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richiespeed13

Why Arma 2 has a small market

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The ideas you talk about are very social-networking/community oriented which is where all major companies (not just game companies) are directing their attention, not just because it is effective but also relatively cheap and great representation.
But small game companies should be the first in this realm! Precisely because they don't have the budgets for big promotion, this is ideally suited for them, like guerrilla warfare. A small, agile company that has a great product should totally conquer the social-networking / community world and show the way to other companies.

But "great product" is precisely the problem. In the end, we shouldn't even be having this discussion. We all feel like this could be an awesome game, it certainly has all the programming and creative brainpower behind it. But it has been done sloppily. And even worse - it's still in this condition two months after premiere.

We all want to love it, but w just can't.

However, in case BIS comes to terms with its problems and wishes someone to help them build up their community efforts, I would like to recommend my humble self. :]

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I think a small contributing factor in it all is that the ARMA community is about as welcoming as punch to the face. People who have joined here, either before or after the game was out to perhaps make contact with other clans/people who are playing or came here because certain aspects of the game was confusing to then are, on the whole greeted with a large dose of "fuck off cod noob" attitude.

There are people here that don't want this game to become mainstream and would love it if it was just a few people playing it so long as they can remain on their self appointed pedestal where they can cast e-derision on anyone who, god forbid played a game not on their "approved" list. These people are now on a list of a different kind, My ignore list. Which sadly had come into use for the first time in a very long time.

I'm a member of a lot of forums and do a lot of promotion for our clan and this is by far the most hostile place I have ever frequented, I'll stick with it though cause I like the game and underneath I think your all made of cream :p

This.

They want to remain this game as sim as possible.

Even people say the speed of the game is too fast... go figure.

What they dont know is that too much sim is no fun for a game.

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@[=DD=] Luhgnut

Well thats you own oppinion. I would say ARMA1 was playble since patch 1.08(mid 2007) and almost bug free with patch 1.14(mid 2008). So they fixed the game 1 year before the release of ARMA2.

@cjsoques

Here is living proof, this guy bought a BI game that he didn't enjoy at all and than still bought a second BI game. :)

Haha, to be clear, I bought OFP back when it was released, didn't get expansions, bought ARMA1 twice (retail and download, didn't get useless addon), bought ARMA2, then bought OFP Gold since I lost my old OFP key, to compare with current progress in ARMA2 (OFP Gold was actually a ton of fun!)

Like I've said before, it's the only game like it out there and I'm willing to support it until there is someone else and beats them at their own game.

Also, I'm more patient than my friends when it comes to games/sims :)

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Same reason Falcon 4.0 and Black Shark and IL-2 have "small" markets. They are hard simulations (if you do it right). The bulk of the "game" buying public don't want difficult.

Simulations will always be a niche market. And that ain't really a bad thing. :D

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No the problem is not to less PR, i find it was a bit to much for ArmAII (all the time spent for the pre release videos could be spent in the game itself).

I think the problem with the popularity is much simpler. The most gamer simply doesn't care about this genre.

Well they did with Operation Flashpoint. Sure it's about 7 years ago, but i don't think that gaming genre has changed so much. Tactical shooters seems to sell well, people lust for shooting things.

Problem here is that OFP was cheer success which had loads of great reviews, while it seems that ArmAs are both doomed to be just good games in reviews, which is directly influenced to sales. Partially reason is that level has increased, OFP at it's time was one of those rare games where you had iron sights and basics of being realistic set. Now days every shooter fills those requirements rather well, competion is hard and level generally is high.

Sure simulators don't sell well, but luckily for BIS ArmA is tactical shooter. Flight sims and other vehicles simulators haven't never sold well as not many people want spent so much time with game to learn even the basics. ArmA doesn't need 400 pages of user manual.

Edited by Second

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Same reason Falcon 4.0 and Black Shark and IL-2 have "small" markets. They are hard simulations (if you do it right). The bulk of the "game" buying public don't want difficult.

Simulations will always be a niche market. And that ain't really a bad thing. :D

The problem with this game is that it really isn't as "SIM" as one would think.

Sure the infantry and associated weapons are modeled quite well but everything else is quite pathetic. But this is really a game with an open environment where nearly anything is possible, if done right, but...

