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Tim Brooks (Shrapnel) on why retail is dead

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Anonymous
February 25, 2005 2:53:02 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Hi,

Read the blog entry here :

http://www.shrapnelcommunity.com/blog/index.php?p=23

A bit stating the obvious really, but nice that he has put down some
numbers as a starting point for a discussion about the alternatives to
retail.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 8:42:16 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Giftzwerg wrote:

> The model that's emerging is going to be quite different.

Checking off your points against reality I'd be even as bold to say
that the model *has* already emerged.

Schwerpunkt is the best example of this, but as you've pointed out :
there's nothing stopping Pete Programmer now from publishing his work
independantly - - all thanks to the 'net.

But I'm just wondering where the publishers fit into all of this as
they seem to be doing fine. The Big Three (Matrixgames, Shrapnell and
Battlefront) have all been signing up developers left and right in
recent months.

As I see it Pete Programmer likes to progam but in order for his game
to reach the customer there's a lot of additional work involved :

- sprucing up the game with professional artwork and sound
- having an online forum for gamers to discuss your game
- settting up a secure e-commerce website + the logistical stuff
- pr, annoucing your game to the world

There used to be a time when in order for your game to reach customers
you needed a publisher resulting in almighty publishers and developers
losing their life's work to MegaPubCorp.

But nowadays it's more like a partnership with the publisher taking
care of all the additional work/headaches - the fact that Pete
Programmer could go it alone if he wanted has leveled the playing
field.

The internet has given more power to the programmer, but the fact that
publishers have been signing up developers like crazy lately indicates
that everyone is happy with this new equilibrium. And what's more
important : customers are benefitting from it.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 12:44:36 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

In article <1109338936.115975.152310@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
eddysterckx@hotmail.com says...

> > The model that's emerging is going to be quite different.
>
> Checking off your points against reality I'd be even as bold to say
> that the model *has* already emerged.
>
> Schwerpunkt is the best example of this, but as you've pointed out :
> there's nothing stopping Pete Programmer now from publishing his work
> independantly - - all thanks to the 'net.
>
> But I'm just wondering where the publishers fit into all of this as
> they seem to be doing fine. The Big Three (Matrixgames, Shrapnell and
> Battlefront) have all been signing up developers left and right in
> recent months.

I'd bet a buck, though, that the agreements programmers are operating
under with each of these are quite different from, say, those that
surrounded TOAW.

> As I see it Pete Programmer likes to progam but in order for his game
> to reach the customer there's a lot of additional work involved :
>
> - sprucing up the game with professional artwork and sound
> - having an online forum for gamers to discuss your game
> - settting up a secure e-commerce website + the logistical stuff
> - pr, annoucing your game to the world

Sure. All valid points. But I think this gets back to the original
issue; that in this emergent model, programmers are *only* going to sign
up for these advantages if they're not required to give up the ultimate
rights to their code. I mean, I could be wrong, but I think the days of
"sell us your game, then we own it, then we tell you to get lost" are
probably numbered, at least in a programming genre where mass-appeal is
unlikely.

> There used to be a time when in order for your game to reach customers
> you needed a publisher resulting in almighty publishers and developers
> losing their life's work to MegaPubCorp.
>
> But nowadays it's more like a partnership with the publisher taking
> care of all the additional work/headaches - the fact that Pete
> Programmer could go it alone if he wanted has leveled the playing
> field.
>
> The internet has given more power to the programmer, but the fact that
> publishers have been signing up developers like crazy lately indicates
> that everyone is happy with this new equilibrium. And what's more
> important : customers are benefitting from it.

Exactly. The relative "power" of the programmer and the publisher in
the sense of what they bring to the negotiating table has changed
forever. When programmers *needed* the whole hoo-haa of the
distribution apparatus, the publisher could come down on "take it or
leave it, bub." Nowadays, I suspect a good many developers would simply
"leave it," and explore another avenue of turning their code into $$$.

--
Giftzwerg
***
"The treachery is that Doug Wead waited until after
the election [...] Another round of explosive front-
page revelations from secretly recorded phone
conversations like today's and Bush's approval will
hit 70 percent."
- Mickey Kaus
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Anonymous
February 25, 2005 5:14:07 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 07:36:13 -0500, Giftzwerg
<giftzwerg999@hotmail.com> wrote:

>In article <1109317982.104521.142800@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>,
>eddysterckx@hotmail.com says...
>
>> A bit stating the obvious really, but nice that he has put down some
>> numbers as a starting point for a discussion about the alternatives to
>> retail.
>
>I'm not sure the issue is so much "retail is dead," but "why retail must
>change."

If you include e-commerce as "retail", maybe. Many commentators don't
include on-line transactions in the word. Some do. It's a moving
semantic target.

>The model we've seen for the last 20 years is:
>
>(1) Pete Programmer builds game.
>(2) Pete sells[1] his game to OmniMegaCorp, the publisher.
>(3) Omni dresses Pete's game up with Omni's bullshit, and markets it.
>(4) The public buys the game for three months.
>(5) Pete gets money.
>(6) After three months, the game goes in the bargain bin.
>(7) After six months, the game is entirely forgotten...
>(8) ...unless it's popular enough for a sequel. GOTO (1).

Based on the book publishing model, which is successful. I have
experience in that market and late-90s predictions of radical
changed/adoption of e-books are dead-in-the-water right now. It may
happen, but nowhere near as rapidly as early-adopters thought.

>The model that's emerging is going to be quite different.
>
>(1) Pete Programmer builds game.
>(2) Pete Programmer builds website, or partners with Joe Wargamer, who
>already has a website.
>(3) The game is downloaded by fans, who pay Pete directly.
>(4) Pete incures no particular cost in keeping the game on his
>"shelf," so he keeps selling it.
>(5) Pete improves his game over time and as hardware changes, so that
>he *can* keep selling it.
>(6) When Pete is good and righteously sick of screwing with his game,
>what does he do with it? If Pete's a smart fellow, and has other games
>he wants to sell, he might just post the code in the public domain, or
>license it off to someone else who wants to run with it. What probably
>doesn't happen is that Pete buries his game. Why do this?

All of this is fine and good for Pete. But that's only one end of the
snake (and not the mouth end.) A new model has to serve customers as
well or better than the current model. Publishers, despite your
seeming distaste for them, perform a basket of services that are
important to consumers. In a nutshell they ameliorate risk. This has
economic value.

>Some of the advantages of this are obvious, such as Pete getting to keep
>a better percentage of the money, but there are more subtle points which
>are already emerging in parts of our niche.
>
>For one thing, games are going to have a *far* greater shelf-life.
>Instead of being marketed over the short term and then being forgotten,
>games are going to be updated and improved *and sold* over a much longer
>timespan. We're already seeing this. TACOPS. HPS <anything>.

This is a good thing. Technology is improving fast enough (broadband,
media burners) that some former roadblocks are less serious. But it's
not the only thing keeping on-line distribution from exploding, and
not only in niche markets. If it was a home run, if all those nasty
intermediate costs could be taken out with no loss of volume, EA would
be doing it. Independent designers would be doing it without the EAs
(or Shrapnels.) But it's not an even trade. Those intermediate costs
buy intermediate services that lower consumer risk.

>For another thing, with the programmers directly involved in ownership
>issues - instead of soulless suits -

As a former suit (checks for my soul--yep, still there) I know that so
long as this is the attitude there will be jobs for suits. Suits do
numbers. Business is about numbers, soulful or not.

A very successful businessman (you've probably heard his name) once
told an audience of my peers and I, "I know only two truths about
business. One, I'm 206 quarters old. And two, you very rarely get
invited to the nice places if there are brackets around your numbers."

>These two points are crucial because there are any number of games which
>are perfectly good, but are sunk because the computing environment has
>moved on. I mean, how many DOS games would I still be playing if I
>didn't have to spend two days hunting up working VESA drivers for my
>SuperZapCo 256TB MegaSLI Card-Array - only to find myself squinting into
>a 640x480 postage stamp in the middle of an enormous LCD panel? When
>games are owned by their developers, and sold and improved over longer
>periods of time, there will be less impetus towards this "make a killing
>and then disappear" model which too many folks have been enthralled by.

I also have lots of DOS games I'd pay for a re-do on. But are
licensing deals the hold-up? Or low potential pay-outs for the effort?

>[1] Yes, yes, I know "sells" isn't the word that's wanted, but let's
>not wander into the fever-swamps of copyright and the like. Keeping
>terminology simple, "his" game isn't "his" any more.

When he takes money from the publisher to pay for services he can't or
won't do for himself a portion of the risk goes with the transaction.
Of course it's not all "his" anymore. Markets don't work that way.

Steve

--
www.thepaxamsolution.com
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 6:15:39 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

"eddysterckx@hotmail.com" <eddysterckx@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:1109317982.104521.142800@l41g2000cwc.googlegroups.com:

> A bit stating the obvious really, but nice that he has put down some
> numbers as a starting point for a discussion about the alternatives to
> retail.

Not bad as a conversation starter. Facts and subject matter.

Of all of the different directions being tested for game distro I think
that Shrapnel as the developer-turned-publisher offering web-based
purchasing is a good example of the most stable model in the last couple of
years.

