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bababooey

Maybe FM should not be released annually

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Forgive me if this has been discussed before but.  Does anyone else think that FM shouldn't be released annually anymore? 

Genuinely feeling like FM18 is a huge disappointment (see my review in the feedback thread) 

So I've heard rumblings that EA Sports is strongly considering ditching the year-to-year annual release model for its titles like Madden, NHL, and FIFA. 

Should SI consider that approach given the difficulty they seem to have with fixing issues? Particularly those within the core elements of the game? 

 

I'm basing my premise on the the following: 

As I understand it, the match engine is basically a zillion lines of code. As such, when you change one thing, it has a knock on effect of changing other things. Therefore, fixing problems tends to create more problems / it becomes very complicated. This explanation might be really crappy, but I'm no genius and this is how I understood what I've read. 

Obviously the match engine is the CORE of the game and its overall experience, outside of the UI / database.  However, many of the new features we are presented with each year don't have any impact on the match engine at all. Again, this goes back to the point about it being extremely difficult to actually change the match engine.  It's a lot easier for SI to come up with a medical center, or a pre-match tactical briefing than it is to stop players from punting crosses into the stands repeatedly (see the thread on "he certainly didn't mean that) for an example. 

I've also heard that an entirely new engine is ultimately what is required to move the game forward. If that's the case, then isn't it just putting lipstick on a pig to release this game annually in its current state? 

I mean, would anyone actually buy the new version of FM each year if they knew ahead of time that they'd still be frustrated by the same ongoing issues within the match engine?  Is part of the buying experience with this game the feeling that PERHAPS, just maybe this time it will be different?  

If SI offered an "update" that was basically:  UI refresh, squads/database + other small details  and sold it for .. let's say $10 USD, I would buy that in a heartbeat.  You could tell me that the ME would remain the same, that's it's being worked on for a future release, and in the meantime, I can stick to the FM17 ME (or whichever they feel is most stable) and pay the 10 dollars for the "update."  I'd be over the moon with that.  1. because it shows that there's value in updating the game, not just blowing it up and starting new and 2. because it would mean that the match engine improvements are that much more significant going forward. 

 

 

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This is all very subjective and it comes up year after year by people who are disappointed with the latest edition.

If you read the feedback without a filter you will see that there is everything from the best edition ever to the worst. 

I don't think that a two year release would change anything. After two years the expectation would increase and the chance for disappointment too. 

Beside that, the developers are working short and long term already. Some features are developed over a long period until they go into the game.

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FM will always released yearly, their business model depends on it. Asking them to release an update every other year etc at a 3rd of the price is at best naive, and at worst foolhardy. This debate comes up every year and the answer is the same: Not happening in the foreseeable future and unlikely to ever happen. 

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Saying:   "we hear this each year" doesn't make it less valid of a point.  

If anything, if your customers are consistently providing a type of feedback, wouldn't you want to at least look into it? 

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And every year it's the same logical conclusion. SI don't do it yearly, SI won't be in business any more. 

Of course, you can simulate the "not released annually" thing by buying it every 3 years. 

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1 minute ago, bababooey said:


Saying:   "we hear this each year" doesn't make it less valid of a point.  

If anything, if your customers are consistently providing a type of feedback, wouldn't you want to at least look into it? 

They review every feedback and every feature request. You are one customer out of how many? 

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5 minutes ago, bababooey said:


Saying:   "we hear this each year" doesn't make it less valid of a point.  

If anything, if your customers are consistently providing a type of feedback, wouldn't you want to at least look into it? 

The customer isn't always right. 

Let's just drastically slash revenue based on theory that it might help development... Which it wouldn't because the first impact would be a loss of development staff

Do people honestly think SI might not have already considered, and rejected such a plan for a reason, probably many reasons?

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Just now, KUBI said:

They review every feedback and every feature request. You are one customer out of how many? 

Of course I'm a small fish in a large ocean, I'm not naive.  I'm just curious to hear other people's thoughts.  Nothing more than that. 

