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      Final Blitzkrieg v1.01 released!   05/21/2016

      Once again proving that we don't sleep much, we have just released v1.01 for CM: Final Blitzkrieg.  There's lots of great improvements and fixes now just one download away.  Click HERE to see the release notes and download links.  Thanks to everybody for reporting issues and special thanks to the testers who make sure we don't overlook them.
    • Battlefront.com

      Special Upgrade 4 Tech Tips   12/27/2016

      Hi all! Now that Upgrade 4 is out and about in large quantities we have now discovered a few SNAFUs that happen out in the scary, real world that is home computing.  Fortunately the rate of problems is extremely small and so far most are easily worked around.  We've identified a few issues that have similar causes which we have clear instructions for work arounds here they are: 1.  CMRT Windows customers need to re-license their original key.  This is a result of improvements to the licensing system which CMBN, CMBS, and CMFB are already using.  To do this launch CMRT with the Upgrade and the first time enter your Engine 4 key.  Exit and then use the "Activate New Products" shortcut in your CMRT folder, then enter your Engine 3 license key.  That should do the trick. 2.  CMRT and CMBN MacOS customers have a similar situation as #2, however the "Activate New Products" is inside the Documents folder in their respective CM folders.  For CMBN you have to go through the process described above for each of your license keys.  There is no special order to follow. 3.  For CMBS and CMFB customers, you need to use the Activate New Products shortcut and enter your Upgrade 4 key.  If you launch the game and see a screen that says "LICENSE FAILURE: Base Game 4.0 is required." that is an indication you haven't yet gone through that procedure.  Provided you had a properly functioning copy before installing the Upgrade, that should be all you need to do.  If in the future you have to install from scratch on a new system you'll need to do the same procedure for both your original license key and your Upgrade 4.0 key. 4.  There's always a weird one and here it is.  A few Windows users are not getting "Activate New Products" shortcuts created during installation.  Apparently anti-virus software is preventing the installer from doing its job.  This might not be a problem right now, but it will prove to be an issue at some point in the future.  The solution is to create your own shortcut using the following steps: Disable your anti-virus software before you do anything. Go to your Desktop, right click on the Desktop itself, select NEW->SHORTCUT, use BROWSE to locate the CM EXE that you are trying to fix. The location is then written out. After it type in a single space and then paste this:

      -showui

      Click NEXT and give your new Shortcut a name (doesn't matter what). Confirm that and you're done. Double click on the new Shortcut and you should be prompted to license whatever it is you need to license. At this time we have not identified any issues that have not been worked around.  Let's hope it stays that way Steve
    • Battlefront.com

      Forum Reorganization   10/12/2017

      We've reorganized our Combat Mission Forums to reflect the fact that most of you are now running Engine 4 and that means you're all using the same basic code.  Because of that, there's no good reason to have the discussion about Combat Mission spread out over 5 separate sets of Forums.  There is now one General Discussion area with Tech Support and Scenario/Mod Tips sub forums.  The Family specific Tech Support Forums have been moved to a new CM2 Archives area and frozen in place. You might also notice we dropped the "x" from distinguishing between the first generation of CM games and the second.  The "x" was reluctantly adopted back in 2005 or so because at the time we had the original three CM games on European store shelves entitled CM1, CM2, and CM3 (CMBO, CMBB, and CMAK).  We didn't want to cause confusion so we added the "x".  Time has moved on and we have to, so the "x" is now gone from our public vocabulary as it has been from our private vocabulary for quite a while already.  Side note, Charles *NEVER* used the "x" so now we're all speaking the same language as him.  Which is important since he is the one programming them

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sburke   

deleted.

This isn't worth investing any effort in. 

I take that back, one thing is worth it.  for the record.

Other examples of passive-aggressive behavior might include avoiding direct or clear communication,.... playing the victim,.... sarcasm, backhanded compliments, and hiding anger.

Edited by sburke

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18 hours ago, sburke said:

How is comparing a completely different game relevant to this?  I could just as well ask why are war in the east, war in the west and war in the pacific 3 different games?  Pointless, they are not CM they don’t have the same issues and it does nothing to further this conversation. 

Even if @kraze is missing the mark about tank riders, the question of what is different between CMx2 and other war game engines out there is valid and interesting.

