Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

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jaxpac
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Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by jaxpac »

I know that Matrix has sales from time to time offering games at a discount. I have bought a few games this way. But there are lots of games here that I would buy instantly if they were priced competitively, yet I can't bring myself to pay $40-$60 for even at a 33% discount. Sites like GoG or steam routinely will sell older games for under $10 or under $5. This really makes it easy to buy something on impulse just to give it a try. I think a company like Matrix could really benefit by selling the older games in this price range in order to increase the fanbase. It woud probably help the bottom line quite a bit as well, but more importantly I would think should be the benefits of bringing in new customers in so that newer games have a larger audience.

I just can't see too many people paying $52.99 CAD for the download version of Forge of Freedom, a game released in 2006. Or Steel Panthers World at War Generals Edition, a game from 2000 currently priced at $73.99 CAD. I can only assume that Matrix is making very little money from these titles at this point. They are not being sold and are not bringing in new fans. The high prices also encourage piracy as people who are unsure and want to give it a try typically will not pay this amount on a whim.

It all strikes me as terrible business practice, but I admit that I am no expert in business or anything. So I am interested in the rationale from the point of view of Matrix, because I know they would have more of my money currently if their games were priced in line with normal industry standards.
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RE: Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by Hertston »

ORIGINAL: jaxpac
It all strikes me as terrible business practice, but I admit that I am no expert in business or anything. So I am interested in the rationale from the point of view of Matrix, because I know they would have more of my money currently if their games were priced in line with normal industry standards.

Of course they will have considered it, but are very unlikely to have deliberately chosen a 'terrible business practice'. I think the reasoning is that the typical Matrix product is NOT considered to 'industry standard' in regard to product lifespan. Certainly that is true in the case of the premium titles (I see absolutely no reason for selling something like WitP:AE at a discount, foe example - what competition has it got?). I can certainly see your point regarding some other titles, particularly those which distributed by other publishers as well and end up in the same sales as everything else, but I can also see why Matrix might want to avoid that being seen as a norm.

Just to point out that Matrix aren't unique in this respect. From the other end of the gaming spectrum some of the 'AAA' (or supposed 'AAA') titles have been kept of of the usual discount cycle for extended periods, presumably also as that strategy is perceived as the best to maximise profits over the entire lifespan of the product and catalogue.
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RE: Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by sterckxe »

ORIGINAL: Hertston
I see absolutely no reason for selling something like WitP:AE at a discount, foe example - what competition has it got?

That's not the correct question. The correct question is "how many units will it sell in the next 5 years given the current full price" versus "how many units will it sell to wargamers willing to give it a go at half price or less"

The first question is rather easy to answer using past sales and an Excel graph, the latter is unknown but Matrix is betting it's less than option 1

It's their business, but I think they're wrong, but I also think that being conservative on this has kept them afloat for a decade so maybe it's a case of don't rock the boat ...

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RE: Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by bairdlander2 »

Its a "niche" market,they have no choice to charge higher prices than the other wargame makers.10 year old titles should cost more because of they are "antiques" and collectibles.
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RE: Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by Cmdrcain »

You overlook that in instances those old games that steam etc sell cheap are games not updated ...meaning may find that they don't work well with vista/win 7 let alone XP..

Matrix when they have taken an older title have worked to update them to work with more current OS and have also done bug fix's and enhanced the old games..

Steam etc simply dust off old games and sell em as is with i doubt much if any updating..enhancing..

And in cases , Matrix has wholly updated older games, like WITP actually has its roots in the Old WITP...Matrix offers it FREE
When they updated Grigsbys WITP they did it fromn ground up.. graphics, data, etc... so only resemblance with Grigsbys original DOS game is the Name...and concept..

And higher prices? Its all relative... I was buying the original WITP at around $60-$70 back then... circa I think 80-90's

Considering inflation their present $80 download price for WITP_AE the more updated update to the WITP update is cheap...
$80 in 2012 dollars is only $10-$20 more then $60-$70 in 80-90's dollars..

Accounting for inflation they should be charging $150 for the much bigger and greater detailed WITP-AE..

Nope, Matrix prices aren't that high considering what a 2000's dollars worth these days..

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RE: Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by bairdlander2 »

ORIGINAL: Cmdrcain



Accounting for inflation they should be charging $150 for the much bigger and greater detailed WITP-AE..

Nope, Matrix prices aren't that high considering what a 2000's dollars worth these days..

$150?I think they should charge $300 minimum.Its a "niche" market and there are no other companies selling these games that I know of.
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RE: Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by PizzaMan »

When you consider the devaluation of the dollar over the last 10 years, everything is on sale.
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RE: Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by ilovestrategy »

Another factor for me is the ease of downloading. It's a hassle with this site. If the process was easy like Steam where all you have to do is log in and hit "install" and take a nap, I'd be buying games from here. But instead, I had to count myself lucky that I took the time to make some copies on Dvd of my games. But regardless of if the games are sold at a discount or not, I just do not want to go through that hassle again.

I think that factor should also be considered. High prices for games plus a clunky download system? Or pay extra for an actual disk so you don't have the hassle? No thank you.