I've happily purchased FM each year since 2011, and will continue to do so going forward despite my feelings on this year's release (so far. Updates may help!) 

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2 minutes ago, KUBI said:

They review every feedback and every feature request. You are one customer out of how many? 

Not a good attitude to have to a customer tbh. Think like this and you'll soon run out of customers.

Edited by Cap'nRad

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Just now, Cap'nRad said:

Not a good attitude to have to a customer tbh.

To review every feedback and every feature request is not a good attitude?

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5 minutes ago, monkeywool said:

Of course, you can simulate the "not released annually" thing by buying it every 3 years. 

Won't be the same because si's priorities might change with a different model than the yearly one.

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I get where the moderators are coming from, I really do.

I don't think the point of the post was to LITERALLY ask that SI release the game differently. 

The idea was for me to get to read others' opinions on this.  Really not anything controversial there!  

Especially since I'm a paying customer.  

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Just now, KUBI said:

To review every feedback and every feature request is not a good attitude?

To dismiss individual feedback because of it's individuality.

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3 minutes ago, Cap'nRad said:

Not a good attitude to have to a customer tbh. Think like this and you'll soon run out of customers.

We're all paying customers here.

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Just now, themadsheep2001 said:

Try again. We're all paying customers here. 

What does this mean? Genuinely.

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1 minute ago, Cap'nRad said:

To dismiss individual feedback because of it's individuality.

100 people buy something, 1 complains, 99 are happy. You won't change it for that one person. 

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We had such kind of threads after every release in the last years and they did never become that

3 minutes ago, Cap'nRad said:

To dismiss individual feedback because of it's individuality.

You can't make such a game for individuals, you always need a common sense on what is possible and what not.

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Just now, monkeywool said:

100 people buy something, 1 complains, 99 are happy. You won't change it for that one person. 

Exactly, unless of course you can help that person without impinging others 

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Genuinely feel bad for the moderators here because I think you guys have to defend the game and SI endlessly. 

Feel free to delete this post, I didn't intend to open a giant can of worms. 

I'm just genuinely interested in hearing what people think about this.  I'm not interested in debates over when a company should listen to feedback or etc. 

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2 minutes ago, monkeywool said:

100 people buy something, 1 complains, 99 are happy. You won't change it for that one person. 

If you have only 100 customers then you'd better change (improve) it if you want to grow more customers, or at least more goodwill with the current ones.

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2 minutes ago, themadsheep2001 said:

Exactly, unless of course you can help that person without impinging others

Yes, this is true as well. But to not consider customer feedback isn't good.

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And you have the amount of people complaining on the forums and the amount of people actually playing the game. It can't be that worse.

1 minute ago, bababooey said:

Genuinely feel bad for the moderators here because I think you guys have to defend the game and SI endlessly. 

Feel free to delete this post, I didn't intend to open a giant can of worms. 

I'm just genuinely interested in hearing what people think about this.  I'm not interested in debates over when a company should listen to feedback or etc. 

This thread is open for everyone. I'm also playing this game and I have a different view on your idea.

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3 minutes ago, KUBI said:

You can't make such a game for individuals, you always need a common sense on what is possible and what not.

Of course in order to decide if it's a good idea you need to review the feedback. The impression I got from your initial post is that SI can't do it because it's just one person. May have been the wrong impression?

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Just now, bababooey said:

Genuinely feel bad for the moderators here because I think you guys have to defend the game and SI endlessly. 

Feel free to delete this post, I didn't intend to open a giant can of worms. 

I'm just genuinely interested in hearing what people think about this.  I'm not interested in debates over when a company should listen to feedback or etc. 

If you think it's about defending then you've spectacularly missed the point. Id say the same, moderator or not. It makes zero sense as a business plan 

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1 minute ago, themadsheep2001 said:

If you think it's about defending then you've spectacularly missed the point. Id say the same, moderator or not. It makes zero sense as a business plan 

I understand from a business standpoint. I work in sales, I get it. 

