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How about a CMBN and 2.0 bundle?


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We are going to revamp some of the CMx2 bundles to use the current patches. However, we are not going to offer a specific Bundle for CMBN v1.x and CMBN v2.x. Instead we will continue to offer them separately to keep things simple for people. Let me explain...

We want to offer people a lower cost entry point into CM by allowing people to buy the previous (unsupported) version at a $10 discount. Customers can then buy the Upgrade on it's own for $10 or buy it as part of a Module Bundle and save $5.

These options give customers the most amount of flexibility in terms of what they wind up with and how much it costs them. They can purchase all these things at once, or they can purchase them separately over time.

What customers can not do is have several specific bundle options where a particular combination of products are available with one click. That's because it is impractical for us to build, test, host, and maintain an ever expanding set of downloads each and every time we make a patch or a new release. Back in the old days of just one product line it was easy to do this, now it's simply not.

Steve

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Sounds reasonable to me. A lower cost entry point into CM and if you get stuck in the game family take the discount and improve the game experience.

"These options give customers the most amount of flexibility.."

Consumer choice is good

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We want to offer people a lower cost entry point into CM by allowing people to buy the previous (unsupported) version at a $10 discount. Customers can then buy the Upgrade on it's own for $10 or buy it as part of a Module Bundle and save $5.

Wouldn't you want someone's entry point to reflect the best current state of the engine, not the engine frozen in time X years ago?

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"We want to offer people a lower cost entry point into CM by allowing people to buy the previous (unsupported) version at a $10 discount. Customers can then buy the Upgrade on it's own for $10 or buy it as part of a Module Bundle and save $5."

It seems like the plan is offer a reduced price - discount - on the previous (unsupported) version so as to interest a broader spectrum of customers. Sometimes $10 off is just enough to get the ... I'll give it a try and see how it plays" purchases. If they like it they are able to simply Upgrade or that added incentive...buy it as part of a Module Bundle and save $5 makes the possibility of an extra sale as well.

At least that is my business take on it. I think everyone who owns the best current state of the engine can see the improvements in the games families and modules but a less war-game savvy consumer (likely to start with the discounted versions) may look at the buying everything in the best current state of the engine as too expensive.

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Wouldn't you want someone's entry point to reflect the best current state of the engine, not the engine frozen in time X years ago?

Yeah I don't know anyone who actually relishes the idea of buying a game and then realising they need to pay more for the latest version.

In fact, whenever I discuss grognard games with people on other forums and recommend Combat Mission an inevitable response is "Battlefront? Those are the *******s who charge money for patches, right?" Not one person has ever perceived it as a cheaper entry price.

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We are going to revamp some of the CMx2 bundles to use the current patches. However, we are not going to offer a specific Bundle for CMBN v1.x and CMBN v2.x. Instead we will continue to offer them separately to keep things simple for people. Let me explain...

We want to offer people a lower cost entry point into CM by allowing people to buy the previous (unsupported) version at a $10 discount. Customers can then buy the Upgrade on it's own for $10 or buy it as part of a Module Bundle and save $5.

These options give customers the most amount of flexibility in terms of what they wind up with and how much it costs them. They can purchase all these things at once, or they can purchase them separately over time.

What customers can not do is have several specific bundle options where a particular combination of products are available with one click. That's because it is impractical for us to build, test, host, and maintain an ever expanding set of downloads each and every time we make a patch or a new release. Back in the old days of just one product line it was easy to do this, now it's simply not.

Steve

I get that completely. But I am in the same position as the OP (on which your response has not actually addressed - though naturally, that is your prerogative) only I would like to purchase from you, CW and MG bundled for a fair $60 -as, it seems the op plans also - that's a discount in respect to CW not MG - on account that it's 9 months old. And you know in order to benefit from such a purchase, one must have previously purchased version 2.00 anyhow.

Come on BF, quid pro quo!!

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We want to offer people a lower cost entry point into CM by allowing people to buy the previous (unsupported) version at a $10 discount. Customers can then buy the Upgrade on it's own for $10 or buy it as part of a Module Bundle and save $5.

Well, I have bought everything anyway but if I would come across CM now for the first time, buy CMBN v1 and then find out that I have to pay again for the current version? That would not feel right.

Not from an objective price point - that makes sense. But when I buy the game I would assume that it is the latest version. To have to pay again feels like one of those 'freemium' apps.

