I've been looking forward to BftB for a long time, and this price was a major shock. Before release I had always assumed that I'd buy it automatically as soon as it was out. Now it's off my immediate agenda. Maybe I'll come back to it in six months or a year, maybe it's a permanently lost sale. I'm pretty frustrated and I think Matrix and Panther are making a bad choice.
Look, like nearly everyone who is complaining about the price, I'm well aware that if I really made the effort I could find the money from somewhere. But that actually isn't the point. For me, and I'm sure for most people, any purchase expensive enough that you have to think about needs to pass the "am I being ripped off?" test. Right now, BftB fails. It's priced well above the average for PC games, and well above the average for earlier games in the same series. And it's not even a new game, it's a refinement of an existing engine. It's hard to shake the feeling that Matrix and/or Panther have decided that their market is a small hard-core group of wargamers who need their fix and don't care how much it costs. Well possibly you're right about us collectively, but you're wrong about me.
Another problem I have is that to me, the only way to enjoy these games long term is against another player. Panther's achievement has been to create an AI that does a competent and convincing job as a battalion or brigade HQ, but only because we give it narrowly focused and short-term objectives. The overall operational AI is well short of providing human-equivalent opposition (and I don't mean any insult or even criticism of Panther by saying that, I don't think anyone has managed to create a human-equivalent opponent for any wargame; it's a non-trivial problem!) My point being, to enjoy this game long-term I need to convince friends to buy it too. Now I'm quite happy to go into my regular spiel about this series being the future of wargaming, attempting levels of realism and providing a gaming experience that nothing else gets near. But at some point my spiel will have to mention that the game costs £70, and at that point I'm sure I'll be laughed out of the room.
And finally, I can't help responding to the justification of the price by "the fifty man years of work" put into the series as a whole. The thing is, I've already paid for Red Devils, HTTR and COTA. By purchasing BftB am I supposed to be paying for them twice?
< Message edited by Mark Weston -- 6/2/2010 12:14:55 AM >