Well shit.

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I guess I just don't see the connection between a fan project like WC Saga and the Freespace fan group.

Wing Commander fans shouldn't like Freespace. Freespace helped kill Wing Commander - we should *never* be obligated to pay lip service to something with that legacy. It's important for us to remember what happened in the late nineties because someday we'll get another shot, and when we do we need to make damn sure that the world understands that the general population recognizes the difference between Wing Commander and generic trash. To decide now to look back on Freespace 2 as some sort of gaming holy grail is counterproductive to that goal - it was a bad game that sold badly for good reasons. Remembering that, ultimately, is what will preserve Wing Commander.

Now, if you guys can take Freespace and make it into something fun for Wing Commander fans, then fantastic. We'll salute the hell out of you - but Wing Commander Saga being great isn't the same thing as Freespace being great.

(And yes, I do feel genuinely bad for the Freespace fans with regards to the Derek Smart situation. The whole thing is funny in that it's a terrible farce... but ultimately Derek Smart is both a bad developer and a community killer. Ask anyone who survived csipgss... if you can find any of us still willing to touch space sims. The fans, however misguided I believe their affections to be, don't deserve our scorn. I hate Freespace, not Freespace fans.)

(Furthermore, all of this is neither here nor there - we have friendly jokes with all the other space sim groups (and we take just as many shots at ourselves)... it's only the Freespace people who feel the need to take it personally. That's an indication of something on their part, not ours.)
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
Does anyone remeber the cartoon about FS3?
bang.jpg
 

Spien

Spaceman
The ripping in this topic has been more on Smart than Freespace. I've honestly never played either of the Freespace games so I can't give my opinion on FS, but if Smart ends up making a third one my sincere condolences go out to their community.

I did have fun with Battlecruiser Millenium however, that is, having fun watching it die horribly in my microwave.
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
Can someone tell me the connection between FS2 and killing WC...I don't get it.
About making jokes with other Spacesim communitys...what others?
About the pic above...that was made by some FS fan and as you can see that have allready accepted their fate that their will be no FS3 long long ago...since this pic is quite old.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Can someone tell me the connection between FS2 and killing WC...I don't get it.

Freespace 2's exceptionally poor sales (20,000 units domestic) have been cited as one of the key reasons EA decided to cancel several Wing Commander projects (most notably Privateer Online). In order to 'turn a profit', a game like Freespace 2 must sell between 750,000 and a million copies - 20,000 copies is a horrible failure. Interplay promised to deliver an exciting new game... what the world got was Prophecy without characters, story or soul. The buying public reacted appropriately.

About making jokes with other Spacesim communitys...what others?

Name the game, I'll tell you a story. Heck, look at the most recent set of April Fools update: https://www.wcnews.com/news/1629

We made fun of ourselves, Electronic Arts, FreeLancer, Lancer Reactor, the former Origin guys (who were auctioning stuff), Boomer and Freespace. Guess which *one* group showed up to flood our message board with petty threats? :)
 
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milo

Spaceman
North American Sales space sims:
Code:
1997:
X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter (Balance of Power)        333,608 units ($15,333,000)
Wing Commander Prophecy (and gold)               210,000 units  ($7,110,000)

1998
Descent Freespace (Freespace 1)  (and gold)      147,158 units  ($4,563,000)
Freespace expansion pack (alone)                  23,000 units    ($404,000)
(so approximately 170,000 units and $5,000,000 for Freespace 1 in total)

Independence War                                  61,000 units  ($2,210,000)
Interplay Re-release of Battlecruiser 3000        41,037 units    ($405,000)

1999
X-Wing Alliance                                  235,920 units  ($7,457,000)
FreeSpace 2   (including game of the year)        83,484 units  ($2,703,000)
Independence War Deluxe                           23,000 units    ($487,000)
(so approximately 84,000 units and $2,700,000 for Independence War and its
expansion)

2000
Tachyon                                           61,200 units  ($2,112,000)
Starlancer                                        27,390 units  ($1,147,000)
Allegiance                                        12,700 units    ($443,000)
X-Beyond the Frontier                             10,834 units    ($295,000)

2001
Independence War 2                                10,069 units    ($407,000)
I know it gives you comfort to believe that FS is responsible for the death of your favorite series, but that beliefe is not supported by the evidence. Looking at the numbers it is clear that both series were victims of the same genre-wide blight.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
These numbers aren't anything like anything I've ever seen, though. They're certainly not correct for Prophecy (whose sales I have some personal experience with).

