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View Full Version : Low PF Sales, What?!!?



ReligiousZealot
02-06-2006, 11:49 PM
Have any of you happened to see the article in this January 06 of PC Gamer about Sims and the market (located towards the back)? It stated that since PF's release here in the States, only 41,100 copies had been sold as of September '05. This finally closed the idea [to me] of why Oleg and team didn't simply pay for the licensing of American planes and us finally seeing some flyables many have pleaded and begged for.

To me, this doesn't come as a shock, but I know the market isn't primarily in the US, I just kind of figured I'd ask if anyone else had any input. 41,100 units is NOT a small number, but smaller than the number of Counter-Strike players online at any given time. EA€s Battlefield 2 series has sold well over 1 million units, and it hasn€t even been out a year yet. When PF sales are compared to what Microsoft's FS9's sales of 677,300 units in the course of 2 1/2 years, it still appears minimal.

Flight sims have their own unique market, and I realize this, I just think Pacific Fighters has gotten the shaft and not nearly as good reviews as it should have. I realize the initial release, and it regarded as a stand-alone product are pretty sad, but even with this, the constant support of Oleg and team and their excellent contact with the community should've at least warranted an excellent rating and not the average to low ratings I usually see.

I hope that these small sales in the US doesn't lead Ubisoft to believe that the release of the possible expansions as more of a loss than a gain. I know Ubisoft doesn't have a ton of money to spend on advertising, especially for this series, but I still worry. Take a look at the Pe-2 add on. I don't know if Ubisoft was directly responsible for its dispersion, but I find it discerning that it was initially believed that there would be no money in releasing it in the rest of the world.

As far as I can tell, as of now Ubisoft has agreed to produce additional add ons and the much anticipated/talked about platinum pack to sell in North America, Europe as well as any additional markets for the sim. I pray no one has given up hope on the possible release of payware expansions that will get some more American aircraft, possibly heavy bombers as well as many other desired aircraft in the distant future. I say this now because I know the impending releases are going to shape the future of things to come for this series as well as BoB. I think it is our duty as the fans of this sim to hopefully rope in more players into the series. I really hope some of the movies people have created will be able to find there way into news posts on the various gamer sites as trailers or some sort of appraisal for the series. In a perfect world, the release of the platinum pack would breathe new life into the series if sales are higher than expected.

Depending on the sales, I assume it will determine the decision of Maddox Games further development of PF+FB+AEP. To me, I look forward to the release of BoB just as much as the next guy, I just would prefer if they "finished" PF before moving on. Don't get me wrong, I think PF is d*** near perfect and feels like a finished product, I just think the game can be taken a bit further.

Hopefully this won€t be taken as a insult to anyone affiliated with 1C:Maddox Games or Ubisoft, or even any of the fans. I just figured I€d make this post and say what I€ve been thinking about and I welcome anyone else€s opinion/criticism. I for one, was sort of offended by the way the article seemed to profile the sims into their own €œniche€ and, perhaps I was reading into it, but I think it almost sounded like the writer was hinting at the possible death of flight sims.

And to boot, the screenshot doesn€t exactly glorify the sim€s impressive visuals. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

flakwagen
02-07-2006, 01:18 AM
Do you use HyperLobby? The non-English speakers almost always outnumber the English speaking HL users. So I suspect most of Ubi's flight sim customer base is in Europe rather than North America.

Tooz_69GIAP
02-07-2006, 02:21 AM
Well, consider this: in the first two weeks after release, there were at least 70,000 illegal downloads of PF. That number was from Oleg. Now, it's been over a year since release, so how many more illegal downloads/pirated copies do you think are circulating?

And PF wasn't even Oleg's idea!! Yet he's had to jump in to save it, for very little relative reward to himself, and the constant headache of the community goading and pleading and demanding more content for a product he doesn't want to (and shouldn't have to, IMHO) support.

Roll on BOB I say!!

Troll2k
02-07-2006, 02:30 AM
For 41,000 units it is not worth turning on the lights in the cd stamping plant.

airdale1960
02-07-2006, 03:46 AM
Most Americanish think M$FS/M$CFS, being Americanish themselves, are leading edge technology for the world. I blew off IL-2 for 2 years before getting bored and trying it. In fact my 1st IL-2 was IL2 FB. Even on the old systems I had it ran smooth as silk. I was amazed and dumbfounded why more Americans are unaware of this series as the number 1 flight sim.

carguy_
02-07-2006, 03:51 AM
FS9?Counterstrike?What games are you comparing PF with?Completely different.

Tell me how many sales LOMAC or Falcon games have had in their first two years.

Copy protection is a big issue.The warez the game cuz they can.If we had something like a simple online CD key thingie we could boost sales a bit at least.
That said,IL2 series have very bad availability through biggest markets.Even in the US people have to really search for it sometimes.Doom is everywhere,in every game store I visit in my country,PF is in two stores,AEP is hardly available.

All counterstrike needs is a good keyboard and a simple mouse device.Here you can get both for less than 25$.A good joystick,numpad cost at least 60$.If you want to have full control over what you`re doing you have to buy more stuff for like 200$ more.That`s hardly worth it if you consider yourself a guy who likes airplanes and would like to fly around a bit.

Last but not least,few ppl who interest in WWII aviation know PC enough to play a sim.The coordination required to play effectively is huge compared to other games.It`s all hardly practical.
To get good sales (like 400.000 copies) you have to engage a simplecasual gamer in it.Which means a 13-22 triggerhappy kid with interests like sex,FPS football(sport) alcohol and weed.
Been talking with some of those and even if they aren`t exactly idiots,they have like 500.000 other interests that are more exciting to them.


Take a look at HL.How many ppl you find there being realy 'into it'?That`s around 2/3 of all regular visitors.

AFJ_Locust
02-07-2006, 04:05 AM
41,100 x 55 is 2,260,500.00 That is not chump change.

panther3485
02-07-2006, 04:31 AM
Quote:

"To me, this doesn't come as a shock, but I know the market isn't primarily in the US...."

$hit, comes as a surprise to me mate! This is Pacific Fighters we're talking about?

Now, I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised to find that the USA wasn't the best market for IL-2/FB, which is, after all, based on the Eastern Front.

But Pacific Fighters? You couldn't get much more American involvement in a Campaign if you tried! And those lovely American carrier planes? F4F? F6F? F4U? I'm not American and I rushed out to buy it as soon as it was released. IMHO, it gives better overall representation of those planes than any other sim I've tried, including CFS2 (which used to be my favourite for the Pacific Theatre).

Got me stuffed why it shouldn't have sold a lot better than that in the US!


