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Fire and Rubble


BFCElvis

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2 minutes ago, weapon2010 said:

what is the decision process to be "assured"? sounds like a risky and difficult decision to make.

Man, that's the business of making games. I don't know what is Battlefront threshold sales to break even - 2,000 copies, 5,000 copies? Those volumes, in the context of actual war games are "best sellers".

Hence why so much (board) war games now run campaigns on a variety of crowdfunding platforms, have "pre-order" targets (like GMT Games does), and so on. You make an elevator pitch, people put their credit cards on escrow, and then you get a sense how many more sales than the ones you already have in prep orders are statistically likely given historical sales data.

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2 minutes ago, weapon2010 said:

what is the decision process to be "assured"? sounds like a risky and difficult decision to make.

Would a pre-order scheme give them an idea?  I am willing to tie up money for that.  Or some kind of funding scheme.

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1 minute ago, wadepm said:

Would a pre-order scheme give them an idea?  I am willing to tie up money for that.  Or some kind of funding scheme.

This^^^ 

Steve (or someone from BFC) has said they aren't keen on Kickstarter, but a run-of-the-mill pre-order, started much, much earlier than they do for an announced game should tell them a lot about the potential customer base for Early War/ East Front games. Like a lot of the older wargamers here (and a lot of younger ones!) I always thought East Front was by far the bigger seller. But that was based on playing/ buying board games more than anything, especially ones like Panzer Blitz, or even Blitzkrieg. Observation bias at its best, lol.  That Steve is so adamant that interest in it is so (comparatively) low is surprising, but he's the successful business guy here, so he knows what the margins are much more than me!

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I like this idea -- challenge all of us yammering for east front to put our money where our mouths are.  I'd pay my $60 right now for a 1943 or 1942 game that wouldn't be delivered until 2022 sometime :).  So BFC could ask how many would be willing to fund the project, and if that's enough they could ask folks to pay up and if enough actually pay then there's the answer.  And if enough don't I guess we get refund.

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Agreed.  BF's attitude against doing early war that many of us have been loyally paying money while waiting for CM2 to get to early war since CM2 came out in 2007 is probably a self-fulfilling prophecy and they don't want a kickstarter-like project to spoil their assumptions.

There's probably generational shift in era interests.  Perhaps the younger market only want to play games where the US is kicking butt.  Old-timers grew up enjoying playing cardboard wargames with WW2 Rumanian, Hungarian, Finnish etc. equipment.

It's sad if this is really the nail in the coffin for the long promised early war titles.

Edited by Erwin
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First, you guys have to remember that everything we do is "niche" by definition.  The underlying game system ensures that.  There's no content, advertising campaign, Kickstarter, etc. we can do to change that.  Teaming up with Slitherine has increased our reach, sure enough, but it's still niche in the broader market sense.  And we are fine with that because to be anything other than that would mean not making anything even remotely like Combat Mission.

Because we are niche, and our products are expensive to make, we have to make all decisions based on the knowledge that we don't have much room for error.  Which means we have to keep our costs within the boundaries of realistic revenue potential.  That might seem to be an obvious goal for a business to have, but if you look at the high failure rate of game companies over the last couple of decades you might wonder if that's really the case.  Seems to us that the majority of game companies think the more you spend the more you earn. 

One of the ways we've kept things in balance is by being careful about how much we bite off for each release we make. Going from 1944 to 1943 first, then 1943 to 1942 second, then 1940/41 is how it should be done.  This way gets our core audience a regular flow of new products they want while at the same time we not over extending ourselves on any one title. The problem with this strategy is it's painfully slow.  We've been doing WW2 for 10 years and we're still at 1944 and only now getting 1945 covered.

Kickstarter ins't the way to get our attention as, oddly enough, money isn't the most important factor in our decision making.  For example, if someone got a big chunk of money raised to make an Abyssinian Campaign we'd turn it down because it would mean denying our larger customer base pretty much anything else for 2 years.  We would have to be paid a stupidly huge amount of money up front to piss off the majority of our customers to please a minority.  Especially because the minority tends to also be interested in the same games that please the majority.

I've said it before and I'll say it again... I am an Eastern Front guy at heart.  My first serious wargame design was a strategic treatment of Barbarossa.  You don't have to convince me how rich a topic it is because I probably know better than most how true that is.  Unfortunately, I can't foresee any time in the near future when the conditions will be right for doing it.  Note I'm not saying NEVER like I would an Abyssinian Campaign :)

Steve

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8 hours ago, DerKommissar said:

I wanted to do my high school Remembrance Day speech about the Boer War. But because it was largely forgotten (ironically), it had to be about Afghanistan or WW1. 

The Boer war was forgotten because nobody choses it as the subject for a remembrance day speech anymore. That's how it works, not the other way around. 🙂

Those brave boers deserve better though.

Edited by Aragorn2002
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12 minutes ago, Aragorn2002 said:

The Boer war was forgotten

If you encounter any Boers
You really must not loot 'em!
And if you wish to leave these shores,
For pity's sake, DON'T SHOOT 'EM!!
Breaker Morant the day before he was executed. Last time a British firing squad executed an Australian and after Gallipoli they were no longer under command of the British. 

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4 hours ago, Battlefront.com said:

Going from 1944 to 1943 first, then 1943 to 1942 second, then 1940/41 is how it should be done.  This way gets our core audience a regular flow of new products they want while at the same time we not over extending ourselves on any one title. The problem with this strategy is it's painfully slow.  We've been doing WW2 for 10 years and we're still at 1944 and only now getting 1945 covered.

Isn't the reason that it's so slow that you have chosen to focus on modern titles instead? CMBS, CMSF2, Cold War.. and then also going forwards in time with CMFR and CMFB.

 

Edited by Bulletpoint
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47 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

Isn't the reason that it's so slow that you have chosen to focus on modern titles instead? CMBS, CMSF2, Cold War.. and then also going forwards in time with CMFR and CMFB.

 

I think that I can answer this for Steve.......

Sure. Because we have seen that those will be more popular and a better use of our resources. That seems to be what he has been saying in his last few posts. "We could do it but it would be at the expense of other titles that would be more widely popular"

(I think that I speak "Steve" fluently) 

 

Unrelated.......we reached a milestone in Fire and Rubble last night.

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Thanks Steve, that was very clear.  I'm having fun w Black Sea right now.  So while I am ww2 guy first, the other games are really just as fun.  And now there will be thread about Abyssinian campaign but with

Meanwhile, Elvis says 'major milestone', which to me means we've reached the final product which would then go through the 2-4 week production release tunnel.  I can't wait to be overrun by T34-85s!  Ah, Berlin in the spring.

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18 hours ago, Artkin said:

the word "niche" in this context meaning: requiring a lot of work and time spent developing new things

I checked an online dictionary about meanings of that word and IMO the best matching choice was
4. (Commerce) (modifier) relating to or aimed at a small specialized group or market

So it's not about how much work is needed, but how many people are buying. You could say CM games are niche games compared to things selling millions of copies, but if you compare different CM games some sell many more than others. According to what I've read Battlefront's comments CMBN and CMSF have been some big sellers, but for example Red Storm has sold less than those. I hope CM Cold War will be one of their best selling titles.

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