There is a lot of talk that we don't listen or reply to user feedback. Well we do and I just wanted to share with you my answer to one such feedback sent by one former CP that we had to ban from the game.
He was banned from eRepublik because he decided to change the welcome message (the first message all new citizens from a country receive when they join) to one where he basically told new users to leave and not bother trying the game at all.
I hope my answer below goes someway in explaining why we can't accept such things and why although we always listen to constructive feedback (unfortunately its impossible to answer all of it) we do not accept or respond to flaming or bad behavior and can't always do what some of you may think is the right design or product change.
Please keep your comments civil and constructive.
As you can see I did read it. I read all the constructive feedback I can and so does the team. What we do not respond to is flaming or agression, just like any normal human being or company.
We only ban people who cheat or people who flame or try to damage the game and break its rules. Not people who disagree constructively in the proper way and in the proper forum without trying to damage what we are trying to build or other users experience.
Yes we built the game for the community and we continue to do so and that means that we have to look at the long term and sometimes upset a few in the short term. Do we make mistakes in the process of course we do, is everything we do wrong? I don't think so. Do we implement some of the things the community wants, yes we do and that often goes unnoticed (and that is fine btw), do we implement some times things part of the community doesn't like because our analytics or learnings tell us its the right thing to do or just to experiment? Yes again. I can assure you that if we implemented only the things the community wants, we would not have a game anymore.
Regarding "esoviet union", I don't know many games there are that give as much capacity of influence to its users like we do. How many games let selected users set the welcome message to new users? Decide what an entire country will do? We have taken that chance to try to build something different but what we can't allow is to let a few users to try and destroy what we are putting so much effort into just because they disagree with a particular change.
The fact we don't roll back a particular change or introduce a new feature doesn't mean we don't listen, it just means that feedback from the community is simply one of the elements we listen to along with analytical results and our own game design.
What has made this process difficult is that we have a very ambitious concept and a complex game. This means we have had to do some pretty large changes to get to a more workable and scalable game, and that can be painful at times for us and the community. The good news is we are now getting close to a point where the only changes we will have to do most of the time is fine tuning things that have much less impact on the user experience.
In any case I am really happy you enjoyed playing eRepublik for 2 years, we must have done at least something right if you did so and I'm really sorry that things have ended on a sour note.