PDA

View Full Version : EA to Buy Out Ubisoft



HoosBB
12-20-2004, 10:07 AM
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=6016 <===News Story
"Electronic Arts is to buy 20 percent of French publisher Ubisoft, the Wall Street Journal has confirmed this morning, at a reported cost of between $85 million and $100 million.

Neither publisher has made comment on the matter.

The deal is subject to approval by US regulators, and has pointed towards further consolidation in the games publishing market. EA has had an aggressive year in terms of acquisition, the latest recipient of which was British developer Criterion Studios at an estimated long-term cost of $200 million.

Ubisoft has enjoyed channelled success in recent years following the acquisition of Red Storm Entertainment, holder of the Tom Clancy brand, and global hits with thrillers such as Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon. Critical acclaim has spread to Ubisoft's other high-flyers, in particular the remakes of Prince of Persia and Beyond Good & Evil - considered by some to be the Western equal of Nintendo's Zelda.

Ubisoft has steered clear of buyout talk up to this point, aside from president Yves Guillemot confirming notions of acquiring British stalwart Eidos at E3 in 2002.

The news could point to a serious shift in policy from EA, since CEO Larry Probst intimated at E3 this May that he didn't expect the firm to be making the moves as the industry coagulates.

"I'm not sure that it's going to be us acquiring other companies and I don't think that anyone's going to acquire us in the industry, but I think you're going to see consolidation in the next three to five years, where there are fewer competitors to us in five years than there are today," he said at the show."
I wonder how this will affect the IL-2 series? I fear that if this goes through EA might ax the series in the US. They are more interested on capitalizing on the latest rehash sports game than providing a quality product to a niche market. On the other hand, perhaps they could provide Oleg with sufficient funding to fully release his products on the release date. Also, they might be able to help with the plane licensing fees.

Maj_Death
12-20-2004, 10:21 AM
Ubisoft is a publisher, not a developer. 1C:Maddox is a seperate entity. If EA doesn't want to publish Maddox games then they can simply move to a different publisher. FYI, the LOMAC crew has already done this.

NTESLA
12-20-2004, 10:31 AM
Where can I get the new LOMAC ?

Chuck_Older
12-20-2004, 10:33 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Maj_Death:
Ubisoft is a publisher, not a developer. 1C:Maddox is a seperate entity. If EA doesn't want to publish Maddox games then they can simply move to a different publisher. FYI, the LOMAC crew has already done this. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Most folks don't know this

TAGERT.
12-20-2004, 10:33 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Maj_Death:
Ubisoft is a publisher, not a developer. 1C:Maddox is a seperate entity. If EA doesn't want to publish Maddox games then they can simply move to a different publisher. FYI, the LOMAC crew has already done this. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Sounds like a smart move by the LOMAC crew.. By the way, what is the latest on the addon? As for EA.. This may be good.. In that what ever agreements ubi made with Northrop may have to be re-done.. And in light of the recent Supreme Court decison it would be a good thing..

http://www.train-sim.com/dcforum/DCForumID3/25853.html

Im no lawyer, but from that it looks like all future flight sims wont have to deal with or worry about that trademark ****. Because the Supreme Court seems to *think* the way *we* all do on this one.. Cheap greedy trick, gold star for effort, but no sale! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

As for EA and UBI publisher/distributer.. I think 1C should tell them all to step off and just go web based! Sell the sim online! In that word of mouth in the flight sim comunity moves fast.. Cuz it is a small group. By putting flight sims on the shelf at wallmart/best buy all you do is sell to the casual flight simmer.. That combined with the fact that you can not even find a copy of PF on the self a week later (except for MS crud) what good is the publisher/distributers doing for you? Heck ubi can not even provide enough web space to maintain the patches to download! Let alone keep it current! That and the publisher/distributers of this world dont seem to stand up for you when legal things come your way. So what good is a publisher/distributer?

F them Oleg, go web based and come up with a good online copy protection thing like HALFLIFE did.

VW-IceFire
12-20-2004, 10:50 AM
It was "only" 20%. It may be prelude to buying more...but it just means that they have a stake in the company now.

