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How a software company should treat their customers...

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by MaxCiv, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. Caradoc

    Caradoc Emperor

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    Software with ongoing support and updates is usually sold on a subscription basis. How would you like that?
     
  2. King Flevance

    King Flevance Deity

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    I agree with MaxCiv. He came here to voice the opinion of a Civ player that sees a problem. Probably because he thinks Civ 4 would be awesome with alot better support. And has actually got me more interested in checking out GC2. So his post actually has served a purpose.

    I am getting tired of "checking in" to see if the game I bought 6 months ago is playable yet and the only thing I constantly see is:
    "We dont know wtf is going on"

    I mean for real, I dont even care anymore. Civ 4 has now been a waste of my money because by the time it works the price will have dropped at least once I bet. So pre-ordered for nothing. Sure, the game worked for alot of people.. the majority. But it didnt work for me and many others I see.

    Anyways, thanks for additional info Max. Not everyone hates your post.

    Which states that there are people that are extremely dissapointed in how they have been treated. The same people that handed you a working game sold some of us a bunk game and have failed to get it working yet. It has been 6 months for some of us. You mean if you go out and buy a game and it doesnt work in 6 months you would be perfectly content with it when everyone around the game is saying "There are no issues with the game, its fine." I doubt it.
     
  3. Napoliean

    Napoliean Chieftain

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    yeah, I don't see the point to copy protecting games. You can always get round it its a waste of money and time.
     
  4. MrPaladin

    MrPaladin Warlord

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    Odd I have several games that have ongoing support...
    Infact I dont know of many games I have that were in a state that you would consider them still full of bugs... Except for BF2... and trust me, I aint buying what DICE is gonna make anymore...

    Also alot of productivity software is updated on a continual basis... but I'll not count them because their purchase price usually envelops the patching costs...

    the only software I can think of that are subscription based and updated are antivirus and protection packages... and because they get updated on a sub weekly basis you can understand why they would switch, but again there are several FREE alternatives that do not have a subscription...

    I think its in their best intrest to release a patch... the long it waits the more bad vibes goes out in the community, eventually people will stop sticking with this company in its future games knowing that they too will be released with bugs and have iffy patches...
     
  5. Sahkuhnder

    Sahkuhnder Delusions of grandeur

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    I've been too busy having a great time playing GalCiv2 to really notice or care that the civ4 patch still isn't here yet. :yup:
     
  6. MaxCiv

    MaxCiv Warlord

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    If Stardock, which is a relativly small developer compared to Firaxis and T2, can do it, I don't see why any other SERIOUS developer can't. When did we started accepting mediocrity for what we buy and pay?

    If you go out and buy a new TV and you come home and realize that the picture goes fuzzy after 1 hour, do you accept it saying "well, nobody is perfect". Or you think hopefully the manufacturer will realize there is a problem and recall it or send a tech to fix it. Then 6 months later you nothing has changed. Wouldn't you feel upset about it?

    This below is taken from a post made on the GC2 forum by a Developer about the upcoming 1.1 patch:

    http://forums.galciv2.com/?ForumID=161&AID=111075

    ---- Quoting ---

    So the first question is, why are we doing these updates? The answer to that has everything to do with word of mouth. Why is an little indie game like Galactic Civilizations amongst the top selling titles at the major retailers? Surely, it must be the awesome, intimidating Stardock marketing juggernaut. Maybe not. Maybe it has something to do with you -- strategy gamers. Strategy gamers who recommended the game to their friends and coworkers for a variety of reasons. It's a win-win situation. We do everything we can to make sure you're satisfied with your purchase and we benefit from good word of mouth because of the free user-input updates.

    Typically, a person buys a game, plays it for a month, maybe two, and then it's gone. If they like the game, they may recommend it to their friends. Our updates are about extending the game's lifespan. The longer we can keep the game interesting to you, the player, the more value you received from your purchase and the better off we are since it extends the time that you're playing the game. We also see it as our responsibility. It's a single player game. Therefore, we have a duty to keep enhancing it to make it fresh, this is particularly true of the computer AI.

