## RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche

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RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/24/2013 12:38:18 PM
DBeves

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

DBeves..to bring new blood into the wargaming genre..which wont happen unless something is done..reduce the price of the old games (we can only take their word they sell...but I have my doubts there selling alot and to be honest I think their mainly concerned with the big sellers). You reduce the price of the old games at a price people will take a risk in forking out for..even those who have never bothered with the genre before. Thats how you get new people into the hobby..and when your new games come out at full price you have even more people buying them.

Slitherine say's it works..fair enough..but they have nothing to compare it too..they don't know what happens if they did drop the prices of the old games or sold them in bundles at a low price..maybe..just maybe..they suddenly see an upsurge in sales of those games..and also notice an upsurge in the sales of the newer games as new people get into the genre. Until they try it out they really can't say they have the better system. Which for a long term aspect I don't think they have..as we need new wargamers..and younger wargamers too..and they are out there. lads still enjoy war films..games like Panzer Corps and Total War sell loads..and I reckon a good amount of those players would enjoy the more indepth games. Our generation "35 upwards" isn't special in that only us who where bron at a certain time will enjoy wargames.

But why is it matrix's job to bring new people into the hobby (irrespective of the fact that from ians numbers it would suggest that is precisely what they are doing) ? Fine if that suits them business wise - but they have no moral obligation to do so. You are suggesting they do that by reducing the price of games they dont want to reduce the price on. Again - you simply ignore their argument that those back items do sell and imply they are lying about the numbers. Why would they do that ? If your premise worked why wouldnt they reduce the price if it made more money? I would suggest that its because they have the numbers and see that it doesnt.

You all jump on them quick enough if they dont give you triple A service in support etc but when they act like a business and not some altrusitc charity in giving games away cheaper then they want to sell them you cry foul. And that is essentially the point - if they dont want to sell those products for a price you think they should be sold at you really have no fundamental right whatsover ever to demand it. Which is what you are doing and which is the fundamental point I disagree with. I hold the point of view that wargaming will be more successful when it acts like a business and not some back street hobby and that means acting in a business model that works - which seems to me precisely what matrix are doing. Again - your entire rationale is simply to ignore evrything thats been said by matrix (a very long post by ian giving all kinds of detail) and simply insist that you are right. The entire commercial world runs on a principle of selling things for as much as they can get for them yet you expect matrix to act in a way that is completely contrary to that ? Other companies have sales because on balance it brings in more sales revenue - your only answer to matrix telling you that the numbers dont work in this particular case is to say Nah ... I know better. The argument is devoid of any sense.

< Message edited by DBeves -- 4/24/2013 12:53:35 PM >

RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/24/2013 1:00:15 PM

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Iain McNeil

Agree completely on the videos - more videos is something we've been working on so expect more in future.

Please oh please don't make them of teaser\trailer variety with those title drops, confusing cuts, historical B&W video and 1 minute of actual gameplay. My advice is to think along the lines of "Let's Play" genre - A LOT of gameplay with comments. Preferably from developers (they provide very interesting insights, often unintentionally), but a hardcore fan\beta tester is alright too.

I don't know if there's a Matrix Games dedicated video channel on Youtube (I haven't found one). If there isn't one - definitely create one, with separate playlists for each game. IMHO, Youtube is more functional than uploading new videos on matrix servers. Even Youtube subscribers that are not familiar with specific game often watch a couple minutes of the videos in the subscribed channel - just out of curiosity. The probability of downloading videos of unknown game from matrix servers is much lower.

Well, it's all very simple. I think that you've thought about it already :)

Update: Oh, found the Youtube channel. A very quiet place :( BTW, take a look at the Commander The Great War Features video and Close Combat PitF trailer. These are exactly what I'm talking about - a lot of work time spent on doing those, but they came out simple as "video announcement of news".

There's no need for such videos - they simply duplicate the "News" section of Matrix Games main page. But in a very expensive and time-consuming (for the person who works on them) way.

Update2: Now, this "Let's Play" of Decisive Campaigns: Fall Blau is MUCH better. A person who did that had done a pretty good job - he has explained rules, gave a description of icons, gameplay etc. Add a couple of "insider's insights", some anecdotes, explanation of several designer's decisions - and you'll have a hell of a promotional video. It doesn't have to be THAT long (41 min.) - you can cramp a lot of info even into 10-minutes video.

< Message edited by Konrad_Novak -- 4/24/2013 1:31:25 PM >

RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/24/2013 2:54:21 PM
Tomn

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Hello, chaps. It's nice to see an official statement on this matter, and I do applaud your willingness to try and engage with what is, I will readily admit, the sometimes fickle and volatile public. That being said, I must respectfully confess to some skepticism regarding some of your beliefs (and let me state for the record, in case there’s any confusion amongst more ardent defenders, that I entirely recognize that I am pitting my opinion against theirs and that theirs has more hard data behind it – I simply hope to present a perspective they may not have considered).

