Garry Newman, the dev/creator of the popular Early Access survival game Rust, made a post on Reddit to directly address players who were bitching about not enough content, slow development, yada yada....with a flowchart that directly addressed how he sees their complaints:
He further addressed the Rust community's enthusiasm/praise/boredom/complaint cycle with the following commentary:
As just about every MMO on earth has found out, it is nearly impossible to (not to mention financially unattainable) to continually create enough content to keep a user base happy and 100% engaged.
Having said that, (IMHO) isn't that what these "sandbox" games like Rust and Ark Survival are meant to address?
I think the real failure in this genre is that the creators are simply going about it the wrong way. Why there are plenty of "modding tools" for most of these games out there, developers need to create a blueprint that includes robust and VERY user-friendly tools that allow communities like ours to easily and quickly create their own content.
Personally, I think his sentence "consider whether we have given you enough entertainment over the last 3 years to justify pocketing your $20." says it all.
My answer to the above is - of course what he's done is worth the price (and much more)....BUT, if every dev approached these games with an eye toward tearing down virtually every barrier to creating content for a server/game so as to allow "non" artists/techies/coders easy access to becoming creators as well, I think the volume of complaints would be quickly eclipsed by the volume of new content available.
Imagine where TF2/Left 4 Dead would be if Valve had actually done the right thing and created modern, updated, WYSIWYG design tools for map/content creation years ago?
What if designing a map were as easy as booting up the map editor, dragging and dropping things on a full screen, and clicking "play" to jump right into your map to test it?
We'll probably never know....but if these guys would focus less on creating content and more on creating AWESOME, EASY TOOLS for creating content, maybe the community itself would create what's necessary to overcome their own boredom.