How long will BFC stick to their eLicense system?

MKSheppard

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Even Matrix is now experimentally trying out Steam releases for some of their products; in addition to their regular, non intrusive CD-KEYs.

Meanwhile, BFC continues to install crapware on your computer for the eLicense system which is damned hard to remove for good.
 

Redwolf

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Even Matrix is now experimentally trying out Steam releases for some of their products; in addition to their regular, non intrusive CD-KEYs.

Meanwhile, BFC continues to install crapware on your computer for the eLicense system which is damned hard to remove for good.
Yeah. While I recognize that a good part of the customer base demands offline play I think it is time not to harass the rest of us anymore. Dual licensing (online only) or the old scheme should be a customer choice.

Their downloads are also ways a mess. The official forum is full of reports of failed downloads. Steam sounds more reliably, and restartable.
 

phil395

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Yeah. While I recognize that a good part of the customer base demands offline play I think it is time not to harass the rest of us anymore. Dual licensing (online only) or the old scheme should be a customer choice.
Steam seems to work well enough for offline mode, too.
 

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It's a "bit" odd that Battlefront, one of the pioneers of indie game development I think you could say, use these wonky download "systems". It's happened to me twice now that a friend I have recommended CM demos to, has come back to me and complained that the CM demo download page tried to lure him into running some kind of exe he did not know what was, but it wasn't the CM demo.exe. The question both times has been "what kind of crap is this?" I mean, dont' they want new customers?

Virtually all the new indie games released, large and small, use Steam or some kind of professional download system for their demos and patches. But BF seem to be living in the 90's with these "gamespedia" and similar sites, still.
 

Redwolf

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It seems clear from conversations that nobody who speaks for BFC in public actually understands the implications of their choices. Neither the technical ones, the safety ones nor the public images one.
 

phil395

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Presumably they get enough sales that they don't care.
 

Redwolf

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Presumably they get enough sales that they don't care.
How do they know how many sales they miss from people who stopped bothering sometime since 2007?

Making an unprofessional impression is not generally considered a winning strategy.
 

phil395

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I entirely agree with your point.
I just don't think they care. Their world-view seems to dismiss those who disagree with them as irrelevant.
 

Redwolf

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I entirely agree with your point.
I just don't think they care. Their world-view seems to dismiss those who disagree with them as irrelevant.
No, I think they don't understand the technology. I dunno about Charles but all the others to the last man betray that they have very limited exposure to existing art around downloads, patching, multiplayer etc., and let's not speak about virtual memory, or any computer memory.

How they can offer a 2 GB download exclusively from a site that technically doesn't support picking up interrupted downloads bewilders me. And the downloads are all the same but they explicitly forbid people from making them available to each other. Which of course large amounts of people ignore. Not a good setup to make the customer in question cuddly enough that he would be a loyal customer. You need that because in the future you will have a legitimate screwup you couldn't avoid and you want customers to forgive you and buy the next game regardless. Don't use up your credit in as early as download difficulties.

The absurdity to have their draconian DRM for the benefit of offline play but at the same time making it nearly impossible to actually buy the game if you have lousy internetz is breathtaking.
 

Fleischer

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Or maybe their games sell so badly they have to cut down on the costs. It's hard to imagine though, since even niche indiegames are on Steam these days.

I sure would like to see some sales figures. When Steve says "sales are good" that could be *very* relative.
 

Redwolf

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Or maybe their games sell so badly they have to cut down on the costs. It's hard to imagine though, since even niche indiegames are on Steam these days.

I sure would like to see some sales figures. When Steve says "sales are good" that could be *very* relative.
They still have a strong enough community that they could ask people to p2p it to each other. They would do it. As opposed to many blockbuster games that force the users to.
 

Elvis

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Or maybe their games sell so badly they have to cut down on the costs. It's hard to imagine though, since even niche indiegames are on Steam these days.

I sure would like to see some sales figures. When Steve says "sales are good" that could be *very* relative.
It surely is a relative thing to say. But anyone curious about whether they are truly good for BFC or just blowing smoke can find plenty of tangible signs that they are certainly good to them.
 