Mystified,
panther3485

Hunter82
02-07-2006, 05:07 AM
When you break down production costs,development and logistics it is chump change. You need to consider also that the retailer has their margin in that $ so it is not a true figure as to what $ amount is sold by UBI.


Originally posted by AFJ_Locust:
41,100 x 55 is 2,260,500.00 That is not chump change.

OldMan____
02-07-2006, 05:14 AM
You people overestimate what PC games can sell. Rome Total war, a great block buster sold only 900 k copies world wide.

PC game market is 1/5 th of Console market...

Hardcore games usully sell less, much less. The best sold high fidelity combat sim series was Falcon series (but its cost of development was huge).

If I am not mistaken, LOMAC Sold 57 k copies in US. 50 K copies is at gross numbers 1.5 million. From these, 2/3 stay with the publisher usually (sometimes even more).


So it is plain impossible for harcore games to pay for licenses and other expensive stuff.

We live in a completely different world that of World Of Warcfat, that keep several million monthy renewed sales.... 2 moths of WOW have more profit than all Flight Sims ever togheter.

BTW, taht is why 1C NEED to start using soem more agressive copy protection. If from that 70 k pirate downloads, 1/10 decided to buy the game because of the protection, it would mean a BIG increase in profits.

anarchy52
02-07-2006, 05:50 AM
1) Invest large amount of money on copy-protection (which will get broken)
2) ???
3) Profit!

russ.nl
02-07-2006, 06:02 AM
I have to edmid that I sometimes download stuff too. Bud I do it to see if I should spent money on it. When I find something good, I buy it. I want to see my money being invested in a next version of the game. I never downloaded the IL-2 series, I even bought 2 pf because I had a scratch on one.

bolillo_loco
02-07-2006, 06:11 AM
Oldman, I would be surprised if p/c games sold even 1/5th of what consol does.

Walk into any E/B games store and look about, notice that p/c games take up about 1/25th of the shelf space, while consol games represent well over 90% of the shelf space? Even old out of date consoles can be found in a rather impressive used consol and game section. Moreover, you must walk to the back corner of the store where the carpet still looks new.

Somebody else already pointed out the fact that Combat flight sims are far too difficult for the average person's interest level. I agree with this and can give some examples. I've had two or three dozen friends give flight sims a try over the past ten years. All of them say the same thing, "It's neat, but far too difficult." Most of them crash for five or ten minutes just trying to get one aircraft in the air.

To further aggravate the difficulty situation, this game creates patches that make the game harder, less enjoyable to play, and also harder for your computer to run. This is a self-defeating pattern. I watched more people leave this game in the last two years because it either got harder or became less p/c friendly to run, than what I met as "new players." 4.0M series patches seemed to be the mother load; causing several people I knew to stop playing. These were both €œFull-real and Arcade players.€

Even with the illegal down loads, this game isn't popular. Flight sims aren't popular, WWII flight sims are very popular. Why are M$ flight simulators so much more popular? Who knows? I seriously doubt it€s a case of the United States citizens not wanting to buy a game made by a foreign person. Maybe it's because it's M$ (a very known and trusted name) and I've always noticed that anything that they release is placed at eye level in the very front, while brand X (ubi not withstanding) is placed at an akward ankle level behind other games. Just the name M$... Why is AOL so popular? I'm shocked at the number of people I know that still use AOL eventhough there are other ISP around. I still know people who use dail-up when a cheap DSL package is available for only five dollars a month more... I doubt it has much to do with Oleg being foreign. While it may affect some sim fans I doubt it represents the majority of Americans. Since Americans have such a fascination with buying supposedly cheap foreign products, made, and designed by foreigners, this clearly isn€t the trend in the United States.

Hyper lobby is mostly people not from the USA? How could somebody make such a statement? It depends on the time that you€re in the hyper lobby. In all the servers I've played in that also record stats, you could usually break it down by country. When you did this, the number of Americans usually exceeded all other countries combined, by a large number as well. I've also read something about "I know America isn't the main market." Why do some people always want to minimize the impact the U.S. has on the world? Whether you think it's a good or bad thing is another matter, but lets be realistic about this... Nearly 300,000,000 people... That's a rather large market. Name another country with a market even 1/4th that size from the past 50 years, and it cannot have most of its citizens living in poverty.

Pig_Mac
02-07-2006, 06:51 AM
Originally posted by anarchy52:
1) Invest large amount of money on copy-protection (which will get broken)
2) ???
3) Profit!

You suspect the underpants gnomes are responsible? http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Bearcat99
02-07-2006, 06:52 AM
Originally posted by airdale1960:
Most Americanish think M$FS/M$CFS, being Americanish themselves, are leading edge technology for the world. I blew off IL-2 for 2 years before getting bored and trying it. In fact my 1st IL-2 was IL2 FB. Even on the old systems I had it ran smooth as silk. I was amazed and dumbfounded why more Americans are unaware of this series as the number 1 flight sim.

Most people if they are honest will know that isnt the case. Just compare 1C sims and MS ones. The reason why PF initially sold so poorly in the US had nothing to do with thinking it was leading technology but the initial planesets.... and most people are loyal to what they know. The fact that the two communities have been in defacto competition from the strt didnt help either..(although it really wasnt much of a competition). I remember when PF was still on it's way.. I went to the CFS2 SIMHQ forum and announced it to the guys over there.. and they politely told me No thanks.... LOL.. I bet at least 75% of those same guys are over here now and lovingit. But they had to get that initial taste. These sims sell themselves if you give them a solid week.

gx-warspite
02-07-2006, 07:05 AM
Originally posted by AFJ_Locust:
41,100 x 55 is 2,260,500.00 That is not chump change.
Yes, it is. Even considering that the dev team is in Russia and operates on lower costs, $2m wouldn't pay for the game.

sukebeboy
02-07-2006, 07:27 AM
Actually, with the exception of the US, Canadian, the UK, and Japanese markets, PC games outsell console games.

panther3485
02-07-2006, 08:00 AM
Quote:

"Actually, with the exception of the US, Canadian, the UK, and Japanese markets, PC games outsell console games."

OK, I haven't got figures for all countries, but you can add Australia to your 'exception of' list.

Down under, add the total sales for Playstation (PS1,PS2 & PSP), XBox, GameCube and Gameboy. Then compare with total PC game sales?
No contest in OZ; console game sales win, hands down.


panther3485

Doug_Thompson
02-07-2006, 08:01 AM
I've wondered for months how many units of "Rome: Total War" and "Pacific Fighters" were sold, and could never find the figures. Where are you folks finding the figures? I don't doubt they're true. I'd just like to be able to look them up, too, for other games.

panther3485
02-07-2006, 08:24 AM
Hi, bolillo_loco, OldMan_ and others....

