Yes it's fast approaching and all of us here at CRS want to say thank you for another great year of wargaming in WWIIOL:Battleground Europe. There's no escaping that it's been a very difficult year, but you helped pull us through again and there's no denying we love you as the greatest gamers ever.
We could never do this without you guys.
There's still a lot to do. Like a mountain that soars through the clouds above, it's climb climb climb with no end in sight. Our biggest issue right now is subscriptions, WWIIOL stands on subscriptions alone these days and we simply don't have enough to do all the things you want for the game and we want to be able to give you.
We are in the middle of the biggest subscription drive in the game's history. Leading up to this was the creation of the Free2Play accounts and a double tiered pricing structure to get a lower subscription entry point in place in addition to the regular premium account. This actually cost us some revenue shortfall even though it increased the number of customers we had, helping restore some of the large number we lost during the course of the difficult year we've had.
We have a new "Hero Builder" program up and running here :-
... and it is creating quite a buzz around the place. People seem excited. It's just more of the awesomeness of this WWIIOL community. The great thing about this program is that even an existing supporter of the game can create what almost amounts to a new subscription just by upping his account to "Hero" status. This is really good news for our stressed out bottom line, because there is now an incredibly affordable builders program to replace the previous long term but hugely more expensive option. Foreign players in other countries can take further advantage since we bill in USA dollars no matter where in the world you live, and exchange rates worldwide favour purchasing in US dollars right now making any WWIIOL subscription cheaper locally if you live outside the USA.
We will be unveiling a special subscription drive in the coming days, but I'll leave that to the very capable Xoom to reveal and go into detail about.We have a short placeholder piece here :-
...and will have all the details ready in a couple of days after we shake it all down.
Here at the office we have been talking a lot about the future. We have been turning RA documentation into a showcase for investment. It's not going to be a game just yet. New principles of gameplay like Victory Conditions that are variable and of course new terrain building methods can only be great additions to the WWIIOL future. It's certainly not replacing WWIIOL. We're focussed on WWIIOL and this has always been a constant even when we had to put eyes and brains onto something else for a spell to help the company along.
There's even been some discussion about BE:2 (next iteration of WWIIOL) but that isn't anywhere near to happening right now. We sure want it to though.
I went over the short list of stuff that was scheduled for v1.35, the two tanks, the two new semi-auto rifles, the end of FB flip flop ... the American stuff like the A-20C and the reskinned Stuart, paratroops and the specialist infantry units they are missing. The newly rebuilt towns.
Cool stuff, and not enormously difficult to do given normal circumstances. Things here are not very normal right now compared to years gone by, and we need your help to get back to normal.
We need to staff up again with new coders and artists. That's going to take a bunch more subscriptions coming in, and just as importantly existing subscriptions not unsubscribing. Some players feel that unsubscribing is the most effective way to send a message that things have to change, at least as far as their opinion goes on any matter. The "protest vote" is a common theme but it's really killing us. It's understandable but right now it's not going to get any kind of good result for the game, so it's effects are doubled, it's hurting our ability to support what needs to be done to continue development and it isn't getting what you think it will, a better game. If you are sitting on the fence give some thought to waiting a little longer before you unsubscribe. Please don't do it yet. We need you guys more than anything to hang in there so we can hang in there. Support our efforts to develop the game further by not unsubbing. Unsubbing is just going to kill it completely.
It's important you all understand how much we need you this Christmas. The GAME needs YOU. Don't abandon it, help us to get people to come and play. Help a new guy. Get an old friend to come back to the game. Find a new guy you get along with. Help us turn the corner to more subscriptions and we can get back to all the cool things you want, that we want to add, and that the game needs and will only benefit from.
It's not simply asking you to give us money it's about the game having a future with all the cool stuff we want to do and that you want us to be able to give you. We're being very candid because we know that you all have thoughts about the current situation, and we'd be crazy to tell you we're still waxing our Lamborghini's. We sold them last summer on eBay. What, you didn't know ? Wow that's a shame, could have got yourselves a real bargain. :)
Fearing I have prattled on a little (what, again ?!?) we Rats want to thank you all for another great year (yes despite the diffculties this year we have outlived all MMO games that were around when we began bar one!) and wish you all a very merry Christmas.
Remember, all we want for Christmas, is you.