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Whine about CM costs thread. Post here!


bobo

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My whine is that the games don't cost enough.

I want BF to do well financially so that they can hire the people needed to do things faster and more swiftly implement the features that are often called for in these forums.

If one calculates the man-hours of playing pleasure that every CM title has given us, there are very few, if any, other computer games that can compete in terms of hours "lived" on our hard drives.

In the past I considered that each CM title from the days of CM1 was worth over $300 when compared to the cost of the games I used to purchase and discard a few weeks later.

My only beef with the current system of "families" and "modules" is that they are a PITA to upgrade and patch individually compared to the enormous convenience that CM1 provided by having an entire theatre and in the case of CMBB the entire of the WW2 era in one single install.

The majority of us here in these forums would pay more for faster releases, improved/additional features etc. On the other hand, I have no idea of the demographics of the majority of BF's CM2 customers, and it's possible that they are nothing like those of use who frequent these forums.

Well here's a nice way for you to pay more for the games:

Buy extra copies for people who can't afford it.

I'm not talking about people who just feel that the price is too high (screw those people!) but the people who would be willing to pay it, but just can't afford it.

Take me for example; I'm 37 years old, unemployed for almost four years now. I've had to move back in with my mother because the "friend" I shared a flat with didn't think I was as fun to share a flat with when I couldn't afford partying and going out every so often so he kicked me out. I have an average income of 5000sek/month (that's around 500 euro) and that covers the bills and lets me help pay most of my own food.

But it leaves precious little for "frivolous things" like computer games.

Now, you could theoretically buy two copies of the game and give one to someone in my situation.

That would let you sponsor BF with more money and also help a fellow CM player "stay in the game" so to speak.

Now, I want to be clear here, I am not asking you to buy me a game.

Some other kind soul already did that. (Thank you again, you know who you are :D )

But it is an option if you want to sponsor the company.

Kinda like what I did back in the day when I had job and loved the show Firefly. I bought several copies of that show and gave it away to friends and family.

For no other reason than because I wanted to sponsor the creator of the show and to bring the joy of the show to those I love.

Same principle here. (just don't buy the game for your mom or anything)

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Since there’s a thread, here goes.

CM is a niche product in a market that probably has a fairly limited potential size. That acts as an effective deterrent to Battlefront’s would be competition and endows BF with de facto monopoly power. It comes, then, as no surprise to see them behaving like a monopolist. Compared to more competitive segments of the games industry, we observe persistently higher prices, patches with a positive price, relatively low rates of innovation/product development, extremely draconian activation restrictions, and frequent community interaction on the forums that might be concisely paraphrased as “we know better than our customers, so STFU” (see, e.g., the last post here: http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=115612&page=17&highlight=steam).

This behaviour is buttressed by a sycophantic community that takes every opportunity to rush to BF's defence upon any suggestion that the company might cut consumers a better deal. Many in that community adopt the view that they get a lot of value out of the products, so ‘being exploited is okay’. In a properly functioning, competitive market, value is not an appropriate benchmark for price! Take out any introductory economics textbook and you will find that value-based pricing is the hallmark of the monopolistic exploitation of market power.

This is not a diatribe against BF. They are the only people making anything like this, they generally do a good job, and they have to cover their fixed costs which might go some way to justifying its pricing. But the community should do better, especially on lobbying over non-pecuniary issues. Mainstream gaming is littered with examples of proactive consumers securing better treatment for themselves. But a community that won’t stand up for itself should prepare to take it in the rear-end.

Sycophantic defense rush to follow! ;)

Forgive me for not breaking out the relevant parts of your quote, but I'm using my phone. It is difficult.

Niche products should result in cutthroat competition, not monopoly. BFC has established itself as the milsim/gaming house par excellence. Others approach, but do not meet, tbe same threshold. (Granted, less "sim" and more "game" may appeal. Look at CoH.) Why have others not tried to get BFC's market base?

Cost: I don't care what it is. I do care about player base and BFC longevity. Of BFC goes the way of the dodo, who will make/support these games?

