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Author Topic: DiD: Beginning of the End
Member # 5

posted 10-01-1999 01:02 PM     Profile for Viking1     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Post your best wishes here, cry a few tears... reminisce...
Posts: 917 | From: Kelowna BC CANADA | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Member # 453

posted 10-01-1999 01:51 PM     Profile for SPOT   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
A-10, Desert Fighter, EF-2000 - looks like a great year if you like bass fishing or bull riding. Pokeman anyone?
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John Reynolds
Member # 78

posted 10-01-1999 02:55 PM     Profile for John Reynolds   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Does anyone else feel insulted when you see those USAF magazine ads that sport an A-10 right in the front? Grrrrr, like salt in the wounds.
Posts: 33 | From: Dayton, Ohio | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Harry Bosch

posted 10-01-1999 03:19 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
How many hardcore sims are left after this. Two f18 sims in the pipline and then?

Aaah the good old days of DID. TFX (I even have an Amiga version of F-29 somewhere), EF2000 Tactcom, F22, TAW, EF2000 (win95 version) they are all here on my shelves. Although Ef2000 (win 95) and TAW where saved by me from the bargain bin all the others where full price!

I got worried when I had to locate the patches for TAW and EF2000 (win95) and the website was gone! This was 2-3 weeks ago.

Looking back at the DID games I bought at full price I am sure that I did my best to support them. I worry when i see the current price of Mig alley droping in my local sofware shop not because I bought it full price but because it must have something to do with low sales.

Add to this the Sierra cuts and what's more important the reasons they gave for it (hunting, fishing and bull riding games are cool and make more money) and I'm in full depression.

Lets drink on the good old days of DID. Cheers guys I loved your games.


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Member # 3

posted 10-01-1999 03:45 PM     Profile for FALCON   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
This is a very sad Flightsim year
Thrustmaster gone
DID gone
FALCON 4.0 failure
what next

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Member # 173

posted 10-01-1999 04:08 PM     Profile for daveb   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
DID a goner? Well, surprise, surprise!
After the F22-ADF/TAW saga this is not too surprising.
That said, it is quite sad as EF2000 was superb but this is what happens when the bean counters take over because someone in
higher management got it wrong! I am sure Mr Kenwright is doing alright and I hope the developers get over it.
Will the makers of F18 learn any lessons from DID's possible demise? Probably not,
and will we continue to sing: another one bites the dust. Probably!
Tis a sad day but we'll get over it.

Best wishes,
Dave B.
PS I like TAW but cannot forgive DID for F22-ADF. I felt ripped off and I cannot help feeling that a sense of what goes around comes around. Sorry, but that's kust my feeling on this.

Posts: 613 | From: Windsor, UK | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Member # 465

posted 10-01-1999 04:39 PM     Profile for Karac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I'm saddened to hear that DID is gone. Had a lot of fun with EF2000. Despite all of the losses lately, we do still have some excellent sims on our HD's. EAW, F4 and all the rest. Could be worse you know. What if we only had Novalogics...ahem, sims for our virtual need for speed and Luftwaffe Commander as our only WWII prop sim. Could have happened I guess, if the axes had began falling last year instead of this one.

Good luck all, S!

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Member # 41

posted 10-01-1999 04:40 PM     Profile for Spectre   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I don't see this as a sad event. Not even close. What we may be seeing is the real developers wanting to go out on their own and break away from the 'corporate stiffling environment' that might be hampering their creative skills.

There's a positive side to all this people and we should be pleased instead of dismayed because of the news. We really don't know what is going on and eventually word will trickle down to us and we might even start hearing about a new 'startup sim company...'

Let's not curl up in a corner and cry our laments that a company might be going belly up. There's no need too.

As for Harry's comment: are forgetting THE hardcore sim of the year: Flanker 2...