The biggest point of disagreement, I think, is the question of how much untapped demand there is. If there is a large pool of untapped demand, then lowering prices (permanently for all new and old games, not as a temporary discount) will produce additional profit for Matrix and their devs and keeping them high is essentially turning down that extra profit. (For those who think that higher prices automatically lead to higher profits – there’s an optimum price point at which extra customers coincide perfectly with profit per sale to create the maximum profit for that company. Pricing above this point leads to more lost sales than profit per sale justifies, while pricing below it leads to more lost profit per sale than the extra sales brings in.) If, however, no such pool exists, then lowering prices simply lowers profits. Iain apparently doesn’t believe that pool exists, and if he is correct, his position is unassailable. But, not to put too fine a point on it, I have my doubts on the matter.

To explain my position, let me turn to Steam. Steam is commonly thought of as the Holy Grail for a great many indie niche developers – successfully getting onto Steam is something of a springboard to fame and fortune undreamed of in bygone days. Why is this so? It’s not simply because Steam prices low – rather, it’s because Steam offers unmatched visibility. Steam processes an enormous amount of customers and players, almost all of whom check the Store page for new releases. Unlike a traditional retail store, Steam has no limit on storefront – any new release, no matter how small and niche, will be on the front page for a significant amount of time, waiting for anyone curious enough to poke through it. As such, tiny niche developers who would normally have struggled to find customers will find that even 1% of a very large number is still quite large and very, very profitable for them. The revolution Steam provides doesn’t simply come about “because it’s digital” – it’s information-based. It effectively provides its games with enormous amounts of free marketing. Many customers are paired with something they love which they would never have found in a traditional retail store.

This is key. The problem with all but the most truly obscure niches is that they can’t easily find prospective customers, but the vast visibility that Steam (and others) provides ties that problem up quite neatly and throws it away. Even small niches balloon remarkably when exposed to the gigantic billboard that is Steam’s front page. And wargaming is not a very small niche at all – after all, it can clearly support an entire major publisher dedicated to it. To claim, then, that Matrix Games has ALREADY captured the vast majority of anyone at all who might be at all interested in more complex wargames seems a little far-fetched to me – was Matrix Games’ marketing so efficient and so well-targeted as to have successfully found and scooped up everybody willing to put down money on wargames in the pre-Steam age?

Not only that, but as you say, you've managed to gain an extremely impressive 44% growth figure. That is, of course, excellent news and very promising as far as the future of your company goes, but doesn't it also suggest that there are a significant amount of new customers to be found outside of your existing fanbase? Where, if not, are these new sales coming from? And can more be lured in with a price more competitive with industry standards? Such questions seem like they could be very interesting to your company's bottom line if answered fully.

I believe, then, that the possibility of a large untapped demand cannot be easily dismissed, and if this is so, the possibility that Matrix Games could garner more profits and greater success through lowering their prices to something more in line with industry standards cannot in turn be easily dismissed. It isn’t a matter of being “niche” and not “mass market” or any other such distinctions, but rather a simple question of “How many customers who would have bought and enjoyed the game are turned off by what are ridiculously high prices by industry standards?” It is my opinion, backed by what I have mentioned above, that the answer is “enough to justify a lowering of prices.”

But of course, you can’t rely solely on one verbose stranger’s opinion to run a business. Harder facts are needed before one can justifiably make a decision. As such, I am happy to hear that you’re willing to undertake such experiments as Steam Greenlighting and a sale of older games with RPS. I think you will find that in this bold new age, you will be pleasantly surprised by how many old assumptions have been overturned. I do ask, however, that in your cooperation with RPS, you do not rely WHOLLY on RPS. For a niche such as your own, visibility matters. Prepare the sale and shout it loudly on the streets, talk up anyone you can grab hold of no matter how confused and tell them all about your brave new experiment in lower pricing. If you dare, you could even hint that success in this experiment could lead to further and more permanent changes to the pricing system. Don’t just throw it at RPS and sit back and say “Well, I guess we’ll see what happens,” march forward and push it to the limit! I’m hardly an expert, but I strongly suspect that the response to such would be remarkably positive – I know mine would be.

That’s the main thing I want to say, and I hope you didn’t find it too presumptuous – if you did, of course, you can simply ignore me. That being said, there’s a few lesser points which I’d like to touch upon in passing.

- People who bought a game “because it’s cheap” tend not to badmouth a game very much, actually, in my experience. What they tend to say is “Eh, you get what you pay for” and move on, chalking it up as a loss and forgetting about it. They might even say “Well, it’s not for me, but maybe some more hardcore RPG/strategy/wargame fan like my friend here might like it.” It’s when the price is high and they’re forced to justify their expenditure where they start getting nitpicky and violent about problems (“Dangit, I did NOT pay sixty bucks to wait ten danged minutes for every turn to load!”)

- While there MAY be something in people valuing what they pay more for, I have to ask – are you really using cognitive dissonance to improve customer perception of value?

