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DiRT 4 Successor - A new Business-Model (?)

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Dear Codemasters,
well, wether you support D4 for longer or not, sooner or later you will start working on a successor game. (Remember I still wish Argentina and VR support in D4...) As I see it, you have either the option to go on as usual and go for a normal "AAA" game with big release, lotsa content and 60 bucks for it. OR you could try a new buisness model, more suited to a niche market, especially if you want to continue to develop a Simulation rather than arcade popcorn. For this, as an inspiration and suggestion, I want to outline an
 
alternative Business Model:

inspired by other niche-market games like Elite Dangerous, Assetto Corsa, Raceroom, Cities Skylines, etc.

We start with a base-game, let's call it DiRT Total, with a very low entry price, like 10 bucks or so. This contains some 4-5 cars, one YourStage Location (let's say Australia) and one open compound like Dirtfish. Included are online rally modes, league systems (maybe ESL compatible), a dynamic career with team management and important(!) online party game modes for the open compound (You know, Infected and such stuff.)
This, with a low entry barrier, will draw in a big number of potentially interested people, getting to feel the physics and atmosphere of the game and so on. 

I'm assuming here, that you will finally develop a new somewhat future proof engine, with double-bit precision to ensure support of real-life long stages and advanced physics. Furthermore I assume a focus on simulation through and through, which will be made accessible by some assists for the newbies. Think of how Forza Motorsport does it, without having two driving modes.

What will be the moneymaker, are additional packs you can buy, which all work together and add to the experience. Some examples:
- 15 bucks, Iconic-Rally-Pack  (improved Yourstage locations of Wales, Sweden, Monte Carlo)
- 15 bucks, Euro-Rally-Pack (" of Spain, Finland, Sardegna)
- 15 bucks, Americas-Rally-Pack (" of Argentina, LSPR, Canada Rocky mountains rally.)
- 15 bucks, Far East-Rally-Pack (" of  New Zealand, China, India)
- 15 bucks, Dirty-Rally-Pack (" of Kenya, Azores, something from Arabs country)
- 20 bucks, FIA RX Pack (Rallycross cars with 3 official tracks)
- 20 bucks, Legends RX Pack (historic and entry Rallycross cars with 3 other official tracks)
- 10 bucks, three more compounds for the party modes.
- 10 bucks, Dudebro Fast n Furious Bullcrap pack. (Gymkhana Freestyle challenges and more party modes, like mario-kart style with weaponized cars or shit)
Motorsport-Series packs:
- 10 bucks, modern Rally Masters (R5, R4, R2 Car pack)
- 10 bucks, Too Dangerous (Group B AWD, RWD and H3)
- 10 bucks, Raid Pack (Bowler Nemesis and friends)
- 10 bucks,  World Series Power (WRC cars form 2010+)
so on...

Obviously you don't have to release everything at once, that's the point. Getting a steady stream of income to further development and afford making free patches and support for the base game and physics for several years. You just start with like one rally-pack, two car packs and a RX pack (=55+10base = 65bucks everything at start) getting Trpile-A prices from those who want everything and getting a lot more attention from all those attracted by a low entry barrier to try the whole thing.
Then over the years you support the game with constant flow of new packs together with free patches that improve the game and slowly building a great platform for Offroad-Simulation, a niche which doesn't have such a platform yet. Maybe with a schedule like CarPack-CarPack-LocationPack and repeat.

This offers you a steady income stream and offers customers to focus on the disciplines they really want and cars they really want for a total price they would've paid for a AAA game anyway.

Additional, as ESL and leagues would make modding hard anyway, you could implement consumer-friendly micro-transactions. Which means, paying for fancy visuals and never for unfair advantage. So don't sell ingame money! Ever! Or ultra-team-engineers! No gameplay effects at all!  Example being Elite Dangerous here, you can sell like official liveries for cars, like 1€ each, or some stupid bobble-heads, or some ugly drift-charms for the bumper, or some alternative driver or co-pilot models, you get the picture. Some people will buy that too, which will further secure ongoing development.

Just as some suggestion if that wasn`t on your radar. Would really love a short aknowledge of a dev if you put it into consideration.
And of course some comments from community, If you would support such a model over several years or you're rather an antagonist of such consumer-customisable business models?

