Jim D Burns
From: Salida, CA.
Actually, this is a fallacy, and a common straw-man put up in these debates. The reason market penetration is limited has nothing to do with the genre, but everything to do with the developer & publisher. Again I go back to my Paradox example, while many here may shun them, they do put out a number of detailed & involved titles such as Crusader Kings II, HOI III, EU III, etc. These games have a surprisingly large saturation given what can be seen as their "limited" appeal. All these games have learning curves more advanced than any Matrix title I have played (with the exception of WitP AE & maybe TOAWIII).
Yet because Paradox has ingratiated themselves with many DD providers, and because their games do frequently go on sale, people that would otherwise never try a turn-based historical wargame take a chance on a purchase, and many end up wanting more. This is the key here for longevity in the hobby, if games published by Matrix were more widely available (and some of the titles they carry are sold elsewhere like GamersGate usually at a more competitive price) and included a competitive pricing model, I think we would see a lot of new blood that would have otherwise been intimidated due to pricing and complexity take the chance on buying a game in which they would normally pass.
Heh, by bringing up Paradox you prove my point. While I wouldn’t say their games are nearly as complex as most Matrix titles, they do sell to a limited genre and their business practices over the years simply proves my point. They continually release crap unfinished games and refuse to patch them more than once or twice before bundling the next patch into an “expansion” and charging us for the privilege of trying to fix their broken garbage.
Now I don’t think Paradox sets out to sell crap games out of the box, but realities of big business force their hand. They have to meet deadlines, budgets and payrolls and the company has made it a policy of selling the games on time and budget even though 90%+ of their titles aren’t ready and are full of bugs upon release.
With only one or two official patches allowed per title, games like HOI3 are left in pretty much an unplayable state, but they still sell it even after several expansions still failed to fix its issues. Fans keep paying for it hoping some day the realities of the business world will allow the game to get fixed. Of course the fact is unless the fans themselves do the work, everyone who paid for the game basically got screwed out of their money, and Paradox is happy to stick to their business plan for every game they release.
Now you may be happy with Paradox’s business model, but I far prefer Matrix and their dedicated approach to supporting their games many years after release. I’ve never heard of a hard limit placed on allowed patches for any Matrix game.
Were market penetration a truly game changing event in the business world for small genre game companies like Matrix and Paradox, then Paradox wouldn’t have such a draconian time and budget schedule and there would be more room to get things right with their games. But their track record proves it, they simply can’t afford to stretch their schedules even by a month or two. So it’s usually left up to the fans to finish their games for them.