- What, ultimately, is more important to you - customer perception of value, or developer income? That is, if it should turn out that lowering prices can dramatically improve sales, would you be willing to do so even if it turns out that existing customers may suddenly start valuing the game less than they used to?

- I couldn’t help but notice that your essay had a certain level of “us vs them” thinking – “they” said we were wrong, “they” said we couldn’t make it, “they” said we were doomed, but we showed them all! Now, I imagine this sort of thinking is quite justified if you’ve been taking a lot of flak for various reasons and have nevertheless managed to turn a profit , but do you feel that this sort of “siege mentality” might be affecting your ability to make a rational and objective analysis of your situation and your options?

Thanks again for listening, and taking the time to answer. Good luck in your endeavors.

RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/24/2013 3:47:56 PM
MikeAP

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quote:

why not make a couple of Youtube videos for each game

This. I dont play demo's. Mostly because I don't have time to download stuff and whatnot. I prefer videos, and I'm surprised that companies aren't going with comprehensive videos that cover their gameplay features.

quote:

Please oh please don't make them of teaser\trailer variety with those title drops, confusing cuts, historical B&W video and 1 minute of actual gameplay. My advice is to think along the lines of "Let's Play" genre - A LOT of gameplay with comments. Preferably from developers (they provide very interesting insights, often unintentionally), but a hardcore fan\beta tester is alright too.

And this...

< Message edited by MikeAP -- 4/24/2013 3:49:50 PM >

RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/24/2013 4:10:51 PM
Alchenar

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ashcloud

Good point, I guess we are not entitled to anything as they are a business trying to turn a profit. Would be nice though, and I also want an Age of Rifles remake - might as well ask, never get anything if you don't ask...

So, I guess that is the point of my post - you don't ask you don't get, if you do ask you might on a minuscule level influence someone to give you what you want.

Nobody's arguing they're entitled to anything, DBeves just likes that strawman because he doesn't have any actual arguments.

I mean, this is a guy who thinks that Valve's pricing strategy is about trying to get a dollar here and there.

And who is literally asking "why would Matrix want more people playing wargames?"

e: the actual argument on entitlement cuts both ways. I won't spend £60 on a single game more than once or twice. But I'll happily spend £20 on a different game over and over again if it looks somewhat interesting and worth a punt (case study: I happily snapped up both Decisive Campaigns games in the bundle because individually each game fell below my price threshold - despite the fact that I paid more for both than I would have if I'd just bought one). At the end of the day I think there are a substantial number of people like me who are customers in potentia but who never buy because of a price point that never shifts.

e: also I agree with literally everything Tomn wrote.

< Message edited by Alchenar -- 4/24/2013 4:30:51 PM >

RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/24/2013 5:07:36 PM
DBeves

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Joined: 7/29/2002
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alchenar

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ashcloud

Good point, I guess we are not entitled to anything as they are a business trying to turn a profit. Would be nice though, and I also want an Age of Rifles remake - might as well ask, never get anything if you don't ask...

So, I guess that is the point of my post - you don't ask you don't get, if you do ask you might on a minuscule level influence someone to give you what you want.

Nobody's arguing they're entitled to anything, DBeves just likes that strawman because he doesn't have any actual arguments.

I mean, this is a guy who thinks that Valve's pricing strategy is about trying to get a dollar here and there.

And who is literally asking "why would Matrix want more people playing wargames?"

e: the actual argument on entitlement cuts both ways. I won't spend £60 on a single game more than once or twice. But I'll happily spend £20 on a different game over and over again if it looks somewhat interesting and worth a punt (case study: I happily snapped up both Decisive Campaigns games in the bundle because individually each game fell below my price threshold - despite the fact that I paid more for both than I would have if I'd just bought one). At the end of the day I think there are a substantial number of people like me who are customers in potentia but who never buy because of a price point that never shifts.

e: also I agree with literally everything Tomn wrote.

quote:

But why is it matrix's job to bring new people into the hobby (irrespective of the fact that from ians numbers it would suggest that is precisely what they are doing) ? Fine if that suits them business wise - but they have no moral obligation to do so

What I actually said.
But why is it matrix's job to bring new people into the hobby (irrespective of the fact that from ians numbers it would suggest that is precisely what they are doing) ? Fine if that suits them business wise - but they have no moral obligation to do so

what I actually said.
fact is it doesnt matter to them what they sell it at because even if they only make a buck - that buck is pure profit in relation to what they have put into the game.

So given you had to resort to lies and deliberate misquotes its obvious thats the only way you can counter my argument.

e: the actual argument on entitlement cuts both ways. I won't spend £60 on a single game more than once or twice. But I'll happily spend £20 on a different game over and over again if it looks somewhat interesting and worth a punt (case study: I happily snapped up both Decisive Campaigns games in the bundle because individually each game fell below my price threshold - despite the fact that I paid more for both than I would have if I'd just bought

Yet another one who thinks they are so important they extrapolate their own personal opinion into a statement of absolute fact of life.