    We've been making Galactic Civilizations in one form or other for 12 years now (the original OS/2 version was released in 1994). And yet it continues to evolve. We're happy that the game has gotten such good reviews. And we're very happy most people seem to like it. But the favorable reception of the game was important for another reason: Doing updates after release, especially ones that add new features naturally beg the question: Didn't they finish the game? Had the initial reaction to the game been negative, then that would be a very legitimate question. It's one of the reasons we self-published Galactic Civilizations II. We could wait until we were happy with the game to release it. And that way we could do updates without fear of people saying "Well look at all these updates, it must not have been done".

    --- End Quote ---

    Now tell me, do you notice any difference between that kind of CUSTOMER SUPPORT and Firaxis/Take2? I rest my case!
     
  7. MaxCiv

    MaxCiv Warlord

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    AMEN! :goodjob:
     
  8. MaxCiv

    MaxCiv Warlord

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    Thanks! :goodjob: At least somebody actually understood the point of my original post. I just wanted to say that it is possible to release a good game, sell it for $10 less than the "standard price", support it with updates and still make money and RAVING FANS with it.
     
  9. MaxCiv

    MaxCiv Warlord

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    Exactly! I find it very ironic that I am forced to hunt down a no cd crack to play a game that I legitimately bought ad payed for.

    I don't understand how the software dev. and distributors don't get it. If somebody wants to get an illegal copy of the game from the net, it's not rocket sience and no matter what protection they use, there will always be a way around. Meanwhile legitimate users pay the price of this idiotic arm race between pirates and distibutors.
     
  10. Zhahz

    Zhahz PC Gamer

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    I have to agree with the OP. Civ IV is very successful but the devs are distant and solid news is in short supply. If it weren't for sites like this one and Apolyton there would be no Civ community and no news because the official site is a steaming pile of uselessness.
     
  11. Smidlee

    Smidlee Deity

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    I'm not after bashing Firaxis since over all civ4 turn out good but I totally agree with Maxciv about the excellent support that comes from Stardock. Brad has gone the extra mile in making Galciv 2 a better game especially the AI. Because of this, I'm more willing to buy any expansion that coming out for Galciv 2 to support them. Yet in time I will probably get warlord also unless it truns out to be another "play the world" worthless expansion.
     
  12. Gram

    Gram Chieftain

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    If you think this game is an example of how not to treat customers then you've obviously not played Star Wars: Galaxies.

    Firaxis and T2 have done a far better job than some. Not perfect, but certainly not poor.

    MMO's in general are pretty piss porr about customer service and their customers are paying a monthly subscription fee. For the most part software like Civ 4, Empire Earth 2, Sims 2, Empire at War, etc... are one off games. You pay up front, and what you get is what you paid for. Even monster producers like EA cock things up bad sometimes. At least you can get it patched.
    The other option is they tell you you're SOL.

    As far as copying goes... the number of people who illegally acquire software has made this a necessary evil for companies who're trying to make money on their product. You might say... "but I'm jsut one person". Well when there are 20,000 "one person"s it gets costly. For every one person who wants a copy to play on their laptop there is probably 20 who're trying to get the game for free.
     
  13. MaxCiv

    MaxCiv Warlord

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    I've been a gamer for 20 years, so I am well aware that there are much worse situations in the gaming industry, but that doesn't justify this or make it any better. As I said before, why so many people is willing to accept mediocrity?

    As for the copy protection, this arm race is simply not working and we are paying the price for it. If I wanted a pirated copy of Civ4, I could have got it 2 days before it was available in any store without having to worry about the CD in the drive.
     
  14. Perfect_Blue

    Perfect_Blue Yume Senshi

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    Seriously; Legit people will do things legit, non-legits won't. It's like making people get licenses for guns. The only people that are going to get those things are folks that are law-abiding anyway.
     
