Why WWIIOL (Battleground Europe) is nearly dead
Yes, I said it, WWIIOL is nearly dead. It lay on the table with IV’s in each arm, pain killers pumping through out its system, and closest family in the room over seeing the last few breaths.
It is a sad deal, but to one of the thousands of players that have “been around a while” it’s nothing of a shock. You see, WWIIOL has been dieing for YEARS. Sort of a slow death with not so many signs of pain either. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the last couple years have been pain filled. Forum rumbles, mass quitting, staff leaving, server crashing, game instability, and the ever important “shut up there is nothing wrong” attitude shoved in the player base faces during it were the neon lighted signs of the time. But before the last couple years it was pretty good times.
Enough about what we already know. Now on to the cause of this…..
These are just opinions of mine, but some pretty strong indicators turned me to writing this report and stating these items. I’m not a professional writer as you can already see, but I still wanted to point out some things that might be used yet to save some aspect of the game or some other game/community teetering on the edge of death.
CRS is ultimately responsible. There is no way around it. Its missteps, blindness, and stubbornness are the #1
reasons this game is nearly dead.
You see, in any business, you must have a solid core to work with. From this core foundation you can build an empire on. CRS had this I believe and worked on the building quite well for many years. At some point though, they fell into the thinking that they knew it all, or at least that is how they were perceived by the community, after all they were the first MMORG large scale map game developers right!!! The requests of long time players and really the overall community fell upon deaf ears. Yes, you see, CRS was not in the wrong, ever (in their own minds). They brushed it off as a “few” upset people that got killed online over and over to many times and were just venting. Yes, that’s it! It’s not us, they thought, its just those stupid people out there (our customers). “F” them, they are not programmers or marketing majors……..we are smarter then they!
Well, that perceived thinking went on for 4 years. More people barked, so that meant there just were more crazy people out there trying to kill off CRS and its ultimate game that would never die.
The problems that the community saw and seen coming were there and are what the game is dealing with now. CRS dug a huge hole for itself and in some respect are still blaming the community for its woes.
The lack of players does not have anything to do with lack of community support. Being around 10 years is proof enough you had support, CRS. You had builders (some didn’t even get their statues). The lack of players is directly related to your opaque and most times offensive approach to any criticisms you received about your game or your staff. Its similar to a restaurant severing bad meal after bad meal and when someone complained about the meal and the prices you yell back at them, call them names, and then shut the door on them and have someone else tape their mouths shut.
That is horrible customer service. And many many former customers were treated that way. Another horrible way to keep people around. The funny part is this, for what? To muzzle people that were pointing you in the direction of what needed to be changed. But CRS would not listen. At this point they were still not in the wrong.
You ignored HUGE game issues and perused “easy” eye candy updates hoping you’d trick people to hang around longer and help fund this “game”. You even managed to draw up some “americans” and post it all over the place to gain more people, a gamble that did not work out. Sort of like borrowing money to build on to your shop but never having the cash flow to afford the payment on the initial loan….then going in and talking the banker into a “little more money” because “we are close to turning the bend”.
WRONG. Bad gamble. You never turned the bend.
You promised and again, your promise fell short. The Americans are STILL NOT IN GAME and you are still ironing out stability issues and some sort of political axis situation with the Americans entering the real map. No Americans but the axis get new semi autos to add to all their toys already in the game for YEARS!
What a mess. More people leave. Less people come and stay. Your employees start to get nervous and leave (move on to better things).
Now we get to the point where the business cannot even do the work anymore because times are so bad. CRS begs those that they nearly choked out 4 years prior (the squads) to help manage, control, and train the flow of new people to the game. The bad thing is that this flow of noobs from the terrible placements of advertising (limited) brought in the worst assortment of people maybe in the history of the game. Numbers of retained people had to be horribly low, as they were never published. From my understanding maybe 1 out of 100 or so stayed and ended up paying some sort of sub costs. But at least you can brag and post graphs (terrible graphs) about number of new people inflow.
This leads to that lovely sub costs. The highest anywhere. Did we mention all the sever issues and dropped promises?? Now we want to charge $17.99 for it. Yeah, we know, you COULD get it cheaper….you just got to sign up for a year or so and that way CRS could burn through you money fast still trying to pay that intial loan from the crazy banker off on the gamble that did not “turn the bend”.
Yes, that’s it. Help us pay for our mistakes and just deal with a game that isn’t running well. DON’T YOU WANT YOUR GAME TO LIVE!!!!!! (that come back got old quick).
So, some still pay and hope for better days. Several hopeful “this will save us” tries were made (that china mess and RA) but the reality of it all and something that was known by all involved is that the numbers were failing, miserably. It was dieing and dieing fast.
So, as the game is laid down on the ER bed….and its breath is slow and heavy panic sets in on the family. Suddenly confession is a good idea. Maybe it will save them. Maybe having everyone donate will bring a miracle. Maybe more money will save it now. Maybe. Maybe not.
But, money will only save jobs for a while. The end is near. We all will pass in time. This game is just going to beat us all at it. Money is not going to save it. Numbers would but CRS has chased all the good ones away. New younger kids don’t want this type of play. Not in mass numbers anyways. Plus, it’s really nothing new. It’s the same game and same graphics just in a different box and different map area. It’s the same thing you cannot sell on WWIIOL Campaign side…..but you’ve masked it well.
Maybe trying to break neck market to some short attention span kids will keep the oxygen on another year, but at sometime it might be best to let it pass. It would be more humane. Better for the family. Better for the community.
You guys let the game die 4 years ago. I commend you for trying to save it now that is so close to being dead. I imagine all family do that when their close ones go or are close to going. I’ve seen it in my family. But I say just let it go. Maybe that’s what it wants.
You should have listened to your community earlier and been more open to them earlier. Not chased squads away and killed squad play. You should have had a better community leader and customer support team….since the customers pay your wage and pay for your hobby of making this game and making it work and stay working. You should muzzled DOC and kept him from the eyes of the public and the ears of them to. He’s one of the most rude and asinine people I’ve ever talked to at times and really made your company look horrible in the forums, on the main page, and in gamers forums. I personally had 15 people hooked on this game that all left directly because of DOCs posts.
Now all of a sudden you want to show everyone where you are at and why you need what you are asking of them. Partially because that is the legal way to ask for donations and show disclosure, but the other part is now you are starting to get it. The community was not so dumb after all.
I hope praying or whatever you are doing now saves your game. I still cannot believe you are now begging for more money from those that you’ve treated so poorly over the years. I also cannot believe you’ve gotten suckers to stick their heads out to give money. Maybe your new community guy is doing his job. Maybe not.
If things fail I hope CRS learns from it on their next venture. Nazi Zombie Reign or whatever is in the works. Keep the sub cost low so people can afford it and continue to afford it. $18 is to much and asking for a whole year commitment is to much also. Don’t chase people away and don’t act like a dictatorship to your concerned customers. Gagging them only makes them more upset and less likely to ever help you in the future. It did in my case.
S! Good luck