Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Skwink, Sep 13, 2010.
And the poll isn't a good representation of the global population.
You're trying to use opt-in polling numbers from a minority portion of the community to try and draw conclusions.
91 people voted that they wouldn't buy Civ V because of Steamworks. The question is what that number means... and the answer is that it means absolutely nothing. It is not even indicative of 91 lost sales. It is indicative of 91 people dissatisfied with a decision Firaxis and/or 2K made. That's *all*. You can vote that you won't buy it and then buy it... and if you don't like the decision, you even have an incentive to vote that you won't buy it, even if you do plan to buy it, because this forum is being monitored by 2K employees who are presumably reporting to their bosses what the community thinks about various things.
That poll is truly devoid of meaningful information.
Agreed and so what? That doesn't mean we can't learn from it. It is a good representation of Civfanatics:
But not a good representation of the global population, preventing meaningful conclusions about the net change in sales due to Steam Works incorporation.
If the polls constructed on poor sampling then saying "the poll data indicates a net loss of sales" is meaningless. Sure, the poll may indicate that, but if it's demonstratively poorly sampled, then the fact the poll indicates that isn't worth mentioning. It's too anecdotal.
And you still haven't addressed the other issue here:
Assuming that there are some lost sales, can you give reasons why steam was still not a good idea? Since steam offers free DRM services (Unlike securom, 2Ks usual system), free multiplayer netcode/servers, a free frontend for their mod browser, as well as other systems (like DLC integration). Not to mention the other likelyhood: That the exposure and availability on steam will help drive more sales than the people who 'boycott' (Aka, those who threaten to boycott, I've never seen one actually have any kind of success).
He's not talking about something different, he's talking about the same poll and the poorly phrased options.
I like steam, I prefer to buy games through Steam rather than in stores, through D2D or having a box shipped to me. I answered that poll with 'Steam does not influence this decision either way' because I'm buying Civ 5 because I want Civ 5, not because it was released through Steam. There are litteraly thousands of games available through Steam that I will not buy and that decision has nothing at all to do with Steam itself.
So saying that my decision was not positively influenced by Steam isn't entirely true, but it would also not be true to say that I was going to buy Civ 5 because it was released on Steam. I would buy Civ 5 regardless, however since it is available on Steam and I like Steam and I will buy it through Steam.
I won't drive to Canada to buy a Video game, if there is a game only available in Canda I could honestly say that I would not buy it because it is only avialable in Canada. However, at the same time if I were in Canada I would not be able to say that I was buying that game because it was only available in Canada.
So while that poll can give you an idea of how many people on this site won't buy the game because of Steam that is all it can tell you. It can not tell you if more people will buy it because of Steam because in reality more of us here at CivFanatics care about the game itself than whether or not it's a Steam game. It may very well gain exposure to thousands of people who would have never considered it before but you won't be able to figure that out with a poll at Civ Fanatics. Keep in mind that Steam is really good at generating impulse sales because you can decide that you're bored and want a new game but lazy and not in the mood to go to the store.
No, the poll indicates that x number of people who visit this site won't buy the game because of Steam. Nothing more, nothing less.
Did you read the thread?
Yes the poll was opt-in, which should make it even more biased toward those who are Steam-friendly.
Consider this: The users who don't like Steam and because of that won't be buying Civ5 aren't going to hang around this Civ5 sub-forum for long. They may make a post or two or vote in a poll before leaving but their stay here will be short. The pro-Steam crowd that does not dislike Steam enough to have it prevent their purchase and will be buying Civ5 is who is here learning and asking about the game they will purchase.
You may disregard the opinions and positions of the people who voted but I do not.
Not true Sahkunhuder: The poll was started many months ago. At that time, the forum was still very divided over the issue of steam because most of the people on this forum are hardcore civ fans (and thus less willing to accept change). Also, people who are upset about something are far more likely to post/join a forum than those who are happy.
It's not disregarding the people who posted, that's not relevant at all. It's about basic statistics and economics.