VFA-195 Moses
12-20-2004, 11:00 AM
Dont forget that EA is the first to completely get away from flight simulations. dumpped the Baltimore team (including Matt wagner, Scott Elson, and others). EA wants nothing to do with flight sims...to me this worrys me more than the northrop deal

HoosBB
12-20-2004, 11:04 AM
I know EA is a publisher, but who is going to pick up a game as small as IL-2? Ubisoft was able to provide PF with a decent amount of advertising, and even they couldn't afford to ship the whole game. I doubt IL2 will be able to get a new decent publisher. As for the guy that said go webased, I'm all for it. In my opinion the online release worked great with Half Life 2. I was playing the game 10 minutes after its release. The only problem with this is that Oleg would have to create a secure web distribution client like Steam for it to be successful. This is very time consuming and expensive to do.

lbhskier37
12-20-2004, 11:15 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TAGERT.:
By putting flight sims on the shelf at wallmart/best buy all you do is sell to the casual flight simmer.. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This sounds like talk from a Mac elitist. The casual flight simmer brings in a lot of money I would guess. Half-life 2 is sold online, but I am willing to bet the majority of its sales are out of big box stores. Ditching a publisher wouldn't be good in the long run IMHO. Game publications don't tend to review products from independents. Flight Sims are already a niche market, and going online sales only for it would pull it completely out of the mainstream.

Gibbage1
12-20-2004, 12:29 PM
As for Oleg going elsewere, they may have a contact with Ubi. Also, Oleg is part of 1C and 1C may have some sort of deal with Ubi. We dont know, so we cant speculate much. It would be nice, but I feel that if it was possible, Oleg would of done it a long time ago.

TAGERT.
12-20-2004, 12:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lbhskier37:
This sounds like talk from a Mac elitist. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Elitist? No, just stating a fact.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lbhskier37:
The casual flight simmer brings in a lot of money I would guess. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Guess being the op word here.. Note I went on to say that in less than a couple of weeks you can not find a copy of PF on the shelfs at Walmart/BB. And my *guess* would be that most of the inital sales went to non-casual simmers in the first place. In short the non-casual simmers will FIND the sim no mater where it is at.. The casual simmer wont even notice it not being on the shelf.. And the only way a casual simmer would buy it in the fist place is if they confused it with some sort of Wing Commander add on! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lbhskier37:
Half-life 2 is sold online, but I am willing to bet the majority of its sales are out of big box stores. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>My *guess* also.. But your comparing apples and oranges.. the market for shoot em up quake type games is much larger and includes all walks of life.. The flight sim crowd is much smaller and tends to cater to a specific mind set of people.. Realism b4 Pleasure! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lbhskier37:
Ditching a publisher wouldn't be good in the long run IMHO. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>IYHO but no IMHO

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lbhskier37:
Game publications don't tend to review products from independents. Flight Sims are already a niche market, and going online sales only for it would pull it completely out of the mainstream. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Dissagree 100%! As you noted the flight sim market is allready a niche market, that much I do agree with, with that said you DONT NEED a large publisher/distributer for a niche market! The word of mouth would problly carry the day in that the hard core flight sim crowd is very connected via the web these days.

TAGERT.
12-20-2004, 12:36 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gibbage1:
As for Oleg going elsewere, they may have a contact with Ubi. Also, Oleg is part of 1C and 1C may have some sort of deal with Ubi. We dont know, so we cant speculate much. It would be nice, but I feel that if it was possible, Oleg would of done it a long time ago. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Exactally.. BUT the NEAT thing about EA posabily buying out portions of ubi means alot of those contracts may get reworked. Could provide Oleg a chance to dump them and find a new way!

TacticalYak3
12-20-2004, 12:46 PM
The bigger question is how does the flight sim community attract more gamers to its ranks? Pacific Fighters didn't accomplish this, did it? And for all the reasons why will only get worse as time goes on.

With regards to EA - this is becoming a significant company in the entertainment business. With regards to gaming, they have already locked a licensing agreement with the NFL, the largest sports gaming niche.

I just no longer believe the gaming world is interested in complicated simulations, let alone a flight sim with its very steep learning curve and costly hardware requirements.

How long can Maddox Games survive in this very tough market?

fordfan25
12-20-2004, 12:56 PM
"in particular the remakes of Prince of Persia and Beyond Good & Evil - considered by some to be the Western equal of Nintendo's Zelda."