Posts: 900 | From: Colorado | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged

posted 10-01-1999 04:59 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The demise of DID is truly a sad event, though with hindsight probably not an unforseen one. Good luck to its ex-employees and to Evolution Studios. And shame on you, Infogrames, for letting a popular and well-respected software development house get into such an irreversible situation.
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Die Hard

posted 10-01-1999 05:24 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I agree with you Spectre.

Allthough loyal to DID, they really pissed me off with the ADF/TAW rip-off. But hopefully the brains and passion that were behind the EF2000 concept will resurface soon - come on you guys, hurry up and sound off.

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posted 10-01-1999 05:45 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I always thought DID had a suprisingly smart business model. With revenues coming from both their games division and their military simulator sales. But I guess in this day and age that wasn't enough. But I always thought the F22 and wargasm sold relatively well. Does anyone have any sales figures for these products?????? But I guess if microprose lost money with Falcon 4.0, who will be able to turn a profit? Gentlemen the serious flight sim genre is in serious jepardy. I mean Falcon 4.0 was supposed to be the Quake of flight sims, the best of the best. RAM sales noticebly increased the week it was released, that was how large the demand was, people actually upgraded to run the game, and even with that level of interest Microprose did not break even. I for one am seriously depressed. Ah well at least I have Freespace 2, can you believe it a space sim as one the last serious sims to be developed for the next little while. I'm depressed enough to go and buy lightning III er maybe not.
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posted 10-01-1999 05:46 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I have an idea and I am not the most creative guy in the world so Im hoping this is being worked on as I speak (probably not seeing how great it is). There seem to be camps in the hard-core sim world. Some people like one sim, some people like another. I would imagine that for the most part, iut is because people are busy and sims take time to learn and you have your favorite and you dedicate your time to it. This appears to be a problem. Falcon is an amazing game and after having it for nearly a year, I am still learning all of the time. While I try to learn Falcon, I am trying to manage the rest of my life, not the least of which is my new career as a network engineer. One of the things you study when you do what I do is called the OSI model. Basically, it is a set of rules to follow to ensure that a networking product you develop is going to work with the rest of the networking products out there. You have your Netware and your NT... one maybe better than the other, but they must both follow a certain set of rules if they want to work out in the world. Competeing companies that on the most basic level must adhere to a standard set by a neutral party. DO THIS WITH SIMS!!!!! Why cant we have a standard on which hardcore sims from all developers can operate in a common world? Imagine taking your SSI Flanker up against a Falcon from Hasbro? I think this would be pretty SWANK! This exists to a certain extent with servey sims and even one developer with several titles that work together. This approach dosent seem to work to well. Falcon, an amazing piece of software, has less than shattering sales figures. What incentive does Hasbro have in funding an add-on? In the world of dollars and sense... not much. USAF... please! Fun but do you really think it will capture our imagination and desires like F-15, F4 or Flanker... doubt it. Imagine though if there were a common "flight sim world" where developers could work on their products but it would be part of a larger whole. I am sure this concept would catch on. Imagine flying in a sim where each plane is superbly detailed in every respect and every other TYPE of plane out there is the same. the only advantage any jet would have on the other would be the one that its real world counterpart had. A council should be formed with representatives from the military, networking, programing and flightsim-user communities. They could hammer out the details and the developers could develop their sims based om these rules. Some dedicated servers could be established and after a while the virtual skies would be filled with all kinds off hardcore simmers using hardcore sims and having a blast. The army does it now with sim-net, how many of you would like to take a crack at that beast? Maybe we could use that as a rule just as the internet is really an evolution of the arpanet!
The risk would be lowered for each developer, you wouldn't have to create the whole environment, just your jets part. And something like this is bound to get pretty popular!
Am I completely off my rocker?