Again, not speaking for any other country, but in Australia the proportion of about 1/5th - 1/6th (as far as shelf space goes) would be about right for most of the games shops I've visited here. That includes a dozen or so EB Games stores in various States.

Nevertheless, I take good points posted by some of you regarding potential sales/market share for 'hard core' PC simming/gaming. It would indeed be a very much smaller fraction of the total market so yes, I was probably getting carried away with my idea of how many units of product like IL-2/FB/PF should be expected to sell.

That could make it kind of tough for gamers of our persuasion, so all considered I guess we haven't really done so badly after all!

It's up to us to go on supporting the genre as best we can, if we want it to survive or even to grow? (Now I'm slipping back into optimisim, but I can't help it!)

My contribution is very small but I try. First, I'll only have genuine licensed product in my house (applies to all members of my household). If a new game comes out and we want to 'try before we buy', we'll either download a demo or see it at one of our friends' places. If we like it, we'll buy it.

Second, if I think I can have any influence at all, I try to discourage others from taking 'dodgy' options. At times, I've given genuine PC games as gifts (instead of something else for birthday, Christmas etc), especially if I know the recipient would be tempted to go for a pirate job.

Any other ideas how we can help support our branch of the industry? Copy protection seems to have been highly unsuccessful so far and only adds to product cost.


Best regards to all,
panther3485

TgD Thunderbolt56
02-07-2006, 08:31 AM
Originally posted by Bearcat99:
...I remember when PF was still on it's way.. I went to the CFS2 SIMHQ forum and announced it to the guys over there.. and they politely told me No thanks.... LOL.. .

The CFS crowd frowns upon the IL2 series because they can tweak the 'open code' to their heart's content. The very thing that endears this sim to me.

LEXX_Luthor
02-07-2006, 08:43 AM
The CFS crowd frowns upon the IL2 series because they can tweak the 'open code' to their heart's content.
Microsoft does not open their code, never has, never will.

Da_Godfatha
02-07-2006, 08:50 AM
I see another poster has fallen for the "Urban Myth" about the licensing debacle.

One problem IMO for the US market was the lack of carrier based torpedo bombers and the very, very badly done single-player part. Word-of-mouth kills more games than anything. Alone being made to wait almost 6 months for a plane that was on the box really put alot of people off. (Again, I really don't care who screwed-the-pooch on that one, suck-it-up, it happened and IMO hurt OM and 1C more than they know).

As I have said many times before, I think the Team at 1C really missed the boat on this, the potential on this series was just wasted away.
Most of us here (me included) would have paid good money for lets say, a Med War addon and even a early war addon. It is a shame really, this could have been a great source of income while OM and 1C worked on the "next generation" flight sim.

panther3485
02-07-2006, 09:12 AM
Quote:

"I see another poster has fallen for the 'Urban Myth' about the licensing debacle."

Hmmmm, I'm curious about this. I've heard/read rumours, but can anyone tell me what really happened? [If it's a No-No to talk about here, OK to PM me.]

For my part, I was happy to play the PF planeset provided in the original boxed product, and wait for the patches/extras that I had faith (hope?) would be forthcoming. Guess I based my faith on OM/1C's previous track record. They have pretty much 'come up with the goods' before, I reasoned, so why wouldn't they come good again?

All up, I don't feel that I've got reason to be disappointed. Quite the opposite, in fact. Sure, I'd like more but that's human nature to want more!

Of course, I know that some others might not be this patient (especially those new to the brand).

Ah well, that's life I guess.


Best regards,
panther3485

R988z
02-07-2006, 09:16 AM
Have to agree, after coming from the original IL2 PF especially was disappointing for its complete lack of single missions and boring generated campaigns. I know you can download user made ones off the net but thats a while for people to make and you still have to find them. Fortunately I was able to go online but I still like to fly offline in campaigns sometimes.

I also find the med theatre one of the most interesting and have started work on an RAF Greece campaign.

I actually bought CFS3 before IL2 (the original) simply because it was more available and had better marketing, I did want FB but never had a PC that could run it. Then I found a copy of the original IL2 in a bargain bin, realised it was way better than CFS3 and played it offline for 6 months before getting broadband and realising I could play online. It took me a month to track down FB and even then it was tucked away in an obscure borders bookstore hidden behind some educational software (I literally checked behind every single copy and in the very last row there it was!). Found PF in the airport at Heathrow and grabbed it while I could see it, it only just runs on my computer though, so I stick to FB most of the time as that runs a bit better, I've been keeping an eye out for AEP but it's scarcity makes it difficult). If it was advertised better it would sell better but I think one of the main problems is that many gameplayers lack the interest in the subject matter and attention span to learn how it works. As has been mentioned this is something of a cult game that requires a lot of investment in knowedge, time and equipment to get the most out of it and not that many people have that available to them. Only older people with disposable income can really afford to buy the games and the equipment to go with it. It's only now that I have left school and can afford to buy this stuff, that I have it all, despite wanting it for many years but not being able to justify the expense previously.

OldMan____
02-07-2006, 09:40 AM
The 1/5th profit is data from 2004. The ammount of shelf space of console games may not match that because lots of games are present for several consoles, and there are much bigger number of titles for console. Also a percentage of console game money is used to pay the lost money that each console sold generates (current consoles are sold under production price)



Some of these numbers I have from my previous job at an MMOG project, who they paid to get this infomation I really don't know.

But there are some interisting things on Harcore game market. That is fidelity. If you start developing a good quality Flight sim you may expect to sell at least 25 copies, and on each expansion you may expect to sell a reasonabçle percentage of the initial sales. In casual gamers market, you have greater chance of getting a blbok buster level, but you have also higher chances of being forgotten and sell almost nothing on expansion. Also you have MUCH more competition. Today if you want to make combat flight sim you have to face MDX/1C and Eagle's basically. If you want to make a FPS you have to face, Raven , Valve, ID, Epic and a ton of other giants.


It is a complicated issue. Currently I am working with Thunder Works, and we think on these issues every day.

huggy87
02-07-2006, 09:43 AM
They really should change their business model. To more of a MMO mindset. Release the initial version, incrementally add much more content, planes, maps, campaigns, etc. at 5-10$ a download.

OldMan____
02-07-2006, 09:54 AM
Originally posted by huggy87:
They really should change their business model. To more of a MMO mindset. Release the initial version, incrementally add much more content, planes, maps, campaigns, etc. at 5-10$ a download.

In fact most researchs show that the public of hardcore games like this one are the oposite people tht plays MMO games. There are exceptions, but this is the general rule.

But games like Il2 can work in a base of several expansions. Each one timed in less than year time span. But you need to make a good first hit with initial product, or you can scare your costumers.

joeap
02-07-2006, 09:56 AM
Anyone know how well PF sold in Japan or Asia in general??

