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Thread: Creative Assembly Business Practice Discussion Thread (Warhammer I & II)

  1. #121

    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Incontinenta Buttox View Post
    They say you can place a frog in a pot of water, place the pot over a flame and the frog will not detect the temperature rising, because the process is gradual, so he'll sit there and happily cook to death.


    DLC is the flame, gamers are the frogs and some are happily sitting in the Total War pot.


    It began with a few factions, most frogs didn't care, it went on with blood effects and still the frogs sat motionless, oblivious to the implications, then they started witholding content that was already in the game and charging players to unlock it... and still the silly frogs sat there with stupid grins on their faces...


    Not all the frogs were silly, some frogs objected and said 'hold on a minute, what's all this? you never used to charge us extra for all this? for £30 we used to get the complete game and a printed manual and a disk all in a nice box.'


    But the frogs in the pot ignored the concerns of others, they started to enjoy the warm water they were sitting in. In fact they turned on the concerned frogs and screamed at them to shut up about the flames!


    Then the map was divided into 3, an 'Inception' style DLC policy was introduced, DLC's for the DLC, the games began to resemble a jigsaw puzzle, every piece had a price tag
    and as the steam began to rise the frogs in the pot sat silent, happily being boiled alive.
    Yeah how about DLC's that add scenarios/new maps with settlements...you know something that actually involves some real work not just holding back material and then claiming you have a separate team for it?

    I think all factions should be included from the start and then we should have things ala Kingdoms etc for Medwar2.

  2. #122
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    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    I think all factions should be included from the start and then we should have things ala Kingdoms etc for Medwar2.
    Well, keep into account that games are not precisely cheap to develop. They can't just give us everything for the same standard price.

    DLCs per se are not a problem, the problem is with low-quality yet overpriced DLCs. (For instance, if the game had 4 factions, would you rather pay 50 bucks for the whole game or 10 bucks for the full game with just one playable faction with the other factions costing also 10 euros to unlock, for a total of just 40 bucks for the whole product?). It's not a matter of release format. It's a matter of content value.

    In this case the problem is that it certainly looks like CA is attempting to make us pay more than we should for the whole game. I would not give a damn about Chaos being a dlc If I could get the whole package, including Chaos, for 40 bucks, for instance.


    Example, I don't care about League of Legends trying to charge me absurd prices for additional locked content (skins, characters, etc) because I can play the full damned game for free, and unlock all non-cosmetic features (including characters) just with play-time currency, and not actual money.
    Last edited by HigoChumbo; April 27, 2016 at 07:02 PM.

  3. #123
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    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    That's the principle of the consumer society and can be summarized like this: Totally useless and thus totally indispensable
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  4. #124
    Abdülmecid I's Avatar ¡Ay Carmela!
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    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by HigoChumbo View Post
    DLCs per se are not a problem, the problem is with low-quality yet overpriced DLCs. (For instance, if the game had 4 factions, would you rather pay 50 bucks for the whole game of 10 bucks for the full game with just one playable faction with the other factions costing also 10 euros to unlock, for a total of just 40 bucks for the whole product?). It's not a matter of release format. It's a matter of convent value.
    Well, as you said, DLCs could theoretically be perfectly acceptable, by having a lower price, but, in my opinion, the only reason the concept of DLCs was invented was because they allowed the producers to sell less for more, without the consumer realising it. The great advantage of DLCs are their very small price, usually somewhere close to 5$, significantly lower than the approximately 20$ cost of the expansions of the old times. However, despite their low price, the content offered by the DLCs is disproportionately tiny, while if we add all the DLCs together, their total cost is increased considerably, being multiple times more than that of an expansion, but their content is still smaller than that of normal expansions. 2 examples to clarify my points:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The mini-campaigns of Attila and Rome II costed the 3/4 of Kingdom's price, despite the fact that the latter offered 4 very diverse campaigns. That means a 200% increased expenses for the consumer.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Rome II price is 55 euros, while every faction DLC, which makes 3 factions playable and adds a few unique units costs 7,50. If their price was related proportionately, that means that 22,5 euros, almost half the game's price, are paid to make the 9 original factions playable and slightly unique.
    That's how ridiculously over-priced the DLCs are, but that is also their sole reason of existence.