HA! in there frign dreams. ZELDA has NO equal. ZELDA is life, life is ZELDA kill the nonbelievers. .....well maby not kill them but make them watch reruns of rosane 24/7 while drinking diet coke. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

TAGERT.
12-20-2004, 12:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TacticalYak3:
The bigger question is how does the flight sim community attract more gamers to its ranks? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I dont know if it is posiable.. You either are or your not.. I dont know if one can be created? And, I dont know if you would want a flight sim that did something to creat one! In that to do so they would have to dumb it down to a BF1942 type of game.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TacticalYak3:
Pacific Fighters didn't accomplish this, did it? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>And I dont think it was one of their goals?

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TacticalYak3:
And for all the reasons why will only get worse as time goes on. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Emmm maybe, maybe not, I think there will allways be a base.. It will just never be as big as the Quake crowd. But, who knows, time will tell, But considering alot of kids today dont even know when WWII took place I doubt they would care about the weapons in it.. Let alone the details of them.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TacticalYak3:
With regards to EA - this is becoming a significant company in the entertainment business. With regards to gaming, they have already locked a licensing agreement with the NFL, the largest sports gaming niche. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>But as someone pointed out they gave up on sims along time ago.. I doubt anything has change sense then to bring them back to the table.. In that I think they think like you.. it is only going to get worse.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TacticalYak3:
I just no longer believe the gaming world is interested in complicated simulations, let alone a flight sim with its very steep learning curve and costly hardware requirements. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Agreed 100% and the only way you will spend the time to go through the learning curve is becuse you have some sort of respect for the men and equipment of WWII. And alot of up and comming kids dont give a rip about WWII.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TacticalYak3:
How long can Maddox Games survive in this very tough market? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Like I said.. the base is there.. weather it gets a little bigger or a little smaller only time will tell.. But the marketing people seem to think the base is big enough to do it now. Or they wouldnt have done it in the first place. And Im sure they didnt expect to displace any FPS in the process!

Peter_Fitzwell
12-20-2004, 01:47 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by VFA-195 Moses:
Dont forget that EA is the first to completely get away from flight simulations. dumpped the Baltimore team (including Matt wagner, Scott Elson, and others). EA wants nothing to do with flight sims...to me this worrys me more than the northrop deal <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

EA also killed Airwarrior when it bought Kesmai. EA also killed the Janes series after a buyout.


Be scared, be very scared, they are corporate raiders if the worst ilk.

Aaron_GT
12-20-2004, 02:59 PM
"This sounds like talk from a Mac elitist. The casual flight simmer brings in a lot of money I would guess. Half-life 2 is sold online, but I am willing to bet the majority of its sales are out of big box stores. Ditching a publisher wouldn't be good in the long run IMHO. Game publications don't tend to review products from independents. Flight Sims are already a niche market, and going online sales only for it would pull it completely out of the mainstream."

Indeed. X-Plane is essentially self-published (I bought version 8 direct a couple of weeks ago). It is general aviation but the number of units sold is pretty tiny compared to Microsoft's Flight Sims as it doesn't have the budget or the presence on the shelves. Whilst distribution online is becoming more of an option it is still the poorer option to having the backing of a major publisher at the moment.

Also in the context of the legal threats being an independent makes you even more susceptible than having the shield of a major distributor. Also doing something like open source doesn't protect you from legal threats (see SCO versus Linux) unless you become important enough to garner support of major vendors (e.g. IBM in this instance).

Aaron_GT
12-20-2004, 03:01 PM
"EA also killed Airwarrior "

And the screenshots of the new version they were developing looked promising too... and Janes WW2F was groundbreaking. A Janes WW2F II (if IL2 never happened) could have been superb.

TAGERT.
12-20-2004, 03:07 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
Indeed. X-Plane is essentially self-published (I bought version 8 direct a couple of weeks ago). It is general aviation but the number of units sold is pretty tiny compared to Microsoft's Flight Sims as it doesn't have the budget or the presence on the shelves. Whilst distribution online is becoming more of an option it is still the poorer option to having the backing of a major publisher at the moment. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Apples and Oranges.. In that IL2-PF/UBI store shelf life/space is not even close to MicroSofts as far as shelf presence.. And X-PLANE is not even close to IL2-PF with regards to game play on and offline.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
Also in the context of the legal threats being an independent makes you even more susceptible than having the shield of a major distributor. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>And having one does not seem to do you much good either.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
Also doing something like open source doesn't protect you from legal threats (see SCO versus Linux) unless you become important enough to garner support of major vendors (e.g. IBM in this instance). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Again, Apples and Oranges, because to make a flight sim open source would be the death of it before it ever sold, thus moot. Even an open Archtecture like CFS is the kiss of death due to all the cheating due to no control.