ReligiousZealot
02-07-2006, 09:58 AM
Originally posted by AFJ_Locust:
41,100 x 55 is 2,260,500.00 That is not chump change.

It's rather interesting, and yeah, but according to this article, PF only made 1.5 Million.

What should really insult the series is the fact Silent Hunter 3, in only 6 months after its release has sold 57,500 units for a total earning of 2.2 million. That should really speak volumes about getting some good copy protection. I know how easy PF can be cracked, heck, I even did it myself when my old comp CD drive was failing. I don't see this as hacking because, well, I wasn't giving it to anyone and I already had a purchased copy of PF. If they invest in some decent copy protection, piracy wouldn't be such an issue and I'm actually surprised that even 70,000 copies would've been illegally downloaded - that's proof enough that a good portion of people have interest in the series.

As for the interest factor, I know it can be broken. A couple weeks ago, a few of you might remember me asking around for some good coop missions, this was because I was having a LAN with a few friends I convinced to purchase the Il2 Series plus PF. Well, we ended up playing quite a number of coop missions and despite them shooting the tails off or crashing on take off occasionally, they had a blast. I think the interest barrier can be broken with the right marketing. You can look at Battlefield 1942 and then the mod Forgotten Hope for inspiration. Tons of people play BF1942 and then a good number migrated to FH because they wanted better realism. Still, the interest factor for World War II aviation runs high among people, and you know this if you've ever gone online in BF1942 or FH, you'll know a large portion of people end up "plane camping" as its called.

The interest factor is there, it just needs to be realized with some good marketing. You don't need excellent campaigns, just better training missions and actually having all the key ***ignments set up ahead of time. The PF CD literally lives in my drive, I rarely take it out despite my various interests. I do have a life, a girlfriend, friends and school work (no job, but that's about to change so my free time will be cut down), but I still can find time to play offline or online. If there was some way to actually ship TrackIR with PF to the retail outlets, I'm sure it would sell better despite the higher cost. As for the difficulty factor, well, I love the new patches that bring on the game's difficulty and brings it closer to reality. A lot of us that play this game are probably never going to be able to fly our favorite ride from the game, so this is as close as we can get. I don't have a pilot's license, I want one, but I don't have one yet, so the more realistic this game supposedly gets, the better I say. Every few months, I'm able to afford something better for my computer, and it always sparks a new interest in PF for me. I pretty much go on a binge of doing nothing but play PF when I have free time. At Christmas, my parents got me a set of rudder pedals and trackIR. 6 Months prior to that, I got a new computer so I was able to finally play PF on the highest graphics settings and was greatly impressed (all the more closer to reality, I guess).

The game is realistic and I can speak from experience, that after hooking up my new joystick/throttle combo, TrackIR 4, and rudder pedals, it improves the game enough that it allowed my father (been a pilot for 30 years), who has NEVER played this game before, to successfully take off and land without ever having to click the refly button. So, if the game is realistic, where's the marketing for that? A large portion of people seek realism, that's why the Rainbow Six series is so popular (might I add, its a Ubisoft produced title as well).

So, bring on BoB, but don't forget about PF. Even after the release of BoB, I'm sure I'll still be playing PF as well, maybe not as much, but as long as it gets a few more finishing touches, and I'm not talking planes here, I'll be happy to call it a truly finished product.

OldMan____
02-07-2006, 10:18 AM
maybe because form the 55 bucks.. some of it stay with the final saler (here are bookstores that sell games). Also in some places games are sold in very different prices.. PF was sold in Brazil for about $29 when it was released (all games are less expensive here, otherwise they simply don't sell)

RocketDog
02-07-2006, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by Da_Godfatha:
One problem IMO for the US market was the lack of carrier based torpedo bombers and the very, very badly done single-player part. Word-of-mouth kills more games than anything.

I have to agree with this. PF out of the box was a huge disappointment.

I don't play on line much and there is basically no useable single player. CFS2 had a library of historically-based scenarions. PF has nothing beyond its ridiculous campaign system.

Worse, for those of us unable to run perfect mode at decent FPS (and that included me when it came out) the excellent water was a featureless, flourescent purple sheet - far worse than CFS2's painted waves. This has now been corrected in a patch, but it left a totally underwhelming impression at first.

Add on top of that a series of amateurish maps and a peculiar choice of aircraft seemingly chosen to make almost any historical missions unworkable and the whole package is just embarrassing. The variable quality of the content (e.g., cockpits) is also exasperating.

I would far rather have shelled out an extra 10 for a finished product than have to wade through the mess we were given.

It's a fascinating game, but only to an aircraft nut with the time to spend on it. I suspect most purchasers just gave up.

Cheers,

RocketDog.

Xiolablu3
02-07-2006, 12:45 PM
Agreed, its low figures.

BUT luckily Oleg does this out of love for the subject. (I think)

I am sure its his chosen proffesion and he would rather be doing this than anything else, even if it payed very poorly.

The main concern we have got is that the lure of console games high sales pull him over to designing games for these instead, which would be such a traversty and a waste. Lets pray this never happens.

I love this game and hope Oleg continues to work on FLight Sims and not console games.

We must support him as much as we can if we want him to continue making these great sims.

danjama
02-07-2006, 01:37 PM
I stopped reading PCGamer because they were so negative about this game and its community (of which i am a part of).

When i learnt that about the magazine i felt sick, i hope they go bust. Stupid arrogant ******.

trumper
02-07-2006, 01:45 PM
http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif Does'nt help if the shops don't stock the items either,you try getting hold of A E P over the couunter http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

OldMan____
02-07-2006, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by danjama:
I stopped reading PCGamer because they were so negative about this game and its community (of which i am a part of).

When i learnt that about the magazine i felt sick, i hope they go bust. Stupid arrogant ******.

At least is not ba as a magazine from here. Their article was more or less like that: "Well, its the first time I make a review of a flight sim, but I was fairly experienced with flight simmulation from BF1942. Unfortunately this is not even close to BF1942. I could not even take off from the carrier after 15 minutes of attemps. Also the Command selection screen is filled with commands that looks to be completely uselles. Why couldn't them make a simple control system like BF?..."

At the end they gave PF note 3 (from 0 to 10).

Game magazines are in 9 of 10 cases completely unable to review a complex game, period.

LUFT11_Hoflich
02-07-2006, 02:14 PM
I only own Geniune PC games.

Unfortunately, Here in Mexico, the vast majority of ppl that can afford a computer, don't have the money to buy the "basic software" ie. XP and MS Office, antivirus and an image editing software, so what's the alternative? you bet.. pirate software. It's hard when u save for half a year to buy a decent computer then having to save 2 more years to buy the necesary sw to use it.

