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Thread: Methods of delivery

  1. #1
    Abecedarian Mage
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    Methods of delivery

    Didn't want to spam wargaming and this subject is more or less cross platform and cross interest any way.

    Saw two threads at Matrix Games that touch on sensitive issues. The other I posted on yesterday. Today it is means of getting the game.

    There are two inescapable truths we all have to stomache as having no real solution. 1. PC is not really a shelf product where electronic gaming is concerned any more. Yes stores will have a spot, but we all know that's only because stores need all of our money, not just console gamers to survive. But they are not going to be generous nor will they make us feel equal vs the consoles. 2. Wargaming is so completely niche, that seeing our games on a shelf is no longer really something to expect any more. Those days have left us.

    That pretty much leaves us with bought online some how.

    The world is more or less going digital download. Manuals, stop lamenting think manuals of the past. I recall them too. Big thick, full of reading but nothing really about the running of the game. They were often just trying to be coffee table reading or something to thumb through on the toilet. That's insufficient reason to force small publishers to pretend they are some form or EA monster that has no trouble mass printing manuals in China cheaply. Getting a box mailed to you, it's your choice, but stop pretending it is any less archaic than the looks of our games.

    The thing is, convenience rules, and too much of gaming has gone to combinations of digital distribution, digital documentation, re downloadable option, as well as being more the norm to market spin off data for a minor price and a need to adapt to a market for more and more mobile devices that are used to employing roving data usage. Today right now, more of my devices talk to my router through wifi and do it just fine. Gone are the days of worrying where to set up the PC because of needing to route the cable. Your services might vary among you, but we all live in the same world. The market has chosen to pander to the broadband scene, and isn't waiting behind for stragglers.

    But one thing I noticed on a dialogue at Matrix Games regarding choice of Plimus, was what is it about Plimus that made Matrix Games choose them? Had to be something, as no company is so niche and so poor they can afford to go with an obvious wrong choice. I have no had trouble using them yet. I have used them a few times. They might not be as good as the first group, but they might be better where it counts in the cash drawer. I have never gotten great speeds from downloading game files from Matrix Games/Slitherine, but, I have never failed to get my game purchase either. Never once.

    Speed, yes speed is good, everyone likes speed, and likes more speed even better. If I have a service that can deliver 5 gigs of data in just under 2 hours, then logically I want just under 1 gig in less than 1 hour routinely, or I begin to fret if something is wrong with my service. But at the same time, I also occasionally want a TV show or something, and it's not like everything I wish, always comes in at maximum performance. What I consider more useful, is reliable speed. If I am told, you will need to wait all night for this file, but it will be in tomorrow morning, then so be it. It would be nicer in 20 minutes so I could fiddle with it in 30. But life is hopefully not that short that waiting till tomorrow will matter.

    Cost. Every time I see the bonus 10 bucks tacked on to the price of a game, I can only wonder, what on earth gets some wargamers paying 10 bucks for the pleasure of getting something in the mail they could have done themselves for almost nothing Are wargamers really that weird for gamers that they think a Matrix Games/Slitherine title has collectible value in a box? And I hear they might need to go to 15 bucks. I can't wait to see the crying.

    Our hobby has been around since I have been around at least. But it has never once had an actual 'golden age'. There hasn't been any time when the games were profitable in the same way anything mainstream has been. Wargaming can best be summed up as a rare sub genre of a product line that is currently not getting much equal space in a product type, that is itself a rare type of retail location. We are 3 layers of removed from the public mind. We simply can't afford to pretend we can play in the same league as mainstream gaming.

    No one knows who Matrix Games/Slitherine is let alone the other publishers in wargaming outside of wargaming. If you ask the clerks in most game stores to name some wargaming publishers, you likely will get names connected with Call of Duty or Battlefield. They won't know who you are talking about when you mention names we think should be obvious. None of the norms of gaming, matter much to publishers of wargames. Holding up examples of non wargame game prices, or methods of packaging or means of purchasing are really in the end pointless. Not relevant. Those that do sell as mainstream, likely seem to us like they have sold out, sold their souls for cash, have elected to not be real wargame publishers.
    I don't think wargame makers are doing so bad, but, it is not fair to them to presume they can and should be doing anything the way some mob like EA or Ubisoft does it. They churn out games by the bucket load. They often look like it too.

    I think the kids likely would hold the companies more accountable to make games better if they actually tended to play the games for longer than a month. I've seen the process. Buy game, it either immediately pleases them or it is sold by the end of the day. If it is a smash hit, it get played non stop day after day till it is consumed and then it is sold for the next offering. The idea of playing most games year after year is totally foreign to most of mainstream gaming. There's no real money in wargaming for the same reason making cars you never needed to replace faster than once in 20 years wouldn't do the auto industry much good. They made Steel Panthers so good no one wants to play something else. It's now a long time since 1995 though. My tablet could likely run Steel Panters without effort. The original game was hardly what I call a large file. The graphics not what I call challenging. The software is merely too old.

