‘Path of Exile’ studio apologises as paid streamers allowed to skip server queue

The new update saw players battling against server issues

Grinding Gear Games have apologised for allowing paid streamers to skip the server queue as regular Path of Exile players were caught in long lines.

Path of Exile producer Chris Wilson posted an update on Reddit that confirmed the long queues experienced by players at the launch of their latest update was caused by “technical issues”. The update, titled Ultimatum, ran queues at an unusually slow pace, meaning many could not get online to play the game and were held in lines for hours.

In his statement, Wilson put the issues down to “human error” and explained the bug fixes and changes that will be implemented as a result. “We will continue to work on this issue until the servers are working perfectly,” he said, “We know the Path of Exile realm can handle this much load, it’s just a matter of divining what subtle fuckery is causing the problem today.”

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Further on in the statement, Wilson addresses what he described as a “pretty big faux pas”, in that paid streamers were allowed to access the game without being caught in queues. The decision appears to have been a conscious one, with the Path of Exile devs opting to allow them to bypass the broken queues in order to uphold their end of a marketing deal.

Wilson explains that “the backstory is that we have recently been doing some proper paid influencer marketing, and that involves arranging for big streamers to showcase Path of Exile to their audiences, for money.

“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. 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.”

In January, fans heard that Path of Exile 2 probably wouldn’t be launching in 2021. During an interview, Wilson admitted that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected the studio’s hiring plans and work on Path Of Exile 2. “I hate to blame COVID for stuff, but that is a big part of it at the moment,” he said.

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