ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
It surprises me too, folks. We've been clear from the start on two points:
1. AE will require WITP
2. AE will cost a bit less than WITP, but not much.
With a few of the reactions I'm seeing here, you'd think it was Pearl Harbor all over again. I'm getting the sense that for some folks it's not so much the price as it is the decision to make it require WITP.
People are free to disagree with us and free to make their own purchase decisions. The fact is that we have played AE and we feel that having WITP as a prerequisite to it makes sense both from a scenario content and complexity level. We don't want new customers to see AE as a replacement for WITP, we want them to see it as a more advanced level of WITP they may want to go to once they've mastered WITP.
WITP is one of the best games we've ever made and has given wargamers years of fun. It's also getting another update after AE's release and still has legs. We're not ready to retire it yet, especially when we feel it's a good stepping stone complexity-wise to AE. Yes, UV was a good stepping stone to WITP as well but that was also a different situation and a different time.
Hit the nail right on the head for me, here.
I own WITP, so bundeling it with AE isn´t the big deal for me
I was also well aware from the get go, that I would need WITP to play AE
I was (more like, my brain) making the connection "WITP needed" --> AE sharing files with WITP. Now this was ok with me. Sure, the expansion is a bit expensive, but sure worth it.
Requiring WITP for AE "just for the heck of it" doesn´t realy sit well with me. I´ll get AE nonetheless, mind you, but still....
You said a page or two earlier:
No, it's a way to make sure that we don't get folks jumping into AE and subsequently running for their lives. WITP is a stepping stone to AE, simple as that. It is also still a great game in its own right.
And even if you call it an expansion...70 bucks for an expansion...ouch. I can think of no other examples where a game company (and Im sure about 20 fanboys are about to prove me wrong ) releases an expansion that requires the original game and it costs as much. Given that you didn't pay the people who developed this for you...sounds like a money grab. Whatever, the price has pushed me on the fence. I am fairly certain one night in a frenzy of AAR readings I will purchase it, but I am squarely on the fence right now.
It's not an expansion. It's its own game. It installs as a stand-alone, but requires ownership of WITP. I realize this is not a "typical" arrangement and that may be causing some of this confusion. You're trying to find an analog in the normal mainstream marketing of games. WITP is not a mainstream game, this is not a typical situation and there is not an exact analog.
Wargaming is a niche, "monster" wargaming is an extreme niche and this is what it basically costs to continue development on these kinds of games, once every five years. That doesn't seem particularly steep to me when I look at how much development and research is involved. Frankly, if we had made AE stand-alone, then the price on its own would have been high enough that I could see people balking and that also would have been called unfair by many. It is what it is. We've set the price, each person has to decide if it's right for them, given what we've announced we are delivering for that price.
For people who already own WITP, you are really getting a full new game in terms of development effort when you purchase AE, but it works like WITP so your learning curve should be a bit easier than it would be for someone starting out fresh. For those who don't have either, WITP is a step on the way to AE, some may get there, some may not.
This is reasoning I (as I have allready played WITP) can accept.
That being said, for the "New" player, who hasn´t played WITP allready, it doesn´t fly, IMO
Look at it this way (hypotetical scenario following):
Empire Earth III has just come out
Oh, I am somewhat interrested in that kind of game
Ok, let´see. It´s 49.98, well, ok, I´ll give it a go
Oh, I have to first purchase and install EE II?? What the f***, I don´t want EE II, I want EE III!
Even if Empire Earth II would be in the bargain bin for 9.99, this potential customer would probably be lost at that point.
As you suspected above, it isn´t about the price, it´s about why people are forced to buy WITP when all they want to play is AE
Personally, I would have prefered to have a higher price for AE as a stand alone with a discount for those allready owning WITP.
With a big, bright, red, flashing sign on the buy-page "WITP EXPERIENCE HIGHLY RECCOMENDED!!!"
The end-effect would have been the same without the "devious scheemer" syndrome
You probably know this, but I will say it anyway:
I (we) want Matrix to do well, otherwise I would be off lurking somewhere else and playing some other games and I fear, this pricing model will hurt your sales which, again, I don´t want to see!
Ralph Hoenig, Germany