(They certainly show a clear trend started by *FREESPACE 2*, though.)
 

milo

Spaceman
Bandit LOAF said:
These numbers aren't anything like anything I've ever seen, though. They're certainly not correct for Prophecy (whose sales I have some personal experience with).
The numbers are from a game reviewer with access to NPD. Everyone knows that NPD data is somewhat flawed as they only sample a subset of major stores in the USA and Canada. However, they remain the best source of competitive sales data and there is no reason to believe they are biased. In other words, the assumption is that all the numbers are wrong to a similar degree, so they can still be used as a basis for comparison with one another.

In any event, these are the numbers that industry execs use to plan future releases, so I think they are relevant here. If you have better numbers that you can share, I'd be interested to discuss them.

(They certainly show a clear trend started by *FREESPACE 2*, though.)
Not if you plot them on a graph. It's a very smooth line down from X vs T through to the end. The trend was already evident (in hindsight) when Prophecy was released. The only game that bucked the trend in a positive manner was XWing Alliance.

Actually, I think the most interesting and depressing indication of these numbers is that nothing could stop the collapse. A lot of people blame FS2's failure on Interplay's lack of marketing, but I'm not buying it. This list includes games of every conceivable variation on space simulation from traditional fighter sims, to a couple of semi-realistic starship sims, to multiplayer games, to trading games, to a co-op RTS/simulation hybrid. None of it made any difference. Even Homeworld and Freelancer - five-star ratings from every magazine in the known universe and two best of E3 awards - couldn't survive the slaughter.

Believe me, no one wishes this weren't true more than I do.
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
Looking at this nr and LOAFs arguments...I wonder why there is a X2 when the first part sold even worst then FS2.

Beside that...does anyone knows if Secret Ops (the Prophecy add on) was released bevor or after FS2?
 

Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
gevatter Lars said:
Looking at this nr and LOAFs arguments...I wonder why there is a X2 when the first part sold even worst then FS2.

Those are North American sales figures only. X sold a lot better in Europe, where it was generally better advertised.

Beside that...does anyone knows if Secret Ops (the Prophecy add on) was released bevor or after FS2?

Secret Ops was distrubuted through 1998, FS2 late 1999.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
The numbers are from a game reviewer with access to NPD.

Waiiiit. I'm happy to debate this with you, but before we go any further - are we talking about Mark Asher?

Looking at this nr and LOAFs arguments...I wonder why there is a X2 when the first part sold even worst then FS2.

X2 was developed and released in/for Europe - the overhead was a lot lower (not that anyone in the universe would point to X2 as a huge hit... though I certainly have a lot of respect for it).
 

milo

Spaceman
No, they are from an old Usenet post by Desslock in c.s.i.p.g.ss.
http://groups.google.com/groups?q=g...1&selm=a2a0n5020jg@enews3.newsguy.com&rnum=34

In addition to the X series selling much better in Europe, game makers have learned to adapt somewhat. LOAF is correct that you need several hundred thousand sales to support a budget the size of a typical Wing Commander epic. However, a large portion of WC's budget went into the story and FMV. We had the same situation on Starfleet Academy - at one point we had a team of twenty-five artists working full time for a month to clean up video frames in Photoshop. You can create the core gameplay elements on a much smaller budget by using a smaller team, using some off-the-shelf components, sending parts of the work overseas where labor rates are cheaper, and so on. I'll be thrilled if Starshatter sells "only" ten thousand units in the USA.
 

Cpl Hades

Mr. Kat
Derek Smart replied to that post saying that the figures quoted for BC3K were well below what they actually were, and that was just for the North American figures. It's highly likely that the other figures are out as well.

Again, Prophecy sold many more copies than that old post says. Like I said, that post was just North American figures. Other countries account for a lot.. Germany in particular contributes a huge amount to WC sales. As far as reliability goes, the figures in that post rank right up there with a British made Iraq WMDs dossier.
 

Starman©

Spaceman
Those number are interesting indeed. About the X-Games, AFAIK EGOSOFT was
a new german company making their first run in building an uptodate ELITE-Clone,
but maybe because of that, they have not the possibilty or the knowlegde, to
make the advertising much more world-wide. First Version was released outside
Germany even a few month after the german release.

Now X2 was the other way around, it was released in UK a few months earlier.

But has anyone an overall sales-number for Freespace 2 ? It really suprises me,
that the number of selled copies is that low. Of course, the game has never
reached the deep of the wing-commander, not even a bit (because all this missing
feeling who you are playing after all, in WC you know where you are, that gives
that great atmosphere, you feel even personally insulted by Tolwyn (I mean
Admiral Tolwyn, sorry to our Tolwyn :) ).

