Dear IGP Executives,
I know you have heard a lot of commentary from the MWO community as of late. It is hard to make everyone happy, but I implore you to take the actions necessary with the result being that you will make more money in the long run!
The Problem: The direction that IGP has taken MWO has MANY of your best customers absolutely irate. WHY? Your customers’ expectations of what was paid for to date are not being met.
Ignoring or displeasing your paying customers is just bad business and a formula for failure. Your company should be doing everything you can to solve the problems that your customers have already prioritized for you through numerous communications. As a business owner, I want to propose a solution as to how to salvage a bad situation here. Why am I writing this? Consider me as a man in the trenches. You don’t need to go through the expense of focus groups or market research. You just need to ask people like me, your most dedicated, loyal and knowledgeable player base, who will also be your biggest proponents of the game. How you handle it will result in a turnaround or further attrition of MWO.
The current situation is out of control right now and I would like to see this game salvaged, as well as many hours of free time and money spent over the past year and a half with MWO. Both PGI and IGP have very little time to accomplish this. When I mean very little, I mean BEFORE you guys break for the Holiday Season. Yes, it is THAT precarious of a situation right now. I can’t stress this enough.
The MWO gaming community, your customers, should expect no less than an announcement by the CEO of IGP or its parent company of, NOT an apology, rationale or excuses, but an actual plan of how you are going to make this a game that we want to spend our valuable free time and money on. We need to know what RESULTS and HARD TIMETABLE you are going to commit to and what kinds of guarantees you can offer us before we hand over more of our “funding” through the purchase of the latest Clan Collection package and other micro-transactions. Right now, the question being discussed by some of your customers is whether or not IGP plans on supporting this game beyond delivery of the Clan Collection. The pricing and package format of which is another conversation to be had.
We all understand your company needs financial resources to maintain and/or grow this game, but you have been charging your customers well in advance for promised services that have been delayed far beyond what anyone would deem acceptable. Think of any product or service you paid for in advance. Now think about what your reaction would be if it wasn’t delivered on time? Now expand that scenario with further promises not met, repeated delays, and then ask yourself how you would feel to be sold an additional service or product before the core product you paid for was even available? It sounds ludicrous and this is the state we have now reached.
The word-of-mouth reactions have been toxic to this gaming community and have surely affected the morale of all those involved in development of this game. Not to mention it will have spillover effects to the rest of the F2P/micro-transaction industry. I doubt your peers are looking at IGP favourably right now and are watching how you handle this storm. To be honest, the perception is that PGI doesn’t care about anything other than making a fast buck until the well is dry and will then drop support for MWO. If that is how your company plans on managing the development of MWO, then please save us the angst and just tell us you aren’t prepared to commit the resources, from your own/3rd party sources, so that we can choose to accept the game for what it is and will be, which is more of the same with new maps, ‘Mechs, skins, colours and simple gameplay features and fixes. If this is indeed your approach, then I would not be surprised if this game becomes a textbook case of how NOT to manage a F2P model with paid content.
PGI and Niko Snow must surely know what your customers want, because they have been inundated with our repeated pleas for useful content and features, as well as what should be prioritized. As more time goes, you are losing paying customers and earning negative media exposure, such as the recent Forbes.com blog post. If you can prioritize these needs in an expedited manner, you will regain faith from your customers that IGP is committed to the success of this game. Once you achieve this, you will find that our wallets will open up and then you will see what a real success this game will be. As it stands, IGP is not optimizing their ROI and will require more high-priced items to try to balance the books, but that will not last long, I can assure you that.
What happens next is up to IGP’s Executives and it will mean directing more of PGI’s personnel and resources to quickly finish just a few core features related to Community Warfare (our real purpose for playing MWO) to convince us that MWO is actually worth sticking around for. Show us the desired results before you ask your customers to pony up more cash. When you accomplish this, you will find yourselves making far more money than you will with the current state of the game’s progress.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Your customers eagerly look forward to a positive response.