Now, does cost prohibit the expansion of the player base, or is it limited by the game subject manner or the very design? The learning curve is steep. If CMBN retailed for $5, would more people buy it? (Flipping it, does $50 prevent new playes?) Would the putative increase in player base offset the reduced price? Literally, that is BFC's business. I hope they get it right.

The demo is free. Base game gets you in. Modules feed the addiction. You get to choose your price point.

Pay for patches? Really? That's needlessly inflammatory as well as factually incorrect. Patches, which fix bugs, are free. Upgrades, which add functionality, cost money.

Dream world: BFC keeps making free CM games which auto update and are required playing in all schools to give everyone a chance to play and sign up on the free opponent finder service. And unicorns prance in joy.

End sycophantic defense rush. ;)

Ken

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There is an odd premise that follows through this entire thread that every BF customer buys all of their product. I kind of doubt that is really true and when the next modern title comes out I am pretty certain I will know it not to be true. (I'll explain that after it is released)

For most of us active on this forum, this is THE game for us. To state conclusions as if we represent the norm is probably very misleading and weakens a lot of the whole premise about how expensive CM is or is not.

I've probably spent several hundred dollars now on CM products. When it was just CMSF and CMBN that was okay. I'd switch back and forth depending on mood. I now have 4 game families and another modern title on the way. I will more than likely continue to get everything. It is an addiction. However if I were not such an avid fan I could easily see where someone would only really be interested in one family. As c3k noted we are entirely in control of what we purchase. BF however has to price each product on the time and effort to produce and the expected market sales. My issue isn't price, it is time. I need to retire to be able to be able to fully enjoy all the product I have much less additional product to come.

*puts on sycophant hat*. You are kidding right? They have bundle deals, an ongoing commitment to keeping all families on current engine and therefore retaking value as if new. Wtf do you want? The damned upgrade cost $10 for v2 $5 if you bought in a bundle. You have any idea how much effort went into that? I do and as well an idea of what v3 will likely take. I am consistently amazed by the number of statements made in ignorance on this forum about the value of a product when they have no idea of the effort involved. For all the whining, the version upgrades are a phenomenal deal, get over it.

As to pricing, have you looked around at some other games prices? War in the east and battles of the bulge are not cheap by any stretch and tell me they have the same replay value ( and I say that having bought both). Check out the where Eagles dare board game ( you need to update your board game pricing vision Michael, lately they have become significantly more expensive). CM is not an expensive product if you try an apples to apples comparison, if however you compare the entire CM catalog against one individual game, yeah I'd expect it to look ridiculous.

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$10 in 1975 is $44 in today's dollars.

I just looked in my wallet and found 3 pre 1975 bills. They are a bit worn, but does that mean I now have $132? Woot!!! I knew my wife was wrong telling me I should clean out my wallet! What? That is not how it works, that is not how any of this works? . . . . I unfriendly you.

:D

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Slow day here so … a quick break from groveling in excrement in the second pit of the eighth circle insincere flatterers have been suggested to inhabit;)

This reply is not “buttressing” Battlefront as they can more than mange a response. Since Battlefront is currently busy making new products and improving the ones many of us own, it is a much better use of their time in my opinion.

“This is not a diatribe against BF… the community should do better … a community that won’t stand up for itself should prepare to take it in the rear-end.”

:confused:

13 posts in the Battlefront forum and you know all about the “community”, Battlefront customers consumer behaviors and incredibly… how much profit Battlefront makes or needs to operate a successful game company? Your amazing insight is gleaned from an introductory economics textbook or real world experience in corporate gaming development?

Just in case you missed it, this pretty much sums it up for you.

“The demo is free. Base game gets you in. Modules feed the addiction. You get to choose your price point.”

The “de facto monopoly power” barons … the ones flexing their “… monopolistic exploitation of market power.” … give you a FREE demo. No bootlicking required to play the demo forever. You don’t need to buy the base game. Stick with the demo, no concern about “value”, patches, upgrades, modules, packs, etc. because it is free. If you want more, you pay more.

“Many in that community adopt the view that they get a lot of value out of the products, so ‘being exploited is okay’.”

To suggest anyone willing to pay X for Y is somehow going to “take it in the rear-end” or “being exploited” because it is not the price you want to pay is vacuous at best.

