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Imperial Advisor Arem Heshvaun

Live Stream ... Be Prepared

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It’s a real shame that management at FFG can’t seem to get it together. Their games are *fantastic*, but the rules teams are inconsistent, the marketing is nonexistent, and the idea of meeting deadlines seems to be alien to them.

We all understand there’s a global crisis. If they wanted to not make any product announcements for one or more of their games, all they had to do was just say that. Instead, they promise people news and then don’t have any? 

I guess the only reason I don’t find this upsetting is because I didn’t actually expect anything. Which is too bad.

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It is frustrating that FFG staff don't really ever weigh in in these public forums to provide a little more color around seeming failures of messaging like this. Or anything else going on with the game, tbh.

Having just one moderator from the company who could build relationships with us fans would go a loooooong way. That's one thing I appreciate about Paradox Interactive. They have a fabulous two-way conversation with their fans and it leads to better games and a better feeling of community.

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Posted (edited)

Proper news would have been good, but then again if its 9 months (at least till they drop clone wars) maybe its not the worst thing that they didn't build up hype that would just fall away again. 

I mean it would have been better to just say - no news at this stage - blame it on Corona or something

 

Edited by beefcake4000

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2 hours ago, ralphbod said:

It is frustrating that FFG staff don't really ever weigh in in these public forums to provide a little more color around seeming failures of messaging like this. Or anything else going on with the game, tbh.

Having just one moderator from the company who could build relationships with us fans would go a loooooong way. That's one thing I appreciate about Paradox Interactive. They have a fabulous two-way conversation with their fans and it leads to better games and a better feeling of community.

Very much agreed. Paradox do this well. FFG are shockingly inept at community relations. Still.

Whats worse is they have acknowledged this before & agreed to try harder. Apparently they went for Yoda’s ‘do not’ approach instead.

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What baffles me is that FFG isn't bad at communication in general, just when it comes to Armada. For Legion they hand information about product articles and release dates via Discord where the designer are also active from time to time to answer questions and when the last live stream was canceled they gave the spoilers to a a community podcast (something they've done before).

But when it comes to Armada for some reason they fail at all that.

 

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7 hours ago, cynanbloodbane said:

Another"HYPE"rspace report...

So glad I didn't bother this time. Don't hate the player, or the game, but instead hate the ineptitude of the game companie's marketing department.

I am not sure whether it is really ineptitude or simply dishonesty in order to make us watch (and ultimately buy) stuff of other games. It is too much the same stunt they pulled on the hyperfool report.

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13 hours ago, LordCola said:

This is the stream artwork:

https://imgur.com/a/VmCgo3L

https://imgur.com/a/Y1pWXXE

They also said that there will be a bunch of rule deviation from the standard Armada rules for the new factions, so they will play significantly differently.

That actually contains a lot of info. Pretty much confirms Torrents, Venators, Obi-Wan in the core release. At least I hope 🙂

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1 hour ago, Norell said:

That actually contains a lot of info. Pretty much confirms Torrents, Venators, Obi-Wan in the core release. At least I hope 🙂

Sadly, I don't know if that is the case. We also have art of the Corellian Gunship in the slaved turrets alt art without it being released. Though I would love FFG to prove me wrong!

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To be fair now, don't expect great PR when they just laid off a bunch of people, especially when they never poured too many resources into it before. Also, there are going to be other cons. If they have products that haven't already been leaked or aren't coming soon, why would they do the big reveal online when they can just wait till the next con? Whatever the plan was, it changed and is delayed. The new stuff isn't going to come any time soon, so does it matter if they announce 8 months before things actually hit the stores rather than 12 months?

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'member that time at Worlds that FFG hyped their big Hyperspace Report about their Star Wars games, and lots of Armada and Imperial Assault players tuned in or even adjusted their trips to get there a day early to attend?  And then 'member how it turned out to just be a report entirely about X-Wing 2.0 and a whole bunch of Imperial Assault and Armada players were really, really frustrated and complained vocally?  

FFG sure doesn't remember that, apparently...

