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Found 5 results

  1. Hey everyone! Your friendly, neighborhood, marketing drone here with what I hope will be an eye-opening insight into gamers' thoughts on DLC. First off: a big thank you to everyone who participated in our survey. Hearing your thoughts helps us understand your opinions better, and make better games. Background For those who don't know, on October 4, 2017, we published a survey, asking some key questions about players' preferences regarding DLC, and a bit about their backgrounds, as well. As anyone at Obsidian will tell you, I am big on data, and have been pushing for stuff like this for a while. So, hey, thanks for making me look good with the absolutely huge response we got to the survey: Forecast Response: ~12,000 - 18,000 Actual Responses: 55,035 Sources: Kickstarter/Fig Backers, Obsidian Forums, Obsidian Newsletter, Reddit (big thanks to the awesome humans at /r/projecteternity and /r/Fallout!), Twitter, Facebook, and from many of our wonderful developer and publisher colleagues. The survey ran until October 20, 2017, and we thank everyone who participated and all our partners who assisted us! For those who missed it, here is the amazing survey background art we used, as created by our Community Manager, Aarik Dorobiala (presented here in 1080p for those who want to use it as a wallpaper!): A Note on Sampling Methodology The statisticians among you will have noticed that our data-gathering methodology was not blind, and that's an important thing to call out. Because we didn't use a random sample of our customers or backers, but rather went to specific areas and allowed those populations to self select, we know that some of the data in this survey will be skewed toward those specific population groups. For our purposes, however, that's fine. We are interested in engaged gamers who are likely to be interested in our DLC (and DLC secularly), and we were willing to sacrifice some methodological precision if it meant driving more participation in the survey for this go-round. The fact that the survey got more popular than we ever imagined is a bonus, but it also means we need to take these results as directional, rather than strictly determinative, since the populations who responded to the survey may or may not be representative of the total population of RPG fans out there. -- Section 1: Demographics While the first section of the survey asked about DLC preferences and the second, optional, section asked about demographics, I nevertheless want to show the demographic results first, so readers can understand a bit about who answered these questions before they see how the questions were answered. The demographics section was 100% optional, but it's not clear that everyone understood that. Although we did have some folks opt out of certain questions by skipping them, we may have had significantly more if we added an affirmative opt-out answer choice to every question, which is what we will do in the future. This was my mistake, but one of the things to think about when you review these results is that I treated this piece at least in part as a "meta-survey." That is, I wanted to test certain questions and methodologies as much as gather data itself, so I can improve our data gathering and survey user-friendliness going forward. Please note that we have omitted a question for the sake of consumer privacy. Question 1: Age We were a bit surprised to see how many of the survey respondents were teenagers, but otherwise, our age demographic for this survey tracks pretty well with what we expect for the "typical" gamer: about 3/4s are between the ages of 20 and 34. Question 2: Gender While we expected that we would get a majority male response, we did not expect it to be this skewed. Only about 2% of people skipped the question, though we were asked why we did not have a third, or opt-out gender option, such as "Prefer not to answer." That was an oversight -- I simply believed people would opt out by skipping the question. Question 3: Country of Residence We were very gratified to have people from nearly every country in the world reply to our survey -- despite the fact that it was only available in English. While the numbers aren't clear on the chart, Germany featured the most respondents from a non-Anglophone nation (2,431), which was almost as many as Australia! Since the map doesn't fully show everything due to size constraints, here's the top 10 countries by number of respondents: USA - 25,089 UK - 3,939 Canada - 3,909 Australia - 2,471 Germany - 2,431 Poland - 1,651 Sweden - 1,412 France - 1,132 Russia - 1,070 Finland - 923 Question 4: - OMITTED Question 5: Preferred Gaming Platform Windows PC was by far the most commonly used gaming platform for respondents, followed distantly by Android Phone, PlayStation 4, and Portable Consoles, in that order. No other system was a major occupier of time for most of our respondents. One thing that was interesting to see was just how much more popular Android was than iOS among our respondent group. One note: our survey was quite popular on the subreddit for PlayStation 4 (/r/PS4), but the equivalent Xbox One subreddit (/r/XboxOne) does not allow surveys, which may have biased console usership results. Question 6: Preferred Purchase Platform Tracking with the use of Windows as the primary gaming platform, it's no surprise that Steam is by far the dominant platform for respondents' game purchasing decisions. Of considerable interest, however, is how high up on the list official console digital marketplaces ranked. This suggests a shift among leading-edge (or "core") gamers toward digital purchasing on console, away from brick-and-mortar or other physical disc distribution. NB: GOG.com's abbreviation should be rendered GOG, not GoG, apologies for the typo in my chart! -- Section 2: DLC Questions This segment consisted of mandatory questions, and just about everyone completed it -- we had less than a 1% abandonment rate on the survey. While there were ten questions asked, we omit the tenth, as it involves internal Obsidian benchmarking, and was originally geared toward a specific consumer-targeted audience, not the much larger audience we ended up getting, so the results aren't super valuable. Question 1: Owned Obsidian DLCs It's no surprise that Fallout: New Vegas, still one of our most popular games, remains the leader in terms of DLC ownership. We also had a significant number of respondents who owned DLC in Pillars of Eternity