< Message edited by DBeves -- 4/24/2013 5:14:54 PM >

RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/24/2013 5:30:08 PM
Iain McNeil

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Another useful stat. Demographics of our user base on Matrix from 2012. Slitherine has a slightly lower average age because of the type of games and platforms with only 7.2% over 55.
11.2% - Under 25
19.3% - 25-34
36.8% - 35-44
22.7% - 45-54
9.2% - 55 & above

We don't have historic data for this unfortunately so nothing to compare with.

_____________________________

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Slitherine Software
Website http://www.slitherine.com

RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/24/2013 6:18:19 PM
Iain McNeil

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The invitation is open and he knows where we are :)

quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin
The sale with RPS sounds good and Tim is waiting for contact from Iain.

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Slitherine Software
Website http://www.slitherine.com

RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/24/2013 6:42:21 PM
Perturabo

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

DBeves..to bring new blood into the wargaming genre..which wont happen unless something is done..reduce the price of the old games (we can only take their word they sell...but I have my doubts there selling alot and to be honest I think their mainly concerned with the big sellers). You reduce the price of the old games at a price people will take a risk in forking out for..even those who have never bothered with the genre before. Thats how you get new people into the hobby..and when your new games come out at full price you have even more people buying them.

That's what demos are for. I started PC wargaming from demos.

quote:

ORIGINAL: DBeves

But why is it matrix's job to bring new people into the hobby (irrespective of the fact that from ians numbers it would suggest that is precisely what they are doing) ? Fine if that suits them business wise - but they have no moral obligation to do so. You are suggesting they do that by reducing the price of games they dont want to reduce the price on. Again - you simply ignore their argument that those back items do sell and imply they are lying about the numbers. Why would they do that ? If your premise worked why wouldnt they reduce the price if it made more money? I would suggest that its because they have the numbers and see that it doesnt.

You all jump on them quick enough if they dont give you triple A service in support etc but when they act like a business and not some altrusitc charity in giving games away cheaper then they want to sell them you cry foul. And that is essentially the point - if they dont want to sell those products for a price you think they should be sold at you really have no fundamental right whatsover ever to demand it. Which is what you are doing and which is the fundamental point I disagree with. I hold the point of view that wargaming will be more successful when it acts like a business and not some back street hobby and that means acting in a business model that works - which seems to me precisely what matrix are doing. Again - your entire rationale is simply to ignore evrything thats been said by matrix (a very long post by ian giving all kinds of detail) and simply insist that you are right. The entire commercial world runs on a principle of selling things for as much as they can get for them yet you expect matrix to act in a way that is completely contrary to that ? Other companies have sales because on balance it brings in more sales revenue - your only answer to matrix telling you that the numbers dont work in this particular case is to say Nah ... I know better. The argument is devoid of any sense.

Not to mention, that it is good and just when people who make good wargames earn a lot of money.

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RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/24/2013 6:43:20 PM
Vasquez

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Wargaming is indeed a niche. The success of Panzer Corps means nothing since it is more or less a mainstream startegygame.

I am a supporter of the idea to lower the Prices of older titles of course. But would that get more blood into the genre? I doubt it. As someone mentioned take older SSG titles as example. They have fixed resolutions and they arent loooking very good on nowadays widescreen TFTs. Same goes for a lot older Matrix Games (Crown of Glory etc). I fear those games would scare more people away instead of broading the audience. Lowering the prices of those games would help us (wargaming geeks) but not the genre as a whole.

Two more interesting examples:

1. One year ago a retail gaming store (in germany) announced their cessation of Business. They had offered a half dozen boxed Version of Battles in Italy (German retail Version) for 1 (one) Euro each.
One months later they had not sold one of them. So I bought them all and made a giveaway on my gaming site. We have some wargamers over there yes, but the majority are shooter fans (since 7idGaming is focused on e-sports and we are hosting servers for ArmaII and such games). Anyway. In short: No one wanted Battles in Italy. Neither for 1 Euro nor for free.

2. Some weeks ago a friend gave me five gamersgate keys for a almost brand new wargame. So I announced a contest again. The only requirement was to like the developers Facebook site. My article had 280 hits but only three guys were interested enough to like the page for a free copy.

The price alone does not turn average Jon Doe into a wargamer.

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RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/24/2013 8:06:51 PM
Perturabo

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Vasquez

The price alone does not turn average Jon Doe into a wargamer.

It would probably require a brain transplant or some miracle intelligence-encahncing drug.

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RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/24/2013 8:15:00 PM
wodin

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OK sent him an email telling him he needs to contact you.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Iain McNeil

The invitation is open and he knows where we are :)

quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin
The sale with RPS sounds good and Tim is waiting for contact from Iain.