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Member # 438

posted 10-01-1999 06:26 PM     Profile for JyHwk   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
EF2000v.2 is by far the best money I ever spent. It's the only game I ever owned that I felt like I would have paid two or three times the retail. I don't know if it is just me or others feel this way but I thought they captured something absent in other sims. Mabye thats why TAW was such a let down, it never reproduced the fun or sense of satisfaction I got out of EF2000. Every individual aspect added to the game to create such a complete experience. The lack of an intro movie, the plain grey interface, and P90 system requirement made it all the better. I even started to like that early 80's made for cable movie soundtrack after a while. And now no EF3, it's so sad its almost funny.
Posts: 6 | From: Lawrence,KS USA | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Harry Bosch

posted 10-01-1999 06:27 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I think most of you don't realise what is IMHO the sad trend in hardcore sim development. Most if not all released hardcore sims in 1999 ar not making any profit for their developers. Other genres (hunting, bull riding and other lame casual user type games) are making beter profit & they take far less skill and time to develop.

Look at the statement from Sierra after axing some of their projects. I can understand them killing Desert Fighters with the WWII sim market overcrowded with high quality sims like EAW. But they even killed their Babylon 5 game as well which had the Babylon 5 series as an establised name and a huge fan base.

Let face it most software co's are in it for the money. There will be little interest in development of a new Hardcore sim if you can get 3 'casual gamer' type games for the same money and all the while marketing is telling you that these games are going to sell beter.

Meanwhile the titles that get released have overlaping topics. How many f-22, ww2, f18 sims are up against each other. I will be able to choose wich new F-18 sim i like best and buy that one if there was only one F-18 sim there is a 99% percent chance of me buying it!

IMO 1999 will give us some of the last great flight sims for a while. But just wait maybe in a year or 2 the dried up hardcore sim market gets rediscovered and there will be to much choice again.

I told you I was depressed :-)
(May getting diagnosed with RSI just after buying a Force feedback joystick has something to do with it)

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Member # 469

posted 10-01-1999 06:56 PM     Profile for PositiveG   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I think one reason why there is so many Quake Heads vs Flight Sim junkies is the lack of exposure to good fun sims to the youngin's. 1st person shooters rule to some extent now.

However my two nephews just loved WWII Fighters, once I got them used to it. They played it all day and Quake, Unreal and Quake 3 arena sat idle! Go figure.

Plant a seed, show a relative or neighbour a flight sim. Maybe planting this one seed will lead to another and the market will take off again.

Just a thought.

Posts: 52 | From: Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged
666th.1Lt Thumper

posted 10-02-1999 12:24 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I just can't believe this! EF2K and Wargasm have absolutely the best graphics ever produced! how Can F-22ADF and TAW and Wargasm be called failures with the following that they have? Maybe Rainbow Six is bigger, but the Wargasm community is a dedicated and loyal one. Infogrames will rue the day for this! The bastards!
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666th.1Lt Thumper

posted 10-02-1999 12:31 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I just can't believe this! EF2K and Wargasm have absolutely the best graphics ever produced! how Can F-22ADF and TAW and Wargasm be called failures with the following that they have? Maybe Rainbow Six is bigger, but the Wargasm community is a dedicated and loyal one. Infogrames will rue the day for this! The bastards! F-22 ADF was far from what I expected, but EF2000 v2.0 was masterful! It is a joy to fly and the situaional awareness is wonderful! I pray that each and every one of the DID developers stay together and work their magic once again. Please, please bring on EF2000 v3.0!
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posted 10-02-1999 03:16 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I bought EF2000 because I thought it was great.

I bought F22-ADF because i thought that also was great.

I didn't buy F22-TAW because I thought DID were milking us. ADF should have been what TAW was. They make mistakes and pay the price.

I am saddened however of their demise. Lets hope that other Sim companies learn from DID's mistakes and that the former employees of DID make sims as great as what EF2000 (for it's time) was.