Cheers
Skyrex




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My tastes are so expensive, but good idea Buddy!! I think this can be really good, also I think that  in the daily challenges you can use Cars that you havent bought, like in Raceroom, so people can get engaged with this Cars and later bought them, also giving the chance to everyone to race in the daily and that means a bigger leaderboard >:)  
Also, could be cool to just buy a car and you can use it with your team livery only, you don't have all the r5's just the Fiesta for example

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Personally, I'm not a fan of this type of gaming business model. This approach of chopping games up into smaller separately-sold pieces is the main reason I have not bought into RaceRoom Racing Experience despite how much I actually like the free R3E base game. It might be more customizable for buyers, but it's not more economical when it could cost well over $100 to get fewer cars & tracks than other $60 games offer. Plus, dividing up content so granularly can divide up leaderboards & multiplayer matchmaking into ever-shrinking pools of segregated players, so why buy new content if it gets me fewer people to play my new content with? I don't think struggling niche titles would have a better chance at being more profitable by going this route - at least not with current conditions, standards, & trends.

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id happily buy dlc if the bare backbone was great to start with.

the perfect rally game for me would be like dirt rally but car weight feeling of dirt 4 with all real locations and as many of the iconic cars possible.

also bring back super stages.

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I really like the idea of the Raceroom concept for  Rally, RX and some fun stuff (Gymkhana etc.).

But I doubt CM is going that way. It doesn't fit the traditional business model. And it seems to work only for very small independent teams like iracing, R3E and others.


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id easliy pay $150.00 per year for a game i play on regular basis........................money to time spent ratio 

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yeah well all the people who have time to come on here and either constructively complain,or just comment on a regular basis must have enough time spent on this to justify the expense.It is still a small amount of people ,compared to like an FPS, or mainstream game.
I mean how much money is your free time worth? LOL for me to "get away" in my man-cave and play few hours a week ,is easily worth the expense as its my R&R session,and you only live once.Its not like 100s of titles hit a year that im interested in :)

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Yes, please, but only if it is a moddable platform, where Community can mod / build Stages, Cars, Sounds, etc

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Imagine a game including eventually all 12 RX tracks and finally a real championchip, like F1 games.
Imagine a game including eventually all 13 rally stages and finally a real championchip, like F1 games.

In its current form, DiRT not only feels, but actually is only a glimpse into each world. Can anyone imagine a F1 game with only 5-7 circuits?

The R3E concept might be the road for getting the full package eventually, not from the beginning.
It doens't look like the traditional model will get us a full game of either motorsport genre.

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Operator1 said:
Personally, I'm not a fan of this type of gaming business model. This approach of chopping games up into smaller separately-sold pieces is the main reason I have not bought into RaceRoom Racing Experience despite how much I actually like the free R3E base game. It might be more customizable for buyers, but it's not more economical when it could cost well over $100 to get fewer cars & tracks than other $60 games offer. Plus, dividing up content so granularly can divide up leaderboards & multiplayer matchmaking into ever-shrinking pools of segregated players, so why buy new content if it gets me fewer people to play my new content with? I don't think struggling niche titles would have a better chance at being more profitable by going this route - at least not with current conditions, standards, & trends.

I think R3E is also a very extreme example. I would rather go for car and track PACKS rather than selling everything individually. (Like the DTM in R3E) That keeps the community from splitting around.

I also would suggest that everyone could sign up for every rally league, but he will only be able to post times in the locations he owns. This way no-one gets excluded from the online community of the Rally-branch for example. Additionally, all new cars are always installed, so you can race against everyone without owning everything.
And finally I think the first few cars in the basegame should allow you to take part in the most popular classes in online competitions. Like if I had to pick a basegame-roster from the current car list it would be:
Mirage R5, Escort GrpA, Mini Cooper '60, Opel Manta Grp B and Focus WRC '01
(and fusing Grp B classes to get rid of the AWD/RWD divide)

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SkyRex said:
...start with a base-game... with a very low entry price, like 10 bucks or so...
...
- 15 bucks, Iconic-Rally-Pack  (improved Yourstage locations of Wales, Sweden, Monte Carlo)
- 15 bucks, Euro-Rally-Pack (" of Spain, Finland, Sardegna)
- 15 bucks, Americas-Rally-Pack (" of Argentina, LSPR, Canada Rocky mountains rally.)
- 15 bucks, Far East-Rally-Pack (" of  New Zealand, China, India)
- 15 bucks, Dirty-Rally-Pack (" of Kenya, Azores, something from Arabs country)
- 20 bucks, FIA RX Pack (Rallycross cars with 3 official tracks)
- 20 bucks, Legends RX Pack (historic and entry Rallycross cars with 3 other official tracks)
- 10 bucks, three more compounds for the party modes.
- 10 bucks, Dudebro Fast n Furious Bullcrap pack. (Gymkhana Freestyle challenges and more party modes, like mario-kart style with weaponized cars or ****)
Motorsport-Series packs:
- 10 bucks, modern Rally Masters (R5, R4, R2 Car pack)
- 10 bucks, Too Dangerous (Group B AWD, RWD and H3)
- 10 bucks, Raid Pack (Bowler Nemesis and friends)
- 10 bucks,  World Series Power (WRC cars form 2010+)
so on...

