Battleground Europe is 7

WWII Online/Battleground Europe has managed 7 years of action, and still going. On the scale of things, we’re a tiny fish, but we’ve managed this long on a largely $0 marketing budget – word-of-mouth has been our staple and mainstay for most of the last 6 years. To my mind, that speaks volumes about the underlying game.

As we work with the Chinese company that approached us seeking to launch WWIIOL in the PRC, maybe next year will see a turn around in income that allows us to begin actively marketing the product. Whenever we have gotten some significant marketing, like the Giga TV spot earlier this year, the game sells itself. But without coverage, it’s all been WoM.

I still see great potential in this game, but to ever acheive significant growth we’re going to need investment: either cold hard cash or manhours — e.g. being bought out by someone with their own developers that can tackle parts of the engine that someone with the right experience can probably fix with a snap of the fingers. China might bring in the money we need to push some real marketing, and it may bring in the money to hire-up again.

But it’s hard not to wish we could hire-up again before China; when I started there were 24 Rats. Admittedly, CRS were in Chapter 11 and struggling after having been majorly screwed over by their original ISP, forcing them into an incredibly expensive legal case. Not long after I joined several rats were laid off. Today there are 14 of us.

Some of those lay offs … I think were mutually for the best, guys that first year had eaten up; some of them were tough calls. There was one that the programming team and Toto quietly celebrated.

On the odd occasion when I’m looking at a job offer from a head hunter or someone who’s read my blog and thinks I might like to move to somewhere in the EU(*) to work on elves vs transformers, or when Thunder is trying to convince me that Blizzard wants me … The first thing that always comes to mind is “But what will I play if there’s no WWII Online?” (* I’ve no inclination to work in Europe. In order of preference: Texas, Seattle, Chicago, California, Boston, Holland, England. And yes, I said Seattle ;-P)

We still have lots of plans for this game, even when people are burned out here there is still a sort of underlying devotion to the game; it just has that kind of a quality to it. Heck, we even have a pretty exciting plan for a “BE 2.0” that takes a lot of the lessons we’ve learned and repackages them with some of the best aspects of BE 1.0.

We’re running a bunch of promos and free trials and stuff this next week, there’ll be a fair amount of Rat activity in the game. I hope to see a few of you in there ;)

S!

KFS1

16 Comments

Cheers for a game that sucked me in like no other, don’t play it as often as I used to but I try to log in now and then just to check on things, that usually drags me back in for some weeks.
And cheers for 7 more years!

Happy Birthday to WWIIOL & the Rats.
Here’s to 7+ more years.

And you never know, in that time both Hull & grimsby might get modelled so we can go and bomb them back to the stoneage! :-)

As for Rat activity, I’ve checked my stats and I’ve only ever run into you on the otherside once. That was on the ground.
Current stats, Hull 1 Grimsby 0 :-)

You’d think that there would be investors who would think that a team who has managed to keep a game alive for 7 years could design an even better game given the time and money to hire enough people to create the content.

I for one would still prefer if someone would invest in ww2ol though… why oh why can’t I win the jackpot.

Happy Bday ww2OL. The only game that after 7 years is still on my PC.

Why the bloody hell would you want to work in Boston though?

“There was one that the programming team and Toto quietly celebrated.”

Lemme guess, Hatch.

Grats on another milestone.

I’m pretty sure he’s not talking about Hatch.

When all’s said and done…I’d rather not read others publicly speculating about the interpersonal stuff or sniping at folks. If you were not there, no amount of hindsight is going to give you justification for it.

And those who were there…well…regardless of whatever else…we went through something extraordinary together.

I like to think everyone’s got at least that much class.

So….to that sort of talk I say: Put a lid on it. It’s unnecessary, mindless, mean spirited gossip. It teaches nothing. It helps nothing. It leads to nothing.

Thanks.

…@/

Not Hatch, no; I think Hatch was one of the burned and – from what Killer and Doc have told me, Hatch was /much/ happier once he got over the shock and anger of being severed from WWIIOL.

It’s not a Rat many of you would know he wasn’t with us long. He was responsible for the blank, black screen you get on launching the game sometimes, upto 15 seconds the first time I ran the game after a boot on my old box.

seattle? meh … too much rain.

it’s ok, he’s from grimsby anyhow – so he’ll probably feel right at home

seattle? meh … too much rain.

Please, keep thinking that. Vancouver, too, has “too much rain”. Don’t come here… our real estate market is already too damned hot as it is, we need all these people (who evidently have gills) to leave so it can become sane again.

7 years of ww2online…and it still looks like a 14 years old game with 21 years old bugs…woot i say…woot..

Happy Birthday and Congratulations for hanging on as long as you have.

I have been very critical the last few years, but in retrospect I guess your and your co-workers have done the best with what you have had to work with.

The game has unlimited potential, thats why I keep paying. Even though I disagree with the direction you and your mates have taken the game. I hope we are here in another 7 years.

Best Wishes

Mike Snyder

Happy birthday, congrats, and man do I love this game.

But I really have to challenge you on somthing KFS. If sombody could wave a magic marketing wand and bring a few thousand simmers & gamers into a free trial program, an unacceptably high number would not stay around.

Its not about “how hard the game is to play” nor is it about the graphics. Its about an absolutly terrible UI that is actually a BARRIER to newbs finding good action.

The vast majority of missions that are active RIGHT NOW would be terrible for newbs. But there is probably one or two that would be ideal (there always is) and they are completely buried by the UI.

You Rats made the game you wanted to play. You are maturing along with your audience and have now reached a point, frankly, where most of you are blind when it comes to making a newb friendly game.

Trout

I originally played this game under another name back when it first came out. It was one of the greatest games I ever played… Then the whole server thing happened. You win some and lose some I guess.

This game can only get better, because no other game out there can come close. I, for one, am excited about the prospect of playing this for another 7 years to come!

Cheers CRS! You guys have been through the Book of Job and back… Congrats! :)

KFS, a good point is brought up here which is the UI as it stands now. I’m a day 1er and still find the UI daunting. Has CRS considered doing a Use Case Study on the game and bring in some fresh outsiders? Perhaps you’ve already done this and I’m just rambling, but this could help your team find where the n00b gets hung up instead of presenting them with action packed combat?

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