You can't reasonably expect any developer to continue updating forever. It's been years since the game came out. The petition was a nice thought, but only seven people signed it. Put yourself in my shoes: make something for seven people, or hundreds of thousands?
I hope this is read in its entirety, because this will likely be my last post.
I wanted to stay out of this discussion (and the game for that matter) as much as I possibly could. The game cannot recover at this point, the grave's been dug and I think we can all agree on that. However, I feel there's something that needs to be cleared up and it's something that has greatly bothered me for a while now.
You're referring to the word "updates" as a singular term, something that takes a great amount of commitment to accomplish on any long interval of time. Hence why you consider updates to have no significant effect on the player count. However, I will attest that updating the game is largely irrelevant to its financial position in at least one respect. I attended the Novemberbit stream last year and I can attest that implementing a single free block into the game files takes a very trivial amount of time and money. Now I cannot expect you as the developer to compound this simple action perpetually, but what has disappointed much of the community is the lack of such an inexcusably small addition to the game for a very long time.
All the community wants is something simple. Maybe a new building block or megamap update. And as far as forum posts are concerned, you designated the word "update" as a singular term grouped under the same umbrella as more sophisticated game implements. The community hasn't been asking for more plat items, economic overhaul, transponder matches, or a player-run database with copy/paste pre-configured houses. It hasn't even been asking for more doors or boxes. These updates are certainly welcome, but by no means the main area of emphasis.This
is the main reason why the logic in your argument is severely flawed. You're categorizing all updates by a single image and expounding upon the fruitless plight of pursuing them. By doing this, you're degrading the value of updates altogether instead of carefully analyzing the value of each individual one from a cost-benefit perspective (e.g. raising income with a patreon system that amends but adds no new content to the actual game). If you're forming an argument around metrics, then you haven't been openly telling the community the full breadth of your logic. You've simply employed circular reasoning to rebound the rhetoric back to your main point.
From your older post regarding updates, you claimed the community was looking at the scope of an entirely new game and used this as the premise for your reasoning. This is the 8bit community, not the RobbyZ fan club. You cannot expect players to vehemently follow you with each new game because ultimately, what attracted players to 8bitmmo in the first place is what will keep them here. In the same way a homeowner tries to fit an old key into a new lock, you've created an open expectation that players will suddenly understand everything and find compatibility with something new. So unless I am mistaken, you have merely presented a general argument about updates without considering the possibility that this was not done with the players' best interests in mind.
My Mom once told me a story of a bear who carried some watermelons and dropped each one in an attempt to collect thousands of small seeds. At the end of the day, his hands were full of seeds but he lost all the watermelons. You're welcome to appease the masses and I won't condemn you if that is what you want. But a single act of kindness to seven players is far more meaningful than the same act done for thousands at once. So yes, I do believe I would rather make something for seven people than something for hundreds of thousands. I would crown that achievement because this simple act of philanthropy would spark more hope in their hearts than some promise of a golden age.
I won't berate you by wishing failure upon your next creation. With all due respect however, I must admonish the fact that unless you correct the flaw of your logic, there is no reason to believe that the outcome of your next game will be any different.