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Thread: Is CA a mismanaged company?

  1. #21

    Default Re: Is CA a mismanaged company?

    Quote Originally Posted by PikeStance View Post
    OK, the delay affects investors much more than consumers. Delays may frustrate the consumer, but delays mean investors have to wait longer for their returns. The only thing they did that was "cynical" was to delay the announcement until after the Lunar sales. From a business sense, that was the right call.
    No doubt, investors must be upset. Especially when this happens right after the Norsca and Thrones of Britannia or whatever it's called debacles. CA is just unpredictable. Rome 2 was trash for like three years, but they put out Aliens which was well received. Then Warhammer I was considered to be very successful, then boom Norsca implementation is royally ed up. Then Warhammer II and DLCs are well received, then ToB is trash. Hopefully this cycle continues and Three Kingdoms is good.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Is CA a mismanaged company?

    Quote Originally Posted by PikeStance View Post
    I wish people stop writing this. Total war is already played in China. The funny thing is my students knew about the Total War series, but I had to tell them about the Three Kingdoms.
    Total War is played, but it's not marketed to the mainstream gaming audience or officially supported. This will be their first title where they are both doing actual Chinese marketing (e.g. showing at Chinese game shows) and doing a simultaneous localized release, presumably with local support.

    There's a big difference in the tech world of your software being sold to China and actually selling in China. The former is just proof that there exists some market there for your product and there is enough desire for fan translations to circulate. The latter is actually targeting both that existing market and the market that you believe exists but haven't tapped yet. That's what Three Kingdoms is. Yes, it'll probably sell to the fanbase that Total War has accumulated over the years, but it's also designed to sell to the regular Chinese gamers who might not even be strategy fans, but would buy a game about a popular cultural period.

    Quote Originally Posted by tgoodenow View Post
    No doubt, investors must be upset. Especially when this happens right after the Norsca and Thrones of Britannia or whatever it's called debacles. CA is just unpredictable. Rome 2 was trash for like three years, but they put out Aliens which was well received. Then Warhammer I was considered to be very successful, then boom Norsca implementation is royally ed up. Then Warhammer II and DLCs are well received, then ToB is trash. Hopefully this cycle continues and Three Kingdoms is good.
    The question the investors (in this case the publisher) have is about returns. CA hasn't shown itself to be in any dire financial straits. So long as sales aren't dipping for the series, the upper management probably considers this par for the course. In fact, it's probably off the continued financial success of Warhammer and possibly even Thrones and the Rome 2 DLCs (which didn't seem to be particularly expensive to make) that the delay was even possible. CA isn't dependent on a single revenue stream anymore. If it has to wait on 3K, it just fills the gap by selling other titles. In this case, it has a widely anticipated Warhammer 2 DLC it can neatly fill the gap with.

    The tech industry left the tyranny of hard deadlines a long time ago. Video games have heavier hype cycles and are a marketing heavy enterprise than most software since they're partially entertainment industry as well, but honestly, 3K's major hype cycle hadn't really begun yet and strategy is usually enough of a niche that you don't need to fight for publicity space. Since a major ad campaign hasn't been launched yet (probably showing that the delay was being considered for a while) and they're primarily a digitally distributed PC game that doesn't have to deal with retailers, they're not wasting ad costs or breaching supply contracts. Baidu has mostly gotten over their initial fury, and most of the western fan communities are of the "no more Rome 2s" opinion, so I doubt this will translate into lost sales either. Since most of the influencers are of the very vocal opinion that this is a good thing, their audience will likely follow suit. Even Darren was pretty vocal about the delay being good for the game, since he believed that the delay on Warhammer 1 was really important.

    Again, the delays don't show anything concrete about upper management. If anyone's to blame at a product level, it's usually middle management or development itself (i.e. production). Upper management rarely sets dates or keeps close tabs on product status. They usually just review them after someone else already crunched the numbers, and then worry about long term strategy and company health. One of the basic tenants of that level of management is that things are going to go wrong in production and their job is to mitigate or reverse the issue. To put in other terms, upper management isn't usually responsible for production wanting a delay, they're responsible for whether or not the delay is a good idea for the company. From that standpoint, I have a hard time seeing how it's not.
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  3. #23

    Default Re: Is CA a mismanaged company?