Redwolf

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It surely is a relative thing to say. But anyone curious about whether they are truly good for BFC or just blowing smoke can find plenty of tangible signs that they are certainly good to them.
It is hard to gain any data other than number of employees. The Amazon sales rank was there but they don't do that anymore.

What really concerns me is that other forums that used to be into tactical computer wargaming, and used to be relatively big on CMx1, are silent. ACG - no mention, except me. Tanknet - nothing. TacOps mailing list - nope.

Wargamer forums have a thread and some followups. Lots of screenshots.

That is much lower activity than for any CMx1 release. On the other hand, tactical wargaming seems pretty dead and e.g. Panzer Command releases don't do any better.
 

Elvis

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It is hard to gain any data other than number of employees. The Amazon sales rank was there but they don't do that anymore.

What really concerns me is that other forums that used to be into tactical computer wargaming, and used to be relatively big on CMx1, are silent. ACG - no mention, except me. Tanknet - nothing. TacOps mailing list - nope.

Wargamer forums have a thread and some followups. Lots of screenshots.

That is much lower activity than for any CMx1 release. On the other hand, tactical wargaming seems pretty dead and e.g. Panzer Command releases don't do any better.
As a small business owner myself. I know that I don't hire move people if things aren't good. But even putting aside the increase of employees (which is higher than people think) there are other signs. The biggest, of course, is that are still in business. Another big sign is that created a model for their releases that they have not deviated from, for what? 11 years? If it wasn't working for them they would have changed course or certainly not felt the need for new help. They also sell other games that, at least one, continue to be produced. .
 

Redwolf

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As a small business owner myself. I know that I don't hire move people if things aren't good. But even putting aside the increase of employees (which is higher than people think) there are other signs. The biggest, of course, is that are still in business. Another big sign is that created a model for their releases that they have not deviated from, for what? 11 years? If it wasn't working for them they would have changed course or certainly not felt the need for new help. They also sell other games that, at least one, continue to be produced. .
It just doesn't match any form of buzz on any other source of popularity. I am not sure how much those are full-time employees and how much they have a daytime job and work on CM for some sort of profit sharing (if any) later.

Obviously changing plans mid-execution wouldn't be good. Changing course to - where? The stupid action spot system and going away from 1:1 is something they probably have to stay with for now.
 

Elvis

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It just doesn't match any form of buzz on any other source of popularity. I am not sure how much those are full-time employees and how much they have a daytime job and work on CM for some sort of profit sharing (if any) later.

Obviously changing plans mid-execution wouldn't be good. Changing course to - where? The stupid action spot system and going away from 1:1 is something they probably have to stay with for now.
They don't even have to be full time (I'm not) but it is money being spent.

I meant the base game/module model. Not the actual game mechanics. The marketing and sales plan, if you will.
 

Elvis

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To put it another way..... Remaining is business. Growing staff. Continuing a business plan. Are far more tangible signs that a business owner is being truthful when they say they are doing good than intangible Internet activity on fringe (wargame sites in general) websites. For instance, if there were 20 or 30 very active posters on this forum. And a couple of dozen infrequent posters. And a hundred or 200 lurkers. Does that mean anything in the grand scheme of things? It would certainly look like a thriving Internet community but it would still boil down to a small number of people. And statistically a number that would mean nothing if you were running a business. Not that you wouldn't appreciate it....of course you would...but it would have to be less than the tip of the tip of the iceberg to make your business sustainable. And BFC being a sustainable business has to be a given at this point, correct? No one is denying that a this point, are they? If they sell 1,000, 5,000...50,000,.....100,000 or a million copies of each game becomes irrelevant. If they are satisfied (tangible evidence) then they will continue making their games. If they are not (intangible evidence) then they won't and they'd begin closing up shop or tightening the belt.
 

Redwolf

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They don't even have to be full time (I'm not) but it is money being spent.

I meant the base game/module model. Not the actual game mechanics. The marketing and sales plan, if you will.
Every time I talk to Steve I have no idea what drives him. What is the fuzz about not letting people distribute the base file among each other? On one hand he is constantly wining about the cost of his own downloads and on the other hand he double-dips on DRM plus trying not to have the distfiles in circulation (which seems extremely ineffective as a method to control piracy).
 
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