    I think the only real future for wargaming to be worth it to the people that make the games, is to make them profitable, and make them run on newer devices and sold in a way that removes any barriers to making the sale. Panzer Corps is likely the best example of a good way to market a wargame. Make it run on anything, make it affordable, but make it so you have things to sell regularly and make it something that doesn't need the box or the shelf, because no one really wants us wasting their PS3/X-box 360 elbow room. We are not important to the stores.

    The biggest and the best of the digital options might also not be entirely open to us. They might want more of our very few dollars than can be managed, and they might have requirements that make it being worth it too difficult. We're lucky to have print like ArmChair General at all. We are lucky to have a few publishers like Matrix Games/Slitherine and even the ones some of us don't always prefer, providing acess between developer and consumer. Because in most cases, no one else really cares if we are here at all. In too many cases we can't play by their rules, it has to be by our rules.

    The one thing that wargaming does seem to own though, it the most inoffensive of drm schemes out there. Well at least Matrix Games/Slitherine does. But that is at the moment more than half of all wargaming I can think of.
    Please don't go on about how cool it is I like wargames. It gets old.
    Some of my comments are just me parroting his bitching.

  2. #2
    Mage’s Assistant
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    I buy physical versions at NWS because in the end it somehow ends up less costly than buying a download version on Matrix. Well, I actually bought only 1 game that way - BftB. I got 2 for beta testing and bought 3 another that were locally distributed in Poland. Generally, prices are way to high for the Polish economy. There used to be Polish distributor but for some weird reason they didn't translate the games (though, I think they probably wouldn't hire a military expert and the translation would be awful) into Polish and for some weird reason they made them cost 20PLN which is like they would cost 20$ in USA - they should have costed 50-60PLN. They spammed supermarkets with them. The upside is that a lot people (from Polish Close Combat communities for example) got into modern wargaming, the downside is that lots of the games ended up on eBay. The whole thing was badly mismanaged.

    I dislike Plimus for binding game to name of the buyer. It makes things awkward if one wants to sell the game when forced by economic situation.
    "And as the light embraces the wanderer,
    as knees bend as thought is obliterated,
    with the very moment that resistance has ceased,
    now, I am become death, the enemy of man."

  3. #3
    Abecedarian Mage
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    NWS is a very solid store option indeed. And yes, it has amazed me in the past how they can often outsell their own source. They're hardly what I would call a large retail chain.

    I picked up my DS titles for my Slitherine games from NWS.

    In the case of some countries/regions, the whole process of binding a game is really contrary to the law of the land actually. From what I know of the Euros, binding a game means nothing, the seller can sell the game and do whatever is required of the process just so long as the buyer is cool with an adhoc method.

    There is a lot of talk of EULs in discussions and it needs to be mentioned, a company can't write a legal document and expect it to be enforcable if it is not in sync with the law of the land. Might be legal in the USA, but if it violates say Canadian law or European law, a judge will just discard the case as being not relevant. Thus, clicking 'yes' to the most recent alteration of the document with Steam, likely could get Steam on the losing side if the gamer knows their real rights. As always though, it comes down to big guys and expensive lawyers having the intimidation factor going for them.

    Fotunately there are a lot of games, and a lot of companies, and we gamers really don't need to fret too much that one company can actually ruin an entire hobby.
    Please don't go on about how cool it is I like wargames. It gets old.
    Some of my comments are just me parroting his bitching.

  4. #4
    Mage’s Assistant
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joan d'Arc View Post
    NWS is a very solid store option indeed. And yes, it has amazed me in the past how they can often outsell their own source. They're hardly what I would call a large retail chain.
    From what I've read, they do it for free. They buy the games in bulk and sell them without mark-up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joan d'Arc View Post
    In the case of some countries/regions, the whole process of binding a game is really contrary to the law of the land actually. From what I know of the Euros, binding a game means nothing, the seller can sell the game and do whatever is required of the process just so long as the buyer is cool with an adhoc method.
    The thing is that Matrix Games doesn't have anything against re-selling. It's just that I don't feel comfortable with a game with my name and surname on it being in hands of other person which may sell it further or do even something illegal with it like uploading it. And it's creepy anyway.
    "And as the light embraces the wanderer,
    as knees bend as thought is obliterated,
    with the very moment that resistance has ceased,
    now, I am become death, the enemy of man."

  5. #5
    Abecedarian Mage
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    I can understand your last concerns there, sell to a stranger, who sells to a stranger that turns out to be a less than savoury individual. That would make an interesting court case, and sometimes it's probably better to just accept that some of the things we buy simply have no means to recoup some coin.
    Please don't go on about how cool it is I like wargames. It gets old.
    Some of my comments are just me parroting his bitching.

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