    Quote Originally Posted by zoner16 View Post
    The question the investors (in this case the publisher) have is about returns...
    Again, the delays don't show anything concrete about upper management. If anyone's to blame at a product level, it's usually middle management or development itself (i.e. production). Upper management rarely sets dates or keeps close tabs on product status. They usually just review them after someone else already crunched the numbers, and then worry about long term strategy and company health. One of the basic tenants of that level of management is that things are going to go wrong in production and their job is to mitigate or reverse the issue. To put in other terms, upper management isn't usually responsible for production wanting a delay, they're responsible for whether or not the delay is a good idea for the company. From that standpoint, I have a hard time seeing how it's not.
    Yeah it's a middle management issue, as was the case with poor implementation of Norsca. Total war has a base and that base has expanded alot since warhammer and I don't think much advertising is really necessary if it's a good product. I'm sure investors would be much happier though if a proper and successful three kingdoms would've been released in Q4 2018 instead of Q2 2019. They would've already been seeing the benefits from DLC this month and part of that team could've move into developing a new game or pumping out DLC faster.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Is CA a mismanaged company?

    Quote Originally Posted by PointOfViewGun View Post
    If you guys ever worked with a large scale company that represents a brand then you would know how normal this is. Your experience in the work force would tell you how flexible launch dates are, especially when you're dealing with a software. Hardware is relatively easier. Even then almost any product I've ever been introduced to have had a different launch date than what was claimed before. It always takes longer. There are always issues with the product. You can have daily meetings with your developers but that will merely give you a date that will be kept changing back and forth which is no good at all. So, companies stick to dates for a number of months before making postponement decisions. None of that gives the impression that they don't have qualified people in positions of authority.
    pretty much this

    besides, there could be marketing reasons (and there certainly are) for those changes of dates; I don't really think that CA is mismanaged, they just do what is better for the company, which in modern time gaming and business does not mean that it is what is best for their customers as well..

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  5. #25

    Default Re: Is CA a mismanaged company?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flinn View Post
    pretty much this

    besides, there could be marketing reasons (and there certainly are) for those changes of dates; I don't really think that CA is mismanaged, they just do what is better for the company, which in modern time gaming and business does not mean that it is what is best for their customers as well..
    Removing naval battles and no siege towers is not good for customers

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Is CA a mismanaged company?

    Meh, i always used ladders, siege towers are also superfluous with the grappling hooks.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Is CA a mismanaged company?

    All this talk about investors. Which market is CA stock being sold or traded in specifically? TSE, DoW, Asian market, which one? Not all companies are in the markets, we should confirm if CA is, rather then assume the are. I would be curious to know what their shares are selling at too. If they are on the market like everyone seems to think.
    Can you say Three Kingdoms? I knew you could! So looking forward to it.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Is CA a mismanaged company?

    Quote Originally Posted by JackDionne View Post
    All this talk about investors. Which market is CA stock being sold or traded in specifically? TSE, DoW, Asian market, which one? Not all companies are in the markets, we should confirm if CA is, rather then assume the are. I would be curious to know what their shares are selling at too. If they are on the market like everyone seems to think.
    Sight,before you start speculations, at least get right facts...

    CA is part of SEGA west from 2005, Main studio is based in UK and has foreign subsidiary CA Sofia (Former Crytek Black Sea) while older CA Australia was shutted down in 2013. SEGA owns 100% shares of CA.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Assembly

    So there are no stocks, no investor pressure at CA at max there might be pressure from SEGA...However for doing so, you would need series of bad releases. Failures. And for that I will point you to my other thread about recent TW game numbers:
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...-player-counts

    Empire - big success
    Rome 2 - big success (despite anything you think about release problems. Game sold tons of DLCs and and active player base allowed CA to produce more DLCs last year!!! Do you think they would do it if would looks like complete money drain? Nope)
    Wh1/2 - big big success, number dynamics is such these games will in few years take over Empire/Rome 2, tons of really great DLCs despite anything about Norsca. It was handled very well. Very high steam review numbers. One of best DLC to actually recommend. Marketing heaven as game 2 will sell very well due to 1+2.

