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Age of Heroes Headlines:  
5 Oct 2016: Heroes VII development comes to an end.. - read more
6 Aug 2016: Troubled Heroes VII Expansion Release - read more
26 Apr 2016: Heroes VII XPack - Trial by Fire - Coming out in June! - read more
17 Apr 2016: Global Alternative Creatures MOD for H7 after 1.8 Patch! - read more
7 Mar 2016: Romero launches a Piano Sonata Album Kickstarter! - read more
19 Feb 2016: Heroes 5.5 RC6, Heroes VII patch 1.7 are out! - read more
13 Jan 2016: Horn of the Abyss 1.4 Available for Download! - read more
17 Dec 2015: Heroes 5.5 update, 1.6 out for H7 - read more
23 Nov 2015: H7 1.4 & 1.5 patches Released - read more
31 Oct 2015: First H7 patches are out, End of DoC development - read more
5 Oct 2016: Heroes VII development comes to an end.. - read more
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Heroes Community > Heroes 7 - Falcon's Last Flight > Thread: ~ Heroes 7 - Discussion thread ~
Thread: ~ Heroes 7 - Discussion thread ~ This MEGA THREAD is 1634 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 ... 330 660 990 1320 ... 1630 1631 1632 1633 1634 · «PREV / NEXT»
Marzhin
Marzhin

Shaper of Lore
Designer & Writer, Ubisoft
posted June 29, 2019 12:28 PM

fred79 said:
if all those clowns care about is money


What they care about is being able to pay people at the end of the month (which includes those not directly involved in making the games --administration, IT and web services, HR, cleaning, etc. That's what is called the "functioning costs"), not *lose* money, and maybe even make some money to secure the company's future and be able to invest on new projects.

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fred79
fred79


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
Scourge of the H-Seas
posted June 29, 2019 12:31 PM

if they wanted to sell a product, why not see which one sold the most at the time, and use that formula? if they want to make money to pay people and "secure their future", as you say. they could have made a duplicate with new ideas/spells/whatever, and that would have sold. one would think.

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Marzhin
Marzhin

Shaper of Lore
Designer & Writer, Ubisoft
posted June 29, 2019 12:56 PM

fred79 said:
if they wanted to sell a product, why not see which one sold the most at the time, and use that formula? if they want to make money to pay people and "secure their future", as you say. they could have made a duplicate with new ideas/spells/whatever, and that would have sold. one would think.


In fact, the Heroes game that sold the most legitimate copies is actually Heroes VI... no small thanks to the Conflux

Regarding giving the source code to the fans I agree it could have been a nice 20th anniversary gift. But I'd expect the deal they made with Tencent regarding the development of Might & Magic in China (which includes H3-inspired games like Era of Chaos) means Heroes III is still considered an asset too valuable to just give away. But I don't know for sure. If Ubi Partners was still around, the decision would have gone through us, but I don't even know who would make the call nowadays.

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fred79
fred79


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
Scourge of the H-Seas
posted June 29, 2019 01:01 PM

Marzhin said:
In fact, the Heroes game that sold the most legitimate copies is actually Heroes VI


citation needed. i was under the impression homm3 sold the most copies for it's day and age.

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted June 29, 2019 01:18 PM

Marzhin said:
JollyJoker said:
Marzhin said:
There's also this feeling that Might & Magic is too small and too niche. Many people in the internal studios will tell you how much they love Heroes, yet they have no interest in actually making one. They want to make blockbusters. That's what they do.

They had the chance and botched it. Twice, actually. I'm also not really sure why you hire studios which are not known for developing many known games, much less blockbusters, when your intention is to produce one. That seems somewhat incongruent.


*Internal* studios (Ubi Montréal, Ubi Massive, Ubi Quebec, Ubi Toronto, etc.) want and even need to do AAA blockbusters. They're huge teams (300 to 600 people), with high salaries, and to be profitable they need to create games that will sell millions of copies. The average Assassin's Creed game sells 5+ millions copies in the first year (before price cuts). The best ones reach 10 or more.

