How long will BFC stick to their eLicense system?

NUTTERNAME

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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.
Hasn't he really said he doesn't make much? Or so he seems to say when he goes off on one of his meltdowns? After bashing everybody, he goes for the sympathy thing?

And, I doubt that 2-3% of the customers post anywhere. Traffic at BF itself is hardly jumping except after releases or big news. Steve has said as much and I believe him. I just don't believe he knows what everyone wants. His own admission that a very small minority of his customers post being the reason. As far as I know, they have never bothered with a questionnaire or email feedback etc.

As far as the particular business they run, basically distributed stay at home employees connected through the internet, the biggest money issue is salary. Salary might be $500K a year. In my best guess, given the release history, they probably have a customer base of 5000-12,000. If they can get 8500 to spend $100 a year, then BF's business model would be a success. Putting effort into low selling modules can put a hurt on that. Rework and other time-consuming efforts should be avoided. The DRM is nothing more than an effort to protect the sales they need to be successful. personally, I think CMBB and CMAK were hits and many people were playing it. They just didn't pay for it.

If I had his company, and I would use a DRM, I would also have the info fed back to me as far as how often and how the customers play etc. Identifying the majority and catering to them being the goal.
 

Elvis

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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).
I gotta be honest, I have no idea what you are talking about or what it has to do with my point.
 

Redwolf

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I gotta be honest, I have no idea what you are talking about or what it has to do with my point.
I was explaining that Steve's thinking is so different from mine that I have no fighting chance to answer your previous question.
 

NUTTERNAME

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I was explaining that Steve's thinking is so different from mine that I have no fighting chance to answer your previous question.
He may be coming around to your way of thinking after they unleash this new development...

The Vehicle Pack includes important updates to our anti-piracy protection and activation system. As such it comes with new instructions for how to install and activate it:

Most importantly, the Vehicle Pack will require you to activate your base game v3.0 as well as any modules you may have in addition to the Pack itself. You will need the v3.0 Upgrade license key for the base game that you received when you purchased the 3.0 Upgrade, and keys from the purchase of each of the modules (for example: the CMBN + Commonwealth Forces Bundle, or the Big Bundle, or any module alone). Re-licensing these after installing the Vehicle Pack is NOT going to use any of your remaining activations.

The way you activate changed, as well. When launching the pack for the first time, you will be prompted to activate the base game. Use the 3.0 Upgrade license key for that. On subsequent launches, the activation screen will NOT appear automatically. To force it to show up and allow you to activate additional components, please use the "Activate" shortcut instead of launching the game. The shortcut will allow you to enter any valid key to unlock additional content, such as modules, packs or upgrades. You will have to do this for each module, upgrade or pack you own. The shortcut can be found on your desktop after installation, or inside the Start>All Programs>Battlefront group on the PC, or inside the Documents folder on the Mac
...Hopefully, this will take up all of Elvis' free time and I will be able to complete my 'Long Con' strategy in the horrible CMRT game we have going (after the CMRT patch is released...)
 

phil395

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Another excessively complicated mess for end-users, then! I wish they'd just bin the DRM. I do wonder how much piracy it actually stops vs. the amount they must pay.
 

Elvis

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Another excessively complicated mess for end-users, then! I wish they'd just bin the DRM. I do wonder how much piracy it actually stops vs. the amount they must pay.
I don't know if there are ways that software makers can find out what their exposure is and I know this is completely anecdotal but I get at least one Help Desk ticket a month for someone phising for a license key.The 2 most memorable ones are a guy in China bought CMBN in some store. Long story short is that the store owner or someone purchase 3 copies, which gives you 12 activations, made discs and cases and was selling them. The most recent was this guy. He kept asking me for a key and that he didn't have the download version. With a CD only purchase the key is only in the packaging. In extremely rare occasions the key isn't there. So I asked him for his order number. He told me that he bought it in a store in France and not through BFC. As proof of his purchase he sent me this picture of the DVD case.