Regarding tank riders and CMBN/CMFI a call was made about whether or not to adapt the animation  work for CMRT and review every AFV to determine if it was 1) suitable to carry troops and 2) then "rig" the 3D model so the engine new how to apply the animation to the geometry of the tank. A cost-benefit analysis by @Battlefront.com determined this wasn't economically viable and not strictly necessary for at least 50% of the timeline covered. With the release of a new full game, CMFB, the factors in this equation changed and we got tank riders.

We can agree or disagree with those decisions, people can decide it's no biggie, or a deal breaker and walk away. I kind of agree with @Thewood1 that there are signs of attrition amongst the player base. Or maybe we've got used to open tickets on the help desk,  rather to come to the forums to ask for opinions about a certain event being a bug, wad or a who knows what. Perhaps most of the details of this engine have been mapped in detail, and how many times can the same question be made rather than using the forums search function?

Or there is perhaps less people coming over here to make questions, discuss history or tactics. Certainly the frequency I see that posts haven't been made in days on the WW2 forums has increased. The last time in over three months I have learnt something from a post here was @Josey Wales thread on morale mechanics.

Graviteam has split their "Tactics" game into two strands too, one being the original Mius Front, the other covering the Tunisian campaign. Looking through the Steam discussion forums of their games, this decision made some long time beli3v3rs of the series to abjure on their previous fandom and start trolling them in a rather vile fashion. On the other hand, it is fact that Graviteam has a workflow implemented that allows for a more constant and rapid stream of bug fixes and patches than Battlefront. I am sorry Steve, the only criticism of mine on this post: if it is so painful you're approaching the problem of patching from the wrong flank.

The question of Steam or itch.io or whatever digital platform was answered as well, with a similar answer to that of the tank riders. Nothing is actually free in the Internet anymore: somebody pays for the bandwidth at the end of the day, knowingly or not. Distributing with Steam means a 30% of revenue is lost to the cut of Valve, which is the publisher and the retailer. You don't need to write down a linear program to see that if sales aren't increased by a 30% you don't break even, unless the cost of distributing the stuff yourself is... about a 30% of revenue anyways. Then you would be freeing up time if you drop the old distribution channel.Which probably would prove divisive. Adding a markup to cover any overheads would prove divisive too.

If that sounds complicated... well, it is because it is complicated. Having said that, the world keeps rolling on its axis...so eventually the factors of this equation will change, and Battlefront strategy will change accordingly.

Steve was extremely candid discussing the issues delaying v4 for CMFI. I almost fell out of the chair reading it, as I think was one of those rare moments we have seen how actually the games are made. I discussed back in the day the issue to some extent with Steve over email, and as former dev for Command Ops and beta tester for War in the West and War in the East 2, I  don't see how Steve could have done better given the circumstances of his games. So hindsight is 20/20 and context is for kings. Neither are very helpful observations to make, I know.

Data integrity is a huge issue for war games and constructive military sims like the ones I have been working on recently. You get an entry garbled on a table which is defining piece wise a complicated function, like the rate of infrared radiation emitted per second by a vehicle, and the bug may go unnoticed for years (or not, with all those gamers that review every death and kill in their games with steely eyes). Battlefront has a radical policy curating data, that has produced an incredibly detailed and I think, mostly accurate, simulation at a level than pro Sims don't bother in some aspects.

Thanks for the games guys and I hope this is too a lull before the storm. And @kohlenklau has indeed started a meme!

 

Edited by BletchleyGeek
Very long post, lots of typos, dubious grammar and f*cking Android autocompletion.

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sburke   

Nice post @BletchleyGeek and far more articulate than mine.  I know some folks would more than likely consider me a fanboi. Ha haven’t heard that term in a while.  I wouldn’t, I just feel that BF has a pretty good track record in terms of business decisions and adaptability if their strategy for patching and upgrades doesn’t pan out. The new single download being a good example. 

I undestand when folks get antsy when there are gaps in releases or periods of low activity, but we seem to just repeat ourselves with these cries like they are facing imminent demise and then suddenly there is a flurry of activity and our world is safe again. 

Personally I think we just need to be patient. 

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IanL   
6 hours ago, BletchleyGeek said:

If that sounds complicated... well, it is because it is complicated. Having said that, the world keeps rolling on its axis...so eventually the factors of this equation will change, and Battlefront strategy will change accordingly.

Steve was extremely candid discussing the issues delaying v4 for CMFI. I almost fell out of the chair reading it, as I think was one of those rare moments we have seen how actually the games are made. I discussed back in the day the issue to some extent with Steve over email, and as former dev for Command Ops and beta tester for War in the West and War in the East 2, I  don't see how Steve could have done better given the circumstances of his games. So hindsight is 20/20 and context is for kings. Neither are very helpful observations to make, I know.