Recon_609IAP
12-20-2004, 04:07 PM
"The bigger question is how does the flight sim community attract more gamers to its ranks?"

Yes, I think that is the key as well.

Demo's for me. I am a try before I buy, and I liked the demo enough to buy the game - I never played flight sim before it.

It's how I found out about IL2 - I saw it on a gaming site and thought I'd try it out. Led to me finding it at the store and trying it online.

Been hooked ever since.

Snoop_Baron
12-20-2004, 04:31 PM
I noticed while at CompUSA that they have Pacific Fighters listed as number 10. It was listed ahead of Sims 2 and just behind Rome Total War. Sounds pretty good to me. They had 15 titles listed. Has anyone else seen this at CompUSA? This was in Austin, TX.

s!
Snoop

lbhskier37
12-20-2004, 06:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Recon_609IAP:
"The bigger question is how does the flight sim community attract more gamers to its ranks?"

Yes, I think that is the key as well.

Demo's for me. I am a try before I buy, and I liked the demo enough to buy the game - I never played flight sim before it.

It's how I found out about IL2 - I saw it on a gaming site and thought I'd try it out. Led to me finding it at the store and trying it online.

Been hooked ever since. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is how I found flight sims. I was reading Tom's Hardware and saw itk, they wouldn't be reviewing some random independent game. People have to become flight sim enthusiasts, they aren't born that way.

I never heard of X-Planes until I got here, even in here you don't hear about it much. That's because it's not marketed. Last time I was in Best Buy PF was taking 2 slots on the shelf, FB was taking up just as much. Those put together take up as much room as CFS3 and CFS2 combined. Multiply that by how many Best Buys their are, they do a big chunk of sales. Remember how Oleg has told us that the majority of players of this game play only online, he knows this because he would have access to sales figures. All these players that play offline only, chances are they wouldn't have bought the game if it wasn't on store shelves. Its a nice idea, and online distribution would be a great addition to over the counter sales, but I could never sustane a game with as much developer support as this one.

Aaron_GT
12-21-2004, 01:49 AM
Tagert wrote:
"Apples and Oranges.. In that IL2-PF/UBI store shelf life/space is not even close to MicroSofts as far as shelf presence.. And X-PLANE is not even close to IL2-PF with regards to game play on and offline."

No, the point is that X-Plane has small sales compared to FS2004 and the like despite it possibly being technical superior in many areas. It would likely sell more copies if you could see it in Comp USA, Best Buy, PC World, etc. Trying to sell IL2/PF online with no backup in terms of boxes on the shelves would likely mean lower sales for IL2/PF than currently.

My point on open source was that some have suggested that this is a convenient way of avoiding the trademark issues. It isn't.

Brock.Landers
12-21-2004, 03:31 AM
I've mixed feelings about EA.
On the one hand they have created some excellent software recently (look at how much the concepts in Battlefield 1942 are influencing other online shooters) and perhaps Oleg might find himself with the resources to fully realise his ideas.
On the other hand look at Pacific Assault, half finished derivative pap that was rushed out for Xmas, and you might justifiably worry about Oleg and our beloved IL-2 being part of the EA's yearly quantity-not-quality release schedule.

WOLFMondo
12-21-2004, 04:38 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TacticalYak3:
The bigger question is how does the flight sim community attract more gamers to its ranks? Pacific Fighters didn't accomplish this, did it? And for all the reasons why will only get worse as time goes on. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I know a number of guys I play other games with who've got FB/Aces/PF who saw the screen shots and some videos and bought it but once playing it were put off by several things:
Lack of a real tutorial/flight school option;
Lack of patience - flight sims are not pick up and play games and require quite allot of research and reading up on planes and tactics to get very far;
Online servers - They tend to cater for the medium to advanced skilled players and not the novice.


Not sure how EA investment could solve these issues directly, all they can do is market very well. Maybe if they gave 1C more development cash they could make a interactive flight school in BoB?

Aaron_GT
12-21-2004, 04:46 AM
The flight school idea is a good one.