Retail stores and mass advertising is definetly having bumps so the large
publisher corporations I dont think I would invest in at the moment. Direct
Download, online-only, web based, phone games, console market... anything
else being watched as an alternative that Ive missed? Nothing strikes me as
ready to invest in IMHO

Gandalf Parker
-- no longer representing any gaming concern. Resume at
www.community.net/~gandalf/resume.txt
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 9:46:28 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

In article <vu0v11tarkk7uvqf8lpsh7vlhn8oc32mo7@4ax.com>,
sbartman@visi.com says...

> >The model we've seen for the last 20 years is:
> >
> >(1) Pete Programmer builds game.
> >(2) Pete sells[1] his game to OmniMegaCorp, the publisher.
> >(3) Omni dresses Pete's game up with Omni's bullshit, and markets it.
> >(4) The public buys the game for three months.
> >(5) Pete gets money.
> >(6) After three months, the game goes in the bargain bin.
> >(7) After six months, the game is entirely forgotten...
> >(8) ...unless it's popular enough for a sequel. GOTO (1).
>
> Based on the book publishing model, which is successful. I have
> experience in that market and late-90s predictions of radical
> changed/adoption of e-books are dead-in-the-water right now. It may
> happen, but nowhere near as rapidly as early-adopters thought.

I would argue that the book publishing model is irrelevant to software.
Simply put, computers bring *nothing* to books, so it's wholly
unsurprising that "ebooks" failed so miserably. Game software, on the
other hand, offers concrete and profound advantages over paper-based
games.

> All of this is fine and good for Pete. But that's only one end of the
> snake (and not the mouth end.) A new model has to serve customers as
> well or better than the current model. Publishers, despite your
> seeming distaste for them, perform a basket of services that are
> important to consumers. In a nutshell they ameliorate risk. This has
> economic value.

What "risk" is "ameliorated" by my purchasing games that are marketed by
traditional publishers, as opposed to my purchasing games that are
marketed directly by the development team? I guess you'll have to
define and explain this "basket of services" I'm getting from a
traditional publisher that I couldn't get directly from the developers.

> >For one thing, games are going to have a *far* greater shelf-life.
> >Instead of being marketed over the short term and then being forgotten,
> >games are going to be updated and improved *and sold* over a much longer
> >timespan. We're already seeing this. TACOPS. HPS <anything>.
>
> This is a good thing. Technology is improving fast enough (broadband,
> media burners) that some former roadblocks are less serious. But it's
> not the only thing keeping on-line distribution from exploding, and
> not only in niche markets. If it was a home run, if all those nasty
> intermediate costs could be taken out with no loss of volume, EA would
> be doing it. Independent designers would be doing it without the EAs
> (or Shrapnels.) But it's not an even trade. Those intermediate costs
> buy intermediate services that lower consumer risk.

Hmmm. Risk again. I'm not seeing it. Explain.

> >These two points are crucial because there are any number of games which
> >are perfectly good, but are sunk because the computing environment has
> >moved on. I mean, how many DOS games would I still be playing if I
> >didn't have to spend two days hunting up working VESA drivers for my
> >SuperZapCo 256TB MegaSLI Card-Array - only to find myself squinting into
> >a 640x480 postage stamp in the middle of an enormous LCD panel? When
> >games are owned by their developers, and sold and improved over longer
> >periods of time, there will be less impetus towards this "make a killing
> >and then disappear" model which too many folks have been enthralled by.
>
> I also have lots of DOS games I'd pay for a re-do on. But are
> licensing deals the hold-up? Or low potential pay-outs for the effort?

Maybe we should ask Norm Koger.

> >[1] Yes, yes, I know "sells" isn't the word that's wanted, but let's
> >not wander into the fever-swamps of copyright and the like. Keeping
> >terminology simple, "his" game isn't "his" any more.
>
> When he takes money from the publisher to pay for services he can't or
> won't do for himself a portion of the risk goes with the transaction.
> Of course it's not all "his" anymore. Markets don't work that way.

Well, they didn't use to. Now they do.

--
Giftzwerg
***
"The treachery is that Doug Wead waited until after
the election [...] Another round of explosive front-
page revelations from secretly recorded phone
conversations like today's and Bush's approval will
hit 70 percent."
- Mickey Kaus
Anonymous
February 25, 2005 9:46:59 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

In article <ei0v11hmbc0t0dkm16fjng1n9c0ifme3db@4ax.com>,
sbartman@visi.com says...

> I don't believe him. Capital does not flow to such propositions, and
> capital is not stupid.

New Coke.

--
Giftzwerg
***
"The treachery is that Doug Wead waited until after
the election [...] Another round of explosive front-
page revelations from secretly recorded phone
conversations like today's and Bush's approval will
hit 70 percent."
- Mickey Kaus
Anonymous
February 26, 2005 1:59:51 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Giftzwerg wrote:
> In article <ei0v11hmbc0t0dkm16fjng1n9c0ifme3db@4ax.com>,
> sbartman@visi.com says...
>
> > I don't believe him. Capital does not flow to such propositions,
and
> > capital is not stupid.
>
> New Coke.


new coke was a misdirection play. coke changed the formula of old coke
substituting high frutcose corb syrup for cane sugar, they introduced
new coke and removed old, they waited for the outcry and reintroduced
the new"old" coke, none of the coke drinkes really noticed the slight
flavor change, new coke was killed off and it was mission completed
with no one the wiser at first.
Anonymous
February 26, 2005 9:31:55 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

ray o'hara wrote:
>

>>>and capital is not stupid.
>>
>>New Coke.
>
> new coke was a misdirection play. coke changed the formula of old coke
> substituting high frutcose corb syrup for cane sugar, they introduced
> new coke and removed old, they waited for the outcry and reintroduced
> the new"old" coke, none of the coke drinkes really noticed the slight
> flavor change, new coke was killed off and it was mission completed
> with no one the wiser at first.


They haven't used cane sugar in soft drinks since the early 1970s.
Fructose is a lot cheaper than sucrose.
Anonymous
February 26, 2005 10:34:32 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

In article <1109401191.533603.194400@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
reoh@comcast.net says...

> > New Coke.
>
>
> new coke was a misdirection play. coke changed the formula of old coke
> substituting high frutcose corb syrup for cane sugar, they introduced
> new coke and removed old, they waited for the outcry and reintroduced
> the new"old" coke, none of the coke drinkes really noticed the slight
> flavor change, new coke was killed off and it was mission completed
> with no one the wiser at first.

As usual, you're full of rich, brown dung:

http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/newcoke.asp

--
Giftzwerg
***
"The treachery is that Doug Wead waited until after
the election [...] Another round of explosive front-
page revelations from secretly recorded phone
conversations like today's and Bush's approval will
hit 70 percent."
- Mickey Kaus
Anonymous
February 26, 2005 2:12:13 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 18:46:59 -0500, Giftzwerg
<giftzwerg999@hotmail.com> wrote:

>In article <ei0v11hmbc0t0dkm16fjng1n9c0ifme3db@4ax.com>,
>sbartman@visi.com says...
>
>> I don't believe him. Capital does not flow to such propositions, and
>> capital is not stupid.
>
>New Coke.

A flippant answer to a complex situation. Whole books have been
written about New Coke. I've read some of them. Have you?

Steve
--
www.thepaxamsolution.com
Anonymous
February 26, 2005 3:11:27 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Briarroot wrote:
> ray o'hara wrote:
> >
>
> >>>and capital is not stupid.
> >>
> >>New Coke.
> >
> > new coke was a misdirection play. coke changed the formula of old
coke
> > substituting high frutcose corb syrup for cane sugar, they
introduced
> > new coke and removed old, they waited for the outcry and
reintroduced
> > the new"old" coke, none of the coke drinkes really noticed the
slight
> > flavor change, new coke was killed off and it was mission completed
> > with no one the wiser at first.
>
>
> They haven't used cane sugar in soft drinks since the early 1970s.

coke was still using sugar,

> Fructose is a lot cheaper than sucrose.


hence the change.
Anonymous
February 26, 2005 3:14:09 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Steve Bartman wrote:
> On Fri, 25 Feb 2005 18:46:59 -0500, Giftzwerg
> <giftzwerg999@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >In article <ei0v11hmbc0t0dkm16fjng1n9c0ifme3db@4ax.com>,
> >sbartman@visi.com says...
> >
> >> I don't believe him. Capital does not flow to such propositions,
and
> >> capital is not stupid.
> >
> >New Coke.
>
> A flippant answer to a complex situation. Whole books have been
> written about New Coke. I've read some of them. Have you?

in the 1970s i read a book on the glomar explorer, it went into great
detail on the mohole project, books arn't always the truth.
Anonymous
February 26, 2005 6:19:18 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

In article <4eb1215ph3b6hnd58aavcqdotidmsbr7sr@4ax.com>,
sbartman@visi.com says...

> >> I don't believe him. Capital does not flow to such propositions, and
> >> capital is not stupid.
> >
> >New Coke.
>
> A flippant answer to a complex situation. Whole books have been
> written about New Coke. I've read some of them. Have you?

A flippant answer is all a silly generalization like "capital never
flows to such propositions and is not stupid." Capital has flowed to
the most insane propositions and is exactly as stupid as the people who
manage it.