Great post over all but nice summary there. I think it is worth repeating. Other may disagree :-)

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IanL   
4 minutes ago, sburke said:

I wouldn’t, I just feel that BF has a pretty good track record in terms of business decisions and adaptability if their strategy for patching and upgrades doesn’t pan out. The new single download being a good example. 

Yep good example. Another point that might be worth reminding everyone about is that in the CM1x days they released a game and some patches but once the next one came out the older game was done - over - finished. With CM2x they have taken on a huge additional amount of work to keep even CMBN updated as new features were added. That has been really excellent.

 

4 minutes ago, sburke said:

I undestand when folks get antsy when there are gaps in releases or periods of low activity, but we seem to just repeat ourselves with these cries like they are facing imminent demise and then suddenly there is a flurry of activity and our world is safe again. 

Personally I think we just need to be patient. 

Me to.

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Why isn’t there any more news?

Why aren’t the devs on the forum  more?

No new releases for...what, X months?

They are losing customers, and not making potential new ones every day!

The fan base is definitely shrinking, you can see it for yourself.

Seriously, devs, snap out if it! What are you doing, just sitting around sipping coffee?

I predict that in less than two years they will be closing their doors. 

It doesn’t take this long to add the sodding feature I want to the game, it’s all practically done already!

 

The above is a sample (edited for style and foul language) of discussions on other developers’ forums. Curiously familiar...

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sburke   
4 minutes ago, Bud Backer said:

Why isn’t there any more news?

Why aren’t the devs on the forum  more?

No new releases for...what, X months?

They are losing customers, and not making potential new ones every day!

The fan base is definitely shrinking, you can see it for yourself.

Seriously, devs, snap out if it! What are you doing, just sitting around sipping coffee?

I predict that in less than two years they will be closing their doors. 

It doesn’t take this long to add the sodding feature I want to the game, it’s all practically done already!

 

The above is a sample (edited for style and foul language) of discussions on other developers’ forums. Curiously familiar...

Pfft yeah how many of them have been accused of being a NATO front!  Now we’re talking baby!

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13 minutes ago, sburke said:

Pfft yeah how many of them have been accused of being a NATO front!  Now we’re talking baby!

Ah, yeah, there is that. :rolleyes:

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IanL   
19 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

Real world anecdotal info...I used to play with a group of six friends all the way through CM1.  When CMSF came out, we last a couple.  Now, not a single one is left playing except me.

I know how you feel. I have two friends who used to play CM1x as well and I am the only one who is left...

19 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

I continue to hold out hope that a ton of content will get dropped on us soon, but that hope is dwindling.

I can only judge a game's state by a few things...patch frequency, DLC frequency, new products, home forum activity, web activity, and my own personal world activity.  I also consider the comings and goings of the company.  BFC is down on all of those in my book.  Again, hoping its some kind of two year lull before the storm.

But is it a lack of content that caused your friends to stop playing? Will more bring them back? I ask because content has nothing to do with my friends not playing CM2x. The problem they have is it is harder. They don't want to work so hard. The end of borg spotting is for me the absolute best part of CM2x but they just cannot handle the way spotting works anymore. New content will do nothing to bring them back. They just want to go play battle field whatever where they runaround like maniacs for a few hours with their brains switched off.

I don't know about you but I really don't want CM to start looking more like an FPS. So, I miss playing with them but I'm happy :D

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If B.F.C is a front for N.A.T.O. what's an old Lefty like me doing here? .... Buying and enjoying their games would appear to be the obviously answer. Although some might say that I have been duped into purchasing them by Steve Mega Bucks Yankee Imperialist Inc.

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Thewood1   

Actually its both.  The expectation after CMSF was that an equivalent of CMBO, would be quickly done.  It ended up taking a long time.  They just got tired of it.  I was the only one who played CMSF beyond the first few patches.  They all tried CMSF 1.0 and absolutely hated it.  One friend summed up most of my group's feelings in that they didn't feel that CMSF was close to playable.  I continued pushing BFC to fix things, but my group had better things to do and games to play.

When CMBN came out, a couple came back and played a bit, but didn't want to wait around a couple years for the game to be fleshed out.  One friend, the oldest that I never let forget that, feels that he might be dead by the time some of the things he is interested in get done.  He actually said he would have considered getting CMBN if the bulge game had been a module of CMBN.  He was incredibly frustrated at having to run several games and wait for other modules in other games to be built.  He moved on to ARMA and spends a lot of time on that game now.  And I think those guys' feelings represent a number of players that made the transition from CM1 to CM2.

