Wayfinder is changing genre and nobody’s happy

On May 15, developer Airship Syndicate announced that Wayfinder is turning into an offline single-player game with optional co-op. Immediately, the game’s Steam page was bombed with almost 100 negative reviews. 

After two seasons as an MMO-lite, Wayfinder lost most of its players, was abandoned by its publisher, Digital Extremes, and was removed the Steam and PlayStation stores. Now that Airship Syndicate is also in charge of publishing, it announced it will be rebranding the game as a single-player experience—and Steam users didn’t take the news well.

Less than 24 hours after the announcement, Wayfinder’s recent Steam reviews went from Mixed to Overwhelmingly Negative. Many players who purchased the game during its initial early access release (especially the Exalted $149.99 pack) are rightfully upset because the game is turning into something they didn’t pay for. 

Another review bombing for Wayfinder. Screenshot by Dot Esports

One Steam review wrote: “Was really excited for a Warframe/Destiny sorta game. This is no longer the game I supported. I cannot in good faith leave a positive review to this game after this 180”.

Many players feel betrayed by this decision because they were hoping for a Warframe-like live-service game where they can grind gear, unlock new heroes, and get frequent updates. While the game could still get updates as a single-player title, it’s highly unlikely these updates will be as frequent. 

The new version of Wayfinder, called Wayfinder Echoes (which launches into early access on May 31), will feature no microtransactions and remove many of the grinding mechanics present in the original early-access version.

Wayfinder Echoes character screen
Will the new changes be enough to save Wayfinder? Image via Airship Syndicate

While seeing a dead game find new life might seem like an inspiring tale, this isn’t what most Wayfinder players wanted. Even during its prime, Wayfinder was plagued with a myriad of issues (that we wrote about in our review) that tarnished the experience for most.

To say Wayfinder had a rocky early access launch is an understatement. During the first week, the servers barely worked and most people couldn’t even play, which resulted in a huge wave of refunds and a slew of Overwhelmingly Negative reviews on Steam. It’s astounding to see a game be review-bombed twice, especially given it hasn’t even been out for a year. And even after the initial issues were fixed, most players found Wayfinder’s gameplay loop boring and repetitive. The combat wasn’t much fun either.

We’d love to see Wayfinder Echoes become a great single-player game when it launches, but based on the developer’s decisions and what we experienced during early access, it’s likely Wayfinder will end up as a mere echo of what it was meant to be. 

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