When I read what was written on the cover made me think of dalem.
 

Redwolf

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If I also have a working stack of CMBN things, do I really have to re-enter all license numbers when I install the pack?

And wouldn't that decrease my install count?
 

Elvis

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If I also have a working stack of CMBN things, do I really have to re-enter all license numbers when I install the pack?

And wouldn't that decrease my install count?
It can be done VERY quickly if you have the following keys handy. All of my keys are in a Word listed by main game.:

3.0 Upgrade
Vehicle Pack
Commonwealth (if you have it)
Market Garden (if you have it)

After installing the Pack you use your 3.0 key. Close the game. Click the Activate Module desktop icon and activate a module or the Pack and repeat for each of the 3 things. If you have them all handy and just copy/paste them into the field it doesn't even take 5 minutes.


It does not burn an activation.
 

phil395

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It can be done VERY quickly if you have the following keys handy. All of my keys are in a Word listed by main game.:

3.0 Upgrade
Vehicle Pack
Commonwealth (if you have it)
Market Garden (if you have it)

After installing the Pack you use your 3.0 key. Close the game. Click the Activate Module desktop icon and activate a module or the Pack and repeat for each of the 3 things. If you have them all handy and just copy/paste them into the field it doesn't even take 5 minutes.
...but it's an unreasonable burden on honest users. In the same way that the patching process is so utterly naff.
 

NUTTERNAME

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I REALLY hope they reconsider this when pushing forward with the eastern front.
 

Redwolf

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It can be done VERY quickly if you have the following keys handy. All of my keys are in a Word listed by main game.:

3.0 Upgrade
Vehicle Pack
Commonwealth (if you have it)
Market Garden (if you have it)

After installing the Pack you use your 3.0 key. Close the game. Click the Activate Module desktop icon and activate a module or the Pack and repeat for each of the 3 things. If you have them all handy and just copy/paste them into the field it doesn't even take 5 minutes.


It does not burn an activation.
Or I can just not buy that bull$hit pack.

My time is valuable. I expect BFC to waste the pirates' time. Not mine.
 

Elvis

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Or I can just not buy that bull$hit pack.

My time is valuable. I expect BFC to waste the pirates' time. Not mine.
My mistake for thinking that you were asking an actual question. ...not a rhetorical one.
 

phil395

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I think the question is, "Why does BFC persist with a DRM scheme that annoys customers who would like to pay them money?"
 

NUTTERNAME

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In the case of a "End of Life Family", it might be nice to have a single installation/activation. An example is the CMFI family after the pack for it is done. A person could buy the whole family...Base+Gustov+3.0+pack ($89.00) and it would be one download. It would also have an installer that would load the whole she-bang into a 'game' that is then activated. The only thing else might be some patch (free). But the family (game) is basically boght/installed/activated/done. I know there are others that have not bought into 'Italy' and it might be worth the effort for BF to do this.

It seems now that they will probably drop the pack for Italy with the patch also 'embedded' into that product. This would mean there are free patches waiting for CMRT, CMBN and Italy.
 

Elvis

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In the case of a "End of Life Family", it might be nice to have a single installation/activation. An example is the CMFI family after the pack for it is done. A person could buy the whole family...Base+Gustov+3.0+pack ($89.00) and it would be one download. It would also have an installer that would load the whole she-bang into a 'game' that is then activated. The only thing else might be some patch (free). But the family (game) is basically boght/installed/activated/done. I know there are others that have not bought into 'Italy' and it might be worth the effort for BF to do this.

It seems now that they will probably drop the pack for Italy with the patch also 'embedded' into that product. This would mean there are free patches waiting for CMRT, CMBN and Italy.
While not the End of Life Family (I LOVE that expression), that is what the Big Bundle was. And I would expect that when the series is complete there will be exactly what you are asking for. That said, there will always be a "next" Big Bundle because as the game continues to evolve there will be, at least, new Upgrades.
 