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Member # 278

posted 10-02-1999 03:40 AM     Profile for JohnUK   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I believe Wargasm sold badly. I think if they had had the money to use its graphics, sound and action in a TV commercial the demand would have been way greater. The only DiD game a didnt buy is TAW which i felt should have been at least cheaper to buyers of F22. F29 Retaliator and TFX on the Amiga, TFX,EF200, F22ADF and Wargasm on Pc have given me a lot of fun.
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[email protected]

posted 10-02-1999 04:25 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
As an ex Head of Marketing at DID, I remember too the awe I felt when I first ran TFX and EF2000.
Let there be no doubt that the causes behind the current situation owes much to the stranglehold and vested interests of the publisher:Infogrammes.
FOr example, how often would we find shelves devoid of DID products?
Be sure this was not because of lack of latent or actual demand.
Be sure that the appalling distribution in the USA was largely down to commercial interests and had nothing to do with the sim quality or latent or actual demand.
It is reasons like these that led DID to financial difficulties and ever greater dependency on Infogrammes who in turn simply did not have DID's best interests at heart at all. In this 'commercial' world the games and sims are counters in a big game of ludo.

I only wish my old friends at DID every success for the future. I know that the qualities they had were not disolved with the loss of DID -like Obi Wan Kenobi may you all go on to become "more powerful than'they' could possibly imagin"!!- I wish them the fortitude to go on and realise their true potential as individuals in a more equitable and mutually rewarding environment. So long guys and many thanks for the good times. The bad ones are baggage!

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The Dark Knight

posted 10-02-1999 06:04 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Wow, big suprise, Not.
I think i'll echo Gordon's comments when he says that a lot of the problems between DID and it's customers where caused by infogrammes lack of support for DID. Indeed, i suspect that the failure of Wargasm and the splitting of ADF from TAW was all part of their master plan to degrade the company so as to mack it easier to buy later. F22 was taking far too long to produce for infogrammes and they put a lot of pressure on DID to release something just to get some money coming in...and you know the rest. Wargasm, ADF and TAW never got anywhere near the marketing they should have got. I've seen adverts for Wargasm that would have blown your mind if you had seen them on the TV , or in the cinema. If they had been shown as often as they should have been, Wargasm would have taken off big time.
I don't know whether the 30 that walked out are forming a new company to do flight sims, but i'm pretty sure that Martin's new company aren't doing flight sims. As to whether or not Typhoon will be finished/released, well Infogrammes stated that they would not be interested in producing any game that wasn't expected to sell 1 million copies. TAW sold less than 50,000, mostly due to the fact that infogrammes only printed 50,000 copies to ensure that it wouldn't sell any more. Infogrammes stated that flight-sims would be exempt from this rule though, so as to 'preserve the existing status' of it's new development teams. As soon as they took over, they dropped one of the flight-sims that DID was producing at the time, pissing off a lot of artist and coders who had put a bucket load of work into it already. They also said that no-one would have to worry about their jobs either. The first thing they did when they took over was to put pressure on the MD to reduce the cost of the company by getting rid of all non-essential non-development staff. So, out went the entire tech-support department and most of the office staff. So, you can see that Infogrammes word 'aint worth sh*t. I'll leave it to you guys to work out whether Typhoon will be finished or not.
This is all part of Infogrammes plan to be the number one games producer on the planet. All I can say is they will only get there if they start treating their customers with a bit of respect and maybe their developers too. You can't treat artist and coders like a commodity,(One of the worst fealings in the world is to feal like all your work is being exploited.) they'll just get pissed off and go and sulk somewhere, leaving you with a mess on your hands.
If they have walked out, then I wish them good luck. Wasn't it better working for Martin, eh? Go see Martin and get another job, this time next year, you'll all be driving Farraris. Heh heh.
Onwards and upwards my friends.