Freesapce couldn't give you that feeling, but about the game-play it was very
good, especially the cap-ship-battles (beams etc, since B5 I really like this sort of
weapons), and this battle-feeling is what I like on freespace2 so much (I say 2,
FS1 was rather weak). It took the battle-power to the bigships which is most
effective for direct assaults and much more realistic IMO. Fighters are better used
for protection against other fighters or some hidden operations).

The story was a little lame and nothing special (human race is being attacked by
technological and numeric overwhelming, unknown Race, we all have seen this
often enough in games and TV. Even wing-commander used that klischee,
but they were able to build the characters, which turns the games totally different
and seperated from the mass, not to mention the interactive way.) But still it had
potential.

About Starlancer, I can only say "no wonder it sells bad". I don't know about the
english version, I never get my hand on one, but the german was that bad
translated, that it really pissed me off playing it. (i.e. my copilot was everytime
rather excited, when one of my wingman was shutdown. :rolleyes: ).

Tachyon was only embarassing. First I thought: "well, the graphik is not that good,
but let's check it out". But when I heard the laser-sound the first time, I thought
"that does it". I never played further than 5 Missions or so).

But back to the point, I think that you are making it too easy saying Freespace
killed WC. I'm pretty sure, that there have been much more factors going on at
Origin, than just seeing that another Space-Sims is selling bad (I'm not sure if
there are connections to Interplay though). It is quite possible they have other
business-factors playing along (like decreasing overall-income of other
company-parts i.e.)

But it is quite possible, that the loosing interests on the market for space-sims
is one reason which makes them do the decision in stopping the
development of WC, because to reach the quality of another wing-commander,
you would have need a large budget, for making all those movies and animations,
and like stated above, that is simply something Freespace and all other
space-sims spared, because they can't afford it.

The quality-standard of WC was always very high (and that's why we like it so
much, right ?), and I think they(Origin) simply can't hold up that standard and
bring it together with their way of business, so they where forced to cancel it. In
the final end, all decisions are only about making money, nothing more.

But maybe WC-Saga and Standoff, and some other mods too may be able to awaken the interest in today's youth, which never get to know the WC-Universe.
That is it, why you all need to support us. We aren't doing this only for getting
ourselves be clapped on the shoulders saying :" Good work dudes". The Community must live on.

And on the side-note, we are planing in publishing WC-Saga in german's biggest
pc-gamers-magazin, and I'm pretty sure they will print it, so keep your fingers crossed. :)

Regards

Starman©

P.S. Sorry, for this extrem long post :D
 

milo

Spaceman
Cpl Hades said:
Derek Smart replied to that post saying that the figures quoted for BC3K were well below what they actually were, and that was just for the North American figures. It's highly likely that the other figures are out as well.
As a rule of thumb, most people double the NPD numbers to estimate world-wide sales. In the case of the X series, you would also need to account for the fact that it is significantly more popular in Europe than it is in the USA.

I am only using these numbers to show that while Freespace 2's sales were definitely bad, they were not as insanely bad as LOAF has suggested. Even the lower bound of using the raw NPD numbers is four times greater than the 20,000 units figure he quoted.

As a secondary point, it is my opinion that this evidence strongly suggests that the space sim market contraction was not caused by the poor sales or negative public opinion of the Freespace series.
 

Cpl Hades

Mr. Kat
If those Freespace figures include copies that were sold to Creative Labs to bundle with the 6x DXR3 kits, then that'd explain it.
 

Edfilho

Cry some more!
I'd side with milo on this matter. I've always felt that the "mainstream" a.g.w-c people were terribly biased against any other space sim (based on the ever-so-derisive comments), and specially against FS series. I feel that LOAF - an otherwise very reasonable person - just wants to have a "logical" reason to hate FS even more, and to preach his hatred. Hey, 1st amendment says it's his right. But I really think it's a rather tennuous connection with the DEATH of all space sims.

The flop that Daikatana was didn't kill FPSs. Nor did the early demise of Prey, a supposed Quake-killer. The overwhelming amount of expensive RTS clones did nothing to the strategy genre.

Hey, both IWar games sadly sold very badly according to those stats above, and they were kinda high profile, but why doesn't LOAF blame them? I don't know.

I'm no FS lover, I do like the gameplay and the engines of both series, but I rank Wing Commander far above it. Nevertheless, I still can't see FS as the nadir of the Space Sim genre, nor the guilty ones fo its sadly passing away. I believe that the series was just another victim of the general low interest for the genre.

Remember, flight sims went the same way, with the exception of the boring MS-FS juggernaut, and some excelente anomalies like IL-2.
 
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