I was lurking here for a while, now after this news I really had to register and say something...
and yes, this is gonna be a bitter "you just lost a costumer" post.
If the price would have been in the 50-55 € range, I would probably bought it. I say "probably" because I would have waited for the demo, the reviews and the user comments, then decided if to pull the trigger or not. 55 € is a lot more than I usually spend on games, but it's reasonable and I would have made an exception.
But at 75 € there's no way I'm gonna buy it. NO WAY.
I have too many good games that already I don't have time to play and more will come for sure. 75 € is simply too much for a single game.
But the sad thing is that this engine, from what I've seen and read (never bought the previous games, just played the RDOA demo, read anything I could read about the series and saw the recent presentation video) is most probably one the few that could attract someone outside the core wargaming audience (someone like me). No hexes, real time, strategy without micromanagement, realism, AI, you know what.
But with this pricing decision Matrix and Panther decided that no, this game is only for the hardcore fans of the
series. It's probably not even for the "traditional" grognards, since I think a lot of them want the same hexes, IGOUGO turn based system, loads of micromanagement that they are accustomed with.
How can you recommend to someone in a non-wargaming forum to buy a game like this for 75 €?
I've seen Dave's post and his opinion that any significant increases in sales volume is unrealist. He's probably right, I can't think otherwise. Still, I don't get it. If even the most untraditional engine won't even attempt to bring in the people like me, than I can't help but think that wargaming is slowly digging its own hole.
I've also seen his claim about that "on average most players will get over 400 hours of entertainment". I think that sums up what's wrong with this story: Dave thinks that its audience is comprised mostly by extremely dedicated, even fanatical players. You can track down the sales, but you can't track down the playing time. That's the point I think: by going well over the 50€/50$ limit you annihilate all the "casual" sales, which, even if we only consider the wargaming niche, are IMHO much more common that Panther and Matrix think.
The model for this game is the highest possible quality and realism in every respect, from research on maps, scenarios and units to the performance of the AI and the general playability, stability, polish and documentation of the game. I don't think I've worked with any developers that put a higher emphasis on quality than Panther does and frankly the time it takes to do that also has a cost. I've seen many comments on other games that wished for better scenarios, better AI, better testing or better documentation or just generally higher quality. All of that is here, I don't think you will find a single rough edge, but the additional $20-$30 over many other game prices is what that costs in order for this to be a viable ongoing business plan for this series.
I want to ask...is this polish really necessary, if the tradeoff is the one we are seeing? I'm not sure. Yes, clearly it's good to have a stable, polished and "complete" game at release. But wargames don't age nearly as fast as mainstream games: six months later the game is exactly the same, and in these six months a "standard" wargame gets patched and the main issues solved.
And what if a lot of guys are gonna wait 6 months anyway for the "holidays sale" since the price right now is too high?
Wasn't just a better deal for everyone if the game would have come out with a "reasonable" polish and amount of content/features at a "reasonable" price?
I'm also gonna say that a lot of people, inclusing me, are rightfully bashing Paradox for their "release first, make playable/interesting later" business model in the last years; but the route Matrix seems to take is the polar opposite of Paradox's one, in a bad way. They are two extremes and both IMHO are flawed and shortsighted.
And sorry, but the "Ferrari" comparison is just ridicolous.
2. The price on COTA did increase by $10, I believe that was over a year ago? That was done to help support the ongoing development of BFTB. If you look at the release dates of HTTR, COTA and then BFTB you will see how many years it takes for Panther to develop each one.
wow...I don't know if I'm more shocked by BFTB price or this. I don't know what to say, other that if I had an interest in buying COTA instead of BFTB now that interest was nearly erased.
We also hope that with the full editor suite, BFTB will have more post-release content available than the previous titles too.
And how driving away customers with these prices is gonna help in this regard? No matter how good the editor may be, you need to sell copies to have mods.
Sorry for the wall of text.
< Message edited by beatoangelico -- 5/27/2010 2:18:47 PM >