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posted 10-02-1999 07:55 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well Mezz, that's a very simple view of the situation and rather 'creepy' if you ask me. Not trying to get a job with Martin are we?
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Member # 482

posted 10-02-1999 01:22 PM     Profile for warrior   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I first heard the news friday morning on the EF2000 maillist when DID's contact there (unofficially) told us what had happened. I was shocked and shattered!
The first sim ever on my PC was Mig29. Shortly after I bought TFX. Loved it, spent 100's of hours in the many (linear) campaigns, awed by the graphics, sound-effects and music. Then I heard about e new project with DID, called EF2000 and before I knew it I was reviewing the sim for the mag I worked for then. I was absolutely baffled! Imagine at that time the only sims around being USNF and EF2000. There wasn't a thing I didn't like about EF2000, I turned into an absolute flight-geek with EF2000. No other game ever got close to what EF2000 meant to me. It was and still is, for me, the absolute flight-sim KING. I was somewhat disappointed by ADF. I met with Martin Kenwright in Eindhoven, Holland, on his press tour of ADF. I immediately noticed this guy loved DID and flightsims. What's more, he was a nice chap; no fancy suit, no stiff distant talk. The guy told me he liked Holland because smoking weed is legal there. How's that for a CEO huh? DID seemed in good hands with him, after all, he's made DID into what it was. I was very suprised when he left. Then TAW came, which I did really like but I too felt somewhat cheated, not because of the add-on mistake, but because of features they said it would include but didn't, like a true ground-war. Things got silend after TAW's release although we all knew something new was in the works. Then Wargasm appeared, smashing, absolutely smashing game which for lousy marketing reasons never broke through.
On the maillist, we were all very excited to hear DID was working on a new EF2000 sim, and that they were gonna go for total realism like EF2000 offered. We made a list of features we wanted in there and quite a few of them DID liked and actually included! Countdown to "EF2000 V.3, Typhoon" had begun.

And now this. I know 31 people left, and 10 stayed behing and didn't have the slightest clue what was going on. The
31 that left all went to work for Rage software ( Incoming,...)
The minute I read the incredible news, I started calling. I called DID; Infogrames had told the remaining people there to, literally, shut up. They weren't allowed to take phone-calls! So I called Infogrames and spoke to a press-contact guy there. I told him I wanted to know what was going on with DID. He laughed smeeringly and told me he coulnd't divulge any info since some newspaper had exclusive rights on the topic!!
However, he'd try and put me through to one of the high-ups. His line was busy but If i left my name and number, he'd get back to me. Yeah right!
Initially I felt angry with Rage for stealing programmers. But I thought a lot about this
( it's been on my mind all weekend.) And I must conclude that most of you guys must be right and that Infogrames is responsible. Well, more like its bosses, the fat pigs who sit in their big offices and are only interested and getting more and more and more. And they'll stop at nothhing to get it, even screwing over loyal costumers ain't no problem. That's just the way this world works, too bad. I think Infogrames got into a real fight with DID's programmers and artists. Infogrames wanted bread, DID wanted spaghetti; no compromise could be reached. The programmers must eventually have had enough of Infogrames's dominating arrogance and left, making sure Infogrames got the shock of their life. " Oops" must have been what thet CEO that pushed DID into its present predicament said. After all, Infogrames, despite all, was really behind Typhoon ( as long as DID did it their way of course). They really were investing in DID, an even nearly doubled the crew for that particular project. SO 10 people are al that is left of DID, including the phone operator.
They sit in the dark and wait what Infogrames decides what to make of their lives; kill Typhoon, fire the 10 remaing people and go on like nothing happened or hire some new programmers for DID and keep Tyhoon and the 10 remaining people alive( I suuure hope it's the latter).
Anyone who thinks DID had it coming after the ADF/TAW flop should also consider this;
compared to what Microprose did, the ADF/TAW case was nothing. MS released a game that, without patching, wouldn't even BOOT! Even then,it was a big mess. This game really still is in development. And another marketing trick arises. Instead of working on more, free, patches, they'll re-release the game, as it was supposed to be, introduce a new plane, and release a new full-priced product. MS is just better at covering up its mistakes than DID is.
Just remember that most people in any company are doing what they can, but are bound by what their superiors decide. Don't flame an entire corps, but its management.
For now, Infogrames, you better get DID back up and running of you're gonna have a VERY nasty call; you don't just kill a company like DID and think you can get away with it just like that.
Monday, hopefully, Infogrames will have an official press statement ready. It better sound good, though I fear the worst.
't Is truly a sad day, for all the flight-sim community, one I will remember for a long time.
I am, indeed, very saddened.
Carl Jackson, hang in there mate!
Gordon McKay, glad to see you're still amongst us ( remember PC Gameplay Belgium)

Posts: 27 | From: Turnhout, Belgium | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged
Carl Jackson

posted 10-02-1999 02:56 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Cheers Warrior, I know who you are. Hi to Gordon and Mezz, long time no see fellas!