    Napoleon - looks like success for following game
    Attila - took major hit due to Rome 2 release, BUT look at numbers. Still sold tons of copies, still sold tons of DLCs and it is not major game, it is Rome2 following title
    ToB - took hit due to pre-release bad press. Still it is not full major game, there are no DLCs and there were no planned.

    Only unknown is Shogun 2. Which has great reviews and is actually liked. We donīt have hard numbers so while cannot say it is success we cannot probably say it is major failure as well.
    Both online projects Kingdoms and Arena are done. No idea how succesful that was but then Arena is shutting just now. And these were never main projects...

    Putting all these things together. So far CA had no major flops as major game. Only smaller ones like ToB and Attila. Improtant part is, that last year ToB release window + R2 DLCs + Wh2 might showed CA that so many concurrent projects is not the best strategy and thus slowing down WH2 DLCs production speed (as well to prevent another Norsca. Anyway Norsca up is quite reasonable. It was developed after works on WH2 already started. Later porting to Wh2 proved to be much more complicated. This was only such instance in long history of CA as no other DLC was ever ported on different game, otherWh1 DLCs donīt count. They were finished ahead and Wh2 development count with them...) and not repeating ToB skippable release. There were so many TWs you can easily miss it. ToB pre-release press coverage also influenced current second delay to prevent ToB like hit.

    So finally getting to 3K. I see no reason to why any stock holders should interfere directly. If anything they would try to push early release date,not with hold it. Anyway CAīs ability to postpone release means they are not under such pressure and they are allowed to take time.
    Last edited by Daruwind; February 15, 2019 at 09:30 PM.

  9. #29

    Default Re: Is CA a mismanaged company?

    "Investors" in this context should be read as "SEGA," since they're the one holding the contract.

    Again, I think that the fact that the last mainline releases are still generating a lot of money from DLC and even main game sales (Rome 2 was just re-released, Warhammer still sells well) is part of why this second delay is even able to happen. The studio doesn't need to shove anything out the door to post numbers to SEGA. They're generating acceptable sales with their backup teams, so SEGA lets them take their time to hopefully shore up the branding when the full release is here.
    Last edited by zoner16; February 15, 2019 at 11:01 PM.
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  10. #30
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    Default Re: Is CA a mismanaged company?

    Quote Originally Posted by zoner16 View Post
    Total War is played, but it's not marketed to the mainstream gaming audience or officially supported. This will be their first title where they are both doing actual Chinese marketing (e.g. showing at Chinese game shows) and doing a simultaneous localized release, presumably with local support.

    There's a big difference in the tech world of your software being sold to China and actually selling in China. The former is just proof that there exists some market there for your product and there is enough desire for fan translations to circulate. The latter is actually targeting both that existing market and the market that you believe exists but haven't tapped yet. That's what Three Kingdoms is. Yes, it'll probably sell to the fanbase that Total War has accumulated over the years, but it's also designed to sell to the regular Chinese gamers who might not even be strategy fans, but would buy a game about a popular cultural period.
    I see where you are coming from.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruwind View Post
    Sight,before you start speculations, at least get right facts...

    CA is part of SEGA west from 2005, Main studio is based in UK and has foreign subsidiary CA Sofia (Former Crytek Black Sea) while older CA Australia was shutted down in 2013. SEGA owns 100% shares of CA.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Assembly

    So there are no stocks, no investor pressure at CA at max there might be pressure from SEGA...However for doing so, you would need series of bad releases. Failures. And for that I will point you to my other thread about recent TW game numbers:
    http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showt...-player-counts

    The Creative Assembly is a subsidiary of SEGA. SEGA owns the Creative Assembly. It is rare for companies to merge the names of smaller companies that it buys up especially if the company had already made a name for themselves. SEGA is a publicly traded company. If CA fails to produce it affects SEGA's stock prices. Investors do not directly invest in CA, but SEGA will suffer the consequences if CA fails. However, good companies do a fairly decent job of diversifying their assets that one companies failure do not bring down the company.