As a customer I would appreciate a good demo and a slight discount if I buy a bundle instead of just the base game (current version).

Btw how would I know as a new customer what the difference between v1 and v2 is? Is that better or worse, is it worth 10$? When I go to this forum everyone will tell me to buy v2. So why do they sell v1?

Ok, I'll stop here. Just my 2c. :)

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We are going to revamp some of the CMx2 bundles to use the current patches. However, we are not going to offer a specific Bundle for CMBN v1.x and CMBN v2.x. Instead we will continue to offer them separately to keep things simple for people. Let me explain...

We want to offer people a lower cost entry point into CM by allowing people to buy the previous (unsupported) version at a $10 discount. Customers can then buy the Upgrade on it's own for $10 or buy it as part of a Module Bundle and save $5.

These options give customers the most amount of flexibility in terms of what they wind up with and how much it costs them. They can purchase all these things at once, or they can purchase them separately over time.

What customers can not do is have several specific bundle options where a particular combination of products are available with one click. That's because it is impractical for us to build, test, host, and maintain an ever expanding set of downloads each and every time we make a patch or a new release. Back in the old days of just one product line it was easy to do this, now it's simply not.

Steve

I don't see that the present options allow me the flexibility I wish. I am essentially forced to purchase only what you choose. Its obviously set up that way for marketing reasons, not customer satisfaction. Yes, your bundles do save us some money and that is appreciated. But the initial outlay is what is causing me pause. I would simply like to be able to buy and play the base game upgraded to 2.0 with a friend without paying the higher costs of separate purchases because it isn't one of your presently offered bundles. At present, to be able to play a game with my friend, I essentially have to purchase all 4 parts; I cant afford that now. Heck, I haven't been able to afford it since this game came out, that's why I haven't purchased it yet. How much more difficult would it be REALLY to simply make a option for CMBN and 2.0? Then the two modules? What is there to test? And have it still cost the same as the present bundles. You'll still make your money eventually. I'll be able to play the game now and not at some point when I can lay out $90. I can guarantee I wont pay more than that. As proof, I haven't bought the game yet. Doesn't BF understand where Im coming from? As much as it hurts, Im willing to shell out the $90 eventually. But I cant afford it all at once. Heck, if you offer these bundles I suggest and someone just buys the base game and 2.0. you still have made more than the nothing youll get from someone who cant afford the whole tamale.

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Huh...as a nigh-mythic BF fanboi (so dubbed by others; I can't imagine granting oneself such an honorific) I find myself in the awkward position of disagreeing with Steve.

Given the way people think about software, the "best and latest" is that which is craved. This is why Part Is (of whatever) often go unsold though they're dramatically cheaper than Part IIs. Charging for an upgrade is fine by me, but, were I selling this to my friends -- as I have had occasion to do -- letting them get in a up to spec with a single shopping run strikes me as a self-evident path to offer.

In the end it's immaterial to me personally as I purchase everything as it comes out. Still, I'd hate to see something prevent BF from getting more money which, in turn, could prevent me from getting more toys. That would prove unacceptable.

Best,

Jim

"Cyrano"

:/7)

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We are going to revamp some of the CMx2 bundles to use the current patches. However, we are not going to offer a specific Bundle for CMBN v1.x and CMBN v2.x. Instead we will continue to offer them separately to keep things simple for people. Let me explain...

We want to offer people a lower cost entry point into CM by allowing people to buy the previous (unsupported) version at a $10 discount. Customers can then buy the Upgrade on it's own for $10 or buy it as part of a Module Bundle and save $5.

These options give customers the most amount of flexibility in terms of what they wind up with and how much it costs them. They can purchase all these things at once, or they can purchase them separately over time.

What customers can not do is have several specific bundle options where a particular combination of products are available with one click. That's because it is impractical for us to build, test, host, and maintain an ever expanding set of downloads each and every time we make a patch or a new release. Back in the old days of just one product line it was easy to do this, now it's simply not.

Steve

In my opinion, continuing to offer the old 1.x versions for sale is a mistake. Instead of keeping it simple for your customers, it seems to me that it will create confusion. If those new customers buy the old 1.x versions and find out that they can't play PBEMs with those of us who have upgraded to the 2.x versions (which is probably just about everyone who is reading this), and then learn they have to pay an additional $10 to play those PBEMs, that might sour their view of the series.