  5. #125

    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    I am surprised no other gaming developer jumped on the situation and developed a game in this genre. People are not happy with CA for half the decade already. Why no one tries to dethrone them? Small profit margin?

  6. #126
    HigoChumbo's Avatar Definitely not Jom.
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    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    I don't think it's a matter of dlcs being cheap, but a matter of dlcs being worth the asking price. If they sold a dlc for 20-30 bucks and I felt it was actually worth it, then why not (specially given that lately the meaning of the terms "expansion" and "dlc" seem to be blurred together).

    The great advantage of DLCs are their very small price
    That would be more in the lines of the definition of "microtransactions" than with the definition of "dlc".


    Quote Originally Posted by Ilkin1987
    I am surprised no other gaming developer jumped on the situation and developed a game in this genre.
    There have been actually several attempts (some more similar than others: Imperial Glory, Knights of Honor, The King’s Crusade, Cossacks 2, King Arthur the RPG or even Warhammer Mark of Chaos) but other studios can't expect to beat just like that the expertise of a company that has been doing the same game for 16 years. And other large, resourceful and experienced companies might not be interested in a genre which still kind of carries the stigma of being "niche". Why would a big dev like Blizzard go through the trouble when they can just make a casual multiplayer shooter and fill their pockets.

  7. #127

    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    Well, as you said, DLCs could theoretically be perfectly acceptable, by having a lower price, but, in my opinion, the only reason the concept of DLCs was invented was because they allowed the producers to sell less for more, without the consumer realising it. The great advantage of DLCs are their very small price, usually somewhere close to 5$, significantly lower than the approximately 20$ cost of the expansions of the old times. However, despite their low price, the content offered by the DLCs is disproportionately tiny, while if we add all the DLCs together, their total cost is increased considerably, being multiple times more than that of an expansion, but their content is still smaller than that of normal expansions. 2 examples to clarify my points:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The mini-campaigns of Attila and Rome II costed the 3/4 of Kingdom's price, despite the fact that the latter offered 4 very diverse campaigns. That means a 200% increased expenses for the consumer.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Rome II price is 55 euros, while every faction DLC, which makes 3 factions playable and adds a few unique units costs 7,50. If their price was related proportionately, that means that 22,5 euros, almost half the game's price, are paid to make the 9 original factions playable and slightly unique.
    That's how ridiculously over-priced the DLCs are, but that is also their sole reason of existence.
    I think the publisher is quite clear on the prices and people are quite clear on what they're paying. Prices for games have gone up, DLC has been the train for this. People "not realizing" they're paying less for more is only in theory, impossible to know, and they are in no way forced to pay for it either way. The market is sorting itself out. It's entirely possible without DLC graphics etc would have either stagnated, or prices would have been raised (I.E. Rome 2 would cost double for all the DLC it had or had expansions to make it cost that much) .

    Either way, I almost always buy DLC on sale. If everyone did like me, it's possible CA would've been shut down by now. I didn't even buy Empire or Napoleon until years and years after release.

  8. #128
    Diocle's Avatar Comes Limitis
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    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    The fraud is when a company cuts off some fundamental contents from the main game to add them as DLCs, this is a fraud. Now we have just to understand if they are cutting out fundamental gaming contents to add them as optional DLCs.

    In Warhammer Fantasy: cutting out Chaos from the main game is a fraud because Chaos is a fundamental part of the game, Warhammer without Chaos is no more Warhammer!

    It's like making a game about WW2 and cutting out the Germans! Then saying to the customers: "Guys you can play WW2 against Italy and Japan, in the case you want to complete the Axis, give us more money and then you'll get Rommel! No money = No Rommel!!" Please!!