And game prices are same as in the US, contrary like in other countries that lower the game prices to make them affordable to the rest of us.

And yes.. Flight simulators, Combat flight simulators, modern or old FS, aren't very popular compared to the just pint and shoot games out there, PPL won't invest that much time learning this kind of games.

H¶f...

sukebeboy
02-07-2006, 05:55 PM
Originally posted by joeap:
Anyone know how well PF sold in Japan or Asia in general??

Well, in Japan, I never saw a single copy of Pacific Fighters in any store other than import shops.

Contrast that with CFS 2 and CFS 3 products. There are always copies of CFS 3 around and tonnes of Japanese made expansion disks with Pacific Theatre planes and scenario packs.

sukebeboy
02-07-2006, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by panther3485:
Quote:

"Actually, with the exception of the US, Canadian, the UK, and Japanese markets, PC games outsell console games."

OK, I haven't got figures for all countries, but you can add Australia to your 'exception of' list.

Down under, add the total sales for Playstation (PS1,PS2 & PSP), XBox, GameCube and Gameboy. Then compare with total PC game sales?
No contest in OZ; console game sales win, hands down.

panther3485
I guess I should ammend my statement to say, with the execption of English speaking countries and Japan, PC games outsell consoles.

Of course, there are some problems with this. I understand that the PC game market in most of Europe and South Korea is quite vibrant.

In other countries such as in SE Asia and former Warsaw Pact countries, PCs are more prevalent because people can cobble one together. Piracy is a huge problem and so games are sold much more cheaply in those countries than in the west. In Thailand, for example, I can pick up a copy of a new PC game for about 4 or 5 hundred baht ($10-12 USD). That means not much profit for the game developers at all.

SpartanHoplite
02-08-2006, 05:57 AM
Originally posted by gx-warspite:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by AFJ_Locust:
41,100 x 55 is 2,260,500.00 That is not chump change.
Yes, it is. Even considering that the dev team is in Russia and operates on lower costs, $2m wouldn't pay for the game. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

True, I'm sure. But how many copies sold in non-US markets? Not as many as Il2 or FB, I'd wager, but we can't be guessing at profitability by looking at only one market.

SH

jasonbirder
02-08-2006, 08:40 AM
One problem IMO for the US market was the lack of carrier based torpedo bombers

Mmmm...I do wonder about that, I mean how many people really thought -
"Oh, I like Flight Sims, I like World War 2, I like the Pacific Theatre, I like Carrier Aviation...but this has only got the Wildcat, Hellcat, Corsair & Dauntless in, gee I'd buy it if it had the Avenger & Devastator in...as it stands i'll just wait 3-5 years for the next Pacific Flight Sim to come along instead..."

Rikupsoni
02-08-2006, 09:15 AM
They might want to check their warez protection for their next game. As far as I know PF has been illegaly played a lot. In the communities / clans I've been playing, I know atleast in one EVERYONE had taken it illegaly. Even CD-key checks would cause some average-joes to get lost..

ReligiousZealot
02-08-2006, 11:56 AM
Originally posted by Rikupsoni:
They might want to check their warez protection for their next game. As far as I know PF has been illegaly played a lot. In the communities / clans I've been playing, I know atleast in one EVERYONE had taken it illegaly. Even CD-key checks would cause some average-joes to get lost..

I would suggest something like what Novalogic's Joint Operations has set up. In order to play online, you have to register your CD key to a centralized server and then you can play online. This is an excellent idea, because people who play at LANs may not always all have the game, but they can all play together offline with the same key essentially.

I do realize there are problems with this idea, one being the money to constantly maintain a server such as that, but its just a thought. I really think that PF was a major hit but the pirating of it ruined it. The few warez games I've downloaded, I've actually paid attention to the "license agreement" and ended up purchasing the game if I liked it - it's the only way to be able to experience the online play, so if the game has a good single player, one can assume multiplayer will at least be half decent. If I didn't, well I just deleted it. Too bad everyone isn't as honest as I try to be.

Aaron_GT
02-08-2006, 02:28 PM
One problem IMO for the US market was the lack of carrier based torpedo bombers


Yes - should have put in the Swordfish! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

steve_v
02-08-2006, 02:37 PM
Originally posted by ReligiousZealot:
The few warez games I've downloaded, I've actually paid attention to the "license agreement" and ended up purchasing the game if I liked it - it's the only way to be able to experience the online play, so if the game has a good single player, one can assume multiplayer will at least be half decent. If I didn't, well I just deleted it. Too bad everyone isn't as honest as I try to be. I suggest you consult a dictionary and look up the word honest. You may be surprised to find it has nothing to do with your pirating preferences. While you are free to do as you please with your computer, the same cannot be said of language.

FoolTrottel
02-08-2006, 02:49 PM
Originally posted by steve_v:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by ReligiousZealot:
The few warez games I've downloaded, I've actually paid attention to the "license agreement" and ended up purchasing the game if I liked it - it's the only way to be able to experience the online play, so if the game has a good single player, one can assume multiplayer will at least be half decent. If I didn't, well I just deleted it. Too bad everyone isn't as honest as I try to be. I suggest you consult a dictionary and look up the word honest. You may be surprised to find it has nothing to do with your pirating preferences. While you are free to do as you please with your computer, the same cannot be said of language. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hey Steve,
You're right, but watch his words closely, he's just trying to be honest! (As in he knows he's not!)

Jetbuff
02-08-2006, 02:55 PM
The trouble with a 'good' flight-sim like IL-2 is that you actually have to try it first. Other games can use poplar catch-phrases like 'explosive effects', 'kill combos', 'motion-captured animation', 'save the world from evil' and 'BFG'. In comparison 'realistic flight model' and 'localized damage model' sound very low-key and grognardian. I propose a little misinformation is in order. Advertise BoB with whatever the current games fad is, even if it isn't in the game! Rope 'em in and they will all be thankful once they have actually played the game and gotten over their initial disappointment. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif

J/K... but it takes a very different taste in games to appreciate a flight sim. Whereas we are looking to simulate reality by definition, for others the sole purpose is to escape it and have mindless fun, emphasis on mindless.

ReligiousZealot
02-08-2006, 03:37 PM
Originally posted by steve_v:
I suggest you consult a dictionary and look up the word honest. You may be surprised to find it has nothing to do with your pirating preferences. While you are free to do as you please with your computer, the same cannot be said of language.

I realize that software piracy is a crime - that's why after the big FBI scare, I cut it out (the last title I downloaded as Warez was a UT 2004 beta, I purchased the full version because I really liked it). While not much can be said about it being morally right or wrong, that is open to interpretation, but the fact remains it is and was illegal. I feel that by me owning up to it is honesty.

