Rate the CM:BN pre-release PR campaign

How well did BFC handle the CM:BN pre-release PR campaign?


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Michael Dorosh

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Interested in the opinions of BFC's pre-release PR campaign. I've discussed it in a few threads. I think they've hit most of the nails squarely on the head this time. They had a number of solid public After Action Reports, some decent videos (even one of the damn box), a reasonable pre-order deal devoid of "gimmicks", they released the manual, they have announced a full demo, and they've had some previews by independent reviewers.

While I could take issue with how some of the above was done - the previews were softball lobs to no-name previewers, for example, and some of the videos lacked professional polish, but overall, a very decent, if unimaginative, effort. (For imaginative, I'm thinking along the lines of Panzer Command's Google Earth application.)

At the end of the day, I think the product will need to sell itself, so it may not matter much in the end.

Thoughts?
 
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Geordie

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I've gone for Good. I don't think there's been anything exceptional about it, but at the same time I don't think there's been anything exceptionally bad about it.

Well they've missed yet another self set deadline which loses points in my eyes. The promos dont seem to have been done by any employee of BFC and werent exceptional, but have been good and as said by Mr Dorosh himself, some of them did drag on a bit.

Overall though, its been better than CMSF but I cant remember what they did for CMBB and CMAK, let alone CMBO (I gather the Demo was out for a while before the game arrived?).

Cheers.
 

Michael Dorosh

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I do remember some print ads in World War II magazine and the like for CM:BB. I have to believe those were expensive, and I wonder how worthwhile they were. I don't recall if they were particularly well done or not. Personally, though I don't read those "pulp" magazines much anymore (generally only bought them to pass time at lunch even when I did), I almost never noticed the ads. But I may be an outlier.

The timing of the demo may be a two-edged sword. Release it before the pre-orders lay hands on it and you get the inevitable whining about "I paid 45 or 60 bucks and I don't even get to see it before X". Notwithstanding nothing is stopping the preorders from downloading the demo, too.

I'd like to gather all this data - key dates for all the titles - and put it on my website for future reference. People keep asking about it, and I think it is certainly interesting. I certainly don't remember them either but I suppose some digging in the forum archives would find the answers.
 

Quellist

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I went with poorly. Too much of it just rubs me the wrong way, getting Tyraspawn to do the WEGO video when he hasn't played CMx1 and doesn't play WEGO in CMx2, you don't know which features are missing and which ones are there but unused, admittedly I didn't sit through the whole thing as it was somewhat longish. Then I'm more interested in what features are in there than how good it looks when the big guns go boom.

Every time Steve does "PR" on his forum and half the time Moon does it I have to withdraw points, which adds up or down, to poorly.

I liked the regular AARs though.
 

dalem

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Overall, so far, Poor. The "in house" AARs were good, and showcased strengths, AND were responsive to the audience. The box promo and video make me laugh, but it's not aimed at me, and I think it's a decent gimmick, especially compared to their mouse pad mistake in the past. But IMO the third party stuff is weak, the beta testers are poorly-corralled again, and of course, the 50th unforced error on Steve's part is embarrassing.

-dale
 

KG_Jag

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I did not vote, as the task is incomplete--although as other posts on current threads have suggested, the pre-release campaign goes back to at least 2008. At a minimum it is important to see the demo before making a final judgment.
 

British Tommy

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Voted poor for various reasons mentioned above by others.
One thing the company MUST do is get someone (any one!) to take over the PR role from Steve.
 

Elvis

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I almost voted "Good" but settled on no vote for now because after a second thought I am leaning toward Very Good or Excellent. My initial Good was because while I thought the video AARs were nice, like some, I thought they would have done more good being shorter. I also would have liked a few of those great videos that were made for the Brit and NATO modules that showed specific units (like this: http://www.youtube.com/user/Battlefrontcom#p/u/14/DuWR2JzJoGk and this: http://www.youtube.com/user/Battlefrontcom#p/u/39/2mY-Mgm7i4s). I thought they were clean and to the point and showed the look of the game very well. But what brought things up for me were the written AARs. Especially the US side of the first one. That cat was brilliant!! Prose and screen shots that were second to none accompanied but outstanding, if balls-y, tactics. First rate stuff that was.