You don't need to sample the whole global population before being able to draw a meaningful conclusion. A meaningful conclusion can be gained by even a single person being polled. If that person says that they won't buy Civ5 because of Steam then we can conclude that one sale has been lost (assuming the response was truthful). Whatever number the net sales will be they are now one sale less.
The poll is not too anecdotal to support my two statements:
Do you disagree with my statements?
Yes. You should really start reading my posts, they pretty much talk about your argument right now. You can't conclude that the number of net sales is down because some people refuse to buy the game. You can't conclude the far more relevant point that they made/will make less money even if they lose those sales.
Yes, I read the thread, and yes, I disagree with your statements. You write "If that person says that they won't buy Civ5 because of Steam then we can conclude that one sale has been lost (assuming the response was truthful)."
I'm pointing out that assuming the response was truthful is itself an error. Not only is there no reason to assume that, there is a positive reason to assume that a segment of the population has an incentive to specifically violate that assumption; a segment of the population has something to gain by lying about this.
You can't validly draw any conclusion deeper than "some portion of the population is dissatisfied with the decision to require Steam for Civ5" from that poll. It doesn't demonstrate that it will lose sales, either net or gross. It doesn't say anything about how many people are dissatisfied. It doesn't say anything about how dissatisfied they are.
I am sad that I won't be able to buy Civ5 on release day because I was told not to buy Civ5 on release day.
I told myself not to buy Civ5 on release day because I remember what happened on Civ4 release day. At that time I bought Civ4 on release day and even though my system met the requirements to run the game I could not run the game until several patch iterations later.
Therefore I forbid myself to buy Civ5 on release day until I have evidence that the game runs satisfactorily out of the box.
I am sad that I must wait until Civ5 is deemed safe to buy by the community, but I am even sadder that nothing can be done about selling products before they are ready to hit the market.
I am sad, are you?
Do you doubt that it will eventually run on your machine?
If not, then you have no incentive to wait until it does. If you buy it on launch day, either it will run or not. If it does, then you'll have been able to play it for weeks to months longer than you would have by waiting. If not, then you shelve it until they patch it to the point where you can play it; there is no added cost for this outcome over and above waiting.
As a further point, given that each computer system is different, even if it does launch broken for your machine, you won't be able to tell which patch fixes your specific issues without knowing which specific issues you're having.
I agree with you that it's crappy when you buy a game and it doesn't work on some oddball computer configuration when your computer happens to have that oddball configuration. But you don't really get anything out of waiting, if you plan to buy it eventually anyway.
Your sample has to be a good representation of the global population (by global population I don't mean all 6 billion people on Earth, just those who'd consider buying and playing the game). If it doesn't reflect the population as a whole, then there's the risk of it being biased.
Actually, I do.
Statement 1 is poor because it's reliant on the poll's result fairly representing the population. Something I don't think is safe to assume.
Statement 2 seems to disregard the existence of opportunity cost. Decisions have their positives and their negatives. Your "a lost sale is a lost sale" mentality seems to only consider the negative aspect and refuses to acknowledge any positives. For example, a gained sale is a gained sale.
I also think that the sheer number of options present in the poll makes it hard to analyse. I went with the neutral answer, that Steam wouldn't affect my decision because I'm happy with Steam and I was almost certainly going to buy Civ V anyway. I'm probably one of the most pro-Steam people on the board though. There's a reason professional pollsters will use as simple choices as possible. They'll go with yes/no if they're able to.
That poll can be differently interpreted, as can any internet poll. To me it says that if 2K, when taking the risk of putting in a horrid thing like third party authentication, only lost 91 sales (give or take), then they got off easy and will be quite happy with their business decision.
It also shows that 91 people (give or take) have made a decision different than mine. The sad part, if they go through with it, is that it will be a self-imposed restriction on potential happiness. Those are the worst kind. I will never truly understand it, but it will be their choice, not mine, so I can't say I will feel the angst they want me to feel for them.
Meanwhile I will only be sad on release day because I do not have infinite bandwidth and will have to wait some number of minutes for my download from d2d. Not a big sadness to add to the list, I'm afraid.