And also, from what I have read in the WitpAE forums, the manual that comes with the disc seems to be out of date because of updates. If this is true(I do not know,I've just been reading the forum there), I don't have a lot of motivation to buy that game for it's current price.
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RE: Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by Josh »

Well I can only speak for myself ofcourse, but I agree wholeheartedly with the OP. Games on sale makes me *buy* them. There are certain games I buy anyway, but there are many more I would give a try if they would be 10 bucks or so, or even less. Usually that's Indy games, and I'm not too certain about the quality, but hey for 3-5 dollars anyone can afford that.
I still own the original Steel Panthers disc, but no way I'd pay the whole price again.
But in the end ofcourse it's Matrix' call. It's been discussed before and they still stay with the current policy.
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RE: Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by Scott_WAR »

Well, I think Matrix is wrong,...but I hope they continue to do it wrong.
IF they sold older games at more competitive prices there is no doubt whatsoever that they would sell more. This would probably result in them getting more exposure,..which again would result in more sales,........and this proces would continue until Matrix started bringing in money like some of the bigger fish out there. Then naturally Matrix would change just like all those bigger fish did......................and it would suck,....just like dealing with those bigger fish does now.

So, I hope Matrix continues to make decisions that will prevent them from growing into something like those bigger fish.
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RE: Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by histgamer »

Just because some companies sell games at a lower price and are successful does not mean Matrix would necessarily make more money and get bigger by lowering the price tag. Games like War in the Pacific cater to a very specific audience, lower the price on those games and your losing revenue and likely not drawing enough people in to recoup your losses. A game like Distant World might be a different situation but on the whole I am sure Matrix has looked at their pricing structure and thinks it works best for them. I think it is very presumptive for all of us to say Matrix is making a poor business decision when we don't have all the available information, sales numbers, and sales forecasts or information their marketing team has put together.
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RE: Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by bairdlander2 »

It's not good to sell 10 year old titles at such high prices and when they have their so called "sales" they knock $5 off.Not much of a bargain for outdated ui and graphics.
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RE: Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by PizzaMan »

"Competitive Pricing" IS the current retail price. The type of games offered by Matrix are timeless classics that do not depreciate with the next best video card or CPU.
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RE: Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by warspite1 »

Isn't this just one of the features of all specialist hobbies? Ever seen good quality military history books drop in value? No, the good ones never appear in bargain basement sales, and then second hand values rocket when they go out of print.

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RE: Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by pelle75 »

Another factor for me is the ease of downloading. It's a hassle with this site. If the process was easy like Steam where all you have to do is log in and hit "install" and take a nap, I'd be buying games from here.

As long as they keep it easy to download and store (for installation later) DRM-free copies of the games, I would not mind if they had some kind of installer feature as well, just as long as it is not made the ONLY option (like on Steam).
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RE: Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by pelle75 »

Isn't this just one of the features of all specialist hobbies? Ever seen good quality military history books drop in value? No, the good ones never appear in bargain basement sales, and then second hand values rocket when they go out of print.

For digital downloads the price is almost all profit, and if you can lower the price by 50 % to sell 110 % more, you will make more money. That doesn't work for physical books that cost per copy to produce.
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RE: Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by pelle75 »

I don't buy the niche argument. Not all wargamers are interested in all wargames. There are a few games I would pay $100 for, many more I would pay $30 for, many wargames I would happily buy for $10, and a few I would only buy if they sold for $1. Not sure how Matrix think they can optimize their profit buy only selling the most-wanted $100 games to us. Of course I can't recall seeing them attempt to sell out old games at reasonable prices, so they probably don't know their current strategy is good, they just gamble on it. Meanwhile I spend way more game money elsewhere, on less interesting games, but it is to easy to buy on impulse when something cost only a few $.
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RE: Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by TonyE »

ORIGINAL: pellen
I don't buy the niche argument. Not all wargamers are interested in all wargames. There are a few games I would pay $100 for, many more I would pay $30 for, many wargames I would happily buy for $10, and a few I would only buy if they sold for $1.

That makes the assumption that everyone thinks the same game is worth $100. I may be willing to pay $100 for game A but only $20 for game B even on day 1. One difficulty with wargamers is that we're not all the same otherwise your approach might work. We saw the uproar when Amazon blatantly priced goods based on a buyer's history, it didn't go over well even if they certainly do a similar thing today less blatantly.

As for digital downloads being almost all profit... Don't forget royalties/contractual fees that must be paid for licensing, costs to support the users that buy the cheap copies and dilute the potential for higher capability support to the users that paid more, infrastructure costs,... Bundling them into a generic "almost all profit" is a stretch.
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RE: Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by Perturabo »

The only wargame that I bought for the Matrix Games price (or rather NWS price) is BftB. But then it costs me 3-6x more work than someone working in the west. I'd probably buy more if they'd cost 50PLN or I'd have a minimum wage of 7$ per hour.
On the other hand, I bought 3 locally distributed Matrix Games from a bargain bin.
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RE: Has Matrix ever considered releasing old games at competitive prices?

Post by junk2drive »

The way things are going, we will be down to your pay level before you come up to $7.
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