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Niche products should result in cutthroat competition, not monopoly. BFC has established itself as the milsim/gaming house par excellence. Others approach, but do not meet, tbe same threshold. (Granted, less "sim" and more "game" may appeal. Look at CoH.) Why have others not tried to get BFC's market base?

I'll tend to disagree with this. Niche products, especially in gaming, tend to result in a single company monopolizing that niche. Paradox is a good example of that occurring in the grand strategy genre. This isn't to say that other products don't exist, but there is clearly a market leader. And to say Company of Heroes competes with CM is pretty clearly not true. CoH is competing with Starcraft and the standard RTS fair.

Detailed tactical level games also require a certain amount of buy in on the part of the developer before they are successful. Which makes it a hard market to get into. The cost just to enter the tactical level market is such that small independent developers can't stomach the costs (or will have to go with a lighter and more abstracted sim) and might not have the programming experience to finish the product. While the niche isn't big enough to get a large publisher to throw millions of dollars of dev funds at it.

Now the opportunity certainly exists for someone to run a kickstarter or something of that nature. Unfortunately there just seems to be a lack of adequately skilled and motivated developers to make that happen.

Now, does cost prohibit the expansion of the player base, or is it limited by the game subject manner or the very design? The learning curve is steep. If CMBN retailed for $5, would more people buy it? (Flipping it, does $50 prevent new playes?) Would the putative increase in player base offset the reduced price? Literally, that is BFC's business. I hope they get it right.

The demo is free. Base game gets you in. Modules feed the addiction. You get to choose your price point.

The CM games are not as dense as I suspect a lot of people are. However, what they do lack is any sort of proper ease of use and tutorial built into them. The opportunity exists to make these games relatively easy to get into and understand it would just require some work to get that up to speed. In game tutorial, tooltip that **** out of everything, maybe even an advisor who would give you general tips about how to use units. With some more exposure and a proper introduction mission/campaign the games could do a lot more business. I also think the current family module system creates some market confusion as to what the heck you are actually buying.

Pay for patches? Really? That's needlessly inflammatory as well as factually incorrect. Patches, which fix bugs, are free. Upgrades, which add functionality, cost money.

I cannot think of any other developer who charges solely for increased functionality. If nearly any other company did this they would be crucified by the community. In other situations this would be a "free upgrade for loyal customers who have bought our games over the years". BFC gets away with charging for it, and good for them. I also think it adds to the purchasing confusion. Right now there are like 14 different ways to buy CM:BN and there is an option to buy an "upgrade" that brings you to "patch 2.12"" whatever the hell that means.

There is an odd premise that follows through this entire thread that every BF customer buys all of their product. I kind of doubt that is really true and when the next modern title comes out I am pretty certain I will know it not to be true. (I'll explain that after it is released)

For most of us active on this forum, this is THE game for us. To state conclusions as if we represent the norm is probably very misleading and weakens a lot of the whole premise about how expensive CM is or is not.

I'll totally agree with this. As someone who plays CM casually off and on alongside many other games and hobbies I find some of the arguments here infinitely frustrating. Because, no I do not spend all my spare gaming time playing CM. I am also not a "wargamer" who is buying $140 boardgames or persuing Matrix's catalog of absurdly expensive, no demo, games. So telling me that CM is inexpensive compared to that $140 boardgame that takes months to play through and a solid 10 square feet of room in the house does not make me think CM is suddenly a great value.

I play CM and some lighter strategic level games, and every once in a while I'll dive into Scourge of War or something like that. However, most of my gaming time is spent playing Dota 2, Red Orchestra, Arma, Battlefield, or whatever singleplayer game I'm pushing through at the time. I buy weird indie games like

and
that many people here wouldn't consider video games at all.

How I play CM and what I want from CM as far as I can tell is much different than the average forum goer.

I've probably spent several hundred dollars now on CM products. When it was just CMSF and CMBN that was okay. I'd switch back and forth depending on mood. I now have 4 game families and another modern title on the way. I will more than likely continue to get everything. It is an addiction. However if I were not such an avid fan I could easily see where someone would only really be interested in one family. As c3k noted we are entirely in control of what we purchase. BF however has to price each product on the time and effort to produce and the expected market sales. My issue isn't price, it is time. I need to retire to be able to be able to fully enjoy all the product I have much less additional product to come.