    So, as I wrote, it's like selling a car without the wheels and then saying to the customer: "My dear, if you want the wheels give us more money!"

  9. #129

    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by HigoChumbo View Post
    There have been actually several attempts (some more similar than others: Imperial Glory, Knights of Honor, The King’s Crusade, Cossacks 2, King Arthur the RPG or even Warhammer Mark of Chaos) but other studios can't expect to beat just like that the expertise of a company that has been doing the same game for 16 years. And other large, resourceful and experienced companies might not be interested in a genre which still kind of carries the stigma of being "niche". Why would a big dev like Blizzard go through the trouble when they can just make a casual multiplayer shooter and fill their pockets.
    I am hopeful for Cossacks 3. It is not a direct competitor, as previous games had no strategic map, but tactical map can challenge future Empire 2- which we will probably see in 2-3 years.

  10. #130

    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Diocle View Post
    The fraud is when a company cuts off some fundamental contents from the main game to add them as DLCs, this is a fraud. Now we have just to understand if they are cutting out fundamental gaming contents to add them as optional DLCs.

    In Warhammer Fantasy: cutting out Chaos from the main game is a fraud because Chaos is a fundamental part of the game, Warhammer without Chaos is no more Warhammer!

    It's like making a game about WW2 and cutting out the Germans! Then saying to the customers: "Guys you can play WW2 against Italy and Japan, in the case you want to complete the Axis, give us more money and then you'll get Rommel! No money = No Rommel!!" Please!!

    So, as I wrote, it's like selling a car without the wheels and then saying to the customer: "My dear, if you want the wheels give us more money!"
    No. You clearly have no understanding of the word. Fraud means 'In law, fraud is deliberate deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive a victim of a legal right.' They did not commit any deception as they were quite clear from the beginning how the Chaos DLC was being handled. Just because you happen to not agree with it doesn't suddenly make you the Grand Arbiter of Justice free to make up definitions and Laws as you please. If you believe it was fraud (which it wasn't) please put your case together and contact a legal team. See how far you get.

    I'm pretty sure this isn't the first time we've discussed your extremely hazy understanding of legalities.
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  11. #131
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    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Diocle View Post
    The fraud is when a company cuts off some fundamental contents from the main game to add them as DLCs, this is a fraud.
    I insist, it's not a matter of cutting content out, but of content value. Would you be more upset if the base game was free to play and the separate Chaos DLC costed 15 bucks? Or would yo prefer to pay 60 bucks for the full game?

    I don't know about you, but I'd rather pay 15 than 60 even if it's cut down to bits. The problem comes when they want to slip through a 60€ game for 75€, or making you think that by paying 60€ (Aka regular full price) for the game you are actually getting a great deal.

    In Warhammer Fantasy: cutting out Chaos from the main game is a fraud because Chaos is a fundamental part of the game, Warhammer without Chaos is no more Warhammer!

    It's like making a game about WW2 and cutting out the Germans! Then saying to the customers: "Guys you can play WW2 against Italy and Japan, in the case you want to complete the Axis, give us more money and then you'll get Rommel! No money = No Rommel!!" Please!!
    Chaos is in the game. It's just not playable. There are tons of WW2 games in which you can only play as the Americans and the Brits (aka the "good guys" according to the Americans and the Brits).


    Quote Originally Posted by Ilkin1987
    I am hopeful for Cossacks 3. It is not a direct competitor, as previous games had no strategic map, but tactical map can challenge future Empire 2- which we will probably see in 2-3 years.
    Cossacks 2 has slowly grown on me over the years to the point of becoming one of my favourite games. I just wish it was more updated and up to today's polish standards. I am also hopeful about Cossacks 3, but I'm a bit scared about the whole "no-info" marketing campaign, makes it look almost like an indie title about to be cancelled (which is weird given we are talking about the studio which made the highly praised STALKER games). Hopefully my fears are unfounded and it turns out to be a great game, or at least an updated, better-working version of Cossacks 2
    Last edited by HigoChumbo; April 27, 2016 at 10:10 PM.