--
Giftzwerg
***
"The treachery is that Doug Wead waited until after
the election [...] Another round of explosive front-
page revelations from secretly recorded phone
conversations like today's and Bush's approval will
hit 70 percent."
- Mickey Kaus
Anonymous
February 26, 2005 8:38:50 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

ray o'hara wrote:
>
> in the 1970s i read a book on the glomar explorer, it went into great
> detail on the mohole project, books arn't always the truth.
>

ROTFLMAO!
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 6:44:48 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

On 26 Feb 2005 12:14:09 -0800, "ray o'hara" <reoh@comcast.net> wrote:


> in the 1970s i read a book on the glomar explorer, it went into great
>detail on the mohole project, books arn't always the truth.

If you can show that New Coke was a CIA-funded project you'd have a
point. You can't so you don't.

Try this, for one, if you're interested:

http://btobsearch.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInq...

Steve
--
www.thepaxamsolution.com
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 7:39:57 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 15:19:18 -0500, Giftzwerg
<giftzwerg999@hotmail.com> wrote:

>In article <4eb1215ph3b6hnd58aavcqdotidmsbr7sr@4ax.com>,
>sbartman@visi.com says...
>
>> >> I don't believe him. Capital does not flow to such propositions, and
>> >> capital is not stupid.
>> >
>> >New Coke.
>>
>> A flippant answer to a complex situation. Whole books have been
>> written about New Coke. I've read some of them. Have you?
>
>A flippant answer is all a silly generalization like "capital never
>flows to such propositions and is not stupid."

See, you add a word I didn't use ("never") and then proceed to
disagree with my saying it.

I didn't say never, nor would I. I would say that capital does not
flow to such propositions 94% of the time across a broad span of time,
as the OP asserted.

Capital has flowed to
>the most insane propositions and is exactly as stupid as the people who
>manage it.

Can I ask if your employer lets you near the capital? No?

Steve
--
www.thepaxamsolution.com
Anonymous
February 27, 2005 9:51:16 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Steve Bartman wrote:
> On 26 Feb 2005 12:14:09 -0800, "ray o'hara" <reoh@comcast.net> wrote:
>
>
> > in the 1970s i read a book on the glomar explorer, it went into
great
> >detail on the mohole project, books arn't always the truth.
>
> If you can show that New Coke was a CIA-funded project you'd have a
> point. You can't so you don't.
>
> Try this, for one, if you're interested:
>
>
http://btobsearch.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInq...
>
> Steve
> --
> www.thepaxamsolution.com

coke rivals and in fact surpasses the cia in keeping its secrets
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 4:29:38 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Gandalf Parker wrote:

> Of all of the different directions being tested for game distro I
think
> that Shrapnel as the developer-turned-publisher offering web-based
> purchasing is a good example of the most stable model in the last
couple of
> years.

Well, last time I looked they *all* had web-based purchasing :)  -
Direct Download is also web-purchasing, only with a different physical
distribution.

> Retail stores and mass advertising is definetly having bumps

Understatement of the year - as far as wargames are concerned retail is
dead and mass advertising was never alive to begin with.

> Gandalf Parker
> -- no longer representing any gaming concern. Resume at
> www.community.net/~gandalf/resume.txt

I was intrigued at this point - read your resume just to find out who
you were representing in the past and you left out this most
interesting bit :) 

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx -- only representing myself
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 10:51:47 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

In article <bti421hbtja9fcukto0ur4mno99b8ohini@4ax.com>,
sbartman@visi.com says...

> >> >> I don't believe him. Capital does not flow to such propositions, and
> >> >> capital is not stupid.
> >> >
> >> >New Coke.
> >>
> >> A flippant answer to a complex situation. Whole books have been
> >> written about New Coke. I've read some of them. Have you?
> >
> >A flippant answer is all a silly generalization like "capital never
> >flows to such propositions and is not stupid."
>
> See, you add a word I didn't use ("never") and then proceed to
> disagree with my saying it.

You said, "capital does not flow to such propositions."

If it does *not* flow to such propositions, does it *ever* flow to such
propositions?

Or never?

> I didn't say never, nor would I. I would say that capital does not
> flow to such propositions 94% of the time across a broad span of time,
> as the OP asserted.

Well, that would be inserting a major qualification; that capital *does*
flow to such stupid propositions ... uh, six percent of the time.

> Capital has flowed to
> >the most insane propositions and is exactly as stupid as the people who
> >manage it.
>
> Can I ask if your employer lets you near the capital? No?

<shrug>

Well, not being a marketing Brainiac, I probably *wouldn't* have green-
lighted New Coke.

--
Giftzwerg
***
"The Islamists have been clear all along about their plans to form
an Islamic caliphate and inhabit the entire world with burqas,
stonings, amputations, honor killings and a lack of religious and
political freedom. Whether or not to oppose such a movement should
have been a no-brainer, especially for self-proclaimed 'progressives.'
Instead, they have extended their misguided sympathies to tyrants
and terrorists."
- Cinnamon Stillwell
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 10:55:27 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

In article <1109560219.15881@news.queue.to>, hgoldste@mpcs.com says...

> Assuming e books won't become near free where they'll offer a cost
> advantage offsetting the serious inconvenience, it's difficult to see
> how they'll displace paper anytime soon other than in some narrow apps
> until such time as they arrive with a throwaway reader with a nice
> interface. I know technology and mass production *are* going to
> obsolete my criticisms, but when?

When the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

The biggest stumbling block to "epaper" is going to be copyright.
Simply put, the publishing industry isn't in any hurry to find
themselves in the same fix the RIAA is in, so I doubt even the marketing
geniuses at Random House are in a lather to get rid of dead-tree.

--
Giftzwerg
***
"The Islamists have been clear all along about their plans to form
an Islamic caliphate and inhabit the entire world with burqas,
stonings, amputations, honor killings and a lack of religious and
political freedom. Whether or not to oppose such a movement should
have been a no-brainer, especially for self-proclaimed 'progressives.'
Instead, they have extended their misguided sympathies to tyrants
and terrorists."
- Cinnamon Stillwell
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 2:55:18 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 07:51:47 -0500, Giftzwerg
<giftzwerg999@hotmail.com> wrote:

>In article <bti421hbtja9fcukto0ur4mno99b8ohini@4ax.com>,
>sbartman@visi.com says...
>
>> >> >> I don't believe him. Capital does not flow to such propositions, and
>> >> >> capital is not stupid.
>> >> >
>> >> >New Coke.
>> >>
>> >> A flippant answer to a complex situation. Whole books have been
>> >> written about New Coke. I've read some of them. Have you?
>> >
>> >A flippant answer is all a silly generalization like "capital never
>> >flows to such propositions and is not stupid."
>>
>> See, you add a word I didn't use ("never") and then proceed to
>> disagree with my saying it.
>
>You said, "capital does not flow to such propositions."
>
>If it does *not* flow to such propositions, does it *ever* flow to such
>propositions?

Of course. It's trivial to find examples. On the whole it does not,
else it would behave differently than it does. Markets have feedback
loops.

Snip further juvie insults.

Steve
--
www.thepaxamsolution.com
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 3:02:30 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 03:10:19 GMT, hgoldste@mpcs.com (Howard Goldstein)
wrote:

>I think this is a very interesting thread and touches on so many
>things...alas the only one I'll comment on is OT, having to do with
>dead tree stuff vs. E-books. ISTM paper has too many user advantages
>over ebooks, perhaps the most important being that a dead tree
>publication doesn't need an 'E' device to interface with the human.
>In that epublications lack any countervailing usability benefits to make
>it worth giving up the ink-on-rolled-plant, why bother?

Being able to buy every book published in the past ten years versus
not being able to buy every book published in the past ten years.

Not to mention air and water pollution savings.

>Assuming e books won't become near free where they'll offer a cost
>advantage offsetting the serious inconvenience, it's difficult to see
>how they'll displace paper anytime soon other than in some narrow apps
>until such time as they arrive with a throwaway reader with a nice
>interface.

Or a cheap, permanent, flexible reader the size of your wallet that
takes any and all media off the broadband streaming through your
house.

I know technology and mass production *are* going to
>obsolete my criticisms, but when?

Let me know and I'll buy stock. <g>

I expect to be reading mostly eBooks before I die and I'm 46. Other
than that, who knows? It's twenty-five years since I could first watch
a movie on demand at home. My first VCR cost $800, was the size of a
suitcase, and had a 3-function remote that ran a cord across the room
to the box. At the time that seemed like the limits of possible
technology.

Steve
--
www.thepaxamsolution.com
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 4:04:14 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 11:53:26 -0600, Steve Bartman <sbartman@visi.com>
wrote:

>>If the suits at the publishing houses could figure out how to sue
>>libraries without having the American public squash them like roaches,
>>they'd be all over it. But hey, maybe the "ebook" can change all that.]
>
>eBooks work for libraries better than paper for all the previous
>reasons IF technology is in place to prevent copying. Evaporating
>eBooks that poof themselves in 96 hours like those new evaporating
>DVDs. Or code. Or something else the smart technologists will do. It's
>trivial to write copy quantity limits into eBooks purchase contracts
>with libraries that would allow home d/l and save the gas/time while
>still maintaining sufficient individual purchase demand to make the
>publishers money. The trick is preventing copying by readers.

If we substituted movies for books in the above paragraph, you just
described DIVX. I'm sure that idea sounded great to the marketing
'gurus' too. After all, consumers are sheep, right?

<snippage>

>>> More importantly, your constant use of the "I" pronoun tells me more
>>> than you think about your attitude in discussions of markets. What you
>>> think is irrelevant. What any individual thinks is irrelevant.
>>
>><laughter>
>>
>>Individuals *are* the market.
>
>No, the market is the market.

