The developer of Path of Exile, Grinding Gear Games, has apologised for giving streamers priority access to its new Ultimatum expansion.
In a post on Reddit, lead developer Chris Wilson said that it was a mistake to allow these personalities to skip the queue when playing online. Grinding Gear had started a paid marketing campaign to get streamers playing its new content; this happened as Path of Exile experienced huge server problems, with the studio opting to give streamers priority access to the game.
Not only was this a snub to fans, it also gave influencers a distinct leg up in Path of Exile's economy.
"We had arranged to pay for two hours of streaming, and we ran right into a login queue that would take two hours to clear," Wilson wrote.
"This was about as close as you could get to literally setting a big pile of money on fire. So we made the hasty decision to allow those streamers to bypass the queue. Most streamers did not ask for this, and should not be held to blame for what happened. We also allowed some other streamers who weren't involved in the campaign to skip the queue too so that they weren't on the back foot.
"The decision to allow any streamers to bypass the queue was clearly a mistake. Instead of offering viewers something to watch while they waited, it offended all of our players who were eager to get into the game and weren't able to, while instead having to watch others enjoy that freedom. It's completely understandable that many players were unhappy about this. We tell people that Path of Exile league starts are a fair playing field for everyone, and we need to actually make sure that is the reality.We will not allow streamers to bypass the login queue in the future. We will instead make sure the queue works much better so that it's a fast process for everyone and is always a fair playing field. We will also plan future marketing campaigns with contingencies in mind to better handle this kind of situation in the future."