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RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/24/2013 8:20:59 PM
wodin

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Vasquez

1. One year ago a retail gaming store (in germany) announced their cessation of Business. They had offered a half dozen boxed Version of Battles in Italy (German retail Version) for 1 (one) Euro each.
One months later they had not sold one of them. So I bought them all and made a giveaway on my gaming site. We have some wargamers over there yes, but the majority are shooter fans (since 7idGaming is focused on e-sports and we are hosting servers for ArmaII and such games). Anyway. In short: No one wanted Battles in Italy. Neither for 1 Euro nor for free.

The price alone does not turn average Jon Doe into a wargamer.

Huge difference between a retail shop and an online shop..you have a worldwide audience not just who lives in the area..The internet has opened up business as I said world wide...I'm sure there are plenty of wargamers across the globe.

No the price doesn't..but many people take a punt at something if the price is right..just to see if they like it..

Also I think some people are really not giving any credit to gamers in general..as if they are too stupid to get into wargaming..I don't buy that. I think there are load sof people out there who just don't know about the genre and would enjoy it if they did know.

Think of all the military history books that get sold every year..I'm sure many of those readers would actually enjoy wargames..but I bet a fair few don't even know these games exist.

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RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/24/2013 8:32:54 PM
Vasquez

Posts: 321
Joined: 12/29/2000
From: München, Bayern, Deutschland
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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin
Huge difference between a retail shop and an online shop..you have a worldwide audience not just who lives in the area..

You are right Wodin. But that offer (1 Euro Battles in Italy) was offered via the german Amazon shop (uhm checked it right now. Still a few avaiable after one year- lol).

Maybe its you opinion that a average wargamer does not look at Amazon at first place (Might be true for England - I dont know. But thats at least not true for Germany).

But otherwise where to get the new audience if not from Amazon (or steam)? Potential new buyers do not move over here on their own to have a look into the matrixgames´ shelves.

_____________________________

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GG:WAW, GG:WbtS, GG:EDtBtR, GG:WitE, WitP:AE, GB:M, PzCorps, Scourge of War Series, AP:OS, C:TGW

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RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/24/2013 9:11:56 PM

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tomn

- I couldn’t help but notice that your essay had a certain level of “us vs them” thinking – “they” said we were wrong, “they” said we couldn’t make it, “they” said we were doomed, but we showed them all! Now, I imagine this sort of thinking is quite justified if you’ve been taking a lot of flak for various reasons and have nevertheless managed to turn a profit , but do you feel that this sort of “siege mentality” might be affecting your ability to make a rational and objective analysis of your situation and your options?

This whole dilemma caught my eye after the RPS article, and I can most certainly say that its foundation and the reasoning behind it lies within the psych of the decision makers at Slitherine. As a master's graduate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Auburn I can say with a high degree of confidence that Iain McNeil may be a victim of PPD - "Paranoid Personality Disorder". A detailed thesis on the subject can be found at the UK Essays website. A colleague of mine wrote that piece.

If this seems to be the case, then as a professional I can make a few assertions as to the cause and effect of business policies and the companies pricing structure, including Slitherine management's (as what would appear to be) "abnormal" perception of its customers and/or potential customers as expressed in posts and messages from Iain McNeil. When one is suffering from such a condition they have a form of distrust towards others (in Iain's case being the media, customers, or even forum members). This reaction can translate into odd behavior, manifesting itself within the company's policies, its decisions and the decision-making process as a whole. When a form of trust, or lack there-of, manifests itself it can control the way someone responds to certain situations. The situation we are seeing right now is one such example.

The occurrences of the "them and us" factor has been noticed by some, including myself, in posts made by Iain. This can be overlooked by many, but is well understood by those who understand and have diagnosed those with PPD. This has, as it appears, allowed Iain to confidently assert that his views and the views of his associates are correct beyond a reasonable doubt, and those of his customers--of which his revenue is dependent upon--are not. Not to be confused with "stubbornness", as this condition is a by-product of what I would assume is a long career within the software developing and publishing industry. I can make the assumption that years of doing this work have gradually transformed the psych of Iain into someone who is wanting of security within his surroundings and mistrust for the unknown. His perception of the media, co-workers (as seen in the mysterious dismissal of David Heath, numerous PR managers, longtime artists, and events taking place at the publication call Wargamer), reviewers (the Metacritic incident taking place a few months ago which unfortunately resulted in a manhunt with a bounty) and the psychological separation that's developed between himself and his customers (thus, the pricing debate that has unfolded today).

I do not post my opinions on the matter to alienate Iain, as that is not my intention, or state that these assertions are fact. They are just an analysis by someone who has spent much of his years understanding the psychological underpinnings of people and how they interact with their surroundings. However, from the evidence I have at my disposal, I do and will standby my assertions and diagnosis.

Thanks for listening.

< Message edited by jerrystead -- 4/24/2013 9:37:37 PM >

RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/24/2013 10:03:52 PM
jday305

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Joined: 3/31/2013
From: Northeast Indiana
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I am actually one of those who found this website and its games through Steam. I was so impressed with Unity of Command that I purchased through Steam that I researched who made the game and found the Matrix site. Since then my purchases have been through Matrix instead of Steam.

