Hi Zenitheans, I hope all of you were able to enjoy the festivities and take some time off at the end of 2023!
As many of you know from our last blogpost (https://zenithmmo.com/blogs/news/future-of-zenith-2-0-design-pillars), we’re implementing some significant changes in Zenith’s next major update, larger than anything we’ve done before.
Today, I wanted to be candid and let you know why we’re making these changes, as well as how we plan on gathering feedback to make sure we’re heading in the right direction. Let’s start with the feedback.
Gathering User Feedback
Today I’m excited to share that we’ll be running a limited Pre-Alpha playtest this weekend (Subject to change) that will be under NDA! While not everyone will get in, we’re hoping to get both new and experienced users of Zenith to try the new stuff we’ve been working on. Referring a friend who’s never tried Zenith before will increase your chances of getting in!
To apply for the playtest here: https://forms.gle/aB4VpRaHD2eoQZF47
While we’re making some big changes to the game, we want to make sure we’re capturing the voice of you, our players. Therefore, we’re going to be running a ton of private and semi-public user tests during the pre-alpha and alpha periods of the game, before opening it up fully during Beta.
These playtests are being treated as the highest of priorities and we are relying on a variety of sampling and user interview techniques to ensure that we gather as much data as possible, including:
- Recorded and Moderated 1:1 User Testing
- Long form survey responses and results
- Calculating NPS scores
- A ton of internal testing with our entire team to gather additional feedback
In addition, some of our internal development goals have explicitly been set around player satisfaction scores in the pre-alpha, alpha, and the betas.
As part of our planning process, we directly review survey and user testing feedback and use that as an important source of data when prioritizing our feature roadmap.
The Drive for Change
I know many of you want more detail – and we’ll be sharing a lot more about specifics in the next couple weeks, but today I wanted to explain why it was necessary for us to make these changes to begin with.
Overall, I’m really proud of what the team’s been able to pull off – but I also take responsibility for mistakes we’ve made along the way. We’ve introduced a ton of new systems, doubled the content, launched on 2 new platforms, and also worked hard in this last patch to fix many of the most frustrating bugs you have encountered.
The most important thing to understand is that since launch, we’ve tried our best as a game studio to build Zenith into something bigger. From Celestial Throne all the way to Might and Mastery, we’ve striven as a small studio to punch above our weight and deliver the 100% version of the experience that would catapult us back to the top of the charts.
Understand that while Zenith was initially very profitable, we’ve been running it at a loss on a month to month basis for the better part of a year. For two years the team has tried everything we could to get us back into profitability or user growth, but it just hasn’t panned out.
Our goal with the next update is to introduce some big changes to try to make our beloved world a sustainable development project. We don’t believe that just polishing, fixing bugs, and adding content would lead to profitability.
Ultimately, we had to make a choice between making fundamental changes or putting the game on ice. We made these decisions so that we could keep running Zenith for as long as possible.
These changes are intended to let us keep running Zenith longer, which will allow us to make the game better, and make many of the changes you guys have been asking for, too.
While I wanted to be candid here – I am incredibly excited about the changes we’re making to the game. I hope that the changes we’re making, for example, like overhauling how level and skill progression work completely, will appeal to both veterans and newbies alike.
The next release gives us the best shot to keep Zenith online in the long run – and we’re excited to share more specific details with you this month. Keep your eyes peeled for some truly exciting reveals.
Tell us what you think in Discord!