Perhaps it is possible to even link this in with online play too? But you still have to cater for instant gratification.

So how about this as an idea:

You always have unrestricted access to QMB and single missions but to play in an online or offline campaign you have to go through the pilot's school.

After going through the school you are awarded a score which indicates which planes you are allowed to fly. E.g. if you do really well you get the option of flying a Spitfire, less well, a Hurricane, less good, a Defiant, less good still, a Blenheim. You can then start an appropriate campaign, but if you can later apply for a transfer to another unit if you are doing well enough.

Ok, it's not totally realistic, but it might mean that there is an incentive to go through the training school to unlock the possibility of flying a Spitfire in a campaign.

TacticalYak3
12-21-2004, 06:26 AM
Enjoy your thoughts guys. I guess there are two possibilities - there's enough folks to financially support Maddox Games with continued flight simulations, or, as Oleg himself has said/hinted, the profit margin is slim to none.

While Tagert's comments about interest in WW2 is why many of us older simmers love the realism and challenge of IL-2, I also agree that new/younger gamers can also fall in love in flight combat.

I think future sims need to be more user-friendly. While in time most folks can learn about all the "stuff," better menus, more game play options, more exciting/quick action missions, better documentation, a flight school (enhanced training video series); in short a more comprehensive approach to getting that interested newbie pass some of the learning curve before they get too frustrated with the game elements and/or flight combat itself.

And no none of this should affect playing the game the way we presently enjoy it - including full difficulty.

Regards,
TactS!

WOLFMondo
12-21-2004, 07:05 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
The flight school idea is a good one.

Perhaps it is possible to even link this in with online play too? But you still have to cater for instant gratification.

So how about this as an idea:

You always have unrestricted access to QMB and single missions but to play in an online or offline campaign you have to go through the pilot's school.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Im not sure about an online school thing, just a simple flight school, selectable from the main menu that includes all the things you need to learn in an interactive environment so new people can learn with tuition rather than guess work.

The markets there and theres money to be made from flight sims. BoB could be a real winner if it follows that IL2 has done but with a little more polish and investment from Ubi maybe to provide these things which encourage new comers.

Trouble is many gamers want instant gratification but flight sims do not offer that without some serious investment of time.

TAGERT.
12-21-2004, 10:51 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
No, the point is that X-Plane has small sales compared to FS2004 and the like <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Disagree, and imho it is due to what I said, i.e. X-PLANE is not even close to IL2-PF with regards to game play on and offline.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
despite it possibly being technical superior in many areas. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>One word BALANCE! Any sim maker can take 1 of the 1000 things needed to be done and do it better than anyone else if that is all they focus on. Targetware is a perfect example of that. But, that 1 thing wont make for a great sim that sells well.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
It would likely sell more copies if you could see it in Comp USA, Best Buy, PC World, etc. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Of corse, as with CFS3, if it is on the shelf some unknowing noob will buy it due to the pritty picture on the box. But, anyone who is remotly into combat flight sims wont buy it.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
Trying to sell IL2/PF online with no backup in terms of boxes on the shelves would likely mean lower sales for IL2/PF than currently. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Yup, but also much Much MUCH lower costs! And Ill bet that few sales to noobs and or casual buyers does not cover it imho.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
My point on open source was that some have suggested that this is a convenient way of avoiding the trademark issues. It isn't. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Agreed 100%

unclehubert
12-21-2004, 11:32 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Im not sure about an online school thing, just a simple flight school, selectable from the main menu that includes all the things you need to learn in an interactive environment so new people can learn with tuition rather than guess work.

The markets there and theres money to be made from flight sims. BoB could be a real winner if it follows that IL2 has done but with a little more polish and investment from Ubi maybe to provide these things which encourage new comers.

Trouble is many gamers want instant gratification but flight sims do not offer that without some serious investment of time. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

With all this talk of the learning curve of flight sims like FB/AEP/FB, does anyone know what the age demographic for users is? Are most sim pilots under 30, over 30?

I fondly (not really) remember my first introduction to flight simming on a PC. It was a black and white rendering of biplanes, with little periods as bullets, and essentially a damage model that was a stick figure(the plane) breaking apart...then there was an F/A 18 sim that wasn't much better and on and on.