That is what got me to Good. What is tempting me to vote higher than that was thinking about what we are talking about. If I forget for a second what I personally did and didn't like or wish for and consider the effectiveness of the PR I feel the need to give it higher marks than my initial Good. Between this forum, Dosomefink, the BFC forum and my real world friends I am very surprised at the number of people who have pre-ordered. Most of the surprising ones have said for a long time they wouldn't drop a penny until they had at least played a demo. But there have been some big surprises for me with people who have pre-ordered. Some have not even "outed" themselves because of statements they had previously made about not buying before a demo. Also, not as surprisingly, the BFC forum is almost frothing at the mouth in anticipation. These factors, my own personal preferences aside, seem to indicate to me that the PR leading up to release has been very effective.

Maybe if Geordie had pre-ordered I would go to Excellent. For now I'm leaning toward Very Good.
 

Geordie

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Maybe if Geordie had pre-ordered I would go to Excellent. For now I'm leaning toward Very Good.
I'm not a hard goods person and have already said I will be getting the game straight after I check out the Demo. I am almost sure it will be better than cmsf but need to check on a few things first. But, I don't need a steel box cluttering up my house!

Anyway, from reading the BF forum I don't think I can afford a pre order.
 
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British Tommy

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Elvis, take the rose coloured glasses off mate and give them back to MD ;)
The video was way too long and while the AAR was good, the postings by Steve were not :lier:

I agree with you 100% concerning the ones here who said they would not pre-order..... then did. I bet you had a good laugh at that. I just shook my head :(
So besides Geordie and I, who else here haven't yet jumped on the bandwagon and pre-ordered??

As for the foaming at the mouth thing concerning the release of CMN (maybe June or July??), I think there is a lot of people out there waiting for a good WW2 game. I don't think you saw this much of a buzz with CMSF.
So I will stick to my guns and try the demo plus read the reviews before I order a copy. Maybe I will be the last one here to own a copy? :cool:
 

dalem

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I'm not getting the game, so no pre-order from me. I'll try the demo if it comes out just to be allowed by Elvis to take part in any discussions that occur, but no actual game nor pre-order from me.

-dale
 

rtwfreak

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Interested in the opinions of BFC's pre-release PR campaign. I've discussed it in a few threads. I think they've hit most of the nails squarely on the head this time. They had a number of solid public After Action Reports, some decent videos (even one of the damn box), a reasonable pre-order deal devoid of "gimmicks", they released the manual, they have announced a full demo, and they've had some previews by independent reviewers.

While I could take issue with how some of the above was done - the previews were softball lobs to no-name previewers, for example, and some of the videos lacked professional polish, but overall, a very decent, if unimaginative, effort. (For imaginative, I'm thinking along the lines of Panzer Command's Google Earth application.)

At the end of the day, I think the product will need to sell itself, so it may not matter much in the end.

Thoughts?
So this is where you got off to Dorosh after Steve booted you from Battlefront eh? hehe They still bad mouthing you over there, but, I guess you knew that. Didn't like the action over at Matrixgames forums I guess either huh? haha Well don't feel pregnant I don't like Steve either and he never did eat that forum page he said he would if someone could prove developers and publishers still supported games for free after they were 6 to 8 years old. lol
Good to read you again. I've missed your banter. ;)
 