If you've ever visited or been barraged by a Warez site's popups, you might have noticed there is usually some sort of disclaimer or license agreement that will give a time period in which you can play the game before you are expected to delete it from your hard drive and or purchase a copy. This however, is usually not as common as simply a disclaimer saying the website isn't responsible for your actions, etc.

"Warez" or Software Piracy is just about as big if not bigger than the Music piracy, but for some reason software piracy is regarded as far worse. Sure, it may take not as much effort to produce a song than a piece of software, but the principle of it being wrong is still there.

I agree with you, Steve. You are right, I may not have used the word honest in the right way, but I was being honest about my ways. I'm not the only one who has ever pirated software, I know that there are people who visit this forum that may not even have a legal copy of Pacific Fighters. Heck, about a year ago I went into a GameStop at our local mall to pick up 2 copies of the FB Gold Pack, one for me and one for a friend who's birthday was coming up. When I went to check out the guy who was working the register said, "Hey, why buy two? Why don't you just burn a copy of one?"

I don't want to make this sound like I'm defending piracy, I don't agree with it, and I can imagine its a horrible feeling when something you spent hours upon hours creating is stolen. It just came as a shock to me when I read that PF sales hadn't been spectacular in the US so I started this thread. Since then its sort of mutated into people offering their ideas of why PF didn't sell well, new marketing ideas, better copy protection, etc. All I hoped to accomplish was to shed some light on the sales and hope that the much anticipated expansions/platinum pack and future titles would do much better than this.

For the record, I do not claim to have extreme knowledge of 1C's finances or anyone elses, I just thought 41,100 units dealing with a game based on the events that involved the entire nation (now at roughly 300 million people) 60+ years ago, was a little low.

Grendel-B
02-08-2006, 04:42 PM
Originally posted by ReligiousZealot:
It stated that since PF's release here in the States, only 41,100 copies had been sold as of September '05.


It is weird. So true. Right now PC games market is on average 20 to 30 % of the console market. Generally more like 20 %.

Of that number, hardcore simulations represent smaller and smaller bit. As we can see from these numbers.

One problem are the journalists. I'm one of those, so I know what I speak about. Most of you can surely testify, that many reviewers just don't have a clue about sims. A flight simulator can be shown in very bad light, if an idiot gets the stick and sees it like BF1942, as one poster mentioned.

These games need strong support from the gamers themselves. Hardcore games cant sustain themselves otherwise. The only alternative is to make a Japanese style PS2 flight action game, or get into internet distribution, direct sales.

Sims have had hard times for so many years now. PF is one of the best, yet it seems to have extremerely hard time in the US. I don't know how the sales are elsewhere, but I find it somewhat curious that Ubisoft mentioned that in Finland the IL-2 games sell as much as in the other Nordic counties alltogether. We got strong flightsim community and traditions here, that explains a lot. Flight sims are covered even in newspapers and the Finnish Virtual Pilots Association has done a lot for the genre in the public eye. Yet, surely there are magazines in other countries as well. Surely Ubisoft does publicity elsewhere as well. Surely there is something other fundamentally wrong, is the US sales of a game directed into US market are that terrible...

OldMan____
02-08-2006, 05:18 PM
50 k sales ona hardcire sim in US is NOT bad. Is average to good!!! It is researche fact that us costumers DO NOT LIKE complicated or deep games, like these hardcore games. Things like HL2, Doom 3 quake 4 can sell much more. Also researched fact that other countries have slight different tastes. GErmany is a country where comre complicated games are better received. Just look at the settlers series. It sold almost 6 MILLION copies (most in germany and rest of europe). The latest title was " dumbed down " in complexity to please US market.

In Japan, console games have an even greater advantage, sine there the main gaming culture is focused on that...

J_Anonymous
02-08-2006, 05:37 PM
Originally posted by joeap:
Anyone know how well PF sold in Japan or Asia in general??
I recently visited Japan, and found no PF even in the biggest home electronics/computer store in Akihabara, Tokyo (that's probably the biggest electronics store in the world, the floor area is like a football field, and make it 10 stories). SONY and Nintendo (both Japanese companies) dominate the market there, and I saw literally hundreds and hundreds of console game titles sold in a gygantic area of the store. In contrast, only a small number of PC games are sold, and only one type of joystick. I had to walk around for a long time to find the joystick in the monster store.

I did find the Japanese version of CFS2 and CFS3, and some sxpansion packs for CF's, in the store. My understanding is that they marketed a Japanese version of FB, and many serious playes migrated from CFS to FB. But I guess they found the FB market was too small in Japan and didn't even bother to create and market a Japanese version of PF? I don't think many people there are eager to play the English version of PF, too hard for most people to figure out how to play.

willyvic
02-08-2006, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by ReligiousZealot:
Have any of you happened to see the article in this January 06 of PC Gamer about Sims and the market (located towards the back)? It stated that since PF's release here in the States, only 41,100 copies had been sold as of September '05...
...Flight sims have their own unique market, and I realize this, I just think Pacific Fighters has gotten the shaft and not nearly as good reviews as it should have. ..


Originally posted by Danjama:

I stopped reading PCGamer because they were so negative about this game and its community (of which i am a part of).

When i learnt that about the magazine i felt sick, i hope they go bust. Stupid arrogant ******.

Perhaps you both should refer to this. Cited from the very magazine Danjama bashes. They have always given the IL2 series a glowing reveiw.


http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m...841017172#2841017172 (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/23110283/m/4861096172/r/2841017172#2841017172)

WV

Ishmael932
02-08-2006, 07:16 PM
Interestingly enough, I came to this game totally ***-backwards. I had picked up the original IL2 in a 3-pack, liked what I saw then saw PF. I bought PF and FB at Walmart but couldn't find the AEP to save my life. I finally got a copy from Amazon.com to complete the setup. I have played various flight, sub and tanksims for years and have noticed the dwindling numbers of PC games available over the last 10 years. Most stores I've seen in the US have 4-5 rows of console games and maybe 1-2 for PC games if you're lucky.

While IL2 is one of the best WW2 sims out, there are gaps with plane selection. whether it's the TBF,Curtiss Helldiver or Kate torpedo bomber in PF to the Mosquito, BF-210, Ju-88,DO-17 or Fairey Battle or flyable 4-engine bombers in the ETO, the lack of these planes has been a disappointment. That said, it is still a much better flight sim than any of the CFS series I've played. The only WW2 sim I've played that comes close was the Janes WW2 fighters game for graphics, flight modeling and skins.

the fact that this community has really contributed to single player campaigns as much as they have has greatly enhanced the game for me IMHO. Having played RB3D, SH, SH2, DC & now SH3, the modders here are at that same level of intensity and contribution. I now devide my time between this one & SH3 and will undoubtadly get the platinum pack when it becomes available. Is there room for improvement? Yes. But it's still the best WW2 sim around.