Now that CMBN is essentially finished, with the possible exception of a "pack", perhaps it would be a good decision to offer a CMBN/CW/MG bundle patched to the latest version (2.12 as I type this), and price it at something like $80? You could continue to offer the "a la carte" options for those who want to buy it a piece at a time, but eliminate the 1.x versions.

None of this would benefit me financially, as I buy your CM products as pre-orders, and will likely continue to, at least for the WW2 versions. It would benefit all of us to have an easy single purchase option that would bring new players up to the latest version of CMBN + all modules, IMO.

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Huh...as a nigh-mythic BF fanboi (so dubbed by others; I can't imagine granting oneself such an honorific) I find myself in the awkward position of disagreeing with Steve.

Given the way people think about software, the "best and latest" is that which is craved. This is why Part Is (of whatever) often go unsold though they're dramatically cheaper than Part IIs. Charging for an upgrade is fine by me, but, were I selling this to my friends -- as I have had occasion to do -- letting them get in a up to spec with a single shopping run strikes me as a self-evident path to offer.

In the end it's immaterial to me personally as I purchase everything as it comes out. Still, I'd hate to see something prevent BF from getting more money which, in turn, could prevent me from getting more toys. That would prove unacceptable.

Best,

Jim

"Cyrano"

:/7)

EXACTLY! I don't want 1.0 and I wont buy it. I wouldn't be able to play the game with most people. My pal who I game with can buy 2.0 as he can afford the outlay. I can not. I also want the features that 2.0 brings. Yet you are FORCING me to choose between buying 1.0 or buying ALL of 2.0. What kind of choice is that? If I can at least purchase CMBN and 2.0 at the bundle price, I can then play him. I'll get the modules later when I can afford them. How many others out there are in similar situation? You are freezing out part of your market.

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In light of the well made points above; I suppose another way of doing it and simplifying the marketing of the products in the process - if that is an additional consideration - is to remove the bundle feature entirely altogether and just offer all the products that are more than six months post-release, with a small discount to reflect that fact.

This way all complication would be removed and all purchasing options are catered for. And I will spend my $60 on the CMBN modules this christmas, instead of on another title altogether, merely because I don't feel I'm getting value for money on one of those modules. :(

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Simple and easy method is just to have everything by itself in the shop, but offer a discount if you put a base game plus modules into your shopping cart. Maybe have that discount stack slightly the more you buy at once, maybe not.

It keeps the shop clean and it's technically trivial.

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EXACTLY! I don't want 1.0 and I wont buy it. I wouldn't be able to play the game with most people. My pal who I game with can buy 2.0 as he can afford the outlay. I can not. I also want the features that 2.0 brings. Yet you are FORCING me to choose between buying 1.0 or buying ALL of 2.0. What kind of choice is that? If I can at least purchase CMBN and 2.0 at the bundle price, I can then play him. I'll get the modules later when I can afford them. How many others out there are in similar situation? You are freezing out part of your market.

You've lost me here. What you say doesn't square with what we're actually offering. Because pricing depends on the specific option you choose (download only, download and hardcopy, or hardcopy) let's just use one example.

CMBN v1.x = $55 (price prior to Upgrade 2.0)

CMBN v1.x = $45 (current price)

CMBN Upgrade 2.0 = $10

This means if you go to the website today and purchase CMBN v1.x and Upgrade 2.0 you will spend $55. This is exactly the same price you would have paid for v1.x last year prior to the release of Upgrade 2.0. Therefore if you buy just the Base Game today it costs you nothing more than it would have last year without v2.0 features.

Now, if you already have CMBN v1.x you can purchase Market Garden with the v2.0 Bundle you save $5 off the cost of the Upgrade. If you're a new customer you can purchase a v1.x Bundle at a double discounted price (one for the bundle part and one because it's v1.x).

That's the way it has been for just about one year. Over that time period we've not seen much confusion or negative commentary about the pricing system or the options available. I say much because I can assure you that after 14 years I know there is absolutely nothing we do, or don't do, that doesn't get someone complaining about something :D

Steve

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Simple and easy method is just to have everything by itself in the shop, but offer a discount if you put a base game plus modules into your shopping cart. Maybe have that discount stack slightly the more you buy at once, maybe not.

It keeps the shop clean and it's technically trivial.

