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Thread: Manuals & Packaging | Forums

  1. #1
    Senior Member Stormin's Avatar
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    Price points for software have actuallygone down in the past ten years. It used to be the norm that games were either $49.95 or $59.95. Now most titles are at either $29.95 or $39.95. This varies in other countries, I am using the U.S. market as the base. Prices have not gone up over the past few years for entertainment software products yet the cost to develop continues to rise. The more detail and sophistication demanded combined with license fees and other development costs has greatly increased the cost to do products. In the past 12 years I have seen many development contracts and the cost to develop has continued to rise and all developers are finding that they need more money for each new product they work on.

    So if costs go up but price points go down there are only a few conclusions. One, the market for products is bigger - which is very true. More people are buying software. Two, publishers are cutting back on the Cost of Goods for their products to compensate for increased costs.

    Do the math. Basic Econ 101 stuff. Supply and Demand.

    Add to the equation that most entertainment software, both PC and console is geared for a mainstream audience with a strong emphisis on simplicity. Complicated products like wargames and simulations are a niche market with much smaller markets. What works for most product in the way of documentation does not work for simulations, but publishers are not making provisions for sims because most publishers are not producing simulations.

    It is no wonder that the publishers are looking to cut expenses with lowering the Cost of Goods on the product by not having big manuals and large boxes for all their products. It's also important to remember that all of these products have to boxed up and shipped all over the world. Manuals are heavy. Shipping costs have not gone down.

    Of course costs are passed on to the consumer in everything from soft drinks to automobiles. But in the case of software, the retail chains want to fix the price points to make the products more attractive to the consumer. Their primary targets are the average consumer. Flight sim fans are hardly average and tend to be a bit more sophisiticated in their tastes. Unfortunately there are not very many when of you guys when compared to the masses that play other games like The Sims, or Grand Theft Auto.

    Most products, PC and console, do not require large printed manuals. Like it or not, simulations are not something that is going to influence the direction of software development and publishing.

    My solution has always been to provide the PDF manual with the product at release and also make a hard copy of the documentation available to those that wish to purchase it for an additional cost. The publisher can do a small print run initially and if there is demand for the printed docs then they can always print more. The reality is that if you want hard copy docs then you will have to pay for them.

    Unfortunately, Ubi is not willing to do my solution. They are not going to spend any more money up front for Lock On.

    If Lock On does well then I am sure that Ubi Soft will consider enhancements. But from their point of view they have a product that is very late and they are not anxious to invest any more expense in it until they see it as a success.

    Cheers,
    Carl


    </a>
    __________________________________________________ _______________
    Carl C. Norman
    Executive Producer & Consultant
    The Fighter Collection/Eagle Dynamics

    Disclaimer: I am NOT a spokesman for Ubi Soft.
     

  2. #2
    Senior Member Stormin's Avatar
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    Another alternative is the for a third-party to produce either a strategy guide or a printed version of the PDF. Our friend Nic Cole is negotiating with Ubi Soft at this moment to see if this is possible. I am sure he has heard very little from upper management at Ubi because this is a small blip on their radar.

    Let's all hope that Nic is successful in his efforts.

    Cheers,
    Carl



    </a>
    __________________________________________________ _______________
    Carl C. Norman
    Executive Producer & Consultant
    The Fighter Collection/Eagle Dynamics

    Disclaimer: I am NOT a spokesman for Ubi Soft.
     

  3. #3
    Product boxes are boxes, specifically designed for the purpose of packaging products. In addition, these boxes are also used for promotion and branding.
     

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