Last Oasis, Steam's top-selling game, is suffering from widespread server issues

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Update: One of Last Oasis' developers has created a YouTube video (embedded above) to explain what they believe is going on and talk through the problem. But it seems like there still is no timeframe they can give for when the issues should be fixed.

Original story: Tell me if you've heard this one before: A multiplayer game launches on Steam, instantly becomes the top-selling game, and then its servers buckle under the weight of its own popularity. It's (opens in new tab) a story (opens in new tab) as old (opens in new tab) as (opens in new tab) the (opens in new tab) internet (opens in new tab), and it's exactly what's happening to Steam's new survival MMO hit, Last Oasis.

Though its launch yesterday was initially pretty smooth, Last Oasis servers started to get more and more unstable as the evening wore on and more people, presumably, jumped in to start playing. Eventually, everything crashed as Last Oasis' developers raced to hotfix issues and expand their backend server capabilities. As of 8:30 am PT, I haven't been able to successfully log in and play the game on North American servers.

Donkey Crew, the developer of Last Oasis, say it's working around the clock to fix these issues (opens in new tab), and I love how transparent they've been in giving updates and ETAs when possible. In its most recent update, Donkey Crew said it had just released a new hotfix (opens in new tab) that should fix some connection issues, but not all of them, and that the situation was ongoing.

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Of course this dampens the excitement of a new game launch, but I'm extremely sympathetic to the position the developers must be in right now. Before its launch yesterday, Last Oasis seemed like it was flying under the radar. The subreddit (opens in new tab), for example, only has 1,400 subscribers, and though it had roughly 40,000 viewers on Twitch yesterday at launch, 10,000 of those pairs of eyeballs were watching Forsen, the only major streamer playing the game. And with everyone social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic, gaming and internet traffic are way up (opens in new tab). It's easy to see how the small indie team behind this game was caught off guard by the sudden surge in popularity. I certainly was.

That said, I'm willing to be patient. Unlike Wolcen (opens in new tab), another recent Steam launch that was crippled by server issues, Last Oasis is, so far, really exciting. I managed to clock a few hours yesterday before the servers died and I really enjoyed what I played (opens in new tab). Though it builds upon the familiar foundation of all multiplayer survival games, Last Oasis has loads of cool new features, like grappling hooks, a world that forces you to stay on the move, and a player-driven economy. But its coolest feature is the giant wooden spider machines that you pilot across the dunes and oases of its apocalyptic world. They're majestic.

If you're still on the fence—which isn't a bad place to be while these networking issues persist—I'll continue to write about my experiences as I get deeper into the game so you can have a better idea of whether it's worth your money. Once I can get back in, that is. For now, we'll keep this post updated with any further news. You can also check out Last Oasis' Twitter (opens in new tab) for updates on its connection problems.

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.