-The vehicle physics/modeling are non-existent, even to arcade level, GTA4 does a much better job in the way a car actually behaves, There'd be crashes all over the roads if cars drove like they did in OFP/ARMA

-The airplane physics/modeling are non-existent. Both helicopters and aircraft do no behave nearly as they should, not even close. It's great to have them to fly around in but they just don't feel real at all. I do have to say they did do a better job with helos that fixed-wing though

-The AI is more A than I if you get my drift. They seem to do unpredictable things which is nice but they do them in irrational manners which is not nice. For example driving into trees, mid-air crashing, irrational troop movements

-General physics are just FUBAR

What this game does have for it is:

+Truly open environment

+Limitless scenario possibilities

+Large scale dynamic warfare

The pros are also their biggest obstacles to overcome, but do not think that this game is up to a SIM level as DCS Black Shark or Falcon 4, the systems in ARMA2 (including the infantry aspect) do not even come close to the complexity of these sims.

If done right, there could have been allowable modes for ARMA that allow for easy access and not difficult play, while at the same time allowing for complexities if you want them.

ARMA2 could have really been a game that all would like without sacrificing the above aspects that have it going for it. I'm sorry if you think this game is a SIM, but it just really isn't when you look at the individual Unit behavior level.

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OFP had Resistance which was a very good expansion. We got a great campaign, new Island and units and was a huge boost to the game. Arma had QG which I never even played and didnt seem to match Resistance in depth and quality. Arma II needs its own version of Resistance at the same level of quality and new content and the "niche" will be well preserved.

When Arma came out there was alot of interest from new users at the start and then they were gone.

This time around the new users seem to be sticking around a bit longer but soon enough there will be another drop out factor and we will be left with only the more devoted hard core fan base with reduced numbers, less posts, less servers and so on.

This games great asset is the community that uses, modifies and supports it. Lets find a way to keep the community going and keep our numbers up. Theres alot of new users mixed with old here and we shouldnt be bickering but helping each other out. Veterans can help explain to newbies how they make the game more enjoyable despite certain issues. Newbies can give their feedback in a constructive way and come up with new ideas and perspectives to help improve the game. Its a win win people.

Those who are so bitterly dissapointed in Arma II should probably leave unless they are willing to try to be constructive and a good part of the community.

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I didn't read the whole thread but to me it looks so:

ArmA (partly nonrealistic things like Javelin aiming, no official flir) but realistic and tough to play.

OFP:DR will be a better COD: Realistic looking Shooter (Javelin, atmosphere) but easy to play. Look at Youtube, there are many players waiting for OFP:DR, not because ArmA II isn't beautiful, but it is too sophisticated for them.

And there are many player outthere which like movie-like action games, where faults can be forgiven. The original OFP Series - which ArmA and ArmA 2 ensues - is more frustrating dying as a result of your own faults.

But despite of learnable tactics: the ArmA series got a huge community making Addons Missions etc. And it is flexible to the community ideas like submarines, nukes etc (none knows about the future of ofp:dr)

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I'm not sure who is responsible for advertising, is it the developer or the publisher? As far as I can recall there was a bit of stuffing about with who was going to publish Arma2 in which countries and when it was going to come out. That can't have helped.

I don't think the dribs and drabs, ad hoc manner in which Arma2 was realsed helped at all, regardless of who's responsible for advertising.

I think judging from the state Arma2 was released in, with German customers paying for the privilege to beta-test, and the state it is in now (have a look at the 1.03 satisfaction thread), it's fairly obvious BIS aren't that interested in developing, promoting or selling the game.

BIS were comparitively silent during development of the game, and their silence is deafening now, when so many people have reported such major problems playing the game. Not a word.

The development of the game was sloppy, organisation of the release was sloppy, the game is sloppy, no surprise the advertising/PR is sloppy.

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I have a sense there are people that are really passionate about this and are putting a lot of creativity and soul into this.

I would have to disagree there. Its been stated that there was no real interest when Armed assault was in prodution, that game was made solely to make money to fund armaII. Now seeing for myself the state ArmAII was released in, and the state it remains in after three patches.