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1 hour ago, Mep said:

To be fair now, don't expect great PR when they just laid off a bunch of people, especially when they never poured too many resources into it before. Also, there are going to be other cons. If they have products that haven't already been leaked or aren't coming soon, why would they do the big reveal online when they can just wait till the next con? Whatever the plan was, it changed and is delayed. The new stuff isn't going to come any time soon, so does it matter if they announce 8 months before things actually hit the stores rather than 12 months?

A better question is: If FFG has any Clone Wars Armada news, why withhold it for months? What would be the point?

Companies today are operating under very old fashioned and out dated marketing concepts that do not apply in the Information Age.

Back in the Mad Men era, companies like Coca-cola and Ford Motors had to spend millions of dollars on nation-wide advertising campaigns to make the public aware of their products, especially new products, like the new model of a car. It wouldn't make sense for Ford to pay to advertise their new model of car 8 months before it was released because, in addition to wasting money, advertising the new model might undercut sales of the existing model.

Those reasons don't apply to FFG's future board game releases. Firstly, I can't imagine announcing Clone Wars Armada now would have any negative impact on Armada sales for the next 8 months; if anything, announcing CWA should reinvigorate interest in Armada. Second, FFG doesn't need to spend millions of dollars of ads because the internet exists today; they have a website to showcase all of their current and upcoming products. Third, FFG presumably employs graphics design people who create the promo pics of the various game expansions on their website. They are salaried employees so it does not cost FFG anything extra to make those promos. For their livestreams, those people are also salaried employees and aren't paid extra for making those videos; it's part of their job.

Fourth, based on the way things are going in the U.S., the COVID-19 crisis will continue to worsen because of the federal government's incompetent leadership. Consequently, the self-isolation protocols will likely be in effect for another month, minimum, and medical experts predict it could be months before these health and safety measures can be dialed back. Even if people go back to work, it's unlikely any large gatherings, such as conventions, will be permitted because of the risk of spreading the virus. That means that GenCon 2020 at the end of July is unlikely to happen. If GenCon doesn't happen, FFG obviously won't be announcing CWA at GenCon, as they presumably planned. If they can't announce CWA at GenCon, what's the point in withholding the announcement now?

There's no valid reason for withholding information about Clone Wars Armada.

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19 hours ago, Reavern said:

After this unforgivable bait and switch, I'm not going to watch any of FFG's livestreams anymore. They deliberately mislead us. They announced on Tuesday that they were having this Thursday livestream in lieu of AdeptiCon and told us that they had Legion, X-Wing, and Armada news. What could have changed in the past 48 hours? Has COVID-19 mutated so it now infects computer files and destroys plastic models? I don't think so. So they either never had any real Armada news or they chose not to reveal the Armada news. Either way, FFG lied to us😡

I don't buy their excuse that the COVID-19 crisis prevented them from revealing whatever Armada news they allegedly planned to announce at AdeptiCon. None of what they revealed about Legion or X-wing was appropriate for an AdeptiCon panel. They just showed product previews, like FFG does every week. I have to believe that FFG had planned MORE for AdeptiCon, but since that event was cancelled, they chose to withhold that presentation instead of livestreaming it.

If I hadn't been working from home, I wouldn't have been able to watch the Livestream. In the past, I watched the video after it was posted to YouTube. I'll go back to doing that in the future, so I can skip through the BS (I don't care about anything from the Sequel Trilogy!).

Aside from the Armada announcement that we DIDN'T get today, I'm curious about the Twitch viewer numbers. I wonder if this the most watched livestream ever? Or close to the largest? I imagine it must have been higher than average because so many people are working from home or out-of-work. If that was the case, it would've been the ideal time to release some big news. Instead, FFG squandered this opportunity and withheld information like they always do.

welcome to being an armada fan my friend

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1 hour ago, Reavern said:

A better question is: If FFG has any Clone Wars Armada news, why withhold it for months? What would be the point?

 

Why would they announce it so many months in advance at all? Long delays between announcement and shipping actually frustrates fans. Sometimes it is best to announce then ship.

Those conventions exist for the spreading of viruses, ideally just idea viruses but the biological ones always get spread there too. Conventions show case new products and tend to generate a lot more buz than some little news article posted on a website. Companies spend tons of money at these conventions for reasons. The biggest one is that it is the best way for their product to go viral. You are right that the old advertising model doesn't work well anymore. The new model is go to a convention, do something exciting, have thousands of fans there promote the product and hope the product goes viral.