That example adds up to $185.

A typical full-content $60 game with 5 DLC packs each costing $15 would add up $135.

Even if you didn't buy all of the micro-packs for a bare-bones base game, you could still spend more than you normally would for a typical game+DLC yet get less content for your money.

Why would anyone want to spend more money for less game?

Why would customers want games to be chopped up into even more tiny monetized pieces?

I'm not trying to be unfriendly or argumentative. I'm only saying I don't see how customers benefit from this model.

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Operator1 said:

SkyRex said:
...start with a base-game... with a very low entry price, like 10 bucks or so...
...
- 15 bucks, Iconic-Rally-Pack  (improved Yourstage locations of Wales, Sweden, Monte Carlo)
- 15 bucks, Euro-Rally-Pack (" of Spain, Finland, Sardegna)
- 15 bucks, Americas-Rally-Pack (" of Argentina, LSPR, Canada Rocky mountains rally.)
- 15 bucks, Far East-Rally-Pack (" of  New Zealand, China, India)
- 15 bucks, Dirty-Rally-Pack (" of Kenya, Azores, something from Arabs country)
- 20 bucks, FIA RX Pack (Rallycross cars with 3 official tracks)
- 20 bucks, Legends RX Pack (historic and entry Rallycross cars with 3 other official tracks)
- 10 bucks, three more compounds for the party modes.
- 10 bucks, Dudebro Fast n Furious Bullcrap pack. (Gymkhana Freestyle challenges and more party modes, like mario-kart style with weaponized cars or ****)
Motorsport-Series packs:
- 10 bucks, modern Rally Masters (R5, R4, R2 Car pack)
- 10 bucks, Too Dangerous (Group B AWD, RWD and H3)
- 10 bucks, Raid Pack (Bowler Nemesis and friends)
- 10 bucks,  World Series Power (WRC cars form 2010+)
so on...

That example adds up to $185.

A typical full-content $60 game with 5 DLC packs each costing $15 would add up $135.

Even if you didn't buy all of the micro-packs for a bare-bones base game, you could still spend more than you normally would for a typical game+DLC yet get less content for your money.

Why would anyone want to spend more money for less game?

Why would customers want games to be chopped up into even more tiny monetized pieces?

I'm not trying to be unfriendly or argumentative. I'm only saying I don't see how customers benefit from this model.

This is an example list of content, which will be available like 2-4 years after release. The whole idea is to have a loner term more complete game than a triple A could get you.
If you pay normally, including DLCs, for the current model with Dirt 5, Dirt 6 and Dirt 7 you'll end up around 300€
If you wait the same time for a DiRT Unlimited to gain content packs, a complete buy would also be 300€, but chances are you don't actually need/want every pack.

And if your sole focus is about what you have to spend, then just go pirate your games. It's all the content for none of the money. But you then couldn't really complain about what the future shall develop as the developer goes bankrupt.

I think of it as a ratio of gained Fun in hours/€. This means, games I play for hundreds of hours easily justify a bigger price, 

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SkyRex said:
This is an example list of content, which will be available like 2-4 years after release...

...if your sole focus is about what you have to spend, then just go pirate your games. It's all the content for none of the money. But you then couldn't really complain about what the future shall develop as the developer goes bankrupt.

I think of it as a ratio of gained Fun in hours/€. This means, games I play for hundreds of hours easily justify a bigger price, 

So, I'm a "pirate" if I don't want to pay more & get less?? ...Nonsense.

My 'sole focus' is not what I have to spend, but what I get in return for what I spend. Commerce is an exchange of value where both parties benefit somewhat equally: seller benefits from my money, & I benefit from seller's goods. Why should anyone pay more & get less, especially when other sellers offer more in exchange for less money? I also don't see how getting less content trickled out over a longer period could somehow provide more hours of play-time.

I'm not a donor looking to make charitable contributions to help game companies avoid bankruptcy. As a paying customer, I would naturally expect to receive commensurate value in exchange for my money.

I understand how the model you're talking about could make more money for a game company, but they'd only profit if enough people buy - and I doubt many people would buy into a model that costs more money for less content over a longer period of time, especially when there are better offers available elsewhere.

I can't believe we're at the point where consumers are directly asking game companies to give us even less, and charge us even more for it, and take even longer to deliver.



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We got here, because developing games with ever more detailed environment and assetts becomes more time consuming and needs more manpower.