GR142-Pipper
02-08-2006, 07:57 PM
Originally posted by Troll2k:
For 41,000 units it is not worth turning on the lights in the cd stamping plant. That's very true. 41,000 units is puppy's breath in the retail software market.

On another note, the "free" upgrades are what I think really has the potential of doing this game in. Strictly from a business perspective, it makes no sense to offer upgrades for free (bug fixes, yes....upgrades, no). When these get released for free, Maddox and company miss an opportunity to add engineering staff, support staff or highten their marketing efforts. It just makes no business sense.

While I take issue with Maddox on some of the liberties he takes and I'm often dissatisfied with the flight performance of many of the aircraft in the game, I still enjoy it very much. It's clear to me, however, that the guy just isn't that good a businessman. It's pretty safe to say that those of us who enjoy his products would gladly pay a nominal sum for the upgrades but he doesn't even ask for it. Consequently, we have fiascos like PF and a chronic inability to correct clearly needy flight models and difficulty providing meaningful on-going support.

Friendly advice, Mr. Maddox....start charging for the upgrades now (and that includes patches that contain upgraded/new aircraft). Don't wait. Do it with the very next patch. Perhaps a plan in which a yearly fee is paid to continue to use the products might be considered but give the idea that providing additional value-add is not a free proposition some thought. Software companines can thrive with fiscal discipline and a clear game plan. They don't function with a litany of free upgrades. In the medium/long run it's often the diffrence between companies that continue to exist and those that don't.

Bottom line: "Free" upgrades just may be killing this game.

GR142-Pipper

GR142-Pipper
02-08-2006, 08:05 PM
Originally posted by panther3485:
Now, I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised to find that the USA wasn't the best market for IL-2/FB, which is, after all, based on the Eastern Front. The Eastern Front was just fine. The developers are familiar with the planes and the modeling was well done. Products will sell in the U.S. for ANY theater...provided they're well done.


But Pacific Fighters? You couldn't get much more American involvement in a Campaign if you tried! And those lovely American carrier planes? F4F? F6F? F4U? I'm not American and I rushed out to buy it as soon as it was released. IMHO, it gives better overall representation of those planes than any other sim I've tried, including CFS2 (which used to be my favourite for the Pacific Theatre).

Got me stuffed why it shouldn't have sold a lot better than that in the US! It hasn't sold well here for just the reason I mentioned above. The U.S. planes were (and, with exception, largely remain) poorly modeled and the aircraft carrier representation was rinky-****. It simply wasn't well done and the market rejected it. Market forces at work, pure and simple.

GR142-Pipper

LEXX_Luthor
02-08-2006, 08:08 PM
Great post pippers. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

I always wondered if Oleg/UBI could do the pay to download planes+maps thing. And I always said, Oleg, UBI, and IanBoys could get rich quick by selling maps on CD.

BfHeFwMe
02-08-2006, 09:35 PM
My take,

Why try targeting it to the American market now, wasn't it released in N America last? Nice marketing move there, got to admit it. So how did Euro sales go and how many of those copies wound up in NA. As I remember stocks ran out in parts of Europe because so many were being posted abroad. It took a month before it showed up in my area after initial release, had offers from friends to send a box, but sadly waited, distribution was horrid.

I'll agree the game we were all fans of in original IL-2 had it's warts, and like warts these game play issues were left to languish forever. Many I've flown with became so sick and tired they just up and walked away. Way to much time spent on chaseing flight models to get them perfect while the mission structure, AI, and other cores of the game basically remain locked in the past. The gang of regulars in here who think FM's are the only issue and need a fix will never cease, and it's driving many away.

Pacific theatre? No appeal here, having built missions in the past it doesn't take much to figure out the game is to limited to do serious PT style missions and campaigns. It was long range warfare for the most part, how you going to do that with AI and mission structure built around the short ranges of the Russian front? Reckon that's why all the maps are sliced so small, wouldn't want those defects to show up so readily. Not to mention what's missing, everyone knows not even a fifth of the Navy is there, for either side. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/53.gif

This thing is built painstakingly for selfnamed hardcore onliners, so cough up the dough yourselves. You got what you wanted, why ask others to pay for such limits.

I bought 4 copies of IL-2, two of FB, one of AEP, and almost none of PF. That tells a story right there. If I could pass a message to the wheels, it would be stop catering to the same old few, that's all your going to have left as your market soon.

Skycat_2
02-08-2006, 10:46 PM
Can you imagine how much worse PF would have done in sales if it hadn't been made an expansion pack as well as a standalone sim? Remember, the original proposal didn't include a merged option.

As is was, a lot of us felt dragged along and forced to buy PF primarily to keep up with the online community, and later because it was the only avenue for expanding FB+AEP. There are a lot of remarkable details in the Pacific planes, ships, etc but overall PF fails to capture the essence of naval combat and island-hopping operations in a believeable way. I know that IL-2/FB was far from perfect, and that AEP's 'Western Front' was just as limited as Pacific Fighters, but at least IL-2 and FB+AEP owners knew what to expect as far as the map parameters and altitude limitations of the game engine. Maybe that's why many of us were disappointed when Ilya (aka Luthier) formally announced he was coordinating a Pacific sim even though a community poll had favored the Med as a possible expansion.

Overall, PF has been a great expansion but I can thoroughly understand why it got bad press as a standalone product.

OldMan____
02-09-2006, 03:48 AM
Things are nto taht simple. If you simply start charging for updates, you may break appart a comunity that is already not THAT strong. At my view all these free stuff is done to keep costumer comunity integrity until new tru products are done (like BOB). BE sure, If Oleg had charged for every Add on(or major patch) where we received new planes. This comunity would be fragmented in several pieces (people tha can or wont afford a certain path, others that do so they can play together etc...).

When you charge for add ons you must make a much smaller number of releases.

But 1C could have done for example a major pacific Theather add on or Med ad on( but would need to be at AEP level).


Surviving at harcore amrket is not simple stuff.


Also, I repeat, 40 k sales on a ultra hardcore game in US is not BAD... tell me how many hardcore games like this sell more than 100k in US.

DoubleTap2005A
02-09-2006, 06:11 AM
I think one of the biggest inhibiters for flight sims in general is the learning curve. Before IL2/PF, I had played flight sims before, but certainly not hardcore ones, nor with as much intensity as other games. While I really enjoyed "Secret Weapons of The Luftwaffe" on the Amiga, and the "Aces Over..." series, they were not anywhere the complexity of IL2.

I always tended to prefer first person shooters, and starting with Doom, I have spent years playing them and it has taken me years to get as good as I am. Despite the complaints of some that they are "twitch games", there are entire skill sets, mental and physical that you need to hone to play them well. This has only gotten more true as their complexity (physics, level size, team coordination, etc) has increased.