Well, for me, this sim represents a HUGE improvement from the good ol' days, and I'm having a blast flying against others online. I love to see an opponent taking a "hit" from my cannon, the smoke trails etc etc. Overall, people are courteous and respectful and are having fun...which is what it's all about. Sure there are the occasional cheats who magically skip all over the sky, but all in all it's pretty darned good.

We owe Oleg and his compatriots a big "Thank You" for investing in what must be a labor of love...he is obviously in it for more than money, and I get irritated with the folks who constantly whine about this or that...Frankly, I would be perfectly happy if there wasn't another patch (go ahead ladies, flame me for that). Maybe it's because I don't really miss the stick figure biplanes!!

So, the question is: Am I a solo 47 year old playing out my own personal fantasy of flying in combat using WWII aircraft, or are there other old timers out there? Just curious...

Uncle Hubert

Snoop_Baron
12-21-2004, 11:50 AM
I completely agree with Tactical. Making this sim even more accessible to new players is very important.

I've introduced the sim to some of my friends that have no background in sims and play few if any video games. If I had not been there to help them get around the rough edges in this game they would never have gone out and purchased the game and gone on to enjoy it. So adding things like better training video and an interactive flight school and non-historical options like short mission lengths will go a long way to attract new players to this sim some of which will become tomorrows hardcore gamers http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif You don't need to turn IL2 into Crinsom Skies to increase its sales, but you can make it easier for a new player to get up to speed and start enjoying this fine sim. Actualy one of my friends I mentioned above also purchased Crinsome Skies and prefers IL2.

s!
Snoop

TROOPER117
12-21-2004, 12:01 PM
Hubert, you are not alone fellow veteran flyer!!
I'm 48 and I absolutely love the whole WWII air combat scene. Always have.
Like you I get fed up with all the back biting and whinging sometimes, and I also get frustrated when we are waiting for promised patches etc. But lets face it, the whole IL2 series is the best FS out there, and no matter what **** I hear out there, I will continue to use it, follow it etc, no matter who's running it! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

lbhskier37
12-21-2004, 12:25 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TAGERT.:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
No, the point is that X-Plane has small sales compared to FS2004 and the like <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Disagree, and imho it is due to what I said, i.e. X-PLANE is not even close to IL2-PF with regards to game play on and offline.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
despite it possibly being technical superior in many areas. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>One word BALANCE! Any sim maker can take 1 of the 1000 things needed to be done and do it better than anyone else if that is all they focus on. Targetware is a perfect example of that. But, that 1 thing wont make for a great sim that sells well.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
It would likely sell more copies if you could see it in Comp USA, Best Buy, PC World, etc. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Of corse, as with CFS3, if it is on the shelf some unknowing noob will buy it due to the pritty picture on the box. But, anyone who is remotly into combat flight sims wont buy it.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
Trying to sell IL2/PF online with no backup in terms of boxes on the shelves would likely mean lower sales for IL2/PF than currently. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Yup, but also much Much MUCH lower costs! And Ill bet that few sales to noobs and or casual buyers does not cover it imho.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
My point on open source was that some have suggested that this is a convenient way of avoiding the trademark issues. It isn't. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Agreed 100% <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Wow man, I hope your job doesn't involve marketing. You know many of us were "noobs" at one time and had never flown played flight sims. We all weren't born aces with computer joysticks in our hands http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

No matter how good a product is if you don't market it, it will fail.

Aaron_GT
12-21-2004, 01:10 PM
Tagert wrote:
"Disagree, and imho it is due to what I said, i.e. X-PLANE is not even close to IL2-PF with regards to game play on and offline"

Have you ever actually played X-Plane? The comparasion is with FS2004 not IL2/PF. I was comparing the relative sales of two different distribution ethos in the general aviation market. In the Combat Flight Sim market there isn't a direct equivalent as Aces High, Warbirds and Targetware are all MMPOGs. But X-Plane and FS2004 are essentially offline games with similar open architectures, scenery add ons, etc. so are comparable.

[... deletions ...]

"Yup, but also much Much MUCH lower costs!"

The point is that if the total profit is less then it isn't worth doing as the cost of programming, licensing designs from Grumman, etc., is essentially fixed. Hence my mention of X-Plane. X-Plane has pretty low distribution costs but does not make as much in the way of absolute profit. Distributing IL2/PF online could mean reduced costs AND reduced profits at the same time. In fact I think it is likely that it would mean just this.

