Statement issued by USM: The End of PlayCatan and Current Early Access Status
First of all, we would like to thank you for your numerous feedback on Catan Universe’s Early Access. We know that still a lot still remains to be done; so we would like to take this opportunity to provide you an overview of our current plans.
As announced with the launch of the Early Access, we intentionally decided to let you play – even at a very early stage – a product that is still under development. This early stage is very important, as it allows us to react to your feedback, develop the game accordingly, and – at the same time – test and extend our backend systems. Thus, at this early stage, Catan Universe cannot be compared directly with PlayCatan, as the latter has been developed and refined over many years. Moreover, we intentionally do not develop a true successor, but a completely new product.
Catan Universe is therefore based upon a state-of-the-art engine (Unity) allowing for a development on multiple platforms at once. This enables us to offer the same game on both mobile and stationary platforms by using a common infrastructure. Regardless of whether the player gets access via a browser, a Windows client, or an app, every player can play with any combination of other users. Moreover, we would like to capture the feel of the original board game. Following these guidelines we are developing the look and the user guidance in the game.
Of course, we consider the feedback from experienced Catan players very important; this is why PlayCatan players were the first to get access to the Early Access. We read your forum entries very diligently, checking every proposal and feedback. In many cases, your feedback has already been integrated into our development schedule – unless they have been part of our roadmap anyway. This is true e.g. for the accelerated gameplay. We are working on an option to offer settings that will meet the expectations of both beginning and veteran Catanians.
We are always maintaining very close contact with our colleagues at Catan GmbH, and we surely know that you asked for PlayCatan to run over a longer period of time. As pointed out by the colleagues some time before, PlayCatan‘s switch-off was initially planned for mid-December 2015, and it had to be prepared long before that date. Unfortunately, the current delays could not be foreseen early enough; this is why the two platforms (given their current status) can no longer run in parallel to each other.
Of course, we keep on working at high pressure on optimizing the current version, as well as on providing new features and contents. During a meeting held with the development team members in Berlin later this week, we’ll use your feedback to prioritize the list of features.
We know that you would love to make use not only of the new features and game modes, but also the numerous optimizations of the current version – as soon as possible and, at best, at the same time. Our teams are working very hard to continually optimize the Early Access. For this purpose, we’ll keep the weekly update schedule and add – if necessary – hotfixes on a short-term basis. Due to the complex technical issues involved, and as we are still working on many other features to be added to Catan Universe, we kindly ask for your patience. We’ll work hard to optimize the Early Access version as soon as possible; however, on the other hand, we’ll extend the introduction stage of Catan Universe as much as required.