When you consider that your average sim is by nature more complex, and add the radical increase in speed and 3 dimensions with air combat, it is a daunting venue to enter. You need to learn entirely need skill sets and need to spend alot of time gaining the experience you will need to survive, and then to do even fairly well. On top of that is the humiliation/frustration factor. When you go from games like Call of Duty or the Battlefield series where you do pretty well, to a 'game' where you are food for crows, its not easy to keep with it. I think many people LIKE the idea of a flight sim, but not the work or time involved to excell at it. I know that was the case with me for a number of years. The last sim I had bought was Jane's World War II fighters, also at a discount, and that had left me flat because of the rather plain ground scenery.

As far as why IL2/PF in particular does not have more of a US following, I can only guess, but lack of knowledge/promotion may have had something to do with it. There were a number of WWII flight release around IL2 I recall, and it may have gotten pushed off the radar by them.

This is subjective, but I only even recalled IL2 as a title from a small blurb in a PC game mag (either CGW or PC Gamer) that mentioned as being one of the better sims to come out in a long while, and with particular emphasis on ground attacks. I happened to be in a game store last year and saw the original IL2 still on sale for quite a bargain price and figured, "Hell, I'll give it a shot." The thing is that while I was looking for something new to try, I again was not really sure I would get into but for the price I figured I had nothing to lose.

That was before I tried it. As soon as I loaded it up and started flying, and saw the graphics and watched plane respond to my control, I was hooked. I immediately bought the Ace Expansion pack, and the Pacific Fighters. I have since spent almost all my time concentrating on it. I would have paid more to play it if I had know how good it was.

My point is that is more people were made aware of how well the game performed, they might have given it a try. Of those, many would not have gone on to buy the supplements, but I am betting many others would have. I think creating more narrative movies from the game and putting them out on the net would have really garnered alot of interest, and things might have snowballed from there.

I think that with BOB, assuming the quality is the same, they should host a movie making contest as soon as it released, and setup a website just for the contest. People enthralled with the movies, simmers or not, are likely to pass them on and spread the word.


P.S. One further thought. The amount of time needed to play a sim as opposed to many other types of games is prohibitive for many people. Part of the allure of console games is that they are a "pick up and go" format, as opposed to flight sims which can have very long periods before any action. Some people love that part of sims, citing realism, but others just don't have the time.

Philipscdrw
02-09-2006, 06:42 AM
I think that BoB should have a much stronger training campaign, and perhaps include it in the demo. That way, people with a casual interest in aviation can learn how to fly BoB effectively and get a small taste of the program's scope.

panther3485
02-09-2006, 07:12 AM
Hi there, GR142-Pipper


Quote 1:
quote:
Originally posted by panther3485:
"But Pacific Fighters? You couldn't get much more American involvement in a Campaign if you tried! And those lovely American carrier planes? F4F? F6F? F4U? I'm not American and I rushed out to buy it as soon as it was released. IMHO, it gives better overall representation of those planes than any other sim I've tried, including CFS2 (which used to be my favourite for the Pacific Theatre).
Got me stuffed why it shouldn't have sold a lot better than that in the US!"

Answer from GR142-Pipper:
"It hasn't sold well here for just the reason I mentioned above. The U.S. planes were (and, with exception, largely remain) poorly modeled and the aircraft carrier representation was rinky-****. It simply wasn't well done and the market rejected it. Market forces at work, pure and simple."


Granted, your reason is perfectly valid but I don't believe it's likely to be the only reason.

In any case, while I acknowledge that PF had/has certain faults and inadequacies, when I made the decision to purchase it was based on previous experience with OM/1C's stuff - which was very good experience and encouraged me to buy another one of their products.

IMHO, OM/1C had then (and arguably still have now) an excellent track record in releasing patches and updates, so I was prepared to wait if necessary and in the meantime, still found the basic product good enough to thoroughly enjoy.

This is simply relating my own experience, both as a keen WW2 combat flight simmer/gamer and as a loyal fan of the product. Hence, my surprise that there had not been more players, in such a large market (and the American market at that), who felt the same way. Just my subjective impression, how I felt, and what I thought should have been the case. Nothing more.


Quote 2:
quote:
Originally posted by panther3485:
"Now, I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised to find that the USA wasn't the best market for IL-2/FB, which is, after all, based on the Eastern Front."

Answer from GR142-Pipper:
"The Eastern Front was just fine. The developers are familiar with the planes and the modeling was well done. Products will sell in the U.S. for ANY theater...provided they're well done."

My opinion would best be expressed as follows:

Hypothetical flight sim 'A' is based on a campaign/front where there was negligible direct US involvement most of the time and where most of the non-axis aircraft types flyable in the original release are unknown to the majority of Americans.

Hypothetical flight sim 'B' is based on a campaign/front where there was massive, dominant US involvement and most of the non-axis aircraft types flyable in the original release are popularly known Western Allied types, predominantly US types.

The two hypothetical sims are released at the same time by two different companies, whose products are of equal reputation and standing in the US market but they are not compatible with each other. HOWEVER, the price is the same, system requirements are the same and all other things relating to sim/game quality etc are equal.

Apart from a small minority of dedicated simmers who would buy both, how would these two sell, relative to each other, on the US market?

I believe 'B' would vastly outsell 'A'.

That's my considered opinion, but I have an open mind. Presented with a substantial body of evidence that shows otherwise, I'll change my mind on this issue.


Best regards,
panther3485

Aaron_GT
02-09-2006, 08:10 AM
That's very true. 41,000 units is puppy's breath in the retail software market.


Yes, it sounds like time to separate the sim from physical media to some extent. If 75,000 people were prepared to download it then there must be enough bandwidth to do reasonable sales via download.

What I'd propose is: physical media for those who want it, downloads available, and the possibility to install your copy on someone else's machine such that it works for a couple of weeks before you have to register it to get a licence key. Obviously you need to ensure that the security model works, but it seems to work for some companies. (Vmware for example). This way if a friend likes the look of IL2 you can loan them your disk, then try it out, and possibly buy a licence to unlock it. It lowers the risk of buying a sim as you can try the full sim and all the options without committing yourself immediately.

Aaron_GT
02-09-2006, 08:12 AM
On another note, the "free" upgrades are what I think really has the potential of doing this game in. Strictly from a business perspective, it makes no sense to offer upgrades for free (bug fixes, yes....upgrades, no). When these get released for free, Maddox and company miss an opportunity to add engineering staff, support staff or highten their marketing efforts. It just makes no business sense.


The other option is licensing the system for 3rd party developers to put in the content. There seems to be movement on this, though.