It's an incredibly sad situation, there's just me and 9 others guys just wandering around an empty building trying to gather our thoughts. The guys who left claim not to have left because of Infogrames, but because they were all made an offer they couldn't refuse from Rage software. Many illegal things have happened along the way to turn this already incredibly sticky situation, into a bigger, meaner, stickier, uglier situation.

DID's problems have always been a huge lack of communication between it's managers and the relevant people at Infogrames. We thought this would change when Martin left, but it just seemed to get worse as those left behind became paranoid and have just decided to jump ship instead of sorting the problems out.

What they'll do now I don't know, but I would bet that neither Martin's new team nor the newly left team will be doing a flight sim.

As for me, I have no problem with Infogrames, there are some great people who work there. The possible demise of DID isn't the fault of Infogrames, it's the fault of the people who've gone.

What makes it worse is that where they've moved to is near to my house

Carl (still waiting for that Ferrari)

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posted 10-02-1999 03:30 PM     Profile for FalconF1   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I must say that yes- the ADF/TAW thing was wrong. But Carl just made a great point!
Sure, I play Falcon4. Its an incredible game. But I still get pissed when it crashes on me (about every other mission).

TAW gave me the MOST FUN I've ever had in a flight sim.

I really hope those DID guys form somewhere else and give us another great sim.

Posts: 300 | From: NY,NY- USA | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Member # 173

posted 10-02-1999 04:52 PM     Profile for daveb   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hang on a minute!
DID got themselves into this position. However badly InfoGrames may/may not have behaved, the bottom line is that it is DID's management who got themselves into bed with Infogrames. DID made the decisions initially and their judgement in retrospect was flawed. If Infogrames have pumped money into DID then they deserve a return on their investment. I am sad to see DID suffer like this but they are not innocent bystanders in all this.
I have nothing but respect for the products involved .. even F22-ADF/TAW but come on blaming Infogrames totally does not seem right to me.

Best wishes,
Dave B.

Posts: 613 | From: Windsor, UK | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Member # 5

posted 10-02-1999 04:59 PM     Profile for Viking1     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Very good point, Dave.
Posts: 917 | From: Kelowna BC CANADA | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged

posted 10-02-1999 06:09 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
This article, and the subsequent threads replying to it completely tick me off. I can tell you because I was responsible for marketing DID products here in the US that we put as much support behind the products both in marketing and in the channel as was feasible from a financial standpoint.

I'll take Wargasm as an example. We ran radio, full print (both in game books and in some consumer), we designed and set up the official Wargasm website, we did online ads and contests, we had a strategy guide done by Prima, we ran pre-sell promotions at Babbages and EB, including premiums if you placed your order early). We did retail demo days with Creative's EAX SB Live. We did local tv broadcasts on news and tech shows. We ran countless promotions at Comp USA, including ultimately a net to zero (which means you buy the product for $24, send in the rebate, and you get your money back). And this is just off the top of my head. This was all meant to move inventory. And guess what folks...the product didn't move.

Additionally, we could not get full distribution of the title because of the name Wargasm. Walmart refused it, so did most of the office supply channel. Target? Kmart? Sorry. Do you think we wanted the name Wargasm for a product? Sure you remember it, but can you get it placed? Guess who had final say over the name of their product? Here's a hint. It wasn't Infogrames.

We had the game placed on and the Microsoft gaming zone for multiplay. You could only play one map, even though there were mutiple maps in the game. We requested DID fix this in a patch so that we could really drive multiplay. The word came down from DID that they would not do the patch because they were too busy with EF2000 v3.

