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Dauntless is so popular that players are stuck waiting in three-hour-long queues

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Dauntless is so popular that players are stuck waiting in three-hour-long queues screenshot

Despite a lengthy stay in open beta, Dauntless developer Phoenix Labs can't keep up with the technical demands of a proper launch. Or, more accurately, it can't handle the demands of a sudden surge in popularity as everyone wants to play all at once.

Dauntless is a free-to-play cooperative monster hunting game with true cross-platform play/progress functionality. The appeal is obvious. Phoenix Labs sent out a press release today that boasts Dauntless' player base has swelled past 4 million players, half a million of those coming with the 1.0 launch on May 21. But, it's the belle of the ball and the apple of everyone's eye now; there's a good chance a lot of the open beta players are coming back now that it's an overnight celebrity.

It's not all good times, though. A lot of it is waiting time. To hope to support this many people, Phoenix Labs has had to cap the number of players that can be in-game. It's quite literally at capacity. Players have reported three-hour queues to join a game, as Dauntless is forced to enact a "one in, one out" policy. That's right -- some people are waiting 180 minutes to play Dauntless.

Meanwhile, Phoenix Labs is left scrambling to keep up. The game's Twitter feed is a constant barrage of updates about server maintenance and virtual lines. As for the long waits, the developer says "We know queue times aren't fun, but the alternative was to turn things off. We decided it would be better for people to play (but potentially wait a while) than to not be able to play at all." That logic checks out.

It'll all stabilize sooner or later. (Although, we might go through the same song and dance when it eventually launches on Switch and mobile.) Phoenix Labs will get it under control, matchmaking will seem normal, and everyone will be able to set off hunting monsters. But, for now, it's going to require some patience. Growing pains can, indeed, be a pain.

[Update: Phoenix Labs has sent over this statement regarding server times: "Planning for service load and scale testing is a very complicated problem. We planned for the large influx of players and ran numerous tests across Dauntless and its services. The tricky thing is, it's difficult to know how things will operate until the players actually show up. We're continually triaging and everyone here is working to optimize matchmaking, capacity, and other service issues. The best way to stay up to date on the current status is to keep an eye on our Twitter feed, along with our status page.]

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