So yeah, they are going to hold things back until the announcement can have maximum impact. That is just the smart thing to do. It would be curious if the live stream did get more views than normal. If FFG could tell the future and know that their live stream would be huge because everyone was home, I am sure they would have done more. As it is, they don't know anything about that stuff. No one does. As it is, it is unlikely we will ever lock ourselves up just because the cold is going around again, so it is not likely to be relevant in the future but still an interesting curiosity. 

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2 hours ago, Mep said:

Why would they announce it so many months in advance at all? Long delays between announcement and shipping actually frustrates fans. Sometimes it is best to announce then ship.

Those conventions exist for the spreading of viruses, ideally just idea viruses but the biological ones always get spread there too. Conventions show case new products and tend to generate a lot more buz than some little news article posted on a website. Companies spend tons of money at these conventions for reasons. The biggest one is that it is the best way for their product to go viral. You are right that the old advertising model doesn't work well anymore. The new model is go to a convention, do something exciting, have thousands of fans there promote the product and hope the product goes viral.

So yeah, they are going to hold things back until the announcement can have maximum impact. That is just the smart thing to do. It would be curious if the live stream did get more views than normal. If FFG could tell the future and know that their live stream would be huge because everyone was home, I am sure they would have done more. As it is, they don't know anything about that stuff. No one does. As it is, it is unlikely we will ever lock ourselves up just because the cold is going around again, so it is not likely to be relevant in the future but still an interesting curiosity. 

The inherent flaw in that logic is that the people who actually play Armada are already paying attention to FFG's announcements. FFG can post info to their website and WE will hear/read it and thus be informed.

If FFG's goal is to "go viral" at conventions that means they are going after people who don't already play Armada.

This is a classic example of a company taking its loyal customers for granted and vainly trying to appeal to new potential customers. The familiar example of this is how mobile phone carriers offer better introductory deals to new customers than their existing customers. How is that fair? That is not customer-friendly. A savvy customer will exploit this by changing mobile carriers every time their contract term expires, thereby getting the best deal for themselves. And the mobile carrier loses as many customers as it acquires, so it's a ZERO gain/loss.

The same is true with Armada: FFG gives us nothing for for months at a time and players understandably lose interest and move on. This is precisely what happened in 2018 and the first half of 2019 while we were waiting for the SSD. I more than doubled the size of my Armada collection by buying up other players' ships and cards after they lost interest. FFG didn't get any of that $$; the players who sold me their collections recouped some of the money they paid to FFG. That's not good business for FFG. And it's all because FFG doesn't release new Waves or info about those Waves frequently enough. That's precisely my point!

That means that FFG is eroding its own player base while futilely trying to attract new customers. As Armada's popularity fades, it becomes less and less appealing to new customers. It's a losing battle. It's sad that FFG doesn't understand that.

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10 minutes ago, Reavern said:

The inherent flaw in that logic is that the people who actually play Armada are already paying attention to FFG's announcements. FFG can post info to their website and WE will hear/read it and thus be informed.

If FFG's goal is to "go viral" at conventions that means they are going after people who don't already play Armada.

This is a classic example of a company taking its loyal customers for granted and vainly trying to appeal to new potential customers.

All the more reason to hold back the announcement.  The attention span of someone without an attachment to the game is going to be shorter than a dedicated player.  Waiting 8 months might be enough to make them forget the game exists.

This is doubly true for Clone Wars, which is an excellent opportunity to draw in new players and will lose some old ones anyway (I’ve heard more than one person say they’ll drop the game rather than pick up a new faction.)

I have to echo the above opinion: their mistake was announcing something at all, and not delivering on stream made it worse.  I’m grateful they made things right on the forums, but not everyone will see that and potential buyers will be lost.

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, The Jabbawookie said:

All the more reason to hold back the announcement.  The attention span of someone without an attachment to the game is going to be shorter than a dedicated player.  Waiting 8 months might be enough to make them forget the game exists.

This is doubly true for Clone Wars, which is an excellent opportunity to draw in new players and will lose some old ones anyway (I’ve heard more than one person say they’ll drop the game rather than pick up a new faction.)