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RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/24/2013 11:29:03 PM
JDM

Posts: 75
Joined: 12/8/2004
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wow Jerrystead, .......come to think of it , I've noticed that at night, especially if its a full moon, the hairs on the back of his hands starts growing and his front teeth protrude over his bottom lip. In your professional opinion could this further evidence be connected.

Really pleased that your first post has been so enlightening, btw what game are you playing................oh no not that old PPD again, they said I was cured.

RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/24/2013 11:38:04 PM
PipFromSlitherine

Posts: 592
Joined: 6/23/2010
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quote:

quote:

ORIGINAL: Tomn

- I couldn’t help but notice that your essay had a certain level of “us vs them” thinking – “they” said we were wrong, “they” said we couldn’t make it, “they” said we were doomed, but we showed them all! Now, I imagine this sort of thinking is quite justified if you’ve been taking a lot of flak for various reasons and have nevertheless managed to turn a profit , but do you feel that this sort of “siege mentality” might be affecting your ability to make a rational and objective analysis of your situation and your options?

This whole dilemma caught my eye after the RPS article, and I can most certainly say that its foundation and the reasoning behind it lies within the psych of the decision makers at Slitherine. As a master's graduate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Auburn I can say with a high degree of confidence that Iain McNeil may be a victim of PPD - "Paranoid Personality Disorder". A detailed thesis on the subject can be found at the UK Essays website. A colleague of mine wrote that piece.

If this seems to be the case, then as a professional I can make a few assertions as to the cause and effect of business policies and the companies pricing structure, including Slitherine management's (as what would appear to be) "abnormal" perception of its customers and/or potential customers as expressed in posts and messages from Iain McNeil. When one is suffering from such a condition they have a form of distrust towards others (in Iain's case being the media, customers, or even forum members). This reaction can translate into odd behavior, manifesting itself within the company's policies, its decisions and the decision-making process as a whole. When a form of trust, or lack there-of, manifests itself it can control the way someone responds to certain situations. The situation we are seeing right now is one such example.

The occurrences of the "them and us" factor has been noticed by some, including myself, in posts made by Iain. This can be overlooked by many, but is well understood by those who understand and have diagnosed those with PPD. This has, as it appears, allowed Iain to confidently assert that his views and the views of his associates are correct beyond a reasonable doubt, and those of his customers--of which his revenue is dependent upon--are not. Not to be confused with "stubbornness", as this condition is a by-product of what I would assume is a long career within the software developing and publishing industry. I can make the assumption that years of doing this work have gradually transformed the psych of Iain into someone who is wanting of security within his surroundings and mistrust for the unknown. His perception of the media, co-workers (as seen in the mysterious dismissal of David Heath, numerous PR managers, longtime artists, and events taking place at the publication call Wargamer), reviewers (the Metacritic incident taking place a few months ago which unfortunately resulted in a manhunt with a bounty) and the psychological separation that's developed between himself and his customers (thus, the pricing debate that has unfolded today).

I do not post my opinions on the matter to alienate Iain, as that is not my intention, or state that these assertions are fact. They are just an analysis by someone who has spent much of his years understanding the psychological underpinnings of people and how they interact with their surroundings. However, from the evidence I have at my disposal, I do and will standby my assertions and diagnosis.

Thanks for listening.

I LOL'ed. So thanks for the humour.

Cheers

Pip

RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/24/2013 11:41:39 PM
wodin

Posts: 8168
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From: England
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Must admit it always strikes me as odd when it comes to threads like this or other debate threads when you get a first time post that really goes into one...now this time it's either someone from the RPS article who has singed up..or someone who already has an account but is going undercover so to speak. If that is the case I just can't understand why they don't just say it using the normal account name. I have in the past use duplicate accounts but that stemmed from being harassed rather than joining in on a debate. I'm sure Iain knows I'm not someone to hold my council if I have something to say even if it might put me in a negative light by the powers that be here. Though I actually have not just wargamers in mind to benefit but I also want developers and Slitherine to prosper.

The other thing it could be and this is prob me being paranoid is someone is trying to make it look like it's me doing it...

quote:

ORIGINAL: JDM

wow Jerrystead, .......come to think of it , I've noticed that at night, especially if its a full moon, the hairs on the back of his hands starts growing and his front teeth protrude over his bottom lip. In your professional opinion could this further evidence be connected.

Really pleased that your first post has been so enlightening, btw what game are you playing................oh no not that old PPD again, they said I was cured.

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RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/25/2013 12:08:04 AM
sulla05

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It is one thing to agree with the article on/in RPS and the PON price. PON is now the Slitherine groups to charge what they want. I believe you will see a higher price for Napoleon's campaigns also when they start selling that game. You can see a forum opened on coming games. I saw there was a new Napoleon game listed and almost wet myself. Unfortunately it turned out to be Ageod's game. Do not get me wrong, it is an excellent game I just thought there was a new one in the works.