    It is difficult to assess the success of a game based on gross sales. It is profits that matter. If the development cost is small then it doesn't take much to have a profit. A game like ToB could have lower sales, but if the development cost is very low, it could still make a profit. Now, CA.SEGA could have anticipated higher sales, but there is no way we will know that unless they say that.
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  11. #31
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    Default Re: Is CA a mismanaged company?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruwind View Post
    So there are no stocks, no investor pressure at CA at max there might be pressure from SEGA...However for doing so, you would need series of bad releases.

    So finally getting to 3K. I see no reason to why any stock holders should interfere directly. If anything they would try to push early release date,not with hold it. Anyway CAīs ability to postpone release means they are not under such pressure and they are allowed to take time.
    As you know Sega is a publicly traded company listed in Japan. Japanese shareholder culture is different than U.S. or European shareholder culture in that there's not as much pressure for short-term results and that noisy shareholders aren't as big a part of the corporate scene in Japan as they are here. In that sense, SEGA's ownership of CA is a blessing for fans of the series. Activision used to publish CA and that relationship no doubt would have become toxic, overely focused on mass appeal and demands for ever-increasing sales and probably the insertion of monetization schemes into the games. Loot boxes would have been perfect for Warhammer.

    On the other hand, it's obvious that SEGA is focused on the bottom line and also focused on growth to please its shareholders. The reason Attila didn't perform as well as one might have expected was probably due to the botched release of Rome II, same for NTW as a result of Empire. I believe that CA has finally convinced corporate that it's better in the long run to delay a release than ship a broken game. The 3K delay is significant because SEGA's fiscal year ends March 31. So all the earnings from the first month of 3K's release are pushed forward into another corporate year.

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Is CA a mismanaged company?

    I was thinking about it a bit more.


    Originally the game was going to bereleased in the Fall of 2018. How would that decision of been made oreven contemplated?


    That's what I am getting at, it can onlyleads to mismanagement.
    Can you say Three Kingdoms? I knew you could! So looking forward to it.

  13. #33

    Default Re: Is CA a mismanaged company?

    Quote Originally Posted by JackDionne View Post
    I was thinking about it a bit more.

    Originally the game was going to be released in the Fall of 2018. How would that decision of been made or even contemplated?

    That's what I am getting at, it can only leads to mismanagement.
    Easily. Again, delays are something that the tech industry got used to a while ago. CA probably wanted to make sure that the fanbase knew it was had a full not-Warhammer game in the works at the beginning of 2018. Leads were probably just asked to ballpark their timeline at an early stage with the knowledge that things could be pushed back.

    The original idea was likely trying to shoot for the holiday season of 2018, but since that never even received a precise date, it was probably just an optimistic placeholder while a more detailed schedule was mapped out. Since this was the initial announcement before any kind of feature or gameplay reveal, the game probably just accumulated more stuff that it was going to do in between that and the E3 gameplay reveal where they announced the first delay. They might have not have even fully planned out the simultaneous China release at that point.

    Furthermore, remember that the delay was initially to be to "Spring 2019" which it still technically is. March 7th was only put out there in late September of last year, which was earlier than people thought it was going to be. Given what Huberto just brought up, I think this was an attempt by Sega to make the end of the fiscal year. However, given the timing of some of the PR stuff like the webcomic, the livestreams, and the new trailer, plus the lack of a marketing blitz, I think it's likely that a lot of people were planning for a second delay a while in advance, and the Youtuber event might've just been their way of convincing Sega and the fanbase that it was a good idea.

    Again, release dates are only hard dates if there are contracts that say they have to be. Since CA doesn't have to worry about physical retailers and there's been no outside marketing campaign, it doesn't lose anything by delaying.
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