jarnomiedema Wrote:Guys, I'm going to be devil's advocate here and say that this isn't Steam's fault. Rather, it's an unwillingness for companies such as the distributors of Tropico 3 to release this game on the same dates as the retail version. Why? Because already digital sales are starting to gradually outweigh retail sales.
If they delay the release for the digital sales, that allows the retailers for more time to sell it later to disgruntled customers who've cancelled their pre-order.
I'm just as outraged as you all. I've preordered this game as well and was waiting for it to be released today. In fact, it was supposed to be released at 19:00 hrs +1 GMT, so when I got back home and noticed it was pushed back 5 hours I was a bit annoyed, but thought to myself 'oh well, a little while longer doesn't matter'. Seeing the sudden announcement of a full week's delay was shocking and quite frankly ridiculous.
A quick check around the Dutch websites that offer Tropico 3 for sale do indicate a November 13 release date. I wonder what caused it to be delayed: you can't tell me the game still isn't good enough, because as far as I know people are already playing it. What's even funnier is one country over, in Germany, people are already playing.. Very, very strange..
While I'm not one to make demands or cause an uproar, I do think it would show good decorum on the side of Kalypso if they acknowledged this blunder in some form or another. While an apology would be appreciated greatly (though I can't say I expect it), an explanation of why this was done would go a long way to ease my mind.
I'm willing to wait it out and I won't cancel my preorder to go and pirate this game, but I've certainly been sorely tempted.
Great job alienating a good part of your clientele!
To play devils advocate on your post... The argument that digital sales are outweighing retail sales and that this effect is BAD is just wrong. Think about this, they're selling a retail game for $50, they sell it digitally for the sale $50. Where is the higher profit? In the digitally released product of course. There's no packaging costs (buying blank cds, creating manuals, machine wear and tear in burning the cds, box, and packaging). Distribution costs are probably the same since I'm sure steam requires a fee to distribute.
So to keep it simple, let's say that the packaging costs $15 per unit and distribution costs $10 per unit. That leaves you with $25 profit per unit. So if you look at selling things digitally, you're actually making $40 profit per unit rather than $25 because you dont have to do packaging costs. Sell a 1000 retail units and make $25,000. Sell 1000 digital and you make $40,000. That's a lot more profit so I know companies would rather have digitally sold copies.
Therefore, Steam became a distributor for Kalypso, if Steam screwed up, Kaylpso (either in contract or not) can not point the finger at Steam. I have little doubt that steam is the problem. They have been known for poor turn around on patches and screw ups with releases. Hell, just yesterday Steam updated their client and it logged me out of steam and I couldn't get back on for 4 or so hours. However, Kalypso is not allowed to say Steam screwed up because then Steam would look bad and lose credibility. That would be bad in a lot of ways, but from a pure business standpoint and in the big picture. If Kalypso wants to keep a good business relationship with Steam so that future games will be carried by them, then they will stay silent. I feel for them because they dont want to take the blame because it's doubtful that its their fault and why take the blame for something you didnt do? So instead of falling on the sword, they stay silent. Yes it's bad but that's business.
For those that are thinking, then maybe steam shouldnt be their distributor then, well refer to my first paragraph about profits on retail vs digital. On top of that Steam is the largest digital distributor in the US and to lose that exposure for a game would have a massive impact on sales. Steam also reaches all other countries and while I cant say how big the exposure is or is Steam is the largest digital distributor in the world, but even if it isn't, you dont want to lose their ability to advertise the game.
When you load steam you see a list of featured games. How many people do you think see that a day? Tens of millions do. Think about this, Ten million people see it in one day. 1% decide to buy Tropico 3 at their $40 profit price ($50 total), that's 100,000 units moved. That's $4,000,000 profit. These numbers are just examples but not extreme in either way. I'm just pointing out again that if Steam screwed up, kalypso wont go against them. You dont bite the hand that feeds you no matter how bad the Feeder is at what they do.
EDIT: Upon thinking about things a little more. I see another side to the retail versions. While there might be more profit in digital sales, A huge bulk of initial purchases comes from retailers. Chains like Best Buy would purchase tens of thousands of copies to put on their shelves and if released earlier on digital it would hurt retail sales, then in turn, they wouldnt purchase that many next time. In my own devils advocate, who cares? Yes, they'll order less next time, but if sales are so good on digital, that would make up for it. However, seeing the other side. The purchases by retailers is a huge amount of money and they COULD make it up in digital sales, especially with the likes of Steam. The bonus to retail sales is that when the store buys up huge quantities, it is a quick cash in hand for the devs. After some time of not having a ton of income (standard game production cycle), it's nice to refill the costs put out. Also, I'm sure it's a tangible way to calculate how well the game will do or some other way to show up on sales lists and such.
So for the date to be pushed another week means that there was a kink somewhere in the distribution process. Perhaps a bunch of corrupted games got burned, or even something simple like the box art misspelled Tropico. Do anything small to enough copies (thousands upon thousands) and it takes time to straighten out. If that was the case, a week is pretty quick turn around for an error somewhere in the distribution cycle.