And Rally games with sim or simcade approach will always be just a branch of the racing game industry. So if the company does not get "enough" revenue, they either stop making that product or reduce time and manpower, thus ending up with a less quality product.
If DiRT games had the sales figures like Forza, we wouldn't need to talk about that.
Companies will always goes the route of putting the least amount of money (time and manpower) into a product to barely match customer expectations.

That's why we start to think about if the traditional business model is really the best way to do quality Rally/RX products.

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the thing is even if it doesnt make the money they want sometimes you got to make " that game " to win the people. Dirt rally did this.

otherwise the real big companies get out a game like new forza 700 cars and sweep up.

you need the licenses you need the events.you need to love the product and want to make it.

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Operator1 said:

I understand how the model you're talking about could make more money for a game company, but they'd only profit if enough people buy - and I doubt many people would buy into a model that costs more money for less content over a longer period of time,

EVE, iRacing, Race Room, WOW, SWTOR and pretty much every subscription based MMO game ever! follow the same basic model the OP suggests. 

All going strong and still in business, with many happy customers.

I'm not agreeing with either of you in terms of "right or wrong", just pointing out that lots of companies do the same basic thing and people are happy to pay.

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Evilsmurf said:
EVE, iRacing, Race Room, WOW, SWTOR and pretty much every subscription based MMO game ever! follow the same basic model the OP suggests...

All going strong and still in business, with many happy customers.

I'm not agreeing with either of you in terms of "right or wrong", just pointing out that lots of companies do the same basic thing and people are happy to pay.


Good point. That's very true. I think hardcore simulation rally might be a much smaller niche than those other games & genres though, so I'm not sure it could attract nearly as a big an audience. Plus, I think the biggest part of the attraction in those other games & genres is head-to-head/wheel-to-wheel real-time multiplayer, which traditional point-to-point stage rally isn't really well-suited for.

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We got here, because developing games with ever more detailed environment and assetts becomes more time consuming and needs more manpower...

I would think it's the other way around: as technology advances, productivity increases as tools get better and people get more experienced. Many games reuse the same core engine for years, along with reusing many digital assets across multiple installments, which saves even more time & requires less manpower.

...if the company does not get "enough" revenue, they either stop making that product or reduce time and manpower, thus ending up with a less quality product...

If a game company isn't selling enough, it's because they're not making games that more people want to buy. Compared to prior installments in the series, sales for DiRT 4 are off to a slow start and may never come close to matching the success of prior installments. Why isn't DiRT 4 selling nearly as much despite the success of its predecessors? There has been a lot of speculation, and I don't think it has anything to do with the business model.

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Evilsmurf said:
Operator1 said:

I understand how the model you're talking about could make more money for a game company, but they'd only profit if enough people buy - and I doubt many people would buy into a model that costs more money for less content over a longer period of time,

EVE, iRacing, Race Room, WOW, SWTOR and pretty much every subscription based MMO game ever! follow the same basic model the OP suggests. 

...and none of which are available on two thirds of the main platforms Codemasters develop their software for. Personally i think it's a terrible idea because console gamers have had this ''sell it in bits for a premium price'' DLC garbage rammed down their throats for way too long now and welcoming any hair-brained idea to encourage developers into continuing this trend just isn't the way forward.
Just one other point of mention. For the price of all those things the op mentioned I could spend the equivalent amount of money on PCars 2 (£41.99), Forza 7 (£44.99),  WRC 7 (already preordered locally for £42) and on a good day a preowned copy of Dirt Rally - so why on earth subscribing to a business model that only seeks to temporarilly resurrect a tired game with each subsequent DLC pack could even be considered as an alternative is completely beyond me.  
 
I have an idea for a business model; Make a great game, play test it to ensure it works out of the box - and then sell it in it's entirety.. Use the time saved not having to spend countless hours fixing said game and not thinking of new and exciting ways to rip off the consumer with insanely overpriced bolt-ons to create other great games... Can't think why the industry hasn't thought of that already...

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I'll pay ZERO to Codemasters until boring -repetitive - unnatural - PS level graphics "Your stage" is the only way to race on a rally track
I don't care about any rallygame future if there will be no REAL stages like in Dirt Rally


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mesa said:
I'll pay ZERO to Codemasters until boring -repetitive - unnatural - PS level graphics "Your stage" is the only way to race on a rally track
I don't care about any rallygame future if there will be no REAL stages like in Dirt Rally


Cool man. We all know this already as you keep spamming the forum of how boring it is.

I really don't see the point in keeping to shout the same thing over and over. If I'm not happy with something I just choose not to play it anymore and I certanly don't continue to moan about it on the forum.

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Personally I would just like it to be like a more supported DiRT:Rally, start with early access, enough time to develop the game with feedback from everyone but with more locactions and cars as DLC after release.

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