New content won't get them back at this point.  So if players from the CM1 generation are dropping off, getting new ones is a priority for BFC, as it should be for any company.  In fact, that is how companies survive multi-generation transitions.  They know older customers will drop and make it a point to do stuff to get new customers...like going from CM1 to CM2.  One sure fire way for a content-focused company to starve itself is not deliver content at a good pacing.  I have always been a proponent of releasing smaller and more focused content more quickly.  Going years without a piece of content for a game is a game and market killer.  I do this stuff for a living and have lived through successes and failures.

I don't know and don't pretend to know the inner workings and goals of BFC.   But I have dealt with dozens of companies like BFC.  And looking at how my old group has moved on, I get concerned.  I have also found that people who have been beta-testers for years tend to have very skewed views of the market.  It gets skewed by seeing activity in the background and by their own rose-colored glasses.  When my companies look for real-world feedback, we rarely talk to our testing community.

And it is fair to compare CM2 to other games.   They compete for a gamer's time.  That is one of the most valuable commodities that a game company asks me to spend.  Right now, I spend that commodity on Command and Steel Beats.  I have gone from spending 20 hours a week on CM2 to spending entire weeks without playing.  I am the last of my group spending any time watching what is going on.  But I have seen few people stepping in to replace people like me who bought every CM product regardless.

Also...I think that is very condescending of you to put words and thoughts in my friends' heads.  They and I love the relative spotting that CM2 executes relatively well.  But other games do it and do it well.  10 years ago, it was a concept that a bunch of games were trying to do.  Some. like BFC did it.  Steel Beasts and Command both do it.  And in some ways, they do it better.  This shows that beta-tester mentality of looking at the market with blinders on.  Let's not forget, that my fiends' first taste of relative spotting was CMSF 1.0.  And it sucked and was broken then.  Parts of it were fixed quickly, but half of my group had already moved on.

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IanL   

Interesting post with a some food for thought.

25 minutes ago, Thewood1 said:

Also...I think that is very condescending of you to put words and thoughts in my friends' heads.  They and I love the relative spotting that CM2 executes relatively well.  But other games do it and do it well.  10 years ago, it was a concept that a bunch of games were trying to do.  Some. like BFC did it.  Steel Beasts and Command both do it.  And in some ways, they do it better.  This shows that beta-tester mentality of looking at the market with blinders on. 

Well that was a piss off. If you want condescending I can muster some up for you... but that was *not* what I said and it was *not* what I intended. You offered as an explanation of why your friends stopped playing your conclusion that there was not enough content. I offered my experience that it was not content that lead my friends to bail.

If you want to take that as an insult then I guess there is nothing I can do about that but please don't take it that way.

I was just trying to get clarification on that point and find out if more content would bring them back. I find it curious that some content was a temptation but the offering vehicle was the turn off. That is interesting.

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49 minutes ago, Thewood1 said:

Going years without a piece of content for a game is a game and market killer.

This I don't quite get. Okay, so a new module for your favorite family is taking longer than you like and you start to get bored just playing the same things over and over. The thing to do in that case is to get something else and play it for a while. Then, when the long awaited module appears, what's to stop you buying and playing it now? Am I being too rational or something?

Michael

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IanL   

It is kind of what I am wondering too. Mind you I can see an argument that if you don't have new stuff to enjoy you drift off and play other stuff. I can see that. But as you said once the new thing you wanted is released why not play it?

Part of my problem is likely that I play tactical war-games I have zero interest in RTS or FPS games or even operational (other than if it drives a tactical game - I'm all over that). That does not leave much to choose from and I found CM so here I am. I spend my time on that game but there are precious few that could distract me from it and I have no where nearly played all the content so I just don't get the "not enough content", "not enough new releases" mantra. I freely admit that. I am looking for some insight though since I am curious.

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16 minutes ago, IanL said:

I just don't get the "not enough content", "not enough new releases" mantra. I freely admit that. 

I’m with you there. It’s a sandbox, at least in part. You can do so much if you wish, so while I am excited to see my range of options expand with new releases and modules, I’d be already delighted with just base games. Or even just the first. When I get tired of it, I do something else for a while and come back when I’m refreshed.  

