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Combat mission and steam.


lordhedgwich

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I know this has been brought up before probably more times than i can count, but wouldnt Battlefront benefit from the CM series being on steam??:confused:

I have so many friends that are interested in combat mission, but when they find out its not on steam their interest plummets. Also I think it being on steam would drive up sales. I have seen it on Gamersgate and GoG before but those sites arnt popular like steam.. Anyway what do you guys think?

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For those too lazy to read the whole post, here is the relevant part in black and white:

Bottom line is that Steam is a money losing proposition for us. Almost for sure guaranteed.

He goes on further to say:

For someone to argue that we should go with Steam needs to first establish what professional experiences they have which makes them more knowledgeable about wargame sales than we are. If you can't do that, then don't bother telling us what a fantastic opportunity we're missing with Steam. It would be like telling an accomplished lawyer how to present a case based on nothing more than having watched a lot of Judge Judy.

Michael

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Steam takes a 30% cut from every sale, and has pretty much total control over the rates at which they sell regarding "deals" etc. There have been a few articles from indie projects that basically made no money because of how many times steam cut their actual price right down to 10% of its original value.

It will be interesting to see how well Achtung Panzer Operation Star does now that it is on Steam as it would give a fairly good approximation as to how well the CM series would do.

It would be nice having auto-installers for incremental patches on top of the larger ones, and the ability for the whole addon/expansion thing to be easily integrated. Mod support in the steam workshop would be pretty lovely too.

As far as a customer is concerned usability-wise steam is for the most part a very attractive prospect. Seeing as steam blanket state that they provide keys to all original owners of a new game for free converting wouldn't necessarily cost either.

However, even with all that being said you need to try and estimate your sales. Battlefront will have numbers stretching back throughout their company's history and so will have a very good idea when it comes to their audience and potential sales. For steam to be worthwhile they will need to sell at the very least, a third more copies than they normally do to even break even cost-wise. Realistically they should be aiming at selling at least 1.5/2X more than they currently are to give a comfortable margin.

Can any of you provide convincing proof that their sales would definitely increase this much purely due to being on steam? That is what they would need to seriously consider the move. Giving up total control of your game isn't something every developer wants to do.

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Honestly even if folks could somehow derive those numbers I doubt BF would be interested. BFs focus seems to have been more along these lines over the past 10 years or so

1- Develop the cmx2 engine - essentially CMSF they had to first find out that 1:1 was gonna work. Choosing a modern setting was just bring crafty daredevils. Perhaps they just felt they needed a fresh setting otherwise it would be conflicting too much with the existing cmx1 base

2- Launching back into the ww2 setting and getting a feel for demand. -CMBN and CMFI

3- Working on the production cycle process and the ability to have more than one project in the pipeline. CMRT and the following modules/game families

4-Developing a strategy to keep all games current. Release of 2.0 for CMBN and subsequent 3.0. I think BF is still working the kinks out on this one to try and reduce the amount of labor it takes

At no point there do I think BF really focused on a "sales effort". My impression based on them expanding their company (yeah Phil!) and their output is that sales aren't really their issue right now. Their income versus expense model seems to be increasingly moving in a favorable direction and it would seem that their business model has proven itself sound to survive fluctuations in the economy. In that situation where you are in full control of your sales model and forecasting why would they ever consider putting any of that at risk? The release of CMBS is going to bring them more attention. This one is gonna rock. Even if the setting is not one you are interested in, it is gonna fascinate to see how combat has changed in the Information Age. During the latter days of the Cold War as NATO started looking at air land battle and other such concepts about getting inside their opponents decision making cycle (the modern version of France 1940), we had only a glimmer of what was to come.

My only question for BF is, what the heck is CMx3 gonna look like. :D

I think you misread my post or i didnt communicate it properly. I know they said no steam i have seen posts like that before. I was just curious what all of you thought lol I would love to see it on steam personally, but thats just me

Considering that from BFs perspective it would likely mean going out of business, I hate the idea.