Heroes is considered a triumph if it sells, say, half a million. So it's a completely different scale.

Ubisoft Partners on the other hand was working with external studios like Black Hole or Limbic. Smaller projects, much smaller budgets, and so we could do more "niche" games like Heroes or Might & Magic X.

JollyJoker said:
If you consider the fuss they made before the release of H6 (remember Budapest?), marketing certainly had a blockbuster budget.


I see. You believe *that* was a blockbuster budget. I guess that explains a lot.
Heroes, a game that is considered very expensive for a niche, PC-only strategy game, has a budget somewhere between 5 and 10 millions. I'm not allowed to give the exact number, but that gives you an idea.

Multiply that by ten or twenty and now you get an actual blockbuster budget.

When Bolloré came knocking at the door it was considered too risky to invest even those (relatively) small sums into external companies, and so Ubisoft Partners was shut down to focus on internal developments.


What I mean with "making a fuss" is trying to look big, when it wasn't (it's still been a niche game), thereby creating expectations and then fail. H6 sold well, and if H6 would have been a better game, it would have been sold even better. If a game is great, it will always sell, so you need to get the game right, first and foremost, and then talk about marketing.
You just need to look at AoW 3 which basically had no marketing at all - still they sold a ton of copies.

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Elvin
Elvin


Admirable
Omnipresent Hero
What if Elvin was female?
posted June 29, 2019 01:22 PM

That sounds highly unlikely, unless ubi only counts sales made since they acquired the rights.
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fred79
fred79


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
Scourge of the H-Seas
posted June 29, 2019 01:24 PM

Elvin said:
That sounds highly unlikely, unless ubi only counts sales made since they acquired the rights.


lol, and if they're only counting their hot messes, then they really have no idea.

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Marzhin
Marzhin

Shaper of Lore
Designer & Writer, Ubisoft
posted June 29, 2019 01:25 PM
Edited by Marzhin at 14:26, 29 Jun 2019.

fred79 said:
Marzhin said:
In fact, the Heroes game that sold the most legitimate copies is actually Heroes VI


citation needed. i was under the impression homm3 sold the most copies for it's day and age.


AFAIK Heroes III sold half a million copies worldwide in its first year, including 200K in the US. Which was big for the time, don't get me wrong. As a reference, total sales of Heroes 1-3 were 750K copies (I think the number was given by Greg Fulton in an old interview), total sales for the M&M series as a whole was 1.5M copies (3DO press release in 1999). So even then Might & Magic was a relatively *small* brand.
Of course, a large number of players actually used pirated copies, especially in Eastern Europe, Russia and China (the largest fanbases). JVC even told me they were very surprised to discover Chinese players loved H3, considering the game wasn't even supposed to be available there...

Heroes V did roughly as much (and eventually beat that number with the expansion packs and gold editions), while Heroes VI did a little better at launch. If if I remember correctly it sold around 650K copies in the first year, and topped at around 2M with the expansions. Again, that's before the price cuts, steam sales, etc.



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fred79
fred79


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
Scourge of the H-Seas
posted June 29, 2019 01:29 PM

and how many of ubi's m&m releases were pirated? got an estimate on that? also, citations for all this?

and a more personal question: were you on the graphics or the coding side of the work being done? or just an idea man?

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JollyJoker
JollyJoker


Honorable
Undefeatable Hero
posted June 29, 2019 01:57 PM

Marzhin said:
fred79 said:
Marzhin said:
In fact, the Heroes game that sold the most legitimate copies is actually Heroes VI


citation needed. i was under the impression homm3 sold the most copies for it's day and age.


AFAIK Heroes III sold half a million copies worldwide in its first year, including 200K in the US. Which was big for the time, don't get me wrong. As a reference, total sales of Heroes 1-3 were 750K copies (I think the number was given by Greg Fulton in an old interview), total sales for the M&M series as a whole was 1.5M copies (3DO press release in 1999). So even then Might & Magic was a relatively *small* brand.
Of course, a large number of players actually used pirated copies, especially in Eastern Europe, Russia and China (the largest fanbases). JVC even told me they were very surprised to discover Chinese players loves H3, considering the game wasn't even supposed to be available there...