One wonders how many software publishers would still be around if
someone had had the balls to call bullshit at that type of
marketing-speak.

It will work with something like detergent where the consumer views
the different products as essentially equal but it starts to fall
apart when you're talking about things like books, movies and computer
games.

For every company that went under after making quality games
(Sir-Tech) I can name you 10 that went under because they started to
treat their customers like sheep that would buy any piece of garbage
that they put out (Microprose, Talonsoft, NWC).

>
>>EBooks went *nowhere* for the simple reason that all us dumb,
>>unschooled, ignorant-of-marketing individuals looked at those ditzy
>>"ebook readers" and said, "Why the hell do I want/need a $300 gizmo to
>>*read a friggin' book*?"
>
>Enough said on eBooks. They're available, they can be read on laptops,
>the most popular PC format currently and the foreseeable future. They
>have ads, they have disads. The disads can be dealt with by better
>tech without removing the current ads. Give them time.

Until the publishing figures out why consumers don't like e-book it's
not gonna happen. And judging from your posts, they're a long way from
figuring that out.

Rgds, Frank
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 6:35:13 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

"eddysterckx@hotmail.com" <eddysterckx@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:1109582978.828298.310400@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

>
> Gandalf Parker wrote:
>
>> Of all of the different directions being tested for game distro I
>> think that Shrapnel as the developer-turned-publisher offering
>> web-based purchasing is a good example of the most stable model in
>> the last couple of years.
>
> Well, last time I looked they *all* had web-based purchasing :)  -
> Direct Download is also web-purchasing, only with a different physical
> distribution.

Thats like saying that web-based purchasing is just shareware with a
different pay system. :)  True enouigh but the differences are major when
it comes to actually implementing it successfully.

> I was intrigued at this point - read your resume just to find out who
> you were representing in the past and you left out this most
> interesting bit :) 

Im sorry. I should have mentioned since it might be considered
particularly important here. My last actual "declare your connection" to
the gaming industry was with Shrapnel Games. Nothing at the level of
decision making or official statements of the company. I was sub-
contracted for abit to join some discussions on servers and a
migration/managment project involving their forums. I followed the
developers of one of my favorite strategy games (Dominions 1, 2, and soon
3) when they went to Shrapnel.

I mostly do "fill in" or temp work as system admin on internet servers,
or as "live active presence" in customer support emails, web forums,
newsgroups, etc. Shrapnel was a short run but its nice to be able to add
"game publishing company" to my resume since I found that much more fun
than doing ISP support forums. :)  I have just received a staff position
on one of the free-play Ultime Online shards (Shazzy's) but Im guessing
that doesnt apply here.

I think my wife made me take out the part that said my rates can be
highly negotiated based on fun and barter. :) 

Gandalf Parker
-- My work clothes includes a Tshirt which says
"I only work here because they have better toys than I do."
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 7:02:19 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 13:04:14 -0800, Frank E <fakeaddress@hotmail.com>
wrote:


>If we substituted movies for books in the above paragraph, you just
>described DIVX. I'm sure that idea sounded great to the marketing
>'gurus' too. After all, consumers are sheep, right?

You said that, I never did. I always thought my consumers were
geniuses for buying me and ignoring the other schmucks.

DIVX is a whole other conversation I don't care to have except to say
not all good ideas are good ideas at every point in a segment
lifecycle.

>>No, the market is the market.
>
>One wonders how many software publishers would still be around if
>someone had had the balls to call bullshit at that type of
>marketing-speak.

If you want to discuss marketing discuss marketing. It's a
well-researched, evolving field. If you want to name-call I have games
to play.

>It will work with something like detergent where the consumer views
>the different products as essentially equal

Well, wrong, but go on.

but it starts to fall
>apart when you're talking about things like books, movies and computer
>games.

Are creative products the same operationally as commodities? No. Are
creative products detached from core business realities? No.

>For every company that went under after making quality games
>(Sir-Tech)

The Edsel was a high-quality car in many respects. New Coke tasted
exactly as designed. Failure is not always a function of product.

I can name you 10 that went under because they started to
>treat their customers like sheep that would buy any piece of garbage
>that they put out (Microprose,

Microprose's failure stemmed from financial hemorrhaging brought on by
an ill-considered diversification into the arcade market. And when I
was there interviewing with Wild Bill for a job I didn't get, they had
some kick-ass office space to pay for. No single cause.

> Talonsoft, NWC).

Can't say.

In my position as a game industry observer and consumer since 1982
I've seen some of the most boneheaded, amateur business moves
imaginable, and less than half, speaking generously, I'd say were
product-related. At least half were bad diversification, poor
portfolio strategy, and simple under-capitalization. Not all of the
latter were due to stupidity to be sure. Just a normal fact of small
business start-ups. And a further recomendation for publishers able to
smooth out the money bumps.

snip e-book stuff

Steve
--
www.thepaxamsolution.com
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 7:21:51 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

"eddysterckx@hotmail.com" <eddysterckx@hotmail.com> wrote in
news:1109580079.628924.300360@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com:

>
> Steve Bartman wrote:
>> On Sat, 26 Feb 2005 16:09:31 -0500, Giftzwerg
>> <giftzwerg999@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> I don't get your point.
>
> If eBooks have such a great advantage over paper books, why didn't we
> witness a complete take-over ? Like parchment getting dropped for
> paper, like the printing press completely wiping out manual copying of
> books. Quite simple : it hasn't happened because eBooks have no
> overwhelming advantage over paper books - actually quite the opposite
> in some aspects.

No it wont replace real book stores but then its only a virtual answer
(virtual meaning "almost as good as"). There are virtual versions of
everything that exists in the "real world" (good and bad). If there is
NOT a virtual version of something then jump on board quick, because
there will be.

The area of "print on demand" for online books I think has an impact.
Much along the same line that Open Source does for games, or MP3's do for
musicians (the legal side of that of course). As a starting point for new
authors to gain recognition and momentum. Anyone can write a book and
create an order page which will print and ship a real book, 1 at a time,
when someone orders one.

>> Show me the list that successfully charge for their blogs. Those that
>> do will have consumers who expect a higher standard of performance
>> than those who give it away.
>
> Again you missed the point - the point being that more and more people
> are actively avoiding filters in things they feel passionate about.
> That's why people visit this unmoderated ng, that's why they set-up a
> blog : to bypass the mainstream, to go a little deeper and further.

Anything along the line of marketing will take that road. Its a pyramid.
Free will be bulk and high cost will (hopefully) mean quality. Services,
publications, art, music, advise, (opinions :)  and even (back on topic)
games. In any of them there is a pyramid ranging from free to overly
expensive. We all have a preferred level somewhere along that.

>> But nothing, and I mean nothing (except needing cash and talent and IT
>> know-how) prevents any developer from going it alone now. So why don't
>> they?
>
> They do : Schwerpunkt, Kamikaze Games, Les Grognards, the guy who made
> Uplink, the guys who made the original Doom, ...
>
> There are some major advantages in getting a publisher, and I've
> outlined them in a previous post, but there's no denying there are
> successfull developers going it alone. And consumers buying their work.

Again, a pyramid. And each level has its pros and cons. There are many
examples but one which is near and dear to my heart is Illwinter. They
developed a free game, then a couple of higher-level games which they
sold off of their own web site with enough results to gain following and
recognition. Their sequel to one of those was with a "developer who
decided to also become publisher" (look at the thread topic for a hint :) 
and Illwinter is apparently happy with that since they have announced
their 3rd version will be with the same developer/publisher.

There are of course, also large corporation publishers which ONLY provide
the marketing in-roads for well-known developers. But please, dont paint
a picture that the industry is a choice between doing it for free or
doing it for a mega-corp. That paints a bleak picture if there is no
awareness of the other options available.

Gandalf Parker
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 7:21:52 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 16:21:51 GMT, Gandalf Parker
<gandalf@most.of.my.favorite.sites> wrote:


>The area of "print on demand" for online books I think has an impact.
>Much along the same line that Open Source does for games, or MP3's do for
>musicians (the legal side of that of course). As a starting point for new
>authors to gain recognition and momentum. Anyone can write a book and
>create an order page which will print and ship a real book, 1 at a time,
>when someone orders one.

You don't need a page; Amazon will sell it for you for a cut. (See my
sig for details.)

POD is fine for what it is. But there are inherent problems in line
with what we've been discussing here. There is no pre-screen, so
consumers are reluctant to trust quality. There is only the editing
the author is willing to do or sub-contract out on his own dime.
Retail prices are higher than the same book sold through traditional
methods due to production line set-up cycle costs. And there's no
traffic through stores for impulse purchase. Only as much buzz as the
writer can create himself, and he wants to be writing the next, not
selling the last.

But POD does offer publication when there is no other way. It meets
consumer demands for paper&ink format. And it does keep the book in
print forever with little/no further expense. It's a hybrid solution
mid-way between eBooks and traditional publisher/retail models.