My primary issue is breadth. I would absolutely love to own all the CM games, but I don't spend hundreds of hours playing them. What I want to do is spend a few days playing in Italy with some early war equipment and then go play some scenarios on the Eastern Front. I don't really want to spend a 100 hours exclusively playing in any of these locations. The price to do this though it entirely beyond what it is worth to me because I will not spend a more than a few hours per year in any theater.

*puts on sycophant hat*. You are kidding right? They have bundle deals, an ongoing commitment to keeping all families on current engine and therefore retaking value as if new. Wtf do you want? The damned upgrade cost $10 for v2 $5 if you bought in a bundle. You have any idea how much effort went into that? I do and as well an idea of what v3 will likely take. I am consistently amazed by the number of statements made in ignorance on this forum about the value of a product when they have no idea of the effort involved. For all the whining, the version upgrades are a phenomenal deal, get over it.

As to pricing, have you looked around at some other games prices? War in the east and battles of the bulge are not cheap by any stretch and tell me they have the same replay value ( and I say that having bought both). Check out the where Eagles dare board game ( you need to update your board game pricing vision Michael, lately they have become significantly more expensive). CM is not an expensive product if you try an apples to apples comparison, if however you compare the entire CM catalog against one individual game, yeah I'd expect it to look ridiculous.

Effort involved does not equal value for the consumer. Like I said earlier in nearly any other setting charging for upgrades would sent he internet into a blind rage. Imagine a company like EA doing that.

I also don't understand the penchant for comparing CM to boardgames.

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I wonder if Ford motor company gets complaints from people who claim that since they bought a Taurus sedan back in 2004 that the company should be obliged to upgrade the vehicle to 2014 standards free of charge - because they had already paid for the car once. And don't forget the demand that they should get a new one if they break or lose the old one, again for free.

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If a customer has previously purchased the 2.0 CM upgrade and now wishes to purchase CW and MG...

Oh, I see. You're basing your complaint on a mistaken assumption! Like if I mistakenly thought a restaurant was charging me every time they refilled my water glass then go around bad-mouthing the restaurant for cheating me. But they didn't.

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Oh, I see. You're basing your complaint on a mistaken assumption! Like if I mistakenly thought a restaurant was charging me every time they refilled my water glass then go around bad-mouthing the restaurant for cheating me. But they didn't.

What mistaken assumption is that? :eek:

The facts are clear and unequivocal as I have pointed them out - go do the sums and grasp the point made (though noone on the thread seems capable of doing so). Even Steve himself tacitly acknowledged (eventually) way back on the forum that there was an anomoly with regard to the CM:BN module/upgrade pricing.

I will reiterate: Noone should be asked to pay again for something they have already purchased. That is bad business in any commercial operation. Yes it's a small gripe I know but it's a real gripe and deserves recognition on a thread opened specifically for this reason.

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PP I think you make some very good points about CM product and trying to compare against other products. The comparisons aren't always helpful for the simple reason that company strategies and products are not always comparable.

The module strategy as an example I agree can be confusing. Even BF alluded to that in discussions on this very forum about the content of the MG module. How to insure for example that the CW module was not required and at the same time not charge folks again for material they already had if they owned that module. I think their end result was satisfactory, but it expect BF learned some lessons from it to apply to future module design.

A direct comparison of feature addition is also not entirely applicable as the amount of effort BF has to go through to port new features into the older games is a major commitment. Far more than I think if they simply had each game family independent. There is a value add there from a customer perspective that I really appreciate. About the only directly comparable policy I know of is HPS releasing free patches to keep their games at the same load, but that is a significantly different proposition than the effort required for a 3D game. I think MikeyD remembers quite well the amount of effort it took to get CMBN to be able to truly be version 2.