and, surprisingly, Neverwinter Nights 2, a game that's now more than ten years old. Only about one in ten respondents did not purchase any Obsidian DLC at all. Question 2: Acquisition Method This question got a lot of feedback from the community, and I'll will revise it if we ask a similar question in the future. The feedback largely centered on a few issues: A large number of respondents commented that, while they would not commonly refund/return the base game in order to acquire the Game of the Year (GotY) Edition, they would refrain from purchasing a game at all once DLC of any kind is announced until a GotY or other complete edition is released. Many people felt that the question insufficiently described why or how the DLC was attractive and therefore made it difficult for them to assess the value of a season pass or DLC. Everyone loves sales, so that answer choice could have been folded into the others as a value-add. Question 3: Preferred DLC Features I color-coded these by type so it would be easier for everyone to parse respondents' preferences. Overwhelmingly, respondents want more game content -- that is, they want the game itself to be bigger, deeper, longer. They want to be able to come back to it, or continue on with it. However, there was also a significant number of respondents who were looking for expanded or additional game systems, such as multiplayer (co-operative) or replayable modes such as roguelikes. Anything tagged as "competitive" or "PvP" was not considered attractive, however. Question 4: Quantity of DLC Respondents were very clear here, and their responses track with the bias toward content-based features in the previous question: people want bigger, deeper DLC for their money, not small stuff. Question 5: Influential Factors The most influential factor for the majority of respondents in informing their decision to purchase DLC is price. This could imply that respondents feel that DLC is generally overpriced, that DLC generally doesn't strike them as a good value at MSRP, or simply that gamers are cost conscious. Among the other factors, word-of-mouth factors such as a friend's recommendation or score from bona fide other gamers were the most important in influencing buying decisions. Interestingly, most respondents felt that time between base game launch and DLC launch was not a major factor in their decision to purchase -- this could be interpreted in two ways: either respondents don't mind waiting for deep content, or they feel that they won't purchase new DLC no matter what, until it's on sale. Questions 6 & 7: Price Calibration These two questions were designed to work in tandem. I was looking to anchor respondents at a $45-dollar base price for a game, and then see if raising that base price in a subsequent, identical question, caused them to re-value an associated season pass. Given the structure of the questions and the expected effect of the anchoring, the 7.8% difference in average expected price can be considered not statistically significant. Basically, the base price of a game, alone, was not enough to make gamers think differently about the value of the season pass (and, by extension, other associated content). We got a lot of feedback to these questions that price alone was not sufficient for them to evaluate the value of a season pass, and, of course, that's true. To give some insight into what I was trying to accomplish with these two questions: I was interested in whether putting a change in base price in front of a consumer's face would cause a cognitive bias that might affect his price tolerance for ancillary purchases. In other words, does price alone have a direct relationship to perception of value or further willingness to engage with a product? Looking back on this, was this question the best way to evaluate this heuristic? Probably not. I've had some suggestions for improvements that I intend to incorporate into future question series, and I'm going back to my behavioral economics texts to deepen my own understand -- but I still think the results are interesting, nevertheless. One other note: while our respondents put the desired price of season passes at around $17, in reality, RPG gamers pay about $25 for them (when purchased as a separate product, not as part of a Deluxe Edition or GotY) on average, according to industry sales data. Question 8: Free DLC Pretty clear message here: people like free DLC. 4% of respondents, however, clearly feel that DLC is not good, in any form. Question 9: Genre Preference Everyone hated this question's answer choice structure. I tried something newfangled by allowing people to drag and drop their answer choices in a stack-ranked list, and we got a ton of feedback on it. First, it apparently didn't work on mobile -- sorry about that, I should've tested it better. Second, a lot of people commented that they felt pretty much equally weak on a variety of genres but felt they were forced to rank them better than each other, anyway. This is interesting, though, because despite a lot of these comments, Sports and Casual emerged as the clear losers. You'd think that if, say, the bottom five or six genres (which is what most people said they didn't care about) were equally lousy to people, you'd have a fairly even distribution, since the order of the answer choices was randomized. So, while our respondents didn't like the way this question was structured (and I'll kill it for next time), it is interesting to see that it forced the truth out -- sports and casual games are the least liked. Therefore Obsidian is killing our latest secret project: Lord Bolingbroke Polo 2018. Just kidding, we wouldn't do a casual game. -- Conclusions All in all, lots of great takeaways here, and we'll be using the data internally to ask some even more in depth questions. For example: do people who own Pillars of Eternity DLC also own Tyranny DLC? Do Europeans have different DLC preferences from North Americans? Why do RPG fans hate sports games? There's so much to be learned here, and we are so grateful to our fans for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. We will continue to get better at making surveys, and we hope you will continue to engage with us and let us know how you feel, so that we can try to make the best games possible for you. We know we can't please everybody all the time (this survey proves that), and we're not trying to do that, but if this kind of research can help us get better at making the games we love to make, then our marketing team is doing its job.