Steve
--
www.thepaxamsolution.com
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 8:52:12 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Gandalf Parker <gandalf@most.of.my.favorite.sites> wrote in
news:Xns960B4D2165998gandalfparker@208.201.224.154:

> "eddysterckx@hotmail.com" <eddysterckx@hotmail.com> wrote in
> news:1109582978.828298.310400@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:
>
>>
>> Gandalf Parker wrote:
>>
>>> Of all of the different directions being tested for game distro I
>>> think that Shrapnel as the developer-turned-publisher offering
>>> web-based purchasing is a good example of the most stable model in
>>> the last couple of years.
>>
>> Well, last time I looked they *all* had web-based purchasing :)  -
>> Direct Download is also web-purchasing, only with a different
>> physical distribution.
>
> Thats like saying that web-based purchasing is just shareware with a
> different pay system. :)  True enouigh but the differences are major
> when it comes to actually implementing it successfully.
>
>> I was intrigued at this point - read your resume just to find out who
>> you were representing in the past and you left out this most
>> interesting bit :) 
>
> Im sorry. I should have mentioned since it might be considered
> particularly important here.

Not really important, I'm just terminally curious sometimes - especially
if someone drops a tidbit of info like that and doesn't continue :) 

> I think my wife made me take out the part that said my rates can be
> highly negotiated based on fun and barter. :) 

LOL - at least there's one clear thinker in the house :) 

> -- My work clothes includes a Tshirt which says
> "I only work here because they have better toys than I do."

The scary part is that it's true ...

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 9:27:12 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

> But nothing, and I mean nothing (except needing cash and talent and IT
> know-how) prevents any developer from going it alone now. So why don't
> they?
> Steve

I am sure that you know the answer to that but in case others do not - if I
tried to do myself what Battlefront and the order fulfillment house do for
me, I would not get very much daily development work done.

Best regards, Major H.
tacops@mac.com
http://www.battlefront.com/
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 9:27:13 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 18:27:12 GMT, Major H <tacops@mac.com> wrote:

>> But nothing, and I mean nothing (except needing cash and talent and IT
>> know-how) prevents any developer from going it alone now. So why don't
>> they?
>> Steve
>
>I am sure that you know the answer to that but in case others do not - if I
>tried to do myself what Battlefront and the order fulfillment house do for
>me, I would not get very much daily development work done.

Thank you. You said in one sentence what I've tried to impart in
pages. And you have in-industry cred.

Division of labor is smart economics.

Steve

--
www.thepaxamsolution.com
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 9:45:21 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

> That situation might change if ebooks were less expensive than regular
> books

That would be the key for me .

> Perhaps Major H. could help us out here, but I would think that the
> major advantage of going with a publisher is to reduce the "risk" to the
> developer.

For me the main advantage is the time that Battlefront saves me by doing all
the admin minutiae such as taking/shipping/tracking orders, doing web site
maintenance, and the like. My being able to devote all of my work time and
energy to game development is worth much more than their share of the pie.
The second most important item is sales to people who came to their web
storefront looking for a different game title and while there noticed
TacOps.

Best regards, Major H.
tacops@mac.com
http://www.battlefront.com/
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 9:50:55 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

> There are of course, also large corporation publishers

If I still had to work at the royalty rates that I had with Arsenal and
Avalon Hill, I would have left wargame development a long time ago.

Best regards, Major H.
tacops@mac.com
http://www.battlefront.com/
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 10:36:17 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Major H <tacops@mac.com> wrote in news:BE48C440.7D7A9%tacops@mac.com:

>> There are of course, also large corporation publishers
>
> If I still had to work at the royalty rates that I had with Arsenal and
> Avalon Hill, I would have left wargame development a long time ago.

All pros and cons. That setup does support large advertising campaigns
like full page ads in magazines and tables just for a game at
conventions. It also supports the type of publisher that can pre-pay
development and maintain support teams (advertising, sales, artists,
sound-byte techs, copy protection, etc etc). But it does eat into profits
and put a horrible extension on seeing any profits.


I dont have anything against that model. But I do get rather flamey when
some developer wants the pros of that model without the cons. I know of
at least one specific developer which left the high-mark with one
publisher to become low-mark with a higher marketing publisher. The
arguments tended to mention things like "they take full page ads out on
every single one of their games" and "I havent seen my game" (alternately
referring to stores, magazines, tv).

Some publishers do a great job of getting their people mentioned in
forums, reviewed in magazines, press releases, a showing at conventions
(even if it is as part of the publishers table), and in general
everything that can be done without expensive investing. They also cover
as much as possible in getting it available at decent online purchasing
sites in many countries. They can usually help with documentation,
artists, sounds without maintaining an army of on-call employees also.

Ok dont mind me. Im off on a rant. :)  Anyway there are many levels of
publisher available which has varying degrees of everything for
developers to consider. What works best for people doing their first game
isnt what is best for the well known developer.

Gandalf Parker
Anonymous
February 28, 2005 11:35:57 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

In article <7lm621te0isb4010pa7k3rjl0mcccjfoj8@4ax.com>,
sbartman@visi.com says...

> >> See, you add a word I didn't use ("never") and then proceed to
> >> disagree with my saying it.
> >
> >You said, "capital does not flow to such propositions."
> >
> >If it does *not* flow to such propositions, does it *ever* flow to such
> >propositions?
>
> Of course. It's trivial to find examples.

The it would be absolutely wrong to say, "capital does not flow to such
propositions," right?

<g>

I mean, you can't have it both ways; either capital *does* flow to
stupid propositions, or it doesn't.


--
Giftzwerg
***
"The Islamists have been clear all along about their plans to form
an Islamic caliphate and inhabit the entire world with burqas,
stonings, amputations, honor killings and a lack of religious and
political freedom. Whether or not to oppose such a movement should
have been a no-brainer, especially for self-proclaimed 'progressives.'
Instead, they have extended their misguided sympathies to tyrants
and terrorists."
- Cinnamon Stillwell
Anonymous
March 1, 2005 12:16:09 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

In article <Xns960C1EE3838Ceddysterckxhotmailco@67.98.68.21>,
eddysterckx@hotmail.com says...

> > Not really. DRM is evolving,
>
> Yeah, in the wrong direction ... "fair use" is getting thrown out of the
> window lately.

To the good, though, the morons holding the copyrights are so
egregiously, aggressively, graspingly stupid that - sooner or later -
they'll do something so outrageously awful that their whole house of
cards will come fluttering down.

Trying to sue hordes of 12-year-olds and their elderly grandmothers was
a great start.

--
Giftzwerg
***
"The Islamists have been clear all along about their plans to form
an Islamic caliphate and inhabit the entire world with burqas,
stonings, amputations, honor killings and a lack of religious and
political freedom. Whether or not to oppose such a movement should
have been a no-brainer, especially for self-proclaimed 'progressives.'
Instead, they have extended their misguided sympathies to tyrants
and terrorists."
- Cinnamon Stillwell
Anonymous
March 1, 2005 2:33:12 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

F. Voros wrote:

> That being said I'd like to take this opportunity to plug one ebook
> publisher that I think does it right. That would be Baen books
> (www.baen.com) who sells them for less than paperback prices and in
an open
> format (HTML and RTF) as well as offering a fair number of their
backlist
> for free.

Wow - nice link !

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
Anonymous
March 1, 2005 9:02:14 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 16:02:19 -0600, Steve Bartman <sbartman@visi.com>
wrote:

>On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 13:04:14 -0800, Frank E <fakeaddress@hotmail.com>
>wrote:
>
>
>>If we substituted movies for books in the above paragraph, you just
>>described DIVX. I'm sure that idea sounded great to the marketing
>>'gurus' too. After all, consumers are sheep, right?
>
>You said that, I never did. I always thought my consumers were
>geniuses for buying me and ignoring the other schmucks.
>
>DIVX is a whole other conversation I don't care to have except to say
>not all good ideas are good ideas at every point in a segment
>lifecycle.

It's an example that, from a marketing standpoint, seems to fit all of
the criteria that you outlined for your ebooks. ... and it's a good
example for my arguement for obvious reasons <g>.

>>>No, the market is the market.
>>
>>One wonders how many software publishers would still be around if
>>someone had had the balls to call bullshit at that type of
>>marketing-speak.
>
>If you want to discuss marketing discuss marketing. It's a
>well-researched, evolving field. If you want to name-call I have games
>to play.

.... something tells me that your meetings are a lot more civil than
the ones I'm used to. Not something I'd necessarily consider a good
thing. :p 

>>It will work with something like detergent where the consumer views
>>the different products as essentially equal
>
>Well, wrong, but go on.

Because?

>but it starts to fall
>>apart when you're talking about things like books, movies and computer
>>games.
>
>Are creative products the same operationally as commodities? No. Are
>creative products detached from core business realities? No.

Absolutely, but most of what you're trying to pass of as 'core
business realities' are things I either consider fluff or as having
nothing to do with marketing (like IP issues).

Offering a good product and servie at a reasonable price while still
making a profit is a core business reality. Things like manipulating
customer behavior through pricing shouldn't be. It's nice if you can
pull it off but it's not something to plan your business around.