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Honestly even if folks could somehow derive those numbers I doubt BF would be interested. BFs focus seems to have been more along these lines over the past 10 years or so

1- Develop the cmx2 engine - essentially CMSF they had to first find out that 1:1 was gonna work. Choosing a modern setting was just bring crafty daredevils. Perhaps they just felt they needed a fresh setting otherwise it would be conflicting too much with the existing cmx1 base

2- Launching back into the ww2 setting and getting a feel for demand. -CMBN and CMFI

3- Working on the production cycle process and the ability to have more than one project in the pipeline. CMRT and the following modules/game families

4-Developing a strategy to keep all games current. Release of 2.0 for CMBN and subsequent 3.0. I think BF is still working the kinks out on this one to try and reduce the amount of labor it takes

At no point there do I think BF really focused on a "sales effort". My impression based on them expanding their company (yeah Phil!) and their output is that sales aren't really their issue right now. Their income versus expense model seems to be increasingly moving in a favorable direction and it would seem that their business model has proven itself sound to survive fluctuations in the economy. In that situation where you are in full control of your sales model and forecasting why would they ever consider putting any of that at risk? The release of CMBS is going to bring them more attention. This one is gonna rock. Even if the setting is not one you are interested in, it is gonna fascinate to see how combat has changed in the Information Age. During the latter days of the Cold War as NATO started looking at air land battle and other such concepts about getting inside their opponents decision making cycle (the modern version of France 1940), we had only a glimmer of what was to come.

My only question for BF is, what the heck is CMx3 gonna look like. :D

Considering that from BFs perspective it would likely mean going out of business, I hate the idea.

I wouldnt want them to go out of business.. I always thought steam was a good thing for games hence the Greenlight stuff and all these indie games getting on steam... I love combat mission i would just like it to get its name out there and be really successful

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I wouldnt want them to go out of business.. I always thought steam was a good thing for games hence the Greenlight stuff and all these indie games getting on steam... I love combat mission i would just like it to get its name out there and be really successful

Our hearts are in the right place (I was the one who made the last Steam thread), but if BF doesn't think its a good idea than it isn't. As Steve always says, they have lasted this long doing what they wanted and so far it has definitely worked.

I would love for Combat Mission to get more popular as well, but Steam doesn't appear to be the avenue to do it.

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I wouldnt want them to go out of business.. I always thought steam was a good thing for games hence the Greenlight stuff and all these indie games getting on steam... I love combat mission i would just like it to get its name out there and be really successful

Yep, I think on this forum that is one item we all agree on. :D

I am sure BF would be thrilled to see any expansion in their sales and web based business is a constantly moving subject. If they could find a way to broaden their reach and still maintain full control of pricing etc I expect they would jump at it. Until some model exists that allows them to do so I doubt we will see anything. What the community really needs is a sales charity something like kiva that takes a small cut and just provides a venue. What BF doesn't need is a retailer focused approach. Instead someone is gonna have to come up with some kind of community model that isn't profit based. It is not out of the question that this could arise, but once it had enough impact someone would come along and buy it. How that service would pay for itself I have no idea as I am with Erwin when it comes to signing up to anything that tracks my like and dislikes anymore than the ones I have already.

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...when they find out its not on steam their interest plummets...

This is the bit that always puzzles me.

Seriously, what difference does it make ? You still have to install it and activate it.

Even worse, you can never just fire it up, you always have to start Steam first.

( to be fair, Hearts of Iron III does have an exe that lets you run it without starting Steam first, but it's the only one I've come across that does that. )

I don't hate Steam, I have Steam and some Steam games, but it does annoy me. Put me down as one who is glad CM is NOT on Steam :)

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You also have to bear in mind that the number of games on stream has grown massively in years. Before greenlight started, getting your name on to steam was pretty much a guarantee of success because it would get your game on front of a huge audience quite noticeably. But now there are so many games on steam that it is more like the appstore; it adds no visibility, and so getting people to know about your game really isn't helped any.

So where stream used to add visibility and the ability to get a game easily compared to shop retail, now it doesn't add visibility and doesn't really add any ease of access for BFC games already available for download.

So really the only sales BFC are going to get from steam are from people who have already heard of the game but won't play it unless it is on steam. And from that you have to subtract the cut steam takes from sales you would have had anyway that are now sold through the steam store. And deal with factors like that with the exception of big AAA titles the vast majority of hands bought on steam are heavily discounted in sales. I couldn't tell you how many times I've heard people say "I want to get that game, but I'm going to wait until it is in a sale". Most steam users seem to think that with a very few exceptions, posting more than $10 for a game is just too much.

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Steam frequently bundles indie and small developer games into packs with prices set by Steam. The problem with this of course being that Steam is now setting the market value for your game scandalously low so it can make a profit on sale packs while the developer gets jack. Does this sound like a smart business move for Battlefront?