I probably should have explained myself better. I'm just trying to say I feel bad that you guys have to come into a lot of these threads and swat down stupid opinions and comments.  That's all. 

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3 minutes ago, Cap'nRad said:

If you have only 100 customers then you'd better change (improve) it if you want to grow more customers, or at least more goodwill with the current ones.

100 customers was just an easy number to work with. I could have said a million if that makes you feel better? :D

EA are looking at a subscription type model from what I understand. Bold move if they do that. A lot of people I know would be willing to pay £8 a month for FIFA if it meant they wouldn't have to keep buying the game every year. 

Granted, with it being EA they'd probably go more MMO style and charge £8 a year then another £20 for an annual update or something. 

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Just now, Cap'nRad said:

Of course in order to decide if it's a good idea you need to review the feedback. The impression I got from your initial post is that SI can't do it because it's just one person. May have been the wrong impression?

Would you change the philosophy and the business model of your company, because of one customer who think it is wrong? There has to be a high demand for it.

One customer could post a very good idea in the feature request forum and bang, it's in the game. But that is something completely different. 

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2 minutes ago, bababooey said:

I understand from a business standpoint. I work in sales, I get it. 

I probably should have explained myself better. I'm just trying to say I feel bad that you guys have to come into a lot of these threads and swat down stupid opinions and comments.  That's all. 

It's not a stupid opinion. I mean I don't think it's workable, but it doesn't make it stupid, and it doesn't mean you shouldn't say it

I guess what I'm saying is that it's never as simple as listening to customers, too varied. Our needs often contradict each other and that of SI

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6 minutes ago, monkeywool said:

100 customers was just an easy number to work with. I could have said a million if that makes you feel better? :D

EA are looking at a subscription type model from what I understand. Bold move if they do that. A lot of people I know would be willing to pay £8 a month for FIFA if it meant they wouldn't have to keep buying the game every year. 

Granted, with it being EA they'd probably go more MMO style and charge £8 a year then another £20 for an annual update or something. 

Yeah a million disagreeing with one person is of course a different scenario, however, my main sentiment was that businesses should at least take care to listen to customers, even if they don't indulge them.

The subscription model is interesting, but I wonder if they'd actually gain money from it. Seeing as FIFA and the rest already sell massively. I wonder if fm would perform better or worse with such a model. No idea since I'm far from being any sort of businessman.

Edited by Cap'nRad

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2 minutes ago, monkeywool said:

100 customers was just an easy number to work with. I could have said a million if that makes you feel better? :D

EA are looking at a subscription type model from what I understand. Bold move if they do that. A lot of people I know would be willing to pay £8 a month for FIFA if it meant they wouldn't have to keep buying the game every year. 

Granted, with it being EA they'd probably go more MMO style and charge £8 a year then another £20 for an annual update or something. 

You are paying in the end a lot more for subscriptions models, that's why they are that popular for companies. For a game like FM you could release an updated database every month. At the moment there are three free releases. If you compare the gametime with other games, FM is probably one of the cheapest games available.

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3 minutes ago, themadsheep2001 said:

It's not a stupid opinion. I mean I don't think it's workable, but it doesn't make it stupid, and it doesn't mean you shouldn't say it

I guess what I'm saying is that it's never as simple as listening to customers, too varied. Our needs often contradict each other and that of SI

I'm curious, why don't you think it's workable? I think it might lose money in the short term but gain a lot of customers long term, kinda like netfilx and hulu and the rest f other subscription based models.

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@bababooey

A good example here is your huge desire for them to really focus on the core, (something I agree with in many ways personally)

But equally I could show you users who would consider that a deal breaker. Users who give SI flak for not enough new features 

Who wins out?

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1 minute ago, Cap'nRad said:

I'm curious, why don't you think it's workable? I think it might lose money in the short term but gain a lot of customers long term, kinda like netfilx and hulu and the rest f other subscription based models.