I'm not organizing a boycott or whatever. For my various personal reasons, of which Steam is only one, I have decided not to pay any of my money to 2K. I encourage others to think for themselves and to do what is best for their own personal reasons.
I did find it interesting that anyone who prefers not to be forced to use Steam has been told they are in some tiny insignificant minority and often ganged up on and shouted down. But yet when the poll numbers concerning Steam influencing Civ5 purchases are looked at the larger number of members of this forum voted a negative opinion of Steam.
If you are seeking "why steam was still not a good idea" there are many detailed posts you can read with the specific objections spelled out. Believe it or not I can see why many people like Steam. I see it adding nothing to my Civ experience (SP/offline) and do not like that I am forced to run a third-party application as a requirement in order to run the original software that I paid for.
Thanks for taking the time to post a well-reasoned and thought provoking argument.
I do see now that the poll questions could have been phrased better and as you said some pro-Steam people like yourself could have (correctly) voted a "Steam-neutral" vote as Steam didn't influence your decision to purchase Civ5.
Let's examine your statement: "So while that poll can give you an idea of how many people on this site won't buy the game because of Steam that is all it can tell you."
That still tells us much. Of 629 votes on a Civ-friendly site in the Civ5 sub-forum 91 (14%) said "I will definitely NOT buy the game, because of Steam". One out of every seven potential buyers here on Civfanatics are so against Steam that they told us they will not purchase Civ5 because of it. Anyone who dismisses this poll as "truly devoid of meaningful information" should take another look at both the dissatisfaction rate and level of intensity before dismissing those opinions.
I see no reason why we can't make an intelligent speculation as to how that dissatisfaction may apply to the general population. If one of seven borg Civfantics are so upset as to not buy the next installment of their beloved game then what is the rate of amongst the Civsortafans or the CivyeahitsCivorthatothergame buyers? I can only believe that the fanatics will be more willing to put up with something they don't like and hold their nose and buy Civ anyway (It's Civ! I have to have it!) than the rate that the general population will tolerate something they don't like (It's Civ. meh. Whatever.).
In my own defense I did include two polls in my original post:
Yes, it is an older poll, but the numbers still illuminate a strong dissatisfaction. This forum is still divided over Steam and as I mentioned earlier it makes sense that people who won't buy because of Steam won't hang around this Civ5 sub-forum. I would claim the opposite of your statement, the happy people are hanging here waiting for new gameplay information and discussing the new game and the people who are upset make a brief appearance, may or may not make a post or two expressing their dissatisfaction and then move on. Why would they hang out and discuss a game they aren't going to buy? Polls taken here should be overwhelmed with shiny eager fans while the other voices have long since departed.
How is a one in seven dissatisfaction rate "not relevant at all"? Ouch!
The problem is it is just speculation. There's no strong evidence to back it up. You can assume that the rate of people unwilling to adopt Steam will be lower here than the general rate, but there's nothing to back that statement up. One is forced to argue against the weakness of the supporting evidence because the alternative is to just counter with equally baseless speculation and there's no real progression.
In all honesty, that poll you've linked to is even less reliable for drawing conclusions about Steam than the first. The publishing option isn't exclusively referring to Steam. People who voted for that option could be fine with Steam and hate the deluxe edition or DLC, or the converse could be true. The problem is there's really no way of determining which is which. Not to mention the previously discussed sample bias inherent with any poll asked on this forum.
It tells us nothing about the level of intensity. People who are mildly dissatisfied have an active incentive to post that they are very dissatisfied, on the off chance that community 'backlash' might cause 2K to reverse the decision. Voting that they won't buy Civ5 because of this issue only tells us that they want us to think they're that upset about the issue. It doesn't tell us that they are that upset about the issue. The poll provides absolutely no way of evaluating how dissatisfied those people truly are.
You can dance around the point all you want. That poll tells us one thing: that among hardcore civ fans, some number of them are dissatisfied with the decision to rely on Steam Works. That's it. And that small bit of information it's providing is so obvious that it barely bears mentioning; some number of hardcore fans will be upset about literally every decision they make regarding this game.
Separate names with a comma.