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Ah, it's been a while since we've got a thread like this.  Seems at least once a year someone declares that we're dead, dying, or otherwise irrelevant.  All kinds of "evidence" is brought up to make the argument, then there's a dispute between those who think it's fact and those who think it's an opinion.  Often it's the same people involved, yet apparently they haven't counted how many times they've cried that the sky is falling only to find out that it isn't.  I'll take our 20 years in business and match it against any person here that thinks they have the information they need to know anything about us.  Or maybe anything in general :D

I've said this each and every time and each and apparently it never sinks in.  So here goes again...

We have been around for as long as we have precisely because we don't do things the same as other companies.  It amuses me to no end how selectively who we are compared to.  Instead of doing one off anecdotal comparisons without any critical thought, how about we compare Battlefront to the game companies most of its customers grew up with and/or still think of as the best of the best?  Here’s how long each of the following independent games companies lasted before they sold out (usually because they had to) or went totally defunct:

Interactive Magic (successor to MicroPose) - 4 years
Atomic Games (2nd iteration) - 6 years (not including hibernation period)
Spectrum Holobyte - 10 years
Atomic Games (1st iteration) - 11 years
Maxis Games - 11 years
Matrix Games - 11 years
Simulations Publications Inc (SPI) - 13 years
Three-Sixty Pacific - 15 years
Strategic Simulations Inc.(SS) - 15 years
Impressions Games - 16 years
Avalon Hill (1st iteration) - 17 years
Sierra Entertainment/Sierra Online - 17 years
MicroPose - 19 years
Broderbund - 19 years
Avalon Hill (2nd iteration) - 24 years

There’s others that made a great game or two and didn’t make it beyond that and there's some that started up around the same time as us that are still around.  However, there’s few that have made it longer than Avalon Hill’s “Monarch” phase and there's not many poised to overtake them.  Battlefront is.

The reasons why companies succeed or fail is complicated.  I know a bit about the business side of each of the games I listed and there’s one very common element among them all… higher overhead than they could afford.  Why has Battlefront lasted as long as it has?  Because it lives within its means and doesn't engage in risky speculative activities.

I bet there’s very few of our critics that have run their own businesses at all, not to mention two decades in a ruthlessly competitive and mercy free consumer industry.  Does not being on Steam hurt our sales?  Probably.  Does not advertising all over the Internet hurt our sales?  Probably.  Does not having a dedicated PR flak posting near useless tidbits about things day in and day out hurt our sales?  Eh, maybe.  Does not cranking out product as fast as possible hurt our sales?  Probably.  But if we did all of these things, would we likely still be in business?  Not very likely.

That's because things come at a cost.  Costs have to be covered.  Failing to cover your costs one time usually means death in this business.  So when a customer makes a list of things we're supposedly doing "wrong", it's usually out of touch with reality.  Since they don't have to be in touch with reality, the list works for them.  It doesn't work for us since we know better.

Now, does this mean we could not do things better than we do and NOT run ourselves out of business?  Sure.  What isn’t appreciated is that steady, measured improvement is what we have been doing and it is one of the key reasons we’re still here making games.  

So people need to make up their minds.  Is it better for us to behave like the other game companies and go out of business or (worse) move away from serious wargames?  Or is it better for us to continue making games in a way that is sustainable long term?  Because it really comes down to that.

Steve

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And yes, for some of you observant types... I did post the above in 1/4 finished state by hitting the wrong button and then deleting it until I could finish it.  Just for the record ;)

Steve

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46 minutes ago, IanL said:

I spend my time on that game but there are precious few that could distract me from it and I have no where nearly played all the content so I just don't get the "not enough content", "not enough new releases" mantra. I freely admit that. I am looking for some insight though since I am curious.

One reason might be that not all players like all types of scenarios...

Some people might not like to play night battles, some may not like to play in limited visibility (fog etc), some may prefer infantry battles, some like big fights,  some like small...

If you find all the scenarios/campaigns in all the games to be to your liking and intresting then...fine ! :) You will probably have a decent amount of content to play.

But it would be my guess that most people have some particular kind of scenarios they prefer and others that they dislike (lack intrest in)...

And never play ! this limits the amounts playable content for those people...

Having more to chose from would be better ! :D

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20 minutes ago, RepsolCBR said:

One reason might be that not all players like all types of scenarios...

Some people might not like to play night battles, some may not like to play in limited visibility (fog etc), some may prefer infantry battles, some like big fights,  some like small...