I don't think SI are big enough to swallow a short term fall off like that. I also think there are too many users who are new features as a necessity when it comes to purchasing, meaning further loss. All conjecture but when you look this forum as a small sample it's so split when you talk about features vs core 

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1 minute ago, Cap'nRad said:

Yeah a million disagreeing with one person is of course a different scenario, however, my main sentiment was that business should at least take care of their customers, even if they don't indulge them.

The subscription model is interesting, but I wonder if they'd actually gain money from it. Seeing as FIFA and the rest already sell massively. I wonder if fm would perform better or worse with such a model. No idea since I'm far from being any sort of businessman.

Problem with a subscription model is getting people to sign up and keep paying long term. So many people would just play for a month or two and stop. This means you would get something like £16 (based on £8) a month rather than the full RRP you'll get from the retailer for every copy they buy from you. (Not sure of the number, but for argument sake let's say £30 for a £50 game, based on the retailer getting just below 35% which is the upper scale of average in the UK)

So if you sell 15m copies you currently get £30 per copy, but if you sell 15m copies and most people leave after a month or two you lose profit, especially as you'll have to set up a billing department, customer services etc. 

The gains are much more though. For people who play for the full year, you'll rinse them for £96 a year instead of £30. 

You'd have to be really sure that your playerbase will play and pay subs for more than x number of months to make sure everything is viable. It's risky. 

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7 minutes ago, themadsheep2001 said:

@bababooey

A good example here is your huge desire for them to really focus on the core, (something I agree with in many ways personally)

But equally I could show you users who would consider that a deal breaker. Users who give SI flak for not enough new features 

Who wins out?

 

That's a fair point. I would imagine the winner would be whoever has a view for the game that most closely represents SI's view.  

And of course it would beg the question:  What's more important to Football Manager? Features like "pre-match tactical briefing / medical center / players coming out as gay / etc."  OR even more resources devoted towards making the UI and Match Engine as strong as reasonably possible.  

I'm sure that's a question that cannot be answered. At least not here anyway. 

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Apart from the obvious lack of appeal of roughly halving revenues, I find it hard to believe the development of the match engine would benefit from not being tested by a large audience for 24 months...

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12 minutes ago, KUBI said:

You are paying in the end a lot more for subscriptions models, that's why they are that popular for companies. For a game like FM you could release an updated database every month. At the moment there are three free releases. If you compare the gametime with other games, FM is probably one of the cheapest games available.

Yup, but at the same time you have more overheads and no guarantees you'll get the money you're used to from the customers. Plus it's harder to plan and develop for the future when you don't know exactly what budget you'll get. It's doable - as Blizzard and Square Enix show. Doing it on a sports title though, that'd be a bit more tricky. You'd have to tie in licences for multiple years for a start. There'd be a lot of uproar if you lose the licence 4 years in and people suddenly have all their authenticity disappear. Or even their league just vanish.  

Not an issue for EA i'd feel, but for SI, a bit more of a concern. 

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There's a budget for every game. Decide to release it every 2nd or 3rd year and the yearly budget gets cut by 50% or 66%. WE lose in this situation.

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I think the poster who said just wait to buy it every 2 years pretty much ends this thread. If you want roster updates you can always download that from somewhere. There is no actual benefit I see to have them not release the title every year. If they release it every 2 years thats less resources they have to put into the game and with that being the case its a lose lose.  Just buy it every other year and you get what you want.

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1 hour ago, FootballManager89 said:

I think the poster who said just wait to buy it every 2 years pretty much ends this thread. If you want roster updates you can always download that from somewhere. There is no actual benefit I see to have them not release the title every year. If they release it every 2 years thats less resources they have to put into the game and with that being the case its a lose lose.  Just buy it every other year and you get what you want.

Pretty much spot on.

