Monday passes, and no word from FSS.
A list of some things that Flagship should have known:
When you position your product as a spiritual successor to a hugely success product (D2), and you want to supplant that product, you need to deliver something that takes the original product in a revolutionary, not evolutionary direction. It needs to be bigger, faster, brighter, louder, badder, harder, flashier - pick your adjective. If you’re going to deliver a clone, and a weak sister clone (IMHO) at that, while you’ve been out selling it as sci-fi D3, you’re in deep trouble.
Hubris is not something you want to project when trying to sell your product unless you are delivering the best product of all time, and maybe not even then. Humility sells, hubris angers.
Selling a game at the normal full cost and then expecting a monthly subscription fee to overcome the artificial barriers (inventory, game modes, etc) that you put into place isn’t a value proposition for the customer. Unless you’ve built an incredible product, they’ll simply walk away. This is why everyone else goes with the expansion pack model. You box up the value proposition and then get it in front of the customer. The customer’s perception is that now I’ve gotten the game PLUS, as opposed to the general preception of Flagships model, which is full price game MINUS.
Positioning a product as both SP and MP, and then throwing the SP players under the bus (I refer you to FSS’s Bogustus’s statement on the matter) isn’t good business. Those customers will have little-to-no incentive to purchase anything from you again.
You don’t promise quarterly content upgrades, and not deliver them, and then worse, start telling people the next quarterly update will be done when it’s done. One might argue that the quarterly update was the only real value proposition to subscribing, i.e., the only non artificial barrier placed between the full box price PLUS and the full box price MINUS customers. When you don’t deliver, your paying PLUS customers tend to get a wee bit upset, and your MINUS customers turn the flame on.
If you constantly over promise and then constantly under deliver, you need to spend time mending fences, and not playing the victim. After awhile, even the most ardent fanboi is going to realize how much s/he’s been screwed, and who the victim really is.
When you’ve damaged, bent, and outright broken the trust relationship between yourself and your customers this badly, you need to go out the way to re-establish it. You don’t pretend nothing’s wrong, you don’t pretend its business as usual, and you never, ever, let rumors get out of hand (I refer you to the current situation)*.
* As a corollary, don’t let your forum moderator grunts make light of a situation which is perceived to be serious by the community. It’s unprofessional, and it reflects badly on your company (who, after all, hired/contracted the moderators).
And last, but not least, the cake is a lie.
To forestall the usual false dichotomy choices of what would you rather have, X or Y (broken game or no game, working MP/no SP or broken both, etc, etc, ad naseum), don’t bother. Complex problems rarely solve down to a binary set, unless the person trying to solve the problem has deliberately chosen to wear blinders.
Also, I’m not in interested in hearing about how it’s not FSS’s fault, they really are the victim here because they were a “small company” with “limited resources” and a “limited budget”. Hey, no kidding. It wasn’t like they pulled these facts out of a hat the day before they pushed the epic fail that the release version was out the door. They knew these facts before they even started the project. Any failure because of “small company”, “limited resources” and/or “limited budget” is still a failure of FSS’s, not random chance, or bad luck. Bad planning, bad management, and a lack of vision brought them to today.