For my pocket book I am glad that I ended up getting both the above games for a mere pittance on GG or Amazon.

As far as the sake of the hobby and designers they would never bother to make games to be sold at what the online stores sell wargames for. But this is also true when those online stores sell big name games. I bought Diablo III for $20 and Skyrim not much more and those games are still priced normally near there beginning price.I also scored big in a mortar and brick store and payed$ 1.99 for 3 of Ageod's games. It came in a pack called Military Strategy and had BOA2,Civil War and WWI.

I do own a lot of Matrix games and yes with both Command OPs and WITE I waited until they were on sale but the sale price was still high enough for everyone to make money.

I would like to see the idea that RPS brought up about bundling some old games together for a sale. I know I would pick up a few of the older titles if they were priced lower.

As far as the jump from reality posted above I do not know what to say. I would hope only the History Channel would attempt to diagnose a person from a few internet posts. Possibly right before Gator Guys or whatever the HC shows now.

< Message edited by sulla05 -- 4/25/2013 12:13:05 AM >

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RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/25/2013 12:14:21 AM
Jim D Burns

Posts: 3431
Joined: 2/25/2002
From: Salida, CA.
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin
If that is the case I just can't understand why they don't just say it using the normal account name.

Typical internet sock puppetry tactic. If you stuff a debate with enough posts from different account names people might think your opinion has more merit than it actually deserves. Though using sock puppets on this forum with its generally higher than average intellectual acuity tells us the poster is probably not a Matrix forums regular nor a serious wargamer.

Jim

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RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/25/2013 12:26:39 AM
grogmaster

Posts: 36
Joined: 4/25/2013
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Iain McNeil

The invitation is open and he knows where we are :)

Wait, what?

I'm sorry, but didn't you just say:
quote:

ORIGINAL: Iain McNeil
We host a promotion, sale of the week and run it in conjunction with RPS.

Isn't he doing you the favor for offering to you guys to host sales in bundles with the publication he writes for? Why the reservation all of a sudden? Actions speak louder than words.

< Message edited by grogmaster -- 4/25/2013 12:27:51 AM >

RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/25/2013 12:30:40 AM
wodin

Posts: 8168
Joined: 4/20/2003
From: England
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Well I've told Tim and given him Iains email address. Not sure why I had to be a go between...

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RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/25/2013 1:56:08 AM
dutchman55555

Posts: 139
Joined: 4/21/2013
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quote:

ORIGINAL: JudgeDredd

5. @DBEVES - you state people hold on for sales for holidays and flights. Have you been around when Matrix have their sale at Christmas. SO many people post about how they wanted a game but waited for the sale. So Matrix do suffer from people who hold off anyway. Perhaps what they should do is provide games at launch at a reduced cost to get early adopters or have random sales or reduce the price of their games when a sequel comes out. OOTP do it rather successfully I believe - and you could argue you can't get much more niche than providing ONE game (I know they do others - but OOTP is their flagship)

As I've said elsewhere, my Steam/GamersGate collection numbers 300+. My Matrix collection numbers 9. About 25% (75) of the games I purchased on Steam/GG were at full price. Not a single one on Matrix was purchased at full price. This idea of "If we sold 100 000 no one would hold our products in value" is extremely silly in my opinion. Value is subjective. I don't cherish my copy of WitPAE that I purchased at $80 because it has had sales in the hundreds to thousands. I cherish my copy of Sleeping Dogs, where everything (and I mean everything, main game and all DLC) was purchased at prices reduced by 75-85%, but I don't consider it valueless because it sold 1.75 million copies. I do know I wouldn't have purchased either at full price, and that's where their value (or lack thereof) lay. (in reply to JudgeDredd) RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/25/2013 2:22:35 AM dutchman55555 Posts: 139 Joined: 4/21/2013 Status: offline quote: ORIGINAL: jday305 I am actually one of those who found this website and its games through Steam. I was so impressed with Unity of Command that I purchased through Steam that I researched who made the game and found the Matrix site. Since then my purchases have been through Matrix instead of Steam. And for your daily irony supplement, Matrix (which Iain argues is a developer, not a distributor) is not the developer for UoC, it only distributes it (with a healthy commission, I'm sure). 2x2 Games out of Croatia are the developers. Steam sells it for$20, Matrix sells it for \$33 (CAD). That speaks volumes...

RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/25/2013 3:10:14 AM
BROJD

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I'm a cheapskate.

I don't want to invest my money in a game that's no good.

More importantly, I don't want to invest my little free TIME into a game that's no good.

Which is one of the reasons I love demos: I can spend a few minutes to hours with a game, get a feel for its UI and depth, and decide whether it's worth me spending my money and time on. Without a demo, I'm often gunshy about buying a new game -- especially a newer, fullpriced one.