Whenever this argument is brought up it's treated as this magic bullet, like somehow we'd get this amazing game at the end of each 2 year cycle, when really we would get exactly the same game we always would have had.  In fact, moving to a 2 year cycle would probably be far worse for all parties.  We as users would have to wait 2 years for any "new" content, and SI essentially halve their profits.  I don't have inside information, but from the way they talk, I believe SI begin working on the next title to a serious degree after the big update falls in January/February.  They'll obviously have ground-work laid before then, but the vast majority likely join the project then.  It'll likely be considered "complete" a couple of months before the planned release (so, mid-to-late September possibly?) with testing and further development based on that coming in that period.  All that would happen if we added another year to the cycle is that you could double each window.  You can say that more testing means less bugs, but they've also had more development time, so there's more to test.  In fact, I'd probably expect more bugs in that case.  They'll still have their roadmap, and roughly where they want to be in x years, so if they skipped FM19 and released FM20, it would probably look exactly the same or worse than if they released both.  

If anyone who thinks this is a good idea would like to put forward any tangible benefits for any parties that make any sense, I'd love to hear them.

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11 hours ago, themadsheep2001 said:

@bababooey

A good example here is your huge desire for them to really focus on the core, (something I agree with in many ways personally)

But equally I could show you users who would consider that a deal breaker. Users who give SI flak for not enough new features 

Who wins out?

Which indeed is far more curious than any business model, though both are linked -- anually releases can do this much, has never been different on any series. The "target audience" to this is a bit schizophrenic, to say the least. If the devs of Hearts Of Iron would pump the majority of their resources into AI development, added more flesh and meat to its simulation bones and made its economic models more rich/rewarding, every HOI player would goo hooray. On FM not only is (or used to be) a significant amount of resources spend on alternative game modes (which I still welcome including user customization in the form of ass mans, match plans, optionally feedback, everything) -- every time something happens on that front you get masses of knee-jerk reactions from guys who hold 20 years old DOS games as their Gold Standard, and for which a commence to end of season/promotion button would probably a decent thing to ponder about (I'd totally add that in if I were SI). Too bad those games exist already and won't go away.

Not that anybody is right/wrong in their expectations. After all, the counter point to this would be, when does a simulation game become a chore and job? Point being, balancing in between such extremes must be a challenge indeed, annual release or otherwise.  :brock:

Edited by Svenc

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Will nver happen. £££$$$

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you can CHOOSE not to buy them yearly. Like me.

I skipped FM17. and tried FM18 demo and did not like it, and i'll be skipping it too.

No one is forcing you to buy.

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34 minutes ago, upthetoon said:

you can CHOOSE not to buy them yearly. Like me.

I skipped FM17. and tried FM18 demo and did not like it, and i'll be skipping it too.

No one is forcing you to buy.

Just to play devil's advocate: Don't you think that SI would change the way they develop the game if it would not be released yearly, but let's say every three years? E.g. focus more on larger, long term developments rather than focussing on tweaking smaller elements? That it would be a way different scenario than buying a game every three years that's released annually? It doesn't seem to be the same thing to me.  I'm not saying that it would be a smart business model, just philsophizing here. 

N.b.: I don't know the first thing about software development.

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27 minutes ago, Schotsmannetje said:

Just to play devil's advocate: Don't you think that SI would change the way they develop the game if it would not be released yearly, but let's say every three years? E.g. focus more on larger, long term developments rather than focussing on tweaking smaller elements? That it would be a way different scenario than buying a game every three years that's released annually? It doesn't seem to be the same thing to me.  I'm not saying that it would be a smart business model, just philsophizing here. 

N.b.: I don't know the first thing about software development.

Purely hypothetically, if they moved to every 3 years, they might change, but I wouldn't imagine it would be hugely.  Although they release every year, they have their long-term vision that you could consider as a much longer cycle.  I don't think a 2 year gives quite enough time to change too much.  At the same time, it'd probably be quite easy to get lost in the churn of all the things they would plan to do.  I'd imagine the number of tickets (or whatever they use to track) for one release is huge, so to deliver something that's worth 3 years of work would be a logistical challenge.  I'm not convinced you get a huge amount of benefit from essentially skipping the release phase.

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It seems to me that the sales data of each version goes in the opposite direction. The public wants the FM version every year.

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