It's only been a day since Frozen Flame launched in Early Access on Steam, but Frozen Flame servers are already a point of contention for the community. Players have been complaining about the lack of public servers and the fact that private servers must be paid for via server rental company GPortal. The devs are aware of the controversy and seem to be taking steps to address it.
Frozen Flame is currently sitting at a Mixed user rating on Steam. Many negative reviews point specifically to the way in which multiplayer servers work; you can play co-op with up to 4 players for free, but if you want more players than that, you need to pay a fee to server company GPortal in order to rent a private or public server.
As the controversy emerged, developer Dreamside Interactive posted an update on Steam confirming that locally hosted Frozen Flame servers were in the works. Said servers then went live yesterday at 8pm Pacific, and Dreamside subsequently revealed it would refund players' server rental costs and offer a 50% discount on a month's GPortal rental until Monday.
It's worth noting that Frozen Flame servers are also available via Survival Servers, so Dreamside isn't just working alongside GPortal. While you'll see GPortal mentioned a lot in the Steam reviews, it's not the only company offering the chance to rent servers for the game, although that doesn't do much to address the fundamental problem of no free public servers being available.
It's also worth mentioning here that Frozen Flame public servers have been included as part of the game's roadmap, which promises plenty of content going forward. Dreamside told us that the GPortal server rental options were "a supplementary means" for players who wanted to play with others during the Early Access period.
Dreamside also told us that rentals are a "temporary option" until full 50-player public servers are implemented. The studio says it's currently negotiating with GPortal to make rentals free, and that it's created a game mode without Frozen Flame's divisive anti-cheat for local players. If you've bought a server rental from GPortal and it's not working, Dreamside says you should contact GPortal's tech support for extended time.
Hopefully, that should placate the more angry players in Frozen Flame's player base. The game is still in Early Access, after all. Dreamside says it's sorry for not making the temporary nature of GPortal rentals clearer in the run-up to launch, but the studio assures fans that it'll be prioritizing transparency going forward.
Not all of Frozen Flame's negative reviews pertain to the server controversy, though. Some players say the game is somewhat light on content, while others point to a clunky and frustrating combat experience as a reason for disliking the game. It seems like Frozen Flame is dividing opinion pretty sharply, even without the server issues.
If you want to see which camp you fall into, you can grab Frozen Flame right now via Steam Early Access, where it'll set you back $25.49. If you want to maximize your Frozen Flame experience, make sure to take a look at TechRaptor's Frozen Flame guides so you can get started!