I have to echo the above opinion: their mistake was announcing something at all, and not delivering on stream made it worse.  I’m grateful they made things right on the forums, but not everyone will see that and potential buyers will be lost.

No, it doesn't make sense at all.

I understand that all businesses covet new customers, but it's bad business to cater to new customers over existing customers. Because it's a lot easier to LOSE customers than attract new ones.

If FFG released Armada news on a regular basis, i.e. at least once a month (the same frequency as Legion and X-Wing), then they could keep existing players interested. Then they could reserve major reveals for Cons. For example, reveal the ship miniatures at the Cons, so people and press can take pictures of them and post them online so Armada can "go viral". But reveal the cards on the FFG website or videos leading up the Con. It would be the ideal way to build up the hype without spoiling it.

Because any potential new customers will be uninformed (ignorant) about Armada. They don't know how Armada's game mechanics work and the importance of the commander and upgrade cards, so there's no harming in revealing those early. New customers are superficial and will only be impressed by the cool-looking ship miniatures. The mini's will either entice them to buy Armada -- or they won't. The upgrade cards are not going to push them over the buying threshold, so there's no point in FFG withholding the upgrade cards from us.

Edited by Reavern

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Reavern said:

That means that FFG is eroding its own player base while futilely trying to attract new customers. As Armada's popularity fades, it becomes less and less appealing to new customers. It's a losing battle. It's sad that FFG doesn't understand that.

Lots of frustration here, understandable though. Understanding the problem and knowing the solution are two different things. They just had a bunch of layoffs before all of this stuff, so solutions maybe not the best at. One easy problem to understand is, if you aren't growing, you shrinking. FFG had that SSD at Star Wars celebration and showed it off on stage. They are trying. Succeeding is another thing, but they are trying and their strategy is clearly showing stuff off at conventions.

Doing news articles many months in advance of things shipping may not be too helpful. Actually coming out with products is, if the sales are there to support it. Armada is a marginal game. It never took off in the same way X Wing did. Doesn't make it a bad game. Not everything that is good is popular but it needs to be popular to get all the new products and news stories. Right now that is Legion.

BTW the best thing for current players is new players. Destiny died hard and fast mostly because they couldn't get anyone new to play it and as old players left for other new shineys the player based collapsed. This isn't like a cell phone service. After all AT&T customers can talk to Sprint customers.

I'm actually surprised this game is still around with so few new products to keep it going. The news articles will come when they come. Keep in mind though, this is a licensed product and Disney has to approve of everything that is published on its IP. We don't know who made the call to postpone but don't assume it was FFG. Disney loves their conventions.

Edited by Mep

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7 minutes ago, Reavern said:

No, it doesn't make sense at all.

I understand that all businesses covet new customers, but it's bad business to cater to new customers over existing customers. Because it's a lot easier to LOSE customers than attract new ones.

I think one could make a perfectly good case Armada is ideal for a focus on growth over retention.  I've played this game for 4 years.  Most of people still here have done a lot of waiting in radio silence, for a very long time.  In doing this, FFG has selected for a consumer base that may whine, but will wait.

And apparently, that approach hasn't prevented it from being one of their big three Star Wars games.

24 minutes ago, Reavern said:

If FFG released Armada news on a regular basis, i.e. at least once a month (the same frequency as Legion and X-Wing), then they could keep existing players interested. Then they could reserve major reveals for Cons. For example, reveal the ship miniatures at the Cons, so people and press can take pictures of them and post them online so Armada can "go viral". But reveal the cards on the FFG website or videos leading up the Con. It would be the ideal way to build up the hype without spoiling it.

This has never been the situation, much as we all would like it.  Even if FFG intended to change that, the cons aren't happening this year and they might not even have models in hand.  That avenue isn't open to them (I think they would have tried to take it in a normal year, assuming production lined up well enough.)

It is a major blunder to have only the announcement, but no content presented.  We can all agree that's the worst case scenario, regardless of what resources are lined up.  But under the circumstances, if they save the flashy stuff for closer to release date it may yet make an impact - provided they can somehow find a better platform to reveal it than their livestream.

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