I've come to the decision that BIS are not interested in making military games. They know they have a stable fan base, with which to milk money from, when there coffers are running low. So what do they do, they do what they do best, and thats just rehash the older game and add a few extra features. Oh and lets not forget the bugs, it wouldnt be a BIS game if it didn't have the same old bugs from 2001....

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Yeah, whos running this mickey mouse operation. Its a good beta and all, and it was worth my 50 bucks. I even bought a copy for my other computer but common lets get the ball rolling and finish up the game. More interaction with the community would be a start. Is it just me or does it seem like there is a bit of a language and cultural barrier here?

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Hundreds of bugs.

Piss- poor frame rates.

Constant errors and mission restarts due to CTD and bugs.

Unfinished game.

More bugs.

Extremely poor optimisation for hi-end pc rigs.

You probably see why this game does'nt sell that well.

It's a pity but BIS has'nt learnt from ARMA1 whatsoever.

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If done right, there could have been allowable modes for ARMA that allow for easy access and not difficult play, while at the same time allowing for complexities if you want them.

I agree with this. But one persons level of difficult and someone elses is quite arbitrary. I would (in general) say that most of the people POSTING real problems as opposed to just reading the forums, are more advanced combat gamer. So let's say these people are "above average" or "un-noobie". These players are the hard-core. They WANT hard core. They don't want a standard hallway shooter. So they DEMAND a higher level of immersion.

The PROBLEM is that all the problems you described are a serious negative to the game, and the immersion level we all want and BIS wants, vanishes when you start witnessing all the glaring problems. The SIM then becomes a game. Gone are the cool tactics and simulation aspect. You then have to switch from a tactical sim player to a hallway gamer. Meaning, you get all into the sim side and grand scale, but up close, to the enemy, and controlling your squad became very game-ish. It changes from being a SIM to a bad hallway game. You come out of the immersion and then play it like a game. Wonder if this makes sense.

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The problem with this game is that it really isn't as "SIM" as one would think.

Sure the infantry and associated weapons are modeled quite well but everything else is quite pathetic. But this is really a game with an open environment where nearly anything is possible, if done right, but...

Arma2 is a sim in every aspect. for those who are Falcon 4.0 lovers will understand what i mean.

In the end its the objective of Arma2 that makes it a sim, not its individual parts. Even the most hard core "Sim", as we think of them, have non sim elements.

Take Falcon 4.0 for example, considered to be the most hard core sim you have. yet even it has "hit" points as a damage model.

To give you an insight into , what i consider, the best attitude to have for building a sim (one i think Arma2 does extremely well) i'll post a blurb from the Falcon 4.0 manual. If you have it or can find it online read the Appendix A: Designer Notes.

A few quotes

As the fighter pilot involved in the creation of Falcon 4.0, I'm continually asked, How close is Falcon 4.0 to the real thing? I answer by simply saying that Falcon 4.0 comes remarkably close to providing the experience of flying an F-16.

...a colonel told me that if you ask designers to create a simulator without any compromises, they would end up designing the aircraft itself. The art of simulation design is about understanding limited fidelity.

...

Ask programmers and designers who work on combat flight simulations what simulation features are critical, and most will define a great sim by how accurate the flight model and avionics are. Create a set of prescripted missions along with a few videos and voila you have a simulation. Unfortunately, to create a great simulation, a flight model, avionics, enemy AI and good graphics are only the start. The purpose of the Falcon series is not just to simulate the aircraft but the entire fighter pilot experience.

Our goal has been not just to replicate the flight dynamics, avionics and visuals of flight, but to include the elements that make up the combat environment.

...

In Falcon 4.0, our goal is to design a F-16 simulator that will put the player's head into the war, not just into the plane. We want to suspend your disbelief and to give you a better understanding of a pilot's role in a large-scale engagement

Really the bottom line is the experience is what makes it a Sim vs a game. It isn't always about the nuts and bolts of the game that makes it a sim, although they are nice to have, but the overall sim experience. IMO OFP, Arma, Arma2 do that extremely well trying to put our heads into the infantry of the battlefield.

Take DCS:Blackshark as a prime perfect example of a Nuts and Bolt sim. It has the highest fidelity flight model you'll ever play in a civilian sim. Yet its battlefield is so sterile and lifeless that the high FM is lost without the battlefield to experience it in.

