What do you expect when you buy a game?



  • I have a question (several, actually) -- when a publisher releases a game, do you feel that they owe you, the players of that game, updates to the game in perpeptuity?

    How many updates do they owe you for the money you paid for the original game?

    Do they owe you more than a bug-free version of the game as it was originally presented?

    Do they owe you continual support/updates without you paying any more for this?

    Do they owe you a sequel to the game, no matter how well the original did?

    Do they owe you a sequel even if the original author of the game is not interested in doing that himself?

    Do they owe it to you to release the source code to the game as open source?

    Should a game developer/publisher ignore financial motivations (and thus possibly face bankruptcy or at least a weak business model resulting in less captial for the next project) in order to appease their customers in the above scenarios?

    I'm curious where people think the line is drawn... what you expect to get for your money.

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    Andrew Welch / el Presidente / Ambrosia Software, Inc.



  • I can't believe I'm replying, but I will.
    When a publisher releases a game, do you feel that they owe you, the players of that game, updates to the game in perpeptuity?
    Updating should be done constantly, but I don't feel anyone owes me anything.
    How many updates do they owe you for the money you paid for the original game?
    More updates, the better. Just don't get carried away... I don't know about money. I use my moms Visa card. I rarely look at the price.
    Do they owe you more than a bug-free version of the game as it was originally presented?
    Sure. I'd like more action. Just don't replace. Add.
    Do they owe you continual support/updates without you paying any more for this?
    I'd sure like that...
    Do they owe you a sequel to the game, no matter how well the original did?
    Depends. If everythings on the original game, then there shouldn't be a need fo a sequel, but a sequel sounds great.
    Do they owe you a sequel even if the original author of the game is not interested in doing that himself?
    If you ever look in the Constitution, you know you don't have to.
    Do they owe it to you to release the source code to the game as open source?
    ???
    Should a game developer/publisher ignore financial motivations (and thus possibly face bankruptcy or at least a weak business model resulting in less captial for the next project) in order to appease their customers in the above scenarios?
    If it causes bankruptcy, of course not. But if it doesn't, be my guest.

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    Adzy
    Azdgari Visionary, Leader of Squadron Firebird, Garit Fleet Commander, Azdara Stunt Pilot

    Azdgari Carrier


    Destructo Beam
    Pheonix Torpedoes



  • Personally, I am mostly interested in seeing Ambrosia continue to exist as a publisher of independent games. What does Ambrosia owe us? If you can stay in business making Mac games, you are fulfilling your half of the bargain.

    I infer from your line of questions that you would like to try to make the business model match the audience expectation to the extent it is possible.

    In that case my opinions are...
    A publisher should produce a (basically) bug-free version of the title as originally presented. If you keep things running under OS9 and OSX, that's gravy.

    If you add features, it would be reasonable to charge for updates, but I would not be likely to purchase an update unless it was rather significant. For example, add networking to EV=you get my money; add surround sound to EV=you get my sympathy.

    Owing the public a sequel...? I would be really surprised to see anyone make this claim. I loved Cythera, but I would not expect a publisher to followup on a title unless it was comercially viable, and I hear that C. was not such a strong seller.

    Open source... This is a great way to generate the loyalty of fanatics. But the general public is likely not going to appreciate the generousity of such a gesture (unfortunately)

    I have great respect for the way that Ambrosia and crew have conducted business over the years and I hope this helps.

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    ouch! that bomb hurt.



  • (QUOTE)Originally posted by andrew:
    (B)I have a question (several, actually) -- when a publisher releases a game, do you feel that they owe you, the players of that game, updates to the game in perpeptuity?

    How many updates do they owe you for the money you paid for the original game?

    Do they owe you more than a bug-free version of the game as it was originally presented?

    Do they owe you continual support/updates without you paying any more for this?

    I purchase more shareware than commercial games. What I feel owed is a bugfree game (or free updates that fix bugs),
    technical support (email is sufficient) when I am having difficulty getting a game to operate correctly.

    Free updates and "add on's" are appreciated free but not expected. (They do encourage my loyalty!)

    Sequels, new versions, etc., I expect to pay for. (Once again, discounts for original version registers are appreciated but
    certainly not expected.)

    I expect to pay for hint books and other items that have publishing costs.

    Although I think very few people would appreciate source code, I did send in a registration for Apeiron after using "alternate"
    versions created by people not associated with Ambrosia.

    In the end, I greatly appreciate Ambrosia's support of and software for the Mac. I put this support in money by registering.
    I expect that anybody deserves to earn a profit for their work.



  • Andrew,

    If I pay you, you owe me a bug-"free" version. If you can't deliver on this, I'm happy enough if you do what you can to provide me with workarounds to the bugs.

    Beyond this point, you don't owe me anything. If you can afford to give stuff away, like add-ons, or this forum, that's fine.

    I tend not to upgrade software (especially games), unless there's a signifigant feature or two, that I really want. The ability to script my own game in the Cythera framework, for example. Sometimes a discount will entice me ("Swoop II will cost $10 less for registered owners of Swoop.").

    Please don't promise anything you can't deliver on - like "free sequels every 2 weeks for life !!! " as this tends to generate ill-will toward the company. Also, try not to be bought out by Microsoft, as this will cause us all a lot of worry.

    John Rawlins (url="http://"http://rainbowdragon.com")http://rainbowdragon.com(/url)



  • Thank goodness I'm registering Cythera next week, but until then, the game has gotten boring. I can't talk to Timon, I can't get all the Saphire books, boring boring boring. I can't even solve the grapevine mission! Crippleware, Andrew, this is just Crippleware.

    And also, when I registered Apieron a couple months ago, it took quite a while to get a reply. How about getting a bit faster service?

    Also, Apeiron still doesn't work with my USB game contoller! What's up with that?

    Also, you really need to make some kind of Trivia game. They're the craze. Ever heard of the game: Score a Million? My mom and I are going to register that after we register Cythera.



  • Okay, I think updates are nice, and discounts on sequels are great too, but I'd never expect ANY company- even Ambrosia, Shareware of the Gods- to give me free sequels or free upgrades. I would be willing to pay an extra fee for support and updates, so long as it were not too steep. As for the open source code, I can't understand why there would be a strong demand for that, but with some more popular programs like Snapz and EV, I think it would be great to get that sort of thing going. I'm still waiting on a networkable, 3D EV Override...

    Well, there's my load of hot air.

    -Zel



  • For the basic registration fee, I would expect a bug-free game, with patches to cover any remaining bugs.
    In this regard, I would consider a lot of the NPC behavior to be buggy (see my recent post).
    Also, little things like allowing the player to edit a memo in the notepad without deleting and re-writing; and something marking the two-handed sword as a two-handed sword so the player doesn't buy it thinking that it is one-handed; and making it so when you ask Timon about various archeological specimens other than the ones he currently has messages for, he doesn't just say "It looks like a" (whatever you saw when you put the mouse over it).

    Supplements (like an additional set of quests) I would pay for, but not more than $5 unless it essentially amounted to a sequel.

    Minor upgrades (like adding a skill that lets you cancel a spell and get the MP back, and one that lets you reabsorb a rune, and providing additional archetypes, and letting you buy a cart or pack animal for large loads), which bridge the gap between supplement and remedy? If you bundled a lot of them together it would be worth paying for; otherwise, no.

    Any of these that are put into the basic package once they have been written should be free for those who have already registered (if you don't, people will look at any little annoying things in the game and figure if they wait just a little bit longer that bug will be fixed for free, while if they register now they'll need to pay for it). Those which remain separate make sense to charge for... but withholding needed upgrades in this manner would just annoy.

    Luke

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