NUTTERNAME

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While not the End of Life Family (I LOVE that expression), that is what the Big Bundle was. And I would expect that when the series is complete there will be exactly what you are asking for. That said, there will always be a "next" Big Bundle because as the game continues to evolve there will be, at least, new Upgrades.
I think the present Big Bundle is just the separate products with separate activations? What I was saying is that they should just put it all together like 'The Godfather' redux.

Not sure that we will see any Upgrades anytime soon. Basically, Black Sea will feature newer technology weapons or commands etc. that are not back portable or historical to WWII. I suspect that it will have very few of these anyway. I believe they want to generate another family pronto. CMFI and CMBN seem to be spent. CMRT and other EF families are on the horizon (read: money generators) and a modern game will bring in a more diverse wargamers.

The pack concept is certainly a means to get module sales up. Since I kicked in for CMBN Upgrade 3.0, and there were no flamethrowers, I find that the pack irks me as a customer. Especially since it is focused on the modules, and there is no price break on CW, and that it contains the latest patch to boot. The fact that they are holding back on the patch details (they are), just rubs me the wrong way. As a customer that makes buying decisions (as opposed to a drooling wargamer falling over himself getting to his wallet while online), I feel BF owes me the CMRT patch and CMBN patch before any more business transpires.
 

Elvis

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I think the present Big Bundle is just the separate products with separate activations?
That changed before the 3.0 upgrade came out. Well, for people who purchased one of the bigger bundles anyway....

Housekeeping! Updated CM:BN Installer packages
Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Image
Time for some spring summer cleaning! We've just updated a number of the existing Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy installer packages. With the 3.0 Engine Upgrade for CMBN and CMFI around the corner, it's time to clean up some legacy releases.

End of life for CMBN v1.x! All CMBN packages (PC and Mac OSX) have now been updated to already include the very latest v2.12 game version. This means that they include the 2.0 Engine Upgrade (and the latest v2.12 patch) as well. This update is only available to new customers purchasing from today on.
The Complete Edition ("big bundle") and the 2.0-Module bundle ("small bundle") now come with a simple one-installer package (both PC and Mac OSX). This update is available for new as well as existing customers. Everyone who purchased these, even in the past, can download the new installer packages immediately. No need to install individual packages, patches or upgrades, it's a one-click install including the Upgrade and the latest patch, as well.
That is for the Big Bundle and 2.0-Module Bundle. The all in one installation was before, and does not include, the 3.0 Upgrade or Vehicle Pack.
 

NUTTERNAME

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That changed before the 3.0 upgrade came out. Well, for people who purchased one of the bigger bundles anyway....



That is for the Big Bundle and 2.0-Module Bundle. The all in one installation was before, and does not include, the 3.0 Upgrade or Vehicle Pack.
Yes, but I am speaking of the whole family doing the same thing. This would include the module(s). And I am talking about a family like CMBN or CMFI that has basically ended its module run. Of course, BF does some wacky things (whatever happened to the CMSF-redux?), so who knows when things end? Or start? Or promises get delivered? Time keeps on slipping, slipping, slipping...into the future...

What BF is doing with "The Big Bundle" is to streamline new customers, put 1.0 type customers in a legacy bin, and make faithful customers still have to go through the whole riggermerole. It would be nice if they offered this 'base game cleanup' free of charge to people that have bought the 'parts' to begin with (especially the saps that bought it all at retail price). In any case, the latest install/activation seems like a time killer. I have enough parts to build another computer and the thought of installing BF games is like looking forward to raking leaves. I imagine the amount of time that BF puts into all this brainstorming can be filed under wasted-time itself.

As a direct question:
I see that BF sells CMBN+CW as a bundle. It is $55. This appears to be the 2.12 base game + CW module. The stand alone CW module is still $35. CMBN 2.12 stand alone is $35. I can only believe at this point that CW was an under-seller and they are discounting to try and move it. Also, the pack is another means to move CW. Who thinks that there is something odd about the pricing?
 
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