Rgds, Frank


>>For every company that went under after making quality games
>>(Sir-Tech)
>
>The Edsel was a high-quality car in many respects. New Coke tasted
>exactly as designed. Failure is not always a function of product.
>
>I can name you 10 that went under because they started to
>>treat their customers like sheep that would buy any piece of garbage
>>that they put out (Microprose,
>
>Microprose's failure stemmed from financial hemorrhaging brought on by
>an ill-considered diversification into the arcade market. And when I
>was there interviewing with Wild Bill for a job I didn't get, they had
>some kick-ass office space to pay for. No single cause.
>
>> Talonsoft, NWC).
>
>Can't say.
>
>In my position as a game industry observer and consumer since 1982
>I've seen some of the most boneheaded, amateur business moves
>imaginable, and less than half, speaking generously, I'd say were
>product-related. At least half were bad diversification, poor
>portfolio strategy, and simple under-capitalization. Not all of the
>latter were due to stupidity to be sure. Just a normal fact of small
>business start-ups. And a further recomendation for publishers able to
>smooth out the money bumps.
>
>snip e-book stuff
>
>Steve
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 3:12:16 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

On Tue, 01 Mar 2005 06:02:14 -0800, Frank E <fakeaddress@hotmail.com>

>>>It will work with something like detergent where the consumer views
>>>the different products as essentially equal
>>
>>Well, wrong, but go on.
>
>Because?

Because the detergent market shows all the characteristics of consumer
packaged goods variations: price, form, strength, function,
added-value chemistry, promotional variation, advertising pay-out,
cash-cows/stars/harvesting brands, etc.

In my experience in marketing most people who think there's no
variation in something simply aren't very interested in that
something. Talk to a P&G product manager about soap suds someday. Plan
on a couple of days actually.

>>Are creative products the same operationally as commodities? No. Are
>>creative products detached from core business realities? No.
>
>Absolutely, but most of what you're trying to pass of as 'core
>business realities' are things I either consider fluff

Again, perhaps because they simply aren't important to you. I continue
to discuss at aggregated levels.

or as having
>nothing to do with marketing (like IP issues).

IP issues in creative businesses are certainly marketing-related. If
noting else loose IP control has huge implications on pricing.

Part of the problem I constantly have in Usenet marketing discussions
in the game groups is most people aren't marketers and have a very
limited view of what the marketing function covers. Product design is
marketing.

>Offering a good product and servie at a reasonable price while still
>making a profit is a core business reality.

It's one. I can also offer a lousy product at a dead-low price and
have it be a fine working model as well. Price is perhaps the best
signal of intent of them all.

Things like manipulating
>customer behavior through pricing shouldn't be.

Sorry, but that's just not realistic. Price is where supply&demand
meet.

It's nice if you can
>pull it off but it's not something to plan your business around.

Tell that to Tiffany and Rolls-Royce.

Steve
--
www.thepaxamsolution.com
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 3:34:06 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

On 28 Feb 2005 23:18:29 GMT, Eddy Sterckx <eddysterckx@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>Steve Bartman <sbartman@visi.com> wrote in
>news:r01721dsiotlq0of6l80vrkmmfvhb6fv33@4ax.com:
>
>> More and more the line functions she deals with are 90%+ paperless.
>> Team projects mostly. HR and other support functions at big clients
>> still love their colored Xerox paper, but people in a hurry have
>> punted. A big change in the past five years.
>
>Maybe I'm working for the wrong clients as an IT consultant, but paper
>is still consumed by the truckload here.

<g>

She leaves on Monday with a laptop-backpack and comes home Friday with
the same gear, unbulging. Her "office" in the local is a 2x2 foot
plastic bin they throw any mail/magazines in. She checks it about
every month. If she needs to work in town and not at home she "hotels"
by reserving a cube through a web site. They route her phone number
there. Tomorrow someone else will be using the desk. There are no
paper file cabinets there or at home. It's paperless or die.

>> Not really. DRM is evolving,
>
>Yeah, in the wrong direction ... "fair use" is getting thrown out of the
>window lately.

I continue to be hopeful. Change will be pulled through the snake from
the consumer end through legislative pressure. It won't come from the
rights-owners' end.

>> I didn't find Europe broken out, but did find this combo number
>> projection for 2004-2008:
>>
>> "In EMEA (Europe, Mideast, Africa) the educational and professional
>> book segment will increase at a 2 percent compound annual rate, rising
>> to $20.2 billion in 2008 from $18.4 billion in 2003."
>
>A projection showing an increase equal to inflation ...

Yeah, but it was the absolute size that was surprising to me. The US
number as well. Much larger share than I'd thought.

>> I can't tell if these figures mix wholesale and retail up, or
>> whatever, but they should be directional. Either way, it's a heck of a
>> lot of money. Not what I'd call a niche market.
>
>A lot of money indeed, so it might not be that "niche"

We both learned something.

>> In case of bankruptcy succession terms can be written into rights
>> documents to avoid lengthy fighting. The bankruptcy judge isn't going
>> to let the title bank sit for a decade when it could be earning money
>> for creditors. Backlists are valuable assets. They'd sell quickly.
>
>USA centric pov - wait till it gets into a court over here ... <sigh>

OK. I'm as guilty as most Americans of that. Bankruptcy is a hot topic
over here now, with numbers rising pretty fast due to credit card debt
and rapid medical cost hikes. It's not as shameful as it used to be,
and it's much more cut&dried legally. The courts are adapting before
they're buried.

>>>Oh, yes they are - cutting out the middle-man (retail) is a
>>>publisher's dream scenario
>>
>> Cutting out retail traffic isn't though. Gift-givers, genre-shifters,
>> browsers, new gamers with no knowledge at all--probably going to
>> bricks&mortar first. How many developers would turn down being in US
>> big-box stores in exchange for Shrapnel?
>
>Depends on how much they're getting on a retail-sale vs. a web-sale.

It doesn't if the retail is fully incremental. If the retail sale can
be enticed to shift to the web I agree, but I believe most of these
will be lost purchases. At least in the gift-giving segment. Ideally
you want both venues, but in the RW big retailers like Wal-Mart treat
you badly if they know you're directly competing with them on the web.

>Given the economics of retail it might be better to sell 1 copy through
>the web than 5 through retail (developer pov)

It might be, but I think it depends on margin ratios. Retail costs
have some components like MDF as fixed pots; once they pay-back
realized margins jump up on incremental sales. There are also
cash-flow implications; retail loading brings in big orders up-front
while web sales are one unit at a time with inventory funding on the
developer/publisher, not the retailers' dime.

Important to consider longer-term business goals as well. If wargaming
is declining in volume (I don't know; the definitions of the genre
seem pretty wide if RTW is a wargame and not a strategy game) going to
a more invisible channel like the web might be a bad move, all things
being equal. I realize it may not be a choice though.

>> On that I simply don't know. I know from lurking here that this small
>> Usenet community shows a lot of commonality of belief and behavior.
>
>Agreement ? - in here ? - you must have this ng confused with an alt.fan
>one :) 

I see a lot of agreement on game topics, on the "fun" of hex-based
games (I don't care for them), that sale prices higher than other
genres are not an impediment to the genre, that digital download is a
fine distribution method, etc. There's a lot of disagreement on the
games themselves, but overall this ng is very clubby IMO. As a lurker
I see people visit and leave quite a bit. Probably 50% of the posts
are by ten people. (Impression, not researched.)

Steve

--
www.thepaxamsolution.com
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 3:39:03 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

On Mon, 28 Feb 2005 20:35:57 -0500, Giftzwerg
<giftzwerg999@hotmail.com> wrote:

>> Of course. It's trivial to find examples.
>
>The it would be absolutely wrong to say, "capital does not flow to such
>propositions," right?
>
><g>

Not to a native speaker of English. More words can be added to make
the pure statistical meaning hyper-clear, but the implication of the
sentence construction implies "in the majority of cases" or "rarely
does capital . . ." It's an agglomerated group of billions of
transactions when the collective noun "capital" is used in this sense.
Only the most pedantic would consider a single exception as disproving
the general case.

>I mean, you can't have it both ways; either capital *does* flow to
>stupid propositions, or it doesn't.

I suppose if one is a computer programmer one could think like this.
I'm not, at least by trade.

Steve
--
www.thepaxamsolution.com
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 5:24:44 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

In article <2r1c2192f1pl3qiio43mt73lg67lpf7t9t@4ax.com>,
sbartman@visi.com says...

> >The it would be absolutely wrong to say, "capital does not flow to such
> >propositions," right?
> >
> ><g>
>
> Not to a native speaker of English. More words can be added to make
> the pure statistical meaning hyper-clear, but the implication of the
> sentence construction implies "in the majority of cases" or "rarely
> does capital . . ."

If you're using a flat, unequivocally negative statement ("does not") to
mean "might" or "rarely," then the most charitable comment I can make is
that I hope you're not planning to work with high voltage anytime soon.

--
Giftzwerg
***
"The Islamists have been clear all along about their plans to form
an Islamic caliphate and inhabit the entire world with burqas,
stonings, amputations, honor killings and a lack of religious and
political freedom. Whether or not to oppose such a movement should
have been a no-brainer, especially for self-proclaimed 'progressives.'
Instead, they have extended their misguided sympathies to tyrants
and terrorists."
- Cinnamon Stillwell
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 5:59:05 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

In article <c22c21pvcgs0oktu15ptfrqd65vnvsq0ir@4ax.com>,
sbartman@visi.com says...

> >> (Microsoft Reader is a pretty neat piece of software. The
> >> font-sharpening technology works for my weak eyes.)
> >
> >Ah. Redmond-ware. That's the ticket.
> >
> ><laughter>
>
> IOW you have no familiarity with the software and have never used it.
> Gottcha.
>
> Sad that one who holds himself out as a logical maestro would avoid
> useful solutions out of what? Fear? Spite? Jealousy of Mr. Gates?