Same issue with TAW. We had mass distribution of F22 ADF, and by the time TAW was released we could not get it placed in Best Buy. Most buyers only stock a certain number of sims because the numbers aren't there. The buyer said, we have EF2000 and F22 on our shelves at $19, we're not taking TAW. Of course, Falcon 4.0 was also on the horizon, and most buyers were aware of it's legacy. And yet that underperformed as well. Buyers aren't stupid. They know what products move and what products don't. So they keep their sell in of sim products low.

As for running tv ads on pc titles, there isn't a single publisher who runs tv on a pc only title. It is financially stupid if you look at the market realities. If you have a cross platform product that will sell 600,000 units on Playstation, then yes you mention the pc sku but that's not the lead platform. They ran Falcon 4.0 ads and everyone (including myself) was stunned. I guarantee you they have taken a bath on the product.

So while DID products may have their fans, and believe me as an avid sim player I'm one of them, the simple truth is their products did not sell well. And to take an even greater truth, most sim products (including Janes) don't sell well.

A business is supposed to make money. That is the nature of a business. If you invest several million dollars in product development, you'd better hope that you're going to at least make that money back and gain a return. The very nature of the PC marketplace today is a lethargic, and bloated monster. Of the thousands of PC titles launched last year, only 38 of them sold over 100,000 units. Pretty risky venture no? So most publishers are becoming wise and realizing that to make money you must create strong franchises, that are cross platform (meaning pc and console), and ideally with a strong license.

Yes, as a hardcore gamer I love new and original sims, as well as other pc titles. Sadly folks, if the sales aren't there over time, a publisher is going to change it's business model. You're witnessing that now.

But I also remain optimistic that sims will have a resurgence (similar to rpgs) over time, and that there is still a market for them. At Infogrames I drive that and keep that in mind. I think for a time, there were just too many sims out there. With everyone jumping out of the sim market, I think there is opportunity with the right products.

As for DID. They had a dream deal with Infogrames, especially comparative to what most developers have in the industry. I think they have a lot of talent, but how many development houses have 30 people or more working on one title? The article printed by Len was completely one sided, and quite honestly unfair. DID was supported well.

By the way, these opinions are solely my own and in no way reflect that of Infogrames.

Thanks for letting me tell a different side.

David Riley

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posted 10-02-1999 06:48 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I have to agree, while it appears that Infogrames can be a little cut throat at times, the problems really started within the company. Far too much money was being lost by poor decision making, there were too many empire builders and not enough gameplayers. Development was always hampered by constantly back tracking, a lack of praise for the artists and programmers and many promises that were vever fulfilled. I could this situation happening many years ago - DID was on borrowed time.
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posted 10-02-1999 06:51 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Further to that, I would like to wish all the artists and programmers all the best for the future - they were a great bunch of guys and gals (you know who you are), let down and stifled by the upper management (not at Infogrames).
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posted 10-02-1999 06:57 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
That's too bad about DiD. I hope they put a new team together soon and follow-up with the EF 2000 new version. It's the hottest yet!!

Best wishes and good fortune!!


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posted 10-02-1999 08:18 PM     Profile for Viking1     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Thanks David for taking the time to express your side of the story.

I remember looking at a beta of Wargasm and being asked by someone at DiD what I thought of the title. I told them it would attract attention, but maybe not the kind they wanted.

It was marketed under that name anyway...

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posted 10-02-1999 08:23 PM     Profile for Viking1     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I've added an epilogue to the article expressing that DiD probably bears some responsibility for mismanagement also.
Posts: 917 | From: Kelowna BC CANADA | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
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posted 10-02-1999 08:57 PM     Profile for Bossman   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
A post here reminded me (an the show on simulations on the history channel tonight) about the Standards that should be set for hard core simming. 3 years back at E3 I saw the prototype of a military sim running on some high end Sun platform. They now link 500 people in ground, air and sea forces all over the world in these sims. Give it a few years, on it will be in our laps:-) err on our desks.
This will truly give the software companies the ability to make cash on the Jets, tanks, ships etc.. and we will get "world updates" yearly from a combined team for about 150 bucks. What a great time to be alive huh?