I'll take the sim experience over a nuts and bolt style sim any day because in the end its the experience the sim gives you that makes it great.

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Luhgnut;1402960']The PROBLEM is that all the problems you described are a serious negative to the game' date=' and the immersion level we all want and BIS wants, vanishes when you start witnessing all the glaring problems. The SIM then becomes a game. Gone are the cool tactics and simulation aspect. You then have to switch from a tactical sim player to a hallway gamer. Meaning, you get all into the sim side and grand scale, but up close, to the enemy, and controlling your squad became very game-ish. It changes from being a SIM to a bad hallway game. You come out of the immersion and then play it like a game. Wonder if this makes sense.[/quote']

I totally hear you on this issue and that is exactly what I'm talking about.

It is touted as a over-arching grand-scale military simulation, when under the curtain it is no more a SIM in many ways than say Battlefield or the forsaken COD Series due to the many shortcomings that equal a huge shortcoming.

I'm just glad I'm not the only one that has really about had enough with:

-Not fixing generic/major issues since 2001, in the hopes that in every release they'd be fixed

-Assuming ARMA1 was buggy and accepted it due to the fact it was a leapfrog progression to the real game...ARMA2 which we all now know was a farce

-Realizing that basically this relationship is all one-way. We throw out concerns, issues, problems, ideas, etc..and we get 0 feedback on what BIS can and can't do in the scope of their development size and schedule

-Interjecting some features that I don't recall the community ever pointing out while ignoring the biggest issues/improvements that we needed (overhauled interface is an example)

A good example is the throttle issue, a developer actually took the time for once to tell us they were going to fix it for the next patch. Turns out it was a hacked up piece of junk that left most of us going back to the original controls because:

A) It would only map to one half axis for throttle the other half for brake

B) It would only map to the throttle of fixed-wing and not helicopters requirement controls change when you switched between the two

In general, I'm just hoping either the next patch actually makes a difference and boosts ARMA2 sales and its reputation, or OFPDR delivers on what it says it will execute on, and I don't have too much confidence in either just yet.

---------- Post added at 05:26 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:17 PM ----------

Really the bottom line is the experience is what makes it a Sim vs a game. It isn't always about the nuts and bolts of the game that makes it a sim, although they are nice to have, but the overall sim experience. IMO OFP, Arma, Arma2 do that extremely well trying to put our heads into the infantry of the battlefield.

Take DCS:Blackshark as a prime perfect example of a Nuts and Bolt sim. It has the highest fidelity flight model you'll ever play in a civilian sim. Yet its battlefield is so sterile and lifeless that the high FM is lost without the battlefield to experience it in.

I'll take the sim experience over a nuts and bolt style sim any day because in the end its the experience the sim gives you that makes it great.

But that is exactly my point. Falcon 4.0 absolutely gives the simulation aspect in the respect that it provides the feeling of actually performing an F-16 combat mission, regardless of how the hit point system is modeled that is transparent to the user because the sim behaves as expected. It has no standout issues that go..wait? what's going on here, that doesn't look right...

All the issues in ARMA2 detract from that immersion of feeling like your are in an actual combat mission. You tell your man to drive down the road yet he is hitting a tree or a rock every 100meters...kinda kills the immersion factor.

Another example. You are on a hill with a Javelin, you hit Tab and Click and away your weapon goes to the nearest target...yeah that felt like I just use a simulated advanced piece of military technology. /sarcasm

In Falcon 4.0 you could have a mode where you pretty much hit Tab and Click and it would fire at your nearest target...or you could have such immersion to the point where you would have to point and angle your radar beam and angle your craft in such a way that you could pick up targets, identify via IFF and other friendly comms, uncage the weapon, and release.

There is nothing as advanced or detailed at all in ARMA2 in any aspect...therefore it really isn't a SIM at all and I stand by that.

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Arma 2, while it "looks" impressive, felt more like a rehash of OFP/Arma with the same issues that have been around mixed in with a few features the community had already done and very little attempts to correct some of the interface, interaction, gameplay elements. I'm sure it's a big effort to develop a game of this size, but it feels like they just kept building on the same faulty foundation of the previous games and not really trying to improve or rethink how they did things. I, for example, would have loved to have seen a skeletal system for units implemented, allowing for easier modding, weapon interaction animations and movement physics, as well as a proper damage model for vehicles.