Logically speaking, given that I think *all* ebooks and readers are
moronic non-solutions to absolute non-problems, I should think it
trivial to deduce that I would include the aforementioned Redmond-ware
product in with its digital colleagues.

> >> Pros and cons. Weight and low/no-light reading are important for
> >> mobile readers.
> >
> >...if one hasn't got access to a "light" or a "candle," two pretty low-
> >tech - not to mention low-cost - gizmos that render this advantage
> >entirely moot.
>
> Light a candle on an airplane and see how you do with that. I can't
> read on planes with the dinky overhead bulb. I can read from a laptop
> with MS Reader.

They have these devices called "lightbulbs" (coulda swore I mentioned
them...) which, for the last century or so, are capable of converting
electricity into illumination in the human-visible spectrum. They're
quite cheap, wholly effective, and work with a variety of electrical
sources.

Speaking for myself, I use "The Itty-Bitty Book Light." Compact,
portable, dirt-cheap - and with a battery life that exceeds that of
every laptop on the Planet Earth by 500% or better.

> >> Cost should be lower, but as you say so far hasn't
> >> been. (Stupid move by publishers.)
> >
> >Not stupid at all. They're in precisely the same position the music
> >industry is; defending a *very* profitable status quo,
>
> Publishing profits have been under attack for years. Lots of reasons:
> lower library budgets, fewer leisure readers, the rise of mega-authors
> and mega-agents bidding up advances, increased freight costs and
> associated returns costs, consolidation in retailers

.... high prices for shitty books by third-rate authors?

Nah. Can't be that.

> >> >Individuals *are* the market.
> >>
> >> No, the market is the market.
> >
> >Nonsense. The whole idea of the market is encompassed in the collective
> >decision making of a great mob of individuals. Without these
> >individuals, there is no market.
>
> Which is a fancy way of saying, once more, that single individuals
> don't matter.

If no single individual ever buys Product X, how's the market for
Product X looking?

<wink>

> On my part, this is like arguing with someone who
> >still thinks the Segway scooter is going to revolutionize city life -
> >another instance of capital chasing idiocy on the advice of marketing
> >pros...
>
> Do a bit of research on the Segway and we'll talk. For what it's
> worth, "marketing pros" didn't invent the machine, venture capital
> behaves differently in a new industry than an established like PC
> games, the Segway is selling in increasing, not decreasing, numbers.
> They've just introduced the second generation of machines with added
> features. In addition, like the Apple Newton you disparaged earlier
> (that led to the Palm Pilot), it's possible the Segway brand will not
> survive but that other follow-on brands will. It's common in
> breakthrough industries (Stanley Steamer anyone?). A huge issue in the
> US has been laws preventing Segways from being ridden on sidewalks.
> These are changing rapidly. Dealerships are still being opened, and
> other channels have taken longer to happen than initially forecast.
> The USPS is still looking at them, as are other industrial users for
> indoor transportation. Golf courses are starting to buy. Despite your
> going for the cheap shot & getaway patting yourself on the back, the
> facts don't support you.

Well. Golly. Let's do some "research," shall we?

http://www.answers.com/topic/segway

A few fun quotes:

"Apple CEO Steve Jobs suggested that cities will be built around this
new method of transportation, venture capitalist John Doerr predicted $1
billion in sales faster than after any other product launch. To cope
with the expected demand, the factory in Bedford, New Hampshire was
designed to build up to 40 thousand units per month."

There's those marketing Brainiacs, preparing for sales of perhaps 40,000
units per month. Unhappily, the rat-bastard individuals[1] comprising
the market for Segways rained (read: monsooned, typhooned, tornadoed...)
on their parade:

"The company had expected to sell 50-100 thousand units in the first
year, but after 21 months only 6000 units had been sold."

Gawrsh. Where I work, hitting 3%-6% of your sales targets doesn't
exactly get you that key to the executive washroom.

Even their official site is desperately engaged in codeword-bingo to
rationalize the fiasco:

"During the ten-week promotional period that began Oct. 25, 2004,
domestic sales of Segway® Human Transporters (HTs) more than doubled
compared to prior periods."

Oooooooo. More than *doubled*! Are they up to 4,000 a month, yet?


[1] Not that *they're* important, right? <g>



--
Giftzwerg
***
"The Islamists have been clear all along about their plans to form
an Islamic caliphate and inhabit the entire world with burqas,
stonings, amputations, honor killings and a lack of religious and
political freedom. Whether or not to oppose such a movement should
have been a no-brainer, especially for self-proclaimed 'progressives.'
Instead, they have extended their misguided sympathies to tyrants
and terrorists."
- Cinnamon Stillwell
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 6:55:54 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

On Tue, 1 Mar 2005 07:39:36 -0500, Giftzwerg
<giftzwerg999@hotmail.com> wrote:


>This is true for technical and reference libraries, but I wonder exactly
>how many people *actually* lie down with a laptop balanced on their
>chest, a copy of <ebook> glowing cheerfully.

As of two years ago: "Washington, DC, March 18, 2003: Electronic
books, a new addition to the Association of American Publishers (AAP)
monthly sales report, began 2003 with impressive numbers, up 1,447.4
percent, according to figures just released by the AAP. The electronic
book segment grew from $211,000 in net sales in January 2002 to
slightly more than $3.3 million in January 2003, a sign that consumer
interest in electronic books is growing."

http://www.publishers.org/press/releases.cfm?PressRelea...

I also know these are not complete numbers since not all ebooks are
sold through reporting firms. My ebook publisher doesn't report.

Another data point:

"The Open eBook Forum (OeBF) reported a new quarterly record for ebook
retail sales. Ebook units sold for the first quarter 2004 were up 46%
and ebook revenues were up 28% over the same quarter in 2003. The
statistical reports released by the OeBF represent aggregate
statistics submitted by reporting companies and does not represent the
entire ebook publishing and retail industries.

The report also found that a total of 421,955 ebooks were sold in Q1
2004 alone, a 46% increase over the same period in 2003, during which
time 288,440 units were sold. $3,233,220 in sales were logged by
retailers in Q1 2004, a 28% increase over the same period in 2003
during which time retailers reported $2,516,469 on sales of ebooks.

"This quarter eBooks have hit a new high mark for sales," said Open
eBook Forum President Steve Potash. "eBooks represent the fastest
growing segment of the publishing industry."

The OeBF's eBook Bestseller list for May was also released with Dan
Brown's The Da Vinci Code topping the list for the third straight
month. Kevin Ryan's Van Helsing, Dan Brown's Angels & Demons, The Da
Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction and Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason's The
Rule of Four rounded out the top 5 eBooks on the list."

http://www.writenews.com/2004/060404_ebooks_record_quar...

Small? Yes. Growing? Yes.

I'm willing to bet that
>it's an infinitesimal fraction of the number of people who take up
><book> at bedtime.

Sure. About as many as drove motor cars in 1890. But you're playing
cardboard counter wargames; you LIKE being a dinosaur.

>What might make ebooks practical is the introduction of a cheap and
>truly useful reader.

Would sure help.

>If this happens, then we might see some sort of revolution in publishing
>... but I'm not holding my breath.

I'm not either, but I do expect it to happen. I'll be breathing until
then though.

Right now I'd say textbooks (and not necessarily college-level) will
be a major motivating force. Textbook-buying committees ini Texas and
California have enough leverage to make the publishers dance, and
school budgets are under attack in most states.

Steve
--
www.thepaxamsolution.com
Anonymous
March 3, 2005 12:25:36 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Steve Bartman <sbartman@visi.com> wrote in
news:sh0c219qi7sbjrgc0dgm8cu9dpv9r212mu@4ax.com:

> On 28 Feb 2005 23:18:29 GMT, Eddy Sterckx <eddysterckx@hotmail.com>
> wrote:

> Important to consider longer-term business goals as well. If wargaming
> is declining in volume (I don't know; the definitions of the genre
> seem pretty wide if RTW is a wargame and not a strategy game) going to
> a more invisible channel like the web might be a bad move, all things
> being equal. I realize it may not be a choice though.

I object to the "invisible channel" part - kids nowadays grow up with
the internet - they're used to looking things up there. All wargaming
needs is a few central hubs from which all the info can be gathered. One
such hub is this ng, another are the Wargamer and the Warefare HQ
website.

> I see a lot of agreement on game topics, on the "fun" of hex-based
> games (I don't care for them), that sale prices higher than other
> genres are not an impediment to the genre, that digital download is a
> fine distribution method,

All of these points generated some heated debates here IRC ...

> etc. There's a lot of disagreement on the
> games themselves, but overall this ng is very clubby IMO. As a lurker
> I see people visit and leave quite a bit. Probably 50% of the posts
> are by ten people. (Impression, not researched.)

http://netscan.research.microsoft.com/reportcard.asp?
timespan=y&searchdate=2004&NGID=28026
&searchfor=comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical

nice statistics on this ng - the number of different posters in every 2-
week period is between 50 and 100.

12000 posts, the top 10 posters writing 1200 of those - so it's top 10
posters writing 10% of the posts.