  2. Greetings Obsidian Fans! We’re extremely excited about our upcoming RPG, and we know you are too. We wish we could tell you all about it right now… but we’re going to hold off until the time is right. What we did want to talk about was a question a lot of you have been raising: “Will this upcoming game feature any lootboxes or other microtransactions?” The answer is simply: “no.” No microtransactions, of any kind, in our game. We also wanted to say a word about our partnership with Private Division, our publisher on this title. Far from “pushing” us to put anything -- microtransactions or otherwise -- into our game, Private Division has been incredibly supportive of our vision, our creative freedom, and the process by which we work to make RPGs. They have been fantastic partners, and we are extremely excited to work with them through release, to put what we know is going to be an amazing game into as many hands as possible. As always, thank you so much for your support. We know we couldn’t do what we do without our fans, and we want you to know that we put you guys first in every decision we make. Obsidian
  3. Okay, the title and the tags where done tongue-in-cheek, so don't go looking for your angrypants. I've seen two big RPG releases in the last few years tout themselves as "open world", only for developers to come back quickly and clarify to the effect of... It is open world, but it's not. The areas are big, etc. The two recent games that I know of are DA: Inquisition and Witcher 3. Don't misunderstand, these are both great games and have the kind of large roomy areas that conveniently assuage any potential claustrophobia on the part of the player. However, these don't seem to fit the classic definition. i.e. You cannot run from one edge of the map to the other without opening a menu, which is conveniently called "map", in order to move from one "zone" to another. Open worlds have: stream loading, most or all areas accessible from the start, may or may not have player-relative enemy strength. Personally, I find the games without mob level adjustment have the most charm. After all, nothing says hello quite like a "Welcome Bear". Examples: Skyrim, Fallout, Most MMOs, older Might & Magic games and I remember at least one way back on the original PlayStation, but don't remember the name. So, why are we seeing this term thrown around? Is it really just marketing departments seeing "valuable words" produced by the success of others and just too eager to apply them to things they're trying to sell?
  4. Hello everyone! I watched this video again, checked YouTube and then I was struck by lightning. The smoke is still coming off my now bald head, but I just had to crawl to this forum and post this "idea" before I pass out from the pain. It is not really an idea, it's an ORDER. Repost this video on relevant forums across the web, share it on your Facebook pages, like it, Twitter it #PillarsofEternity (twitter link), and furthermore, SEARCH FOR PILLARS OF ETERNITY IN GOOGLE! Or click this link and this link and this link (these links link to google, in an attempt to bump relevancy). Why? Marketing. Not standard marketing. Community marketing. Fan marketing. People marketing. Underdog marketing. "Just get those views up"-Marketing. Find forums and share the news. Spread this video like wildfire. If you've got a YouTube Channel, discuss it, upload videos and talk about it. Do everything in your power to up those views on it! Let's get this bad boy up to 500'000 views (It's at 180'000-ish views as I post this message). Can we do it? OF COURSE WE CAN! *insert "Yes we can!" logo* for Sparta Eir Glanfath!!! Glhf P.S. we could spread this (Pledge site) too while we're at it Hugs!
  5. I look at Obsidian's facebook page and get sad. 60,000 backers and barely 20,000 Likes? And no thread about it? I just convinced two people to Like the page (one hadn't head of any Infinity Engine game), which means about 200 more people will at least have a glance of Obsidian in their walls. This is from me, somebody with very few facebook friends who, in turn, keep relatively tight contacts on FB. If 40,000 more like it, extrapolating from me, about 4,000,000 (+/- say, 2,000,000) people will hear about it. Who knows how many of them had a good time with either BG1/2, Fallouts, IWD, PS:T, Arcanum or NWN but haven't heard of the Obsidian kickstarter. A few more of them will like it, some will even contribute, numbers both in Facebook and Kickstarter will get way bigger. If PE is something you like as much I think you do, make sure you "Like" it! Then pester a few more people to Like it, too. You will be a slight annoyance to somebody, but it will actually help. Did you manage to get somebody to back the project? Then getting them to Like it will be way easier, it's free! Don't have a facebook account? Make one! It takes a few minutes, then about half an hour to find pretty much everybody you can think from your real life friends on it. Then tell them about it. Tell them how amazing this project is! People like excitement! If you like this "strange thing" that much, people will like it just for the hell of it, just to make you happy. And their friends will see, numbers will grow! In three days we won't just get 40,000 likes, we can get 400,000!
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