COTA and CO: BFTB are good examples of this. I read for years what a great game COTA was, but it didn't have a demo. Also, it was always FULL PRICE on Matrix, even many years after it had been released. So I stayed away from it and never bought it. When I downloaded the demo for CO: BFTB, found what a great and versatile game it was, I was willing to shell out the money for that game. But had there been no demo, I doubt I ever would have played it.

Distant Worlds, as mentioned above by someone else, is a counterexample. I'm really interested in playing it. But I've bought a few other space games (from other publishers) and been disappointed in all of them. I've read the DW forums and read reviews, but those can't replace a good demo to get the feel of a game. Without trying the demo, I know I'll probably never buy DW -- and never at full price.

Mine is just one voice. I've steered away from a lot of Matrix games because of the lack of demos. I don't understand how exactly that plays into Matrix's business model, or how representative I am of other wargamers, but that's my story.

RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/25/2013 3:55:07 AM
Tomn

Posts: 40
Joined: 4/22/2013
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quote:

This whole dilemma caught my eye after the RPS article, and I can most certainly say that its foundation and the reasoning behind it lies within the psych of the decision makers at Slitherine. As a master's graduate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Auburn I can say with a high degree of confidence that Iain McNeil may be a victim of PPD - "Paranoid Personality Disorder". A detailed thesis on the subject can be found at the UK Essays website. A colleague of mine wrote that piece.

Uh...no. I'm not really sure if you're pulling my leg or not, but that really wasn't what I was suggesting.

What I was suggesting is much, much more banal. Simply put, if you take a particular course of action and everybody tells you "Good Lord, man, you're nuts, this is nuts," that naturally causes you to get rather defensive of your position because you're pretty sure you're not nuts. If that course of action doesn't actually end in flaming failure, it's quite natural to respond by going "THEY said I was nuts, but I was actually right all along! I don't have to listen to those jerks!" The thing is, sometimes the jerks do have something worth listening to and acting upon, and pride in the fact that you defied everybody and succeeded anyways may sometimes obscure how you might have succeeded even more had you listened to some of what others were saying. While in this particular case that may or may not be true, it could have been of worth to do a little self-reflection on the matter. I was really, REALLY not trying to suggest any actual mental illness of the part of anyone in Matrix Games, and frankly I'm annoyed that I'm now associated with an effort to do so.

(By the way - it's psyche, with an e. There isn't really a different variant of that spelling, psych is something quite different and is usually slang. Drove me nuts the whole way through.)

RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/25/2013 7:07:09 AM
grogmaster

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Why do I get the idea that Matrix Games distrusts customers input and shoots down any advice consumers give, with a strong aroma of arrogance?

RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/25/2013 7:20:28 AM
warspite1

Posts: 22400
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From: England
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quote:

ORIGINAL: grogmaster

Why do I get the idea that Matrix Games distrusts customers input and shoots down any advice consumers give, with a strong aroma of arrogance?
warspite1

Because you have the wrong idea perhaps?

If people hate Matrix so much why don't they just go elsewhere to a company they are happy with? Why waste their lives posting on some forum where they believe they will be "distrusted" or "shot down" with a "strong aroma of arrogance"?

We get it by now - Matrix suck, their games are too expensive and they don't listen - okay, bye.

"strong aroma of arrogance" I wonder if Yankee Candles do that fragrance?

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RE: The Good Health of the Wargaming Niche - 4/25/2013 9:50:05 AM
Iain McNeil

Posts: 2060
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From: London
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Thanks for the psychological analysis. I'll let my doctor know so he can stop looking for something more serious :)

General response:

There is definitely a clear misunderstanding here.

We greatly value customer feedback. You only have to look at the forums and see all the things we've changed at the request of our fans - basically you guys on the forums. We really appreciate the feedback and ideas and suggestions. However every idea that you present is reviewed and while many get implemented because we agree they are good ideas, many do not. We use our judgement to decide which of the suggestions to go with, and our experience and knowledge of the games industry and 13 years running the largest strategy games publisher in the world to filter the wheat from the chaff.

So the basic summary is - we are listening to our fans. We trust them. We believe they are telling us what they think is best and have our best interests at heart.

But...

We do not agree on this point. Does this mean we're paranoid, arrogant and out of touch.

That is one way to interpret it, but it assumes we are wrong.

The other option is that we are right and this is best for our business and our developers. So we have 2 options
1) Follow a business plan based on 13 years of running a successful company and over 20 years in the games industry.
2) Follow a business plan based on what a journalist and our fans (none of whom to my knowledge have ever made a game or run computer game publisher) suggest because we don't have the guts to follow our beliefs.

I know which option I will be choosing :)

EDIT - Sorry Warspite - I did not mean to imply this response was to you. It was just written after you had made your post in response to Jerrystead and other comments above. I have tried to clarify.

< Message edited by Iain McNeil -- 4/26/2013 12:02:26 PM >

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