Open letter to Grey Area Labs Oy from the player community, Sep 14 2013

We think that Shadow Cities is an awesome game and a very creative concept. Grey Area have done a tremendous job in developing and bringing the game to the community. We are grateful. The game has, rightfully so, received very good reviews and is highly appreciated by the players of the game.

It is no secret, that the number of players have decreased during the last two years. At the same time a stronger and ever growing social aspect has arose within the game - in some aspects changing why and how people play the game. The gaming community within Shadow Cities is very strong and loyal compared to other mobile games.

The gaming community consists of players representing an amazing set of competences and backgrounds. All walks of life, from young students to senior management, software and game developers, security experts to musicians, designers - you name it.

Shadow cities has reached beyond the app, into the real world. Meet ups have been attended to by players in Asia, Europe, America, creating lasting friendships across borders.

Observations
In the last two years, a steadily growing irritation within the community has risen. The reason for this can be found in lack of updates, lack of communications and technical issues, such as bugs that affect game play. The issues have made several committed players leave the game.

A number of persons, from the within and outside the community, with expert knowledge in various areas, have made various investigations into technical problems, juridical issues and finance/business issues. All done in order, to identify problem areas and offer possible solutions to help Grey Area forward with Shadow Cities.

We understand that Grey Area Labs Oy is a small company with limited resources. This is public information from annual reports and tax filings.

We understand that the Game of Tanks i.e. Tank Legions game development has consumed and probably is consuming a vast amount of the limited resources available. This may account for some of the problems with moving Shadow Cities forward.

We have discovered that many problems can be solved with just a few days or even hours of work. We discovered issues, such as lack of server software updates. The updates can be downloaded and installed in a few minutes, probably solving performance issues.

The community is deeply worried about the future of Shadow Cities and Grey Area Oy. We all, both as players and professionals, think that Shadow Cities is an awesome game.

We are confident that it is possible for Grey Area to increase usage of the game and the revenue from the game with minimal efforts.

Therefore, we would like

  1. to see a clear statement from Grey Area on the future of Shadow Cities, be it good or bad news.

  2. Grey Area to promptly fix the acute technical bugs in Shadow Cities.

  3. Grey Area to put time into making some initial updates/feature additions to resolve some of the most acute issues in game play as reported by the community and then, by some means, engage somewhat in the community.

In order to make this possible and to help you, we are prepared to offer our competences to GA. There are lots of people that would even work for free just to resolve issues.

We would also like you to consider releasing the source code for Shadow Cities as open source, or to a set of volunteer developers in case Grey Area is unable to continue development of Shadow Cities.

If the above should turn out to be a non-option, we would like to initiate a discussion regarding a community supported buyout of Shadow Cities in order to identify a price tag and process for such an alternative.

Yours Sincerely
Flaggy [ flaggy(at)theorbs.org ]
Detnevni [ detnevni(at)theorbs.org ]

Fellow Shadow Cities friends - log in to the Shadow Cities forum at http://www.shadowcities.com/forum/topic/3887/ and sign if you agree.


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