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posted 10-02-1999 10:25 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Good luck to those at DID. EF2000 and the mailing list brought me many good times. There's nothing to say that hasn't been said. EF2k v2.0 and ADF are the only games I ever paid extra ordering them from England and having them shipped to the states.

I wish everyone the best.

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posted 10-03-1999 04:44 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Having read Carl Jackson's post... Well, the old adage "There's two sides to every story" came to mind. Hopefully Infogrames will keep the DID name alive, and Carl will get his Ferrari! But seriously, my previous post was obviously a little unfair - Infogrames are a company, and companies need to make money. But hopefully a few lessons will be learned from this. Good luck to them.
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posted 10-03-1999 05:47 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
TFX was my first sim and I loved it.
I flew my first online missions in EF2000 and I am still tinking and talking about 'those days'...
I think that DID's Raptor sim was the beginning of the end. I feel that they wanted to please the US market (colour! Give us more colours!)
I am sure that if they would have made a dark and greyish Harrier sim for example (grey seas, stormy weather, islands with green hills, a rainy carrier etc. British voices, sober stuff) they might have lived.
Anyway...DID will always be a part of me
Boehhhwahhaaa.....snik (that's Dutch for feeling a bit sad

Regards to all at DID and THANKS A LOT for hours of amazing time in the EF2000!


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posted 10-03-1999 06:03 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Three years ago when I bought my first PC, I was
all thumbs and had the greatest fear for this 'new' machine. Yet I bought it because I knew that if I did not learn how to use it I would die a caveman in this age of computers. I bought all the necessary books and material to help me journey into this foreboding world of computers........but.........the fear remained and I remained......all thumbs ! Until......that fateful day when I walked into small retail outlet that sells candies, toys and balloons. There was an old dusty shelf on which the owner had placed some odds and ends .....and a few computer games. At first look I wondered what that strange grey/green box with the huge words EF followed by the numbers 2000 in red below it was. I reached out and flipped it over, and saw some of the most amazing images of green rolling hills, planes of all sizes and shapes and even a cockpit that looked so real . I was hooked !
I knew I wanted it.
Those small images on the back of that box somehow reignited my childhood dreams of wanting to fly and touch the sky.
I learnt how to install a game into a computer, I just had to. I learnt about DOS, Windows, Soundcards, Grahpic Cards, RAM, Hard Disks and the rest is history. DID's EF2000
did not only give me hours after hours of thrill and joy in reaching and touching the virtual sky
( free flight was one of my favorites after long missions !) also removed the fear of computers forever from my mind.

It is really, truly sad to see the end of DID this way. I do hope that the people who belonged to this once great team remain in touch and like the phoenix , arise once again in the near future and light up our virtual sky !

Farewell for now DID .

Best Regards...Insight.
Penang Island, Malaysia.

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posted 10-03-1999 11:07 AM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Well, what can I say...I was shocked and saddened to hear of this unfortunate event. I have always looked forward to a DID product since their fledgeling days on the Atari ST.
I wish Martin and the others the best of luck in their future endeavours and look forward to similar high quality products from them.

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posted 10-03-1999 03:15 PM     Profile for warrior   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote

Judgement day is coming up.

Monday Infogrames will make their official press decleration. I think this includes what will become of DID.
Only then will we know for sure.
But if it's the end of DID, I will feel down for at least a week because what this software-house produced has for the past few years been an integral part of my life.
And wordt of all, they never deserved, no matter what.
If anyone from Infogrames who can make a difference reads this thread, he'll hopefully see DID may yet be profitable and make sure it's not all over.
All we can do is hope for the best.

Posts: 27 | From: Turnhout, Belgium | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged

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