Heroes V did roughly as much (and eventually beat that number with the expansion packs and gold editions), while Heroes VI did a little better at launch. If if I remember correctly it sold around 650K copies in the first year, and topped at around 2M with the expansions. Again, that's before the price cuts, steam sales, etc.

If they sold that much, why BH went bankrupt? And why only one expansion? I mean, what did they count on, a million sales right away?
Anyway, that's why I said they botched it. The game sold well, but it was a mess at its (belated) release. Had the game been better than it was, a real step forward after V, it would have sold even more.

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Marzhin
Marzhin

Shaper of Lore
Designer & Writer, Ubisoft
posted June 29, 2019 02:06 PM
Edited by Marzhin at 14:32, 29 Jun 2019.

fred79 said:
and how many of ubi's m&m releases were pirated? got an estimate on that?


The average for PC games is 8 out of 10 players are using a pirated copy. DRM reduces that number a bit. It certainly was the case, and actually even a bit worse, for Might & Magic X (thanks to the early access tracking, which allowed us to see how many people were playing the game and compare this number to how many sales we had.)

fred79 said:
also, citations for all this?


"As a series, Heroes has sold over 750,000 copies world wide." Greg Fulton, source: http://www.heroesofmightandmagic.com/forgetown/index.php?cat=interview

"The series has sold 1.5 million units worldwide" (the trick is they're actually talking about Might & Magic as a whole here, not just Heroes.) 3DO Press release: https://web.archive.org/web/20010425145533/http://www.corporate-ir.net/ireye/ir_site.zhtml?ticker=thdo&script=410&layout=9&item_id=66067

"Heroes of Might and Magic V was a commercial success. Its sales surpassed 350,000 copies by the end of June 2006": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroes_of_Might_and_Magic_V#Reception
(The actual press release from Ubi doesn't seem accessible anymore, hence why I resort to link the Wikipedia page instead. Note that these are the numbers after only one month.

Heroes VI physical sales (keeping in mind VGChartz was doing estimates based on incomplete sources): http://www.vgchartz.com/game/49554/might-amp-magic-heroes-vi/
Double that number to account for the digital sales, and you get 600+K copies.

Of course it would be nice to also see you guys provide citations as well, considering I read a lot of "I believe...", "I assume...", "that sounds unlikely..." and a lot of that appears to be wishful thinking (or anti-Ubi bias) rather than anything backed by fact

fred79 said:
and a more personal question: were you on the graphics or the coding side of the work being done? or just an idea man?


I was in the level design team, then also one of the writers. At times I also worked on musical direction, did some texture work... (And of course the whole creative direction for MMXL.)
There's no such thing as an "idea man" in the game industry. If you cannot produce something that can be used in the game, you're useless. Don't take my word for it.

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fred79
fred79


Responsible
Undefeatable Hero
Scourge of the H-Seas
posted June 29, 2019 02:17 PM

Thanks for the answers. And as an official, the burden of proof is on you, in order to convince the people who helped to put money in your pocket.

Though, tbh, i wasn't one of them. Because i don't buy, pirate, or even play ubi heroes games.

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Maurice
Maurice

Hero of Order
Part of the furniture
posted June 29, 2019 02:17 PM

Marzhin said:
Regarding giving the source code to the fans I agree it could have been a nice 20th anniversary gift. But I'd expect the deal they made with Tencent regarding the development of Might & Magic in China (which includes H3-inspired games like Era of Chaos) means Heroes III is still considered an asset too valuable to just give away. But I don't know for sure. If Ubi Partners was still around, the decision would have gone through us, but I don't even know who would make the call nowadays.


Would you have? I mean, made the gift to the general public?

And based on what you wrote, I guess budget was eventually the killer. What I am wondering about, though, were there any projections and feasibility prospects being made, before the franchise was acquired? I mean, if they were interested in developing games in that setting, they must have got rough estimates of investment and expected revenues, right? I am guessing it didn't match reality?
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Marzhin
Marzhin

Shaper of Lore
Designer & Writer, Ubisoft
posted June 29, 2019 02:23 PM
Edited by Marzhin at 14:31, 29 Jun 2019.