Unfortunately it's not. We'd have to ditch our entire store system and go with something totally new to get that sort of functionality. It would take us probably several MONTHS worth of work to get that in place. And whatever store software we wind up with will have some sort of negative feature that will cause someone to complain. Not surprisingly, there is no single "perfect" package available for us to implement. Most, in fact, have less functionality than what we already have.

Steve

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In light of the well made points above; I suppose another way of doing it and simplifying the marketing of the products in the process - if that is an additional consideration - is to remove the bundle feature entirely altogether and just offer all the products that are more than six months post-release, with a small discount to reflect that fact.

This way all complication would be removed and all purchasing options are catered for. And I will spend my $60 on the CMBN modules this christmas, instead of on another title altogether, merely because I don't feel I'm getting value for money on one of those modules. :(

Believe me when I say that I'd rather have a different way of handling this. But it dose depress me somewhat to hear that you are coming to this conclusion based on bad math or bad logic. See my math above. The discounts are the same today as they have been for years. The only new thing since last year is you can buy CMBN (in pre-Upgrade form) for $10 less than you could before the Upgrade.

Steve

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Of course, if you offer CMBN upgraded to 2.0 without having to buy the 2.0 patch, there's half the battle.

True, but now we've made the cheapest way for someone to get into CMBN more expensive by $10. I have no idea how many people have been attracted to the lower price point that otherwise would have not bought into the series, but I'm sure the number is greater than 0.

It's odd that there's an argument to REDUCE choice and INCREASE costs, because that's what's being argued here.

Steve

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True, but now we've made the cheapest way for someone to get into CMBN more expensive by $10. I have no idea how many people have been attracted to the lower price point that otherwise would have not bought into the series, but I'm sure the number is greater than 0.

It's odd that there's an argument to REDUCE choice and INCREASE costs, because that's what's being argued here.

Steve

I know more than one person who's been turned off completely because they see they're being asked to pay for a patch.

I understand your chain of reasoning, the problem is that nobody actually thinks that way. Nobody sees 'product at reduced price' because the reduction is invisible. They just see 'product' and 'additional cost to *fix* product'.

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Believe me when I say that I'd rather have a different way of handling this. But it dose depress me somewhat to hear that you are coming to this conclusion based on bad math or bad logic. See my math above. The discounts are the same today as they have been for years. The only new thing since last year is you can buy CMBN (in pre-Upgrade form) for $10 less than you could before the Upgrade.

Steve

Believe me I'm the one who is depressed Steve; I purchased the base game pretty much after release at full cost, I paid for the v2.0 upgrade on release at full cost. I willingly paid that full cost because the products were new and felt that the products were fairly priced for what they are.

However, I held off on CW because of my tight budget (at that time) but having waited for 9 months after release, am willing to buy it now for a small discount on that basis. I'm even accepting (in return) that you can insist that my only eligibility to that discount is by purchasing MG with it (yes at full cost). But without you attaching a small discount to such a bargain, I don't think that's good value for my money.

It has nothing to do with bad math or faulty logic Steve, it's a personal decision based on my sense of value. This is not just my calculation of a wise purchase, it's a matter of principle of fair pricing.

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OK, that's a lot clearer now. You are apparently asking for some sort of cumulative discount that is not dependent upon when you actually buy each individual product. Either that or you're asking for us to discount our products after x months simply because x months have elapsed. If you're asking for either one of these things they are completely different from what's been discussed so far.

I think what you're talking about can best be described as a "Buyer's Club" arrangement. It's not a bad idea, but it's totally different from what we have been doing for 14 years. With a Club system we wouldn't offer bundles at discounted prices but would instead offer some sort of discount based on total amount spent within an arbitrary amount of time. It's not a bad idea and worth considering. But it would mean a massive up front cost to us and so from a business standpoint I don't know if it is viable. And if it isn't viable for us then it's not a good idea for our customer base as a whole.

Although "value" is always in the eye of the beholder, empirically the playability and functionality of CMx2 products have not decreased over time, thanks in part to the Upgrade. In fact, the Upgrade thing is a royal PITA for us, but it offers great value to you customers because you aren't forced into repurchasing the same stuff every couple of years in order to get a better gaming experience. That is actually enhancing the value of each purchase you make because you won't have to make it again.

Therefore, since time has no meaning in this context we aren't going to discount products over time. The exception being maintaining the previous version of the Base Game at a discounted price. That's because, unlike the other products, time is dating it.

Steve

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