If you find all the scenarios/campaigns in all the games to be to your liking and intresting then...fine ! :) You will probably have a decent amount of content to play.

But it would be my guess that most people have some particular kind of scenarios they prefer and others that they dislike (lack intrest in)...

And never play ! this limits the amounts playable content for those people...

This is very true.  And the more specific a player's tastes are, the more likely Quick Battles are the solution.  Even with lots of people making lots of scenarios there's a sort of natural move towards a fairly narrow range of types of scenarios.  Same was true in CM1, too.  I mean, how many Barkman's Corner scenarios did people make? :D

Steve

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2 hours ago, Thewood1 said:

And it is fair to compare CM2 to other games.   They compete for a gamer's time.  That is one of the most valuable commodities that a game company asks me to spend.  Right now, I spend that commodity on Command and Steel Beats.  I have gone from spending 20 hours a week on CM2 to spending entire weeks without playing.  I am the last of my group spending any time watching what is going on.  But I have seen few people stepping in to replace people like me who bought every CM product regardless.

From our perspective it doesn't matter if you personally see the customers replacing you or not.  All that matters to us is that they exist.  And they do exist.  I've been telling you that for 10 years since you took to personalizing things to a really disturbing degree on other forums.  Your perception does not equal reality.  Which is good, because if your perceptions were accurate we'd have gone out of business long ago.

What I don't think you appreciate is that the Forums have never contained more than a small percentage of our customers at any given time.  I see customers who purchase multiple products at one time EVERY DAY and no prior purchasing history with us.  Where are they coming from?  I don't have a clue.  Should I?  In a perfect world I would, but the world is imperfect and so it is what it is.

There's also a lot of customers who buy one game, play it for a year or so, then buy another one.  We're fine with that.

Upgrades give us a pretty good idea of our customer retention, BTW.  We're quite pleased.  Especially with the number of All Family (5 Upgrades) we sell.  You might be worried about our customer base, but we aren't.  In the end it's what matters to us that determines if we stay in business, right?

Steve

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1 hour ago, Battlefront.com said:

We have been around for as long as we have precisely because we don't do things the same as other companies.  It amuses me to no end how selectively who we are compared to.  Instead of doing one off anecdotal comparisons without any critical thought, how about we compare Battlefront to the game companies most of its customers grew up with and/or still think of as the best of the best?  Here’s how long each of the following independent games companies lasted before they sold out (usually because they had to) or went totally defunct:

Interactive Magic (successor to MicroPose) - 4 years
Atomic Games (2nd iteration) - 6 years (not including hibernation period)
Spectrum Holobyte - 10 years
Atomic Games (1st iteration) - 11 years
Maxis Games - 11 years
Matrix Games - 11 years
Simulations Publications Inc (SPI) - 13 years
Three-Sixty Pacific - 15 years
Strategic Simulations Inc.(SS) - 15 years
Impressions Games - 16 years
Avalon Hill (1st iteration) - 17 years
Sierra Entertainment/Sierra Online - 17 years
MicroPose - 19 years
Broderbund - 19 years
Avalon Hill (2nd iteration) - 24 years

There’s others that made a great game or two and didn’t make it beyond that and there's some that started up around the same time as us that are still around.  However, there’s few that have made it longer than Avalon Hill’s “Monarch” phase and there's not many poised to overtake them.  Battlefront is.

Always great to read you @Battlefront.com.You forgot Talonsoft on that list :-) John Tiller (barely anymore that's true), Joel Billings and Gary Grigsby are still around too.

I am going to make you two  questions.

Question #1 paraphrases one by Stephen Jay Gould. If the history of those companies was a magnetic tape and we could rewind it and play it back, would the life cycle of those companies play in the same way? And I don't want to sound gloomy, but it is an obvious fact that all living things grow old and die, and companies are living things of a certain sort. 

You're very right that overreaching and overextending are a typical "evolutionary trap". People like Jim Rose are no longer around... when I hear someone who isn't backed by Goldman Sachs say "go big or go bust" I can't help smirking. 

Nowadays we have seen an explosion of cottage game development... seeing people pursuing pet projects from their bedrooms (and surprisingly, sometimes people well into their 40s and 50s) and making quite ambitious games has become relatively common. I don't need to see you working from your bedroom with a cot and a nappy change table in the background in order to think that you believe in what you're doing, don't worry :) Question #2 is: how many of those one, two or three amigos outfits will get to develop more than one or two games and grow up to become the "Battlefront" of the niche of their choice?

 

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