I appreciate your feedback on the price. No one ever likes paying more for a product. I also appreciate that for many cash is tight at the moment. Trust me I am in the same boat. Developing professional grade software for a niche entertainment market is not a path to wealth that I would recommend.
We contemplated this issue at length. On the one hand we would love to sell mega copies of BFTB. But we have to face the reality that this is a niche market and we will never be able to sell the volumes like AAA general market titles. Products like your First Person Shooters take dozens of man years to make, cost millions and need to sell hundreds of thousands of copies to succeed. The wargame market is unlikely to hit the tens of thousands of sales. So we have very small volumes and virtually no prospects of increasing those volumes, especially for a serious realistic simulation such as BFTB. Anyone who thinks that we are somehow going to be able to expand our sales volume significantly is deluding themselves.
We have committed about 50 man years of development on our series. That is a huge investment and given the cost of further development cannot be sustained with the current income stream. Since we cannot increase the volume of sales, significantly, we have two choices. We can increase the price or we can stop further development.
We are well aware of the potential impact of raising the price on sales volume. The laws of price elasticity affect all markets. However, niche markets in general are less affected primarily because there is limited offerings and hence limited competition and also because the customers in general appreciate that the unit price has to be higher than for a general market product because the cost of development has to be absorbed over a much smaller volume of sales.
Is this a good situation for our customers? No, it is not. Is it a good situation for us? Definitely not. But the choices for us are clear and stark. Sell at the old price and abandon further development or increase price and hope that we can stay in the commercial wargames business. Even at the higher price we may still be forced to abandon development because not enough people buy it. Yes it’s a big risk, but it’s the only option that may keep us designing for the commercial wargames market. I cannot put it any more bluntly.
Each one of you will have to make your own decision as to whether you think the price is worth it. I would like to think that when you consider the benefits you will answer yes. Please consider that there are 27 scenarios. Playing through each one once would provide over a hundred hours of entertainment. If you swap sides, you get another hundred hours. But with the way we have designed the scenarios and the use of generic objectives, you can play the same scenario many times and get a different experience. That is one of the beauties of the engine. I would estimate that on average most players will get over 400 hours of entertainment out of BFTB. Many will get thousands of hours.
By providing a full construction set, with the inclusion of all the editors needed to create any battle, we envisage considerable content being developed by the community. This should translate into a stream of third party scenarios that will further extend the life of this product and provide even more entertainment value.
Even at 400 hours the cost of entertainment for BFTB is just 20 cents per hour. Think about that.
Also let’s put it in relative terms to other games that you have purchased. Estimate the number of hours you have played them, then divide this into their purchase price and I bet there will be very few that are as cheap per hour as BFTB.
But also consider the quality of the experience you will get with BFTB. I am not aware of any other product ( commercially or for that matter within the military simulation market ) that better simulates the role of an operational commander. Certainly when it comes to artificial intelligence, BFTB is without peer. We have added so many features to the engine since COTA, features designed to enrich your experience and make it easier for you to assess, plan and order your forces. Go to the BFTB product page and read the long list of new features and enhancements and check out the New Stuff thread on the BFTB forum.
So it all boils down to value and priorities. Only you can make that call for yourself. I do believe that BFTB is very good value for money. We will be putting out a demo in about a month or so. So you can always wait and see. In the meantime check out the Game Concepts movie. The first of the tutorial movies will soon be available for public release. We will progressively release more of these over the coming weeks.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask here on the forum.
If logic dictates reason, you will not sell very many copies of this game. You say the cost is so high b/c of amount of hours that PG put into the series. Is it safe to say that we are paying for past research? When you have to explain your actions in mass, and the reason why you did something then there is a problem. I have always thought that including a game editor is a way the company says "here we have done our part, now you can do your part and make more scn, post them, keep the game alive so we can sale more copies and make more money." I will be honest, this game is overpriced.
Stupid rebellion, anyhow....D. Vader