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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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.
Fair points; I hope Panzer Command does well also - and that we'll see you contributing on the forums here, whether in regards to CM or PzC. Thanks for joining in.
 

Mad Russian

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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.
I think it's more than that. I think you have to play the demo a few times to get the feel of how the game plays. Just playing it through once is going to feel kind of like kissing your sister. You need a little practice to see if the game moves you to the next level or not.

Unless you're from the Ozarks and then kissing your sister is at the next level!! :p

Good Hunting.

MR
 

Michael Dorosh

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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).
:p

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.
I think the fairest question to ask if one wants to judge the effectiveness of the campaign would be - what more could they have done?

I guess the real question one has to start with is - what was the objective of the campaign?

We don't really know who they are marketing. They went after the RT crowd with CM:SF. I still don't know who CM:BN is supposed to attract - CM:BO fans? RT fans? CM:SF converts? Everyone they can (which I think was the real case with CM:SF, i.e. anyone and everyone possible).

I get the impression their objective is - or should be - more limited and realistic this time. They haven't really come out and said it, but the feature set at least suggests they are wooing some of the older, established fans - of both game engines. I stand to be corrected. Had they advertised on television during the Super Bowl, I would have cause to adjust that perception.

Given the low-key approach and my perception of who they are trying to attract - i.e. win back their previous fan base - I think they've done well.

What more could they do? It's not a rhetorical question. I mentioned the Panzer Command Google Earth application. It's a nice gimmick, but probably not necessary. They could probably have lowered the sale price or offered something aside from the steel box, such as a limited edition poster - say, something with a campaign map. Wouldn't have done much for me, personally, but might have added a sale or two. I can't honestly think of something realistic that would have had a lot of "wow" factor. So for that reason, I give them an "above average", but stop short of outstanding due to the execution.
 

Mad Russian

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I mentioned the Panzer Command Google Earth application. It's a nice gimmick, but probably not necessary.
I think the PC Map Maker will be looked on by most scenario designers as a valuable tool rather than a gimmick.

Good Hunting.

MR
 

Elvis

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I think it's more than that. I think you have to play the demo a few times to get the feel of how the game plays. Just playing it through once is going to feel kind of like kissing your sister. You need a little practice to see if the game moves you to the next level or not.

Unless you're from the Ozarks and then kissing your sister is at the next level!! :p

Good Hunting.

MR
Yeah, that's my plan with the PC:O demo. I was able to give it a run through over the weekend but haven't put in the kind of time that I want to.
 

KG_Jag

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When judging a PR campaign in a small retail market, the face of the company to the customer is critical. Who is that for BF? Steve with help from Moon and the betas. The company spokesman must treat customers with respect and listen to them. When the company spokesman makes a statement about a company product, the customer must be able to trust it.

To date, I don't see how you get to "good" or above. But then maybe some are viewing the "campaign" in a much shorter time frame than I would.
 

Michael Dorosh

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I think the PC Map Maker will be looked on by most scenario designers as a valuable tool rather than a gimmick.

Good Hunting.

MR
I wasn't referring to the map maker, but the Kharkov app which shows you where the scenarios take place. It was done solely for PR purposes.
 

Michael Dorosh

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When judging a PR campaign in a small retail market, the face of the company to the customer is critical.
Mmmm. I bought CM:BO based on word of mouth and never knew what a Steve or a Charles was for months after I bought it. I bought CM:BB and CM:AK based on my previous experiences with the company.

The last military themed software I bought that was heavily influenced by "PR" was proably Brothers in Arms. I remember seeing John Antal's videos online. They were professionally done, he presented himself as a military "expert", and he sold me on the notion that he was presenting something unique in gaming - a sim that relied on real world military tactics. The videos highlighted what the game was all about and made me want to play it. I really didn't like Antal's work on Armchair General - in fact, I had corresponded with him IIRC, and he had even promised to print a letter of mine which never did appear - yet I nonetheless liked what he was selling enough to buy his software anyway. I think one can disassociate the person from the product fairly well. IF they present themselves in a professional manner and make a good appeal.
 

Mad Russian

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I wasn't referring to the map maker, but the Kharkov app which shows you where the scenarios take place. It was done solely for PR purposes.
You only said Panzer Command and the Google Earth application. We have a Panzer Command and it uses GE. We have too many games with Panzer Command in the names around teh community.

Good Hunting.

MR
 

Mad Russian

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ROFL!

It's an expression where I come from. Judging from your reaction you may be the one with all the experience.

Good Hunting.

MR
 

KG_Jag

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For me 80% or more of my purchase of CMBO was based on the demo, but that was when I was only into computer wargaming for a year or two and was not yet a part of the wargaming community in any way.

To date we don't have a demo, as I highlighted above as a reason to give an "incomplete". The demo in players hands will be far more important than than videos and AAR's, which largely inform about the basics of the game (less important here than in CMBO because be now have seen CM x 1 and CMSF +) and set expectations, which the demo will generally confirm or contradict.

BF now has a fairly long track record of self produced 3d tactical wargames, including one using some version of the engine that will power CMBN. They have a record of good and bad releases and of how they treat customers. They use a certain type of DRM.

We have an environment of a small and shrinking wargaming community (although I think that this is only part of the customer to which BF hopes to market CMBN). But it is community hungry for games--especially 3d tactical games about World War II +/-.

What I think will be the primary things that drive/retard sales of CMBN will be the demo; the market; the game design in all of its respects, and the reviews--both professional and by the gamers. What the rest of pre-release marketing does (or tries to do) is get people to try the demo or pre-order the game.
 

rtwfreak

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ROFL!

It's an expression where I come from. Judging from your reaction you may be the one with all the experience.

Good Hunting.

MR
Uh huh, don't try to turn this back on me, you brought it up. I see you are from Texas and we all know about things from Texas. muahahahaha
 

Mad Russian

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Uh huh, don't try to turn this back on me, you brought it up. I see you are from Texas and we all know about things from Texas. muahahahaha
Actually, you see I live in Texas now, you have no idea where I'm from. What's funny about all this is I don't even have a sister........do YOU?

Good Hunting.

MR
 

Elvis

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The demo in players hands will be far more important than than videos and AAR's, ....
How DARE you!!!!!!!!!

What the rest of pre-release marketing does (or tries to do) is get people to try the demo or pre-order the game.
I still haven't cast my vote but you are driving me from "Very Well" toward "Exceptionally" because I know of VERY few people (by that I mean I can't think of a soul but if I say "everyone" then someone will chime in and say they aren't going to do either of those, so I am allowing for them) in this war game world of ours that has not stated they will be doing one or the other of those things. Can't get much better than that. Again, we may all have pet things we would have liked to have seen in the pre-release but this goal you've stated is very close to 100% success. Hell, even dalem has said he was going to try the demo.
 

KG_Jag

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Are you saying all CM forum members have tried all (or any) CMx2 demos?
Nope--CMSF (asymmetrical modern hypo war of limited scope, terrain and many other differences) was a major departure from all that is CM x 1. In 2007 Steve said more or less the same thing.
 
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