  12. #132
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    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    The mini-campaigns of Attila and Rome II costed the 3/4 of Kingdom's price, despite the fact that the latter offered 4 very diverse campaigns. That means a 200% increased expenses for the consumer.

    Except the obvious point that content for Attila is higher quality both visually and animation wise, they take longer to produce. Med 2 was ridiculously easy to work with which is why we have mods with more content in them than the entire kingdoms expansion. Thing is they need to price the product according with how much they cost to produce, add a profit margin and then sell them. What some older games cost in comparison is largely irrelevant.

  13. #133

    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    I have to say CA's DLC strategy is a joke, and the only reason I have never paid full price for a Total War game since Med 2. I pre-ordered Warhammer because I have been waiting for it for a while. I think DLC will make me lose interest in the game.

    I don't think you can defend CA's DLC strategy. I know they do not shift that many units and they are not a massive company. They will still be making millions on this product and the whole pre-release bonus was completely unnecessary and has undoubtedly damaged them. Unless there is a significant mechanics change, they should be very careful about bringing out DLC. They should be aiming for three big expansions at $20-$25 a piece, not a dozen DLC at $8.

    Rome II was a joke. You could play as Macedonia but not Athens. You could play as Iceni but not Caledonii. You could play as a Gaul faction, but were stuck in a village next to Rome. You could change the starting location for any of these groups for $5. Not sure that's defensible.

  14. #134
    Abdülmecid I's Avatar ¡Ay Carmela!
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    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Påsan View Post
    Except the obvious point that content for Attila is higher quality both visually and animation wise, they take longer to produce. Med 2 was ridiculously easy to work with which is why we have mods with more content in them than the entire kingdoms expansion. Thing is they need to price the product according with how much they cost to produce, add a profit margin and then sell them. What some older games cost in comparison is largely irrelevant.
    Medieval II was also top quality, both visually and animation-wise, for 2006, which is all that matters in a comparison like that. Given the less sophisticated resources of that time, it's far from undeniable that Medieval II and Kingdoms costed less than Attila and the Last Roman respectively. I'm not even sure about Medieval being more easily moddable for CA than Attila. Concerning the modders, you're definitely right, but I doubt that the producer company faces the same limitations, some amateur volunteers do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Påsan View Post
    Thing is they need to price the product according with how much they cost to produce, add a profit margin and then sell them.
    What every company actually needs is to increase its profits as much as possible. Since the market is usually capable of regulating itself, there usually isn't any great difference between the cost of the product and the final price, mainly thanks to the competition. That's not always the case, though, especially in situations, where no such competition exists, and TW is kind of a monopoly, for that specific type for strategy games, combining risk-style maps and real-time battles.
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidtheDuke View Post
    I think the publisher is quite clear on the prices and people are quite clear on what they're paying. Prices for games have gone up, DLC has been the train for this. People "not realizing" they're paying less for more is only in theory, impossible to know, and they are in no way forced to pay for it either way.
    Well, people should be aware of it, but not very surprisingly for a young and inexperienced consumer base, they aren't. It's human psychology 101, people react more calmly to gradual changes than abrupt ones. For example, much less people would be willing to make a large deal, involving large amounts of content and money, than a large number of micro-transactions, carefully sprinkled over a large time space, preventing the consumer from realizing how much money he has really spent.
    Last edited by Abdülmecid I; April 28, 2016 at 05:36 AM.

  15. #135

    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Diocle View Post
    So, as I wrote, it's like selling a car without the wheels and then saying to the customer: "My dear, if you want the wheels give us more money!"
    No, it is not like this. WTW without chaos as a playable faction was clearly possible before they were announced. It still is, and you can play against them with a more limited roster (it still isn't really full AFAICT, chaos has more fleshing out to do). Your comparison is akin to someone advertising a Mustang without wheels and everyone cheering for it. People were only mad about WoC when they found out the content would be available at launch, as if they know the budgetary reasons for doing so. I doubt people even would've been very mad had WoC been simply withheld for 3 months after release.