The other analogy is with the likes of Roger McGuinn distributing his music himself via his website. The difference here is that he already has a loyal fan base going back 40 years and a well-known name to cash in on. Does IL2/PF have enough of a well-known name to manage this? I'd find it hard to say it does.

If I thought it was a model that would work given the current state of play in the gaming industry I'd say go for it, but it still relies on bricks-and-mortar stores and snap purchases in them for it to be a safe bet now. I could quite imagine that the state of play will have changed in 5 years, though. I don't think we're there quite yet, though.

Aaron_GT
12-21-2004, 01:11 PM
WolfMONDO:
I didn't mean an online flight school, but going through the offline process would give you credits for what you could do online. Basically I am thinking of the model that Americas Army uses.

BaldieJr
12-21-2004, 01:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by lbhskier37:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by TAGERT.:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
No, the point is that X-Plane has small sales compared to FS2004 and the like <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Disagree, and imho it is due to what I said, i.e. X-PLANE is not even close to IL2-PF with regards to game play on and offline.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
despite it possibly being technical superior in many areas. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>One word BALANCE! Any sim maker can take 1 of the 1000 things needed to be done and do it better than anyone else if that is all they focus on. Targetware is a perfect example of that. But, that 1 thing wont make for a great sim that sells well.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
It would likely sell more copies if you could see it in Comp USA, Best Buy, PC World, etc. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Of corse, as with CFS3, if it is on the shelf some unknowing noob will buy it due to the pritty picture on the box. But, anyone who is remotly into combat flight sims wont buy it.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
Trying to sell IL2/PF online with no backup in terms of boxes on the shelves would likely mean lower sales for IL2/PF than currently. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Yup, but also much Much MUCH lower costs! And Ill bet that few sales to noobs and or casual buyers does not cover it imho.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Aaron_GT:
My point on open source was that some have suggested that this is a convenient way of avoiding the trademark issues. It isn't. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Agreed 100% <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Wow man, I hope your job doesn't involve marketing. You know many of us were "noobs" at one time and had never flown played flight sims. We all weren't born aces with computer joysticks in our hands http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

No matter how good a product is if you don't market it, it will fail. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I just wanted to <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Originally posted by: BaldieJr
quote <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> some <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Originally posted by: BaldieJr
quotes <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> since it appears to be all the rage.

I seriously doubt that anyone even reads posts like these.

oFZo
12-21-2004, 01:53 PM
Ehm VFA-195 Moses, "Damubsters"? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

DuxCorvan
12-21-2004, 02:14 PM
Look, what happens with this kind of games is that they were a niche market... even when there was no market at all.

I explain myself: who are the main users of this game? People like me and hubert that were in love with old combat planes since ever. There's a full mythology around war machines and pilots from the old days, and most of us have always been devotes of it. It's something we learnt at home, inherited from our fathers or grampas, maybe war veterans, or simply guys that loved that atmosphere of air combat that owned plenty books at home and had the place full of scale model kits.

You have flown with your imagination, you have had dreams inside those tiny plastic pits, you have seen the illustrations in the books move, and you have run to watch TV when there was a documentary movie with Spitfires or Mustangs or Stukas or whatever...

Then you have that thing, a PC, 1Mb RAM, 286 processor, 20 Mb HD, and you see that thing in the computer store, that isn't one of those ugly text processors. It reads 'Their Finest Hour', and you see it allows you to pretend you're in a 109 or Spitfire, in real time, flying and fighting.

And you buy it, and a joystick, and you show it to your father, or your grampa, who also gets mad about the thing. And then, your free time changes forever.

So we're here, and we've walked a long range, with this incredible simulation.

This process, that has repeated a thousand times, can still be reproduced again? Sure! There are lots of young ones that love air machines, and the world of pre-missile air combat is as appealing as ever... but...

something has been lost. It's... maybe that illusion and the impression that the chance to fly a simulator offered to us, pre-PC people. And that's what the younger ones, grown amidst these things as if they had existed ever, can't appreciate in all its glory.

So it's necessary to renew the experience if we want to have our sims evolving in future... http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

TROOPER117
12-21-2004, 03:08 PM
Well said Dux!! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

NoBunny
12-21-2004, 03:14 PM
Ever have that feeling you've been cheated.

http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif