I'd drop $80, no questions asked. This isn't a cheap McGame, folks. It's a classic. You'll probably be playing it for years, especially if you like to PBEM.
I spent far more than that on Fire in the East/Scorched Earth back in the day with no regrets. This is the computer replacement for that golden oldie from the boardgame days. I've been waiting years, decades even for something like this.
I would not mind paying $80 for a great game. The problem is that there are lots of games that I *hope* will be great, appear to be great, seem like they are a slam dunk, certain to be great, awesome buy...that I find I never play 6 months later, due to bugs, balance issues, or that are simply not nearly as fun as expected.
Frankly, *any* given game, statistically, is extremely unlikely to be one of the truly "greats" that will live on my drive for more than a few months. No matter how good they appear beforehand, odds are that it won't be a masterpiece.
So...what are people willing to pay for a game that *might* be great? Especially given that in this day and age, even if this game is going to be a masterpiece, that won't actually be realized for several months after it is released?
Hell, I cannot think of one single war or strategy game that was a masterpiece straight out of the box.
So, if they decide to charge a "premium" price on the basis that this is a game that is much better than XYZ games, they are going to have people who are going to wait and see if it really is that good. I would be one of them. If the game is $40-50, I will be likely to buy early, and take my chances. If you want me to shell out $80, that is fine, but I will wait and see what happens after a few months of patches, and whether the game is really as good as they say. For $80, I want a sure thing.
I can. CMBB is a superb game that required only a few tweaks after release. Sadly, they are few are far between though.
Fair enough - I can certainly agree with that - although one could argue that CMBB was not really a "new" game per se - lord knows CMBO needed a few tweaks after release (although I would claim that warts and all CMBO the day of release was clearly something very special).