant Stibel was founded with a focus on the convergence of technology, media and data.
- Double M Capital (Mark Mullen) - former COO of the City of Los Angeles
- David Cohen - Founder/CEO of Techstars
- Arnie Rissman - Founder and former CEO of Tiger Electronics
- Investment fund created by the Founders of Bonobos - a premiere men's clothing line
- Angel Vision Investors - Collection of the top media and entertainment entrepreneurs on the West Coast
- The Collaborative Fund - NYC-based VC fund investing in the most creative entrepreneurs
- Clark Landry - Chairman GraphEffect
- Evan Rifkin - Founder/CEO of Burstly
- Howard Lindzon - Founder/CEO of Stocktwits
- Michael Blend - Founder of OpenMail
- David Tisch - Managing Director of TechStars NY
- Kelly Perdew - Winner of "The Apprentice." Former CEO of FastPoint Games
- Richard Wolpert - Venture Partner at Accel Partners
- Michael Lazerow - Co-Founder / CEO of Buddy Media
- Auren Hoffman - CEO LiveRamp, Chairman Rapleaf, Venture Partner at the Founders Fund
- Brian Lee - Founder of LegalZoom, ShoeDazzle, and The Honest Company (with Jessica Alba)
- Aydin Senkut - Top 10 Angel Investor - Investor in Rovio and Twitter
- Peter Chernin ,The Chernin Group - Former President and COO of News Corp, Board of Directors American Express and Pandora
- Terry Semel - Former CEO of Yahoo and Chairman of Warner Bros
- Miramar Digital Ventures
- Miramar Ventures
- Sands Capital Ventures
- Anthem Venture Partners
- Greycroft Partners
- Highland Capital Partners
- Evolution Media Capital
There they are, in black and white for everyone to read. Scopely has brought shame to these investors and they probably have no idea. Which is why each name is printed in this article, maybe they will see this article with their name in bold and realize that they need to step in and demand answers from Scopely, or step out completely before Scopely inevitably fails because of their poor business practice as it relates to the customer base.
These are the people that Albert was grandstanding for with his letter. These are the people that Scopely is putting on the show for. But as for the recent promises to the players, there is no change other than a few PR letters to calm the waves. Except they don't calm anything, they enrage players even more because they are still being censored, placated or outright ignored. These letters do not include all the issues, or even half of them. They only include the items that they can put a positive spin on, even if it requires a bit of minimizing, creative wording or flat out lies. Worst of all, Scopely is still refusing to compensate the players that lost so much with these issues.
Scopely has a lot to make up for and they need to start now or all these people just threw their money away on a failing company. It may look good now with that 600 million dollar valuation, but many people are quitting and striking everyday within the last 2 months and there will be more.
No More Excuses
The time for excuses has passed, now it's time for action. No one doubts that Albert Wei is a fabulous guy and a great general manager to the handful of employees under him. But no one wants to read another letter from him. We understand that it is in his job description but each time he writes it gets worse and worse and players are done listening. Show the customers the respect they deserve. Albert may be G.M. but you need one of the execs to step up to the plate and show how serious the situation is. Albert isn't even listed on the website as a key member of the team, players want to see this is going to the top so if anyone is going to be writing a letter it should be from one of the following people:
- Walter Driver - CEO
- Javier Ferreira - Chief Operating Officer
- Tim O'Brien - Chief Revenue Officer
- Eytan Elbaz - Co-founder and CSO
- Ankur Bulsara - Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer
- Roy Rosenthal - General Counsel, Head of Business Affairs
The same six people listed (and pictured) above are the only people that should be making an official statement to players to prove they understand the gravity of the situation. To prove that this is a concern that is being address by the top dogs of the company. And for heavens sake, show some good will towards your players and send them some compensation for sticking by your greedy little sides through two years of non-stop issues that get worse and worse with every update and new money making features.
The players of this game never expected you guys to have the perfect response to all these situation but you need to pay attention, throughout all these articles, on the forums and through in- game support, we are literally giving you all the answers, all the resolutions, and every chance to make things right, listen to us! While your at it here are a few other things you need to consider, give Giga and Dash raises, they deserve them. Stop making poor Johnny deliver all the bad news, the guy is getting a bad reputation because of it, he should get a raise too for all the crap he takes on Scopely's behalf. And overturn all your permanent bans from the last 30 days, you cannot penalize paying customers for reacting to problems you made and you sure can't expect them to continue being paying customers if you block them from even having a voice just because they are standing up to you, sharing their frustrations, or calling you out.
Three things you need to remember:
- Customer Appreciation
- Customer Satisfaction
- Customer Support
These are the things your players need, the things they are now rising up to demand. And the only thing that will make them stay from this point on. Scopely needs to figure this out before it is too late. If they don't, they should just close the doors now. If they do, they can keep making their millions and the players can 'keep on surviving'.
What do you think?
Do you see any changes with Scopely's new "player first attitude" promise?
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