  15. covok48

    covok48 Emperor

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    Gotta love the fanboy mentality:

    "Ah. I just finished my 1XX game, hmm I'll go to the Civfanatics forum and brag abou it. What's this? Some people haven't been able to play their first game? BAH! What incessant whining. Let them eat cake!"

    Seriously, only in the PC game industry can you release a 75% finished product with 75% of the promised material for full price. Then soak customers again for the other 25% of material and features for 50% of the original price...twice.
     
  16. A Silly Goose

    A Silly Goose Goose of Silliness

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    I can understand the need to get this kinda thing off one's chest... I can also understand where some people are coming from.

    In the end, though, I'm just thankful that there will be a patch at all. I can sorta understand why the website directs people here for support, too; a fansite's forum is ideal for Civilization IV, since one of the major features of the game is it's fan-moddability... not to mention that some of the key members in the design team, and others that have special insight, actually post here rather frequently.

    As for Take 2 "ditching Civ IV for Oblivion since they already have our money," that's exactly what's happening--they are a business, after all! They don't do it out of the kindness of their hearts; they do it for money! Considering that, it makes much more sense to put a hold on Civ IV's patch than Oblivion's, as Civ IV is the game with the more dedicated and longer-lived cult-following; and, naturally, obsessive cults are willing to deal with a lot more crap, as long as they eventually do get what's been promised to them. It also doesn't hurt that Civilization has never really had much in the way of competition.



    If you feel that you're being ripped off, then fine--leave. Don't give "the man" your dollar, and eventually there will be enough people like you that things will change for the better. Regardless of whether you stick around here, or head for greener pastures, though, you're gonna end up having to just be patient for one thing or another.
     
  17. Gram

    Gram Chieftain

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    So don't buy it. Its that simple. If you feel its an inferior product then simply do not purchase it.

    What I will say is get used to it. This is a trend that is translating into numerous industries, beyond PC software. I see it in my field, construction, I see it in automotive, both new and after market, its in everything. Its a societal trend. I don't know if its pride in workmanship, or if its the corporate attitude. People are getting used to and accepting inferior everything.

    Its not going away.
     
  18. Elhoim

    Elhoim Iron Tower Studio Dev

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    The point is that many people that download a game are not interested in buying it, they are not willing to pay for it... So, it is a lost sale? If the game were not for download they won´t go to buy it... And sometimes people who download the game and like it, they go and buy it, like some kind of complete demo... In this case, piracy is almost helping the original games... And I know these staments are true. I´m not defending piracy, but my point is that it is not such a big threat as the Copy Protectors Developers are saying... The sales lost to piracy are mininal, and I repeat, because many pirates won´t buy the game anyway...
     
  19. Albatoonoe

    Albatoonoe Warlord

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    But, sometimes, when it can't be downloaded, a person would go buy it, otherwise they would just download it. I played Fireaxis' demo and decided to the play the game, which has the same effect.
     
  20. Elhoim

    Elhoim Iron Tower Studio Dev

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    It´s a minority. I consider two factors:

    1- Many pirates are from third world countrys were games are overly expensive or very diffucult to obtain. If they can´t download it, they won´t buy it, as they can´t buy it. So it´s not a lost sale.

    2- Not all the pirates are fans of the games they download. Sometimes they download it just because it´s free. If they have to pay for a game that they are not really interested they won´t buy it. It´s not a lost sale.

    And I repeat. Sometimes they download a game they are not really interested in, they like it and buy to support the developer. So it´s a gained sale.
    Of course it´s true that if somehow a game is uncrackable, there would be a sales increase, but it will not be as high as the downloads of the game. My estimations would be roughly 10%-15% of the supposed downloads would go to sales. 10.000 units of the big games, which is like 5% or less of the total sales.
    And I´m not considering sales lost because of copy protection (Starforce anyone?). And the annoyance of the legimit buyers.
    The answer to get more sales is to make a good game and support it. You can´t destroy piracy. All you can do is to make things better.

    This thread below says it all, if you are interested.

    http://forums.galciv2.com/?ForumID=161&AID=106741
     

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