I have to admit I almost spit out some coffee on the comment about relative density of CM product versus users. Very sneaky. ;)

As to pricing, you have raised this before and again I'll have to plead ignorance on whether those are options for BF. I don't have enough info to reach a conclusion either way. I will say I think BF seems satisfied with their current model and are more focused on both product and fine tuning the whole constant upgrade process. As Moon noted in his update they are looking at ways to allow the bundle installers to be applicable for all and not just folks who purchased via the previous bundle. I think that is time well spent and would help reduce the confusion at least in terms of installation process.

As to ubiquitous, considering the ongoing community disagreement with that particular product community that led him here relative to the CM community I am not surprised by the comments. The remarks about BF's supposed attitude and the "sycophants" is totally consistent for that source. *shrug*. I could give a rat's ass what that community thinks. That may be an unfair assessment but considering the tone of the post, deserving.

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What mistaken assumption is that? :eek:

The facts are clear and unequivocal as I have pointed them out - go do the sums and grasp the point made (though noone on the thread seems capable of doing so). Even Steve himself tacitly acknowledged (eventually) way back on the forum that there was an anomoly with regard to the CM:BN module/upgrade pricing.

I will reiterate: Noone should be asked to pay again for something they have already purchased. That is bad business in any commercial operation. Yes it's a small gripe I know but it's a real gripe and deserves recognition on a thread opened specifically for this reason.

They offer 2.0, the CW module and the MG module all separately. They also offer a CW bundle with 2.0 or an MG bundle with 2.0. They do not offer a CW/MG solo bundle however. Is that your complaint? Seriously? Okay point noted. BF needs to offer still another variant bundle. Can we move on now? I don't mean to be a d**k about it ( yeah I know I am failing there, sorry) but I guess the OP did say this was for whining. I'll just stfu now.

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A direct comparison of feature addition is also not entirely applicable as the amount of effort BF has to go through to port new features into the older games is a major commitment. Far more than I think if they simply had each game family independent. There is a value add there from a customer perspective that I really appreciate. About the only directly comparable policy I know of is HPS releasing free patches to keep their games at the same load, but that is a significantly different proposition than the effort required for a 3D game. I think MikeyD remembers quite well the amount of effort it took to get CMBN to be able to truly be version 2.

Arma 3, Red Orchestra 2, and the Paradox games, just to name a few, all provide free functionality updates to users. If BFC wants to charge for it and it works all the better for them. I don't begrudge them making money.

I have to admit I almost spit out some coffee on the comment about relative density of CM product versus users. Very sneaky. ;)

Haha, spelling mistake on my part.

As to pricing, you have raised this before and again I'll have to plead ignorance on whether those are options for BF. I don't have enough info to reach a conclusion either way. I will say I think BF seems satisfied with their current model and are more focused on both product and fine tuning the whole constant upgrade process. As Moon noted in his update they are looking at ways to allow the bundle installers to be applicable for all and not just folks who purchased via the previous bundle. I think that is time well spent and would help reduce the confusion at least in terms of installation process.

Like I always say. I don't begrudge BFC their money. I would prefer a cheaper price across the board since it would fit my consumption of CM more appropriately. I also think releasing an older game on Steam would be an interesting experiment. Personally I think it would do pretty well, but I also have unusually high opinions on the capabilities of the Steam userbase.

I won't bring up these discussion myself, but if they are around I'll speak my mind.

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Can everyone that wants to whine about costs of any part of CM please only in this thread?

Bundles, upgrades, old modules. Post them here!

Let's keep the forum to discussion of the game.

Thanks,

Bobo

What a brilliant idea, I admire the thought.

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This talk of the install process and buying process being too complicated gave me an idea. It would be cool if CM somehow got a splash page thing like DCS has where it automatically handles updating and gives you a constant reminder of all the cool goodies you haven't bought yet ( not that I skip anything on CM;) ). Not like the unified super game mega family that a lot of people were asking for in the beginning but just a single exe that let you pick which family you wanted to play and gave you an impulse-buy way to buy more. This would also be the perfect place to put an integrated opponent finder. When people see the people playing or wanting to play the family/module they don't have, they can impulse buy it to start playing.

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They offer 2.0, the CW module and the MG module all separately. They also offer a CW bundle with 2.0 or an MG bundle with 2.0. They do not offer a CW/MG solo bundle however. Is that your complaint? Seriously? Okay point noted. BF needs to offer still another variant bundle. Can we move on now? I don't mean to be a d**k about it ( yeah I know I am failing there, sorry) but I guess the OP did say this was for whining. I'll just stfu now.