Michael Dorosh

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Elvis, take the rose coloured glasses off mate and give them back to MD
I understand this is in jest, but let's be clear on what I think this site is and why I bother coming here. Though to be honest, dalem has expressed it much better than I have in the past. I find the topic of conflict simulation interesting. I find the military history from the 1939-45 era interesting. CM is a natural extension of my interests. The development of the game engines is also of interest. Please understand that I have post-secondary training in both history and communications - that doesn't make me an expert at anything, it does suggest I have a deep interest that goes beyond going online and pointing fingers or calling names when people take pratfalls. My interest in CM goes beyond what any of the individuals concerned with the project happen to be doing. "Interesting" doesn't sum it up; frankly, I find it fascinating, from how the game portrays tactical combat in the Second World War to how the company has decided to market it. I could read a thirty page treatise on why they selected a particular font for the rulebook or one colour instead of another for the boxtop art background, and post 100 questions for discussion online afterwards to anyone foolish enough to participate. Don't mistake any of this for lame cheerleading, should I happen to say something favourable, not lame grudge holding, should I happen to say something disagreeable. I don't happen to believe the internet is a boxing ring, but a fireside, in the manner of Plutarch. "The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."
 

Sgt_Kelly

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I have pre-ordered, but that doesn't mean I've jumped on any bandwagon.

I wanted to get the game because I'm curious about it and an outlay of $60 is not something I tend to do a lot of fretting over (and no, this isn't contradictory with my earlier statement that at $60 it had better be good, that was a comment on BFC's choice of pricepoint).

So I got it over and done with.
 
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rtwfreak

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What got me on the wrong side of Battlefront was them charging $5 each for a patch, a patch mind you for CMBB and CMAK to work with Vista and/or Nvidia video cards post 7600. Then they went to that elicense and that just put the icing on the cake for no more purchases directly from them. Who knows what else they put into their programs to do this or that or obtain this or that from out systems? Ever since Starforce I've been skeptical to all but the most non-intrusive like Matrixgames, Slitherines, Shrapnel, Strategy First and Paradox games. I was a big fan of the BF series of games for a long time and I'll always have the CMx1 series and a couple of the Strategic Command series to tide me over for a lifetime, but, I can no longer support the series or the company with so many bad apples in the past few years. Remember CMSF on release? Well at least we have Panzer Command Osfront to look forward to and after playing the demo it really looks sharp and promising now. Good to read you again anyways, take care.
 

Mad Russian

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I've not pre-ordered CMBN either. I know that will come as a major shock to most of you but it will be okay in the end.

Good Hunting

MR
 

Elvis

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Elvis, take the rose coloured glasses off mate and give them back to MD ;)
The video was way too long and while the AAR was good, the postings by Steve were not :lier:

I agree with you 100% concerning the ones here who said they would not pre-order..... then did. I bet you had a good laugh at that. I just shook my head :(
So besides Geordie and I, who else here haven't yet jumped on the bandwagon and pre-ordered??

As for the foaming at the mouth thing concerning the release of CMN (maybe June or July??), I think there is a lot of people out there waiting for a good WW2 game. I don't think you saw this much of a buzz with CMSF.
So I will stick to my guns and try the demo plus read the reviews before I order a copy. Maybe I will be the last one here to own a copy? :cool:
As I said, my score more reflects the effectiveness of the PR campaign rather than personal preferences of what else could have been done (although that first AAR was an out of the park homer for BFC. They really kicked ass with that one, especially the story told by the US side of the battle).

I agree about the WW2 game being more anticipated than the modern was but there is more than that at play here. Did you pop into the Matrix forum much in the lead up to PC:O? While there were active conversations there it never really felt like what we are seeing onthe BFC forum. I'm not saying that as a cut at PC:O or to elevate BFC, just pointing out what I'm seeing. A quick look shows about 5,500 posts on the PC:O forum since the middle of last August and over 26,000 posts on the Normandy forum since it opened in January. Comparatively speaking it's getting more action than Paris Hilton. That tells me the PR is working.

And I don't blame you, or anyone, for holding back until you play the demo. I'm not sure what good the reviews would do me if I were in your position as the demo would tell me all I need to know about whether or not I would like the game.
 
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