From the numbers it seems like there's a small nucleus of people with an
opinion on practically everything :)  but that there's also a whole lot
of people chiming in when something triggers their attention.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
Anonymous
March 3, 2005 12:25:37 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

On 02 Mar 2005 21:25:36 GMT, Eddy Sterckx <eddysterckx@hotmail.com>
wrote:


>I object to the "invisible channel" part -

Well, I said "more" invisible, which I believe is a correct
characterization when channel splits are examined. But I was also
implicitly including primarily gift-buys (mothers, grandparents, etc.
who don't know games and need a clerk), big-box impulse purchasers (in
to buy DVDs or music, see a game on the way), and genre-shifters who
haven't bought into extensive research but might be compelled to pick
up a box and read the copy.

No argument that the web, like print media versus, say, TV, is far
better at imparting deep levels of information if it is sought out.
The trick is getting the initial hook in, and brick&mortar retail is
better at that than a static web site among tens of millions. Some
combination of marketing tactics to drive non-loyalists to the web
site is needed to maximize the info. Maybe in-box coupons in
cross-genre games, maybe buying top-10-hit space on major search
engines or at major on-line retailers like Amazon, maybe smaller
magazine print ads that don't sell the game but the web site(s), maybe
direct mail, maybe off-hour radio in select markets (university
stations?), maybe free samples to select university history
professors/wardrooms/staff colleges/ROTC units, maybe . . . spam? Nah.

kids nowadays grow up with
>the internet - they're used to looking things up there. All wargaming
>needs is a few central hubs from which all the info can be gathered. One
>such hub is this ng, another are the Wargamer and the Warefare HQ
>website.

The maps are there. You need an impetus to get the map out and unfold
it. If wargames really are gone from retail they're "invisible" unless
something gives a push and arouses curiosity. I think it's hard for
this ng to imagine anyone not knowing about wargames, but that's the
norm amongst PC gamers (I think.)

>> I see a lot of agreement on game topics, on the "fun" of hex-based
>> games (I don't care for them), that sale prices higher than other
>> genres are not an impediment to the genre, that digital download is a
>> fine distribution method,
>
>All of these points generated some heated debates here IRC ...

Well, I'VE certainly whined about prices. <g>

>nice statistics on this ng - the number of different posters in every 2-
>week period is between 50 and 100.
>
>12000 posts, the top 10 posters writing 1200 of those - so it's top 10
>posters writing 10% of the posts.

Maybe they're just louder. <g>

Steve
--
www.thepaxamsolution.com
Anonymous
March 3, 2005 1:24:39 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Steve Bartman <sbartman@visi.com> wrote in
news:tacc21thq5esbt360kr41bqhnuu3kl615k@4ax.com:

> On 02 Mar 2005 21:25:36 GMT, Eddy Sterckx <eddysterckx@hotmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>
>>I object to the "invisible channel" part -
>
> Well, I said "more" invisible, which I believe is a correct
> characterization when channel splits are examined. But I was also
> implicitly including primarily gift-buys (mothers, grandparents, etc.
> who don't know games and need a clerk), big-box impulse purchasers (in
> to buy DVDs or music, see a game on the way), and genre-shifters who
> haven't bought into extensive research but might be compelled to pick
> up a box and read the copy.

ok - to address them 1 by 1

mothers, grandparents etc. asking the store clerk for what game to buy
is a myth imho - they always have a piece of paper with 1 or more games
on them, the items on which were carefully dictated by their (grand)
children. Nowadays I give my wife a website url and game name. Subtle it
ain't, but it never was, even not in the retail days.

Impulse buyers : There will always be (light) wargames that are
available retail. World at War is going retail, Combat Mission II and
Cossacks II will too.

Genre-shifters : are usually very knowledgeable and often shift
deliberatly, they don't need retail to know that wargames exist.

> Maybe in-box coupons in
> cross-genre games, maybe buying top-10-hit space on major search
> engines or at major on-line retailers like Amazon, maybe smaller
> magazine print ads that don't sell the game but the web site(s), maybe
> direct mail, maybe off-hour radio in select markets (university
> stations?), maybe free samples to select university history
> professors/wardrooms/staff colleges/ROTC units, maybe . . . spam? Nah.

Noting down some good ideas ... :) 

> I think it's hard for
> this ng to imagine anyone not knowing about wargames,

Not really, we do live in the Real World (tm).

> but that's the
> norm amongst PC gamers (I think.)

Mainstream PC game magazines like CGW and PCGamer still have a token
wargame presence - it's like you knowing there are games where you can
fish on your pc - it might not interest you, but you know they exist.

>>12000 posts, the top 10 posters writing 1200 of those - so it's top 10
>>posters writing 10% of the posts.
>
> Maybe they're just louder. <g>

Maybe their arguments are so compelling their posts stick more in your
mind :) 

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
Anonymous
March 3, 2005 1:24:40 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

On 02 Mar 2005 22:24:39 GMT, Eddy Sterckx <eddysterckx@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>ok - to address them 1 by 1
>
>mothers, grandparents etc. asking the store clerk for what game to buy
>is a myth imho - they always have a piece of paper with 1 or more games
>on them, the items on which were carefully dictated by their (grand)
>children.

I see them too in the big box stores, but when the clerk says they
don't carry it they leave the section and buy a CD.

Nowadays I give my wife a website url and game name. Subtle it
>ain't, but it never was, even not in the retail days.

I'm married as well (long time) and she'll pick up a game at BestBuy
if I precisely describe it. She'd never go on-line for me. So, two
data points. As I've been carping at G., means nothing. <g>

I think she'd buy for me from an Amazon. Many of the on-line game
sites right now look amateurish and thus risky to fling a credit card
number toward. I'm talking about a wife with a paper shredder in the
house here, a wife who wouldn't let our accountant write my SSN down
on her desk blotter to reference as she typed it into the computer. An
identity-theft commando.

If the on-line sites had to concentrate on only one thing from my
perspective, it wouldn't be size/depth or product coverage, it would
be professional look and feel and overtly secure transactions.

>Impulse buyers : There will always be (light) wargames that are
>available retail. World at War is going retail, Combat Mission II and
>Cossacks II will too.

And they'll sell OK there but you still haven't converted that guy to
hardcore games.

>Genre-shifters : are usually very knowledgeable and often shift
>deliberatly, they don't need retail to know that wargames exist.

I'm a genre-shifter to FPSes and I didn't go on-line at all to
experiment or gather data. I used magazine ads/reviews.

Even after a couple years lurking here I don't know half the games you
guys talk about. I come looking for specific info on specific games,
recently HOI2. And I used to be a heavy computer wargamer in the 1980s
and early 90s.

>> Maybe in-box coupons in
>> cross-genre games, maybe buying top-10-hit space on major search
>> engines or at major on-line retailers like Amazon, maybe smaller
>> magazine print ads that don't sell the game but the web site(s), maybe
>> direct mail, maybe off-hour radio in select markets (university
>> stations?), maybe free samples to select university history
>> professors/wardrooms/staff colleges/ROTC units, maybe . . . spam? Nah.
>
>Noting down some good ideas ... :) 

Heh. Lots of others, but most of them more expensive. Never
underestimate the value of free goods, even if it's something
obsolete.

>Mainstream PC game magazines like CGW and PCGamer still have a token
>wargame presence - it's like you knowing there are games where you can
>fish on your pc - it might not interest you, but you know they exist.

I subscribe to CGW and CG both. The latter has, this month, reviews
of: Wings Over Vietnam, Battles in Normandy, HOI2, D-Day, Dragoon: The
Prussian War Machine, and Gates of Troy.

More wargames in one issue than I can honestly remember.

Steve
--
www.thepaxamsolution.com
Anonymous
March 3, 2005 10:53:34 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

On Wed, 2 Mar 2005 19:33:33 -0500, Giftzwerg
<giftzwerg999@hotmail.com> wrote:

>> >"During the ten-week promotional period that began Oct. 25, 2004,
>> >domestic sales of Segway® Human Transporters (HTs) more than doubled
>> >compared to prior periods."
>>
>> Codeword-bingo? Huh? This is a clear mathematical relationship.
>
>Yeah. Pretty close to "two times zero," I'll warrant.

Framed on a wall here at the plant, we have a presidential citation
for excellence that we received for doubling our exports in a one year
period. If you look at the number of machines sold per year, it goes
something like this...

1980 15
1981 20
1982 22
1983 2
1984 4

Wanna guess in which year we earned that citation for excellence? <g>

Rgds, Frank
Anonymous
March 3, 2005 3:11:59 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

In article <hjAnQuGofsEnVztYKhg=hUcuvChf@4ax.com>,
fakeaddress@hotmail.com says...

> >Yeah. Pretty close to "two times zero," I'll warrant.
>
> Framed on a wall here at the plant, we have a presidential citation
> for excellence that we received for doubling our exports in a one year
> period. If you look at the number of machines sold per year, it goes
> something like this...
>
> 1980 15
> 1981 20
> 1982 22
> 1983 2
> 1984 4
>
> Wanna guess in which year we earned that citation for excellence? <g>

I'll make a further guess; your five-year sales chart does *not* appear
on the Presidential Citation For Excellence.

--
Giftzwerg
***
"The Islamists have been clear all along about their plans to form
an Islamic caliphate and inhabit the entire world with burqas,
stonings, amputations, honor killings and a lack of religious and
political freedom. Whether or not to oppose such a movement should
have been a no-brainer, especially for self-proclaimed 'progressives.'
Instead, they have extended their misguided sympathies to tyrants
and terrorists."
- Cinnamon Stillwell
!