Slightly but ineffectively rude, and still, NO that is not the complaint.

The complaint regards a matter of principle that a pricing stucture where a customer must pay for something that they already HAVE purchased is bad business. That is what the current BN pricing does. De facto.

Secondly, if complaining about a bad business operation does not qualifiy as a legitimate gripe (seriously) then there is no point in having a thread open for comments and objectionable apologists wouldn't be forced to waste their time.

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Slightly but ineffectively rude, and still, NO that is not the complaint.

The complaint regards a matter of principle that a pricing stucture where a customer must pay for something that they already HAVE purchased is bad business. That is what the current BN pricing does. De facto.

Secondly, if complaining about a bad business operation does not qualifiy as a legitimate gripe (seriously) then there is no point in having a thread open for comments and objectionable apologists wouldn't be forced to waste their time.

How is that not the complaint, it is the only instance where you would have to include the 2.0 upgrade in a configuration even if you already have it. Spell it out for us then as I am not seeing any other variant that fits your complaint that yes in your own words is a small gripe that you have escalated to a matter or principal. Perhaps (and this is just a thought) maybe BF knows based on their sales info that that particular bundle isn't one they have run across a need for. Maybe not, but it does leave the window open that your issue of principal is simply theoretical and a dead end.

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How is that not the complaint, it is the only instance where you would have to include the 2.0 upgrade in a configuration even if you already have it. Spell it out for us then as I am not seeing any other variant that fits your complaint that yes in your own words is a small gripe that you have escalated to a matter or principal. Perhaps (and this is just a thought) maybe BF knows based on their sales info that that particular bundle isn't one they have run across a need for. Maybe not, but it does leave the window open that your issue of principal is simply theoretical and a dead end.

I'm guessing its something along the line that one buys v 3.0 with RT or v 2.0 with FI for that matter (all features included in base game). Then doesn't want to pay for upgrading CMBN to reach v 2.0 or v 3.0 as this was already payed for buying FI or RT. Twisted logic as the upgrading of BN costs resources and is not done automatically..

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Given that I own the CMBN base game only and purchased the 2.0 upgrade, I too wish that there was a two-module bundle (CW and MG) that didn't include the upgrade I already paid for. But upgrade price of $10 was more than fair for the expanded feature set I received. I mean, it makes no sense to me to make a big deal about $5 or $10. "The principal of the thing" starts to mean a whole lot less (to me, anyway) when we're talking about lunch money.

However, this does raise a question. Once the 3.0 upgrade is extended to CMBN and CMFI, if I buy Red Thunder, which already includes the 3.0 engine, and then buy CW and MG, will my CMBN games and modules all automatically be 3.0, thereby obviating the need for me to purchase a separate CMBN 3.0 upgrade?

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I go to a restaurant. They only sell hamburgers. I order one. It is good.

Later, they expand their menu. Now they serve hamburgers AND steak. I am outraged when they refuse to give me a free steak! After all, didn't I already pay for what they served?

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CAN I WHINE ABOUT THE WHINER'S HERE OR DO I NEED TO GO START ANOTHER UN-OFFICIAL THREAD TO DO THAT. :P

The only thing I have to say, if you dont have the money to buy the product at the present price. No matter what your issue is then move on. Find something else instead of trying your hardest to get them to change their pricing here.

I really have no pity for someone that wants it to cost the same as some other games, because they want to own 20 crappy games and this one also.

If you like this game at all, pretty much you dont need to be wasting your money on anything else.

Plus if you have all that time to play so many games, no wonder you dont have the money for this one.

If you dont have a job, limited income (that is no excuse) In this country anyway, anyone that really wants a job can still get one - the problem is not that there is no jobs, the problem is people who will not accept some types of work or that they really want to work (exspecially since they can get a goverment check, sit on their ass and play computer games all day). :eek:

I only have pity for those that have real issues as to why they have limited income. And few that be that fit real challenges in their life that prevents them from working, but some there are and I take no offence towards them if they should read this.

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