I have high hopes for OFP 2, simply b/c it's by a different developer and the infromation and videos released so far look promising. It may not be as "hard core" as Arma 2, but if it's more playable than I'm on board. Bis seems to make the same thing over and over, but not in a good way. Their games seem to make pretty big leaps in the graphics department, but baby steps in the gameplay / interface.

That and the atrocious voice acting and radio commands didn't help. At work we have an "avatar" program that talks to you using on the fly generated speech, and it sounds pretty good. A little robotic, but way better than "Man, IN FRONT of us at TWO o'clock". Things like this are what turned me off of Arma 2. It just feels like a mish mash of random ideas that build on previous ideas and features and not a comprehensive product. You'd think if they are making the game in english they could at least have some native english speakers review their dialogue and make sure it makes sense. Probably personal preference, but I still prefer the simple OFP "man at 12 oclock".

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Arma 2, while it "looks" impressive, felt more like a rehash of OFP/Arma with the same issues that have been around mixed in with a few features the community had already done and very little attempts to correct some of the interface, interaction, gameplay elements. I'm sure it's a big effort to develop a game of this size, but it feels like they just kept building on the same faulty foundation of the previous games and not really trying to improve or rethink how they did things. I, for example, would have loved to have seen a skeletal system for units implemented, allowing for easier modding, weapon interaction animations and movement physics, as well as a proper damage model for vehicles.

I have high hopes for OFP 2, simply b/c it's by a different developer and the infromation and videos released so far look promising. It may not be as "hard core" as Arma 2, but if it's more playable than I'm on board. Bis seems to make the same thing over and over, but not in a good way. Their games seem to make pretty big leaps in the graphics department, but baby steps in the gameplay / interface.

That and the atrocious voice acting and radio commands didn't help. At work we have an "avatar" program that talks to you using on the fly generated speech, and it sounds pretty good. A little robotic, but way better than "Man, IN FRONT of us at TWO o'clock". Things like this are what turned me off of Arma 2. It just feels like a mish mash of random ideas that build on previous ideas and features and not a comprehensive product. You'd think if they are making the game in english they could at least have some native english speakers review their dialogue and make sure it makes sense. Probably personal preference, but I still prefer the simple OFP "man at 12 oclock".

Just thought of something while reading this. How do they market the REAL simulator (Virtual Battlespace 2) to the various army's around the world? If this is the same engine, they wouldn't be able to sell it I don't think for the money I'm sure they are asking. And if it's NOT the same engine, why did they develop something new?.... I would think they would simply take what is sold to the military and scale it back. Virtual BattleSpace 2 runs on basically a beefed up PC. Nothing special. Why re-invent the wheel?

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Luhgnut;1403012']Just thought of something while reading this. How do they market the REAL simulator (Virtual Battlespace 2) to the various army's around the world? If this is the same engine' date=' they wouldn't be able to sell it I don't think for the money I'm sure they are asking. And if it's NOT the same engine, why did they develop something new?.... I would think they would simply take what is sold to the military and scale it back. Virtual BattleSpace 2 runs on basically a beefed up PC. Nothing special. Why re-invent the wheel?[/quote']

VBS 2 is developed by a completely different team. BIS Australia or something? Its a military product so i guess marketing isn't the same. Its the same engine as arma 1, except has alot, alot, alot more features, and way, way less bugs.

Its basically what our version should be like to start with, but it costs a ridiculous $1500 or something.

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Luhgnut;1403012']Just thought of something while reading this. How do they market the REAL simulator (Virtual Battlespace 2) to the various army's around the world? If this is the same engine' date=' they wouldn't be able to sell it I don't think for the money I'm sure they are asking. And if it's NOT the same engine, why did they develop something new?.... I would think they would simply take what is sold to the military and scale it back. Virtual BattleSpace 2 runs on basically a beefed up PC. Nothing special. Why re-invent the wheel?[/quote']

I would imagine that VBS2 is definitely not used for modeling+simulation work at all.