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Forget Steam, Kickstarter and IndieGogo is where it's at these days! BFC should just set up a number of game projects there to see if there's any interest. You want to see that CM: Vietnam happen? If it gathers $500,000 in pre-orders then they will get on it! Of course there would be stretch goals so if the goal is exceeded by large enough margin then more stuff will be added and there will be extra rewards for big donors - for 10 grand Steve will go with you on a field trip in the actual battlefield.

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I have steam on my computer and if it wasn't for Total War, which I hardly play anymore and Wargame, which I've barely touched, I would get rid of.

Combat Mission is the only thing I play these days and the fact I still have steam on my computer when I don't use it is just another reason to NOT go there. Its just another piece of crap that gets loaded onto your system and who knows what or where your personal data ends up.

Yes I hate steam. When CA started using it begining with Empire Total War I was pissed. I bought a dvd thinking I could just install off the dvd only to discover I had to sign up with steam and be tied down to them.

Steam now sits in offline mode 99.9% of the time and if I don't get interested in Total War again, may just get uninstalled.

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It makes me a bit suspicious when we suddenly get these "Why isn't CM on STEAM?" threads usually from people who never otherwise post.

Is STEAM offering rewards to people who can bring em more games?

Well I signed up for the forum in 2009 so i dont think my goal was to promote steam... lol I just thought it might help promote sales but apparently I was wrong.. I didnt realize this was such a touchy subject and would cause some of you to whip out the tin foil hats lol :P

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For steam to be worthwhile they will need to sell at the very least, a third more copies than they normally do to even break even cost-wise. Realistically they should be aiming at selling at least 1.5/2X more than they currently are to give a comfortable margin.

It's even worse than that: if Steam takes 30%, they'd need to make sell 1.5x more to just break even...and much much more than that if Steam discounted the game.

I.e., $50 (cost of game) x N (number of sales) = revenue.

So 50(n)= revenue.

If Steam is taking 1/3 off the top, you're left with 33.5(n) = revenue. N needs to be 1.5 to give you the 50(n) revenue that they are getting now. [33.5*1.5]= 50.25.

But if Steam cut the cost down to $30, that's $20 after their cut, meaning you need to increase sales by 2.5X to get even. If Steam dropped the price to $20, sales would need to increase by 3.75X.

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I have steam on my computer and if it wasn't for Total War, which I hardly play anymore and Wargame, which I've barely touched, I would get rid of.

Combat Mission is the only thing I play these days and the fact I still have steam on my computer when I don't use it is just another reason to NOT go there. Its just another piece of crap that gets loaded onto your system and who knows what or where your personal data ends up.

Yes I hate steam. When CA started using it begining with Empire Total War I was pissed. I bought a dvd thinking I could just install off the dvd only to discover I had to sign up with steam and be tied down to them.

Steam now sits in offline mode 99.9% of the time and if I don't get interested in Total War again, may just get uninstalled.

I completely agree with all of this. I bought the Civ5 DVD from Amazon last year and to my horror discovered that I couldn't run it without being connected to Steam. Okay, so I trudgingly jumped through all their hoops and got signed up. But then I discovered that I had to do a bunch of it all over again every time I wanted to play. I had to sit through a couple of minutes of it downloading god knows what before I could even get the game going. After a few episodes of this I deleted the game, the Steam membership and everything I could find that had anything to do with it. All this left me very thoroughly pissed and wishing that Steam would vanish into a black hole in hell.

Okay, I know a lot of people think that Steam is the greatest thing since sliced bread. And they may have their reasons for thinking that. But in my life it has no place. If the only way I could purchase or play CM was via Steam, I would regretfully never play it again.

Michael

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It's even worse than that: if Steam takes 30%, they'd need to make sell 1.5x more to just break even...and much much more than that if Steam discounted the game.

I.e., $50 (cost of game) x N (number of sales) = revenue.

So 50(n)= revenue.

If Steam is taking 1/3 off the top, you're left with 33.5(n) = revenue. N needs to be 1.5 to give you the 50(n) revenue that they are getting now. [33.5*1.5]= 50.25.

But if Steam cut the cost down to $30, that's $20 after their cut, meaning you need to increase sales by 2.5X to get even. If Steam dropped the price to $20, sales would need to increase by 3.75X.

Steam doesn't price drop games if the developer says not to. The only reason you see a lot of price drops on Steam is because the publisher/developer has reaped all the sales expected at full price. Then they give a discount to milk those standing on the fence.

Not everybody does it though or has to. Battlefront could leave their games at whatever price they choose for as long as they want and Steam can't do anything about that.

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