Maurice said:
Would you have? I mean, made the gift to the general public?


I would certainly have made a case for it (it annoys me that nothing is planned --that I'm aware of-- for the anniversary). Whether or not it would have been green-lit by the top-management is another story.

Anyway! I'm officially not an Ubisoft employee anymore, so now I'm just another fan again. Toodles

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Maurice
Maurice

Hero of Order
Part of the furniture
posted June 29, 2019 02:38 PM

Marzhin said:
Anyway! I'm officially not an Ubisoft employee anymore, so now I'm just another fan again. Toodles


Soooooo ... I guess we'll need to strip you of your forum title as well then .
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Galaad
Galaad

Hero of Order
Li mort as morz, li vif as vis
posted June 29, 2019 02:40 PM
Edited by Galaad at 14:40, 29 Jun 2019.

The whole "Heroes VI sold the most" argument is fallacious. VI didn't sell good because VI was good, VI sold good because V was good.
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verriker
verriker


Honorable
Legendary Hero
We don't need another 'eroes
posted June 29, 2019 03:06 PM

at the end it would have been much better if Might and Magic stayed at the private equity firm instead of Ubisoft, no terrible lame reboots, failures or post mortems and original NWC content like source code could wind up to a better rights holder instead of now holed up in some megacorp's dungeon forever lol
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Antalyan
Antalyan


Promising
Supreme Hero
H7 Forever
posted June 29, 2019 03:08 PM

Marzhin said:


When Bolloré came knocking at the door it was considered too risky to invest even those (relatively) small sums into external companies, and so Ubisoft Partners was shut down to focus on internal developments.




I understand that investing in games with relatively limit fanbase can be considered risky and (especially) big players on the game market may not feel like going into it.

However, I can understand why they cannot choose a different path. If they don't want to create such games themselves, they should either allow someone else to do it (either sell the rights completely or provide at least some partial rights, as discussed thousand times here).

They could have some minor profits from that (which is better than nothing) and fans would be pleased as well.

On the other hand, right now, they make fans angry, which can be reflected in other fields as well (like their reluctance to buy their other games for instance).

Alternatively, they could try to experiment with platforms like Kickstarter. I wonder how much money could be got there for Heroes games...


As for me, I regret cancellation of H7 further plans the most, even more than H8 since H7 is very close to my vision of ideal Heroes game (not technically), and it is really hard for me to accept both unfixable bugs (together with some AI bugs which would really deserve to be fixed) and no Sanctuary


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Quantomas
Quantomas


Responsible
Famous Hero
AI Wizard
posted June 29, 2019 04:00 PM

Kudos, Marzhin, for providing us with these facts, not to forget the insights into Ubi.

I would be curious how much effort Ubi does to learn why a game sold or didn't.

It is too simple to say Heroes VI did well by selling more copies than Heroes V, and that that number was boosted by the Conflux. You could just as well reason that Heroes VI sold well because fans were happy with Heroes V, and Heroes VII failed because people were antagonized with the experience they had playing Heroes VI with the Conflux.

In any case, I owe you a debt of gratitude for granting the permission to publish my AI mod for Heroes V back in the day. With all the work done since that day, there may be a new dawn coming that will put Heroes into the spotlight again. The best I can imagine is a legion of people playing LotA (many thanks for your great work on this) who encounter for the first time a proper AI that is totally unique in the industry and have people clamor for more. I still maintain most people don't know how great a game Heroes truly can be.

I wish you well and hope your plans work out. Don't forget us, one day we may have a nice surprise for you.

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verriker
verriker


Honorable
Legendary Hero
We don't need another 'eroes
posted June 29, 2019 04:44 PM

any ETA or particular update to that Quantomas not ungrateful just curious, every time it sounds the thing is very close to be ready but then an unknown delay of some years or what have you cheers lol
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