    Many people just consider WoC playable to be must-have content, so the price of the game has increased, and hence the game actually costs the base+WoC and this is a preorder discount in all practicality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
    Well, people should be aware of it, but not very surprisingly for a young and inexperienced consumer base, they aren't. It's human psychology 101, people react more calmly to gradual changes than abrupt ones. For example, much less people would be willing to make a large deal, involving large amounts of content and money, than a large number of micro-transactions, carefully sprinkled over a large time space, preventing the consumer from realizing how much money he has really spent.
    Or maybe people are not willing to commit over $100 to something they might not like or play most of the extra content. $60 is the entry, and the rest can be purchased. This is even more so for TW games as you get so many hours out of that $60. I haven't bought the slavic culture pack for example, and I'm glad I didn't have to pay for it. I paid for most Attila DLC and the main game at a sale. If people can't withhold their money this only shows they want the price for the price offered, the market is sorting itself out.

  16. #136

    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    I am not sure microtransactions have proven to be a sustainable or even good business strategy and is anything more than a short-term cash grab. The problem for Warhammer is the fact they are pitching three full price titles in three years. So this could be hundreds of dollars, and more pricey than a decent desktop.

  17. #137

    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    Total Warhammer is in the most sales in steam right now beatings dark souls 3 well they released quite some time now, but still the pre-orders must be mindblowing!

  18. #138

    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Dorkus_Malorkus View Post
    The problem for Warhammer is the fact they are pitching three full price titles in three years. So this could be hundreds of dollars, and more pricey than a decent desktop.
    Are they pitching the 3 main titles over 3 yrs or is it sooner? One hardly think's the Total of Total War Warhammer would be more than a decent Desktop. Three main games at £35.00 each(current Amazon price) and DLC, I would guess at a total of no more than £250? all in, which is a set of sticky tyres for my motorbike for 1 summer or so. Where as my idea of a decent desktop would be(well 'decent' is subjective of course) is around £1500, anything less would be only be semi-decent imho.

    Regarding all the DLC that is coming between the 3 main map/factions release's. If it looks poor, don't buy. There is alot of DLC for Atilla and RTWII that I didn't buy because it looked dull and or expensive for what you got. Or just pick out what you really want/feel you have to buy because your a Warhammer nut(no offense intended by said term).

    If you get each base game and are quite happy with the work that went into it, and you keep buying the offered DLC because it to seems reasonable, particularly in the scope of detail it could take the game, then add up your hours of time spent playing per $spent over each expansion. Yes it's difficult to keep tabs, but each of us should have a good idea of whether we enjoyed it or not, or whether it seemed fair.

    Yes it could add up, but it could in it's entirety be a really big game in it's entirety. We have seen this analogy before, but it's the way I look at spending my money, 3 of my other hobbies are a sports motorcycle, going out for meals at nice restaurants and the Cinema, also reading(mostly second hand books from Amazon). Gaming is so massively cheaper compared to my other hobbies, except for the new PC every 2-3yrs of course

  19. #139
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    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    Are they pitching the 3 main titles over 3 yrs or is it sooner?
    I imagine it will be at least 3 years. Otherwise they'll lose a great chance to develop their next main game for a longer time (maybe investing in a new engine?).

  20. #140

    Default Re: CA business practice discussion thread

    Quote Originally Posted by HigoChumbo View Post
    I imagine it will be at least 3 years. Otherwise they'll lose a great chance to develop their next main game for a longer time (maybe investing in a new engine?).
    Can they really drag it out that long, maybe with enough DLC in between the further 2 main map expansions/race releases and after their release?
    Well if your correct then we should get a very fleshed out Warhammer game indeed, with no feasible excuses for CA and Co taking extended short cuts and general liberties with the Warhammer world.

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