It is most likely used for scenario visualization and planning.

I'd be shocked to hear if VBS2 was in any way to simulate or model anything...only a visualization tool (in that it would work nicely)

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@[=DD=] Luhgnut

Well thats you own oppinion. I would say ARMA1 was playble since patch 1.08(mid 2007) and almost bug free with patch 1.14(mid 2008). So they fixed the game 1 year before the release of ARMA2.

Patch 1.14 came out the day after Arma2 I believe. And it was a whole laundry list of fixes.

---------- Post added at 01:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:50 PM ----------

I would imagine that VBS2 is definitely not used for modeling+simulation work at all.

It is most likely used for scenario visualization and planning.

I'd be shocked to hear if VBS2 was in any way to simulate or model anything...only a visualization tool (in that it would work nicely)

They market it as a simulation. You can set up missions, etc. http://www.bistudio.com/simulations.html

It's a full on simulator. Watch the video. You'll see alot of Arma2 type stuff in there.

So Be Shocked.

Edited by [RIP] Luhgnut

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I would imagine that VBS2 is definitely not used for modeling+simulation work at all.

It is most likely used for scenario visualization and planning.

I'd be shocked to hear if VBS2 was in any way to simulate or model anything...only a visualization tool (in that it would work nicely)

Actually there are dozens of civilian players who play the game just like ArmA games. There is a thread on Armaholic.com

Luhgnut;1403026']Patch 1.14 came out the day after Arma2 I believe. And it was a whole laundry list of fixes.

Did you even bother searching for the release date(21st May 2008)? Its on the home page of ArmA website.

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Actually there are dozens of civilian players who play the game just like ArmA games. There is a thread on Armaholic.com

Did you even bother searching for the release date(21st May 2008)? Its on the home page of ArmA website.

Oh sorry my bad. 1.16BETA Launched on April 24th 09....my point still is valid.

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Back on topic, basically it seems all are in agreement that sales are not strong and the target audience for ARMA2 is small because of this:

A) They don't quite cater to full blown hardcore simulator people and

B) They don't quite cater to casual Battlefield/COD people

So in result, they end up not catering to anybody really and leave themselves with a much smaller market in which to sell their product to it seems. They had no clear target audience with which to prioritize features.

Other factors include the loss of the brand name, the unresponsive management/development, and sloppy quality control, and marketing, and lacked of major improvement from one release to another

All of those ingredients add up to a whole bucket of fail in my mind :/

= small market

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Back on topic, basically it seems all are in agreement that sales are not strong and the target audience for ARMA2 is small because of this:

A) They don't quite cater to full blown hardcore simulator people and

B) They don't quite cater to casual Battlefield/COD people

So in result, they end up not catering to anybody really and leave themselves with a much smaller market in which to sell their product to it seems. They had no clear target audience with which to prioritize features.

Other factors include the loss of the brand name, the unresponsive management/development, and sloppy quality control, and marketing, and lacked of major improvement from one release to another

All of those ingredients add up to a whole bucket of fail in my mind :/

= small market

I would agree with this.

I also think Arma2 was promoted fairly well by word of mouth peeps, and I think the initial sales went well. To the rabid faithful. I think the graphics on Youtube got the marginals interested. But by the types of posts people posting comparing it to COD4 or whatever, I'm guessing they were looking for a COD4 on Grand Scale, and for the most part, bug free. I think their excitement fell off pretty quick.

And someone also posted that the Arma Community is pretty tough crowd and as welcoming as a "punch in the face." I think we defend Arma2 pretty aggressively and scare off the new bloods. We as a community should watch that more.

---------- Post added at 02:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:15 PM ----------

VBS 2 is developed by a completely different team. BIS Australia or something? Its a military product so i guess marketing isn't the same. Its the same engine as arma 1, except has alot, alot, alot more features, and way, way less bugs.

Its basically what our version should be like to start with, but it costs a ridiculous $1500 or something.

well that's my point..? They already have a working engine that has all the problems worked out... Why not scale back? Even if it is a different group. Same company no?

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A) They don't quite cater to full blown hardcore simulator people and

B) They don